Coral Castastrophe

Coral reefs, not only a home for hundreds of organisms living symbionicaly, but also essential to the safety of our oceans. Coral reefs are extremely sensitive organisms that are affected by temperature, pH, and the fishing and harvesting by humans. Coral reefs have been killed and used for centuries for bathing and now in fish aquariums. Because coral reefs are located toward the surface of the ocean near to land, they are especially important to echinoderms, molluscs and over 25% of the ocean’s fish.

But how do these coral reefs relate to the world of sustainability? Coral reefs are built when the polyp absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and water and produces a hard outer shell, calcium carbonate. When these coral reefs are destroid by humans or parrotfish, the carbon dioxide is then released back into the oceans.

Another reason coral reefs are inportant to the study of sustainability is because they are so sensitive to the temperature of the water. As the oceans started to heat up due to the accumilation of greenhouse gasses, the coral reefs started to die. Errosion of the beaches causes sand and algea to cover the coral reefs and stop the absorbance of carbon dioxide and kill the reefs as well.

-Tanner Kewley


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