The Impact of Climate Change on Coral Reefs

How does climate change affect coral reefs?

The Impact of Climate Change on Coral Reefs

Climate change has a significant impact on coral reefs around the world. The rising temperatures of the oceans caused by climate change lead to a process called coral bleaching. Coral bleaching occurs when corals expel the algae living in their tissues, causing them to turn completely white. This is harmful to the corals as they depend on the algae for food through photosynthesis.

Furthermore, the increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are absorbed by the oceans, resulting in ocean acidification. This makes it harder for corals to build their calcium carbonate skeletons, essential for their growth and survival. Ocean acidification also affects the entire marine ecosystem, disrupting the food chain and the balance of the ecosystem.

Another consequence of climate change on coral reefs is the more frequent and severe extreme weather events such as hurricanes and cyclones. These events can physically damage the coral reefs, breaking them apart and reducing their ability to recover.

Overall, climate change poses a serious threat to coral reefs worldwide, endangering not only the coral itself but also the diverse marine life that depends on coral reefs for shelter and food.

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