Global warming does not affect the animals and vegetation on land, it’s also threatening what dwells in the oceans.
According to a new scientific study, climate change is responsible for a widespread coral bleaching, which could lead to a serious loss of coral reefs worldwide.
Mark Eakin, coral reef watch coordinator at NOAA, commented that the recent coral reef bleaching resembles those that occurred in 1998 and 2010. Eakin says that there is an increased risk of a new coral bleaching event on a global level.
NOOA has recently released a report indicating that climate change is causing thermal stress in the Pacific Ocean, which caused coral bleaching in places like Kiribati, Nauru and Solomon Islands.
Experts expect this to spread to other nations like American Samoa, Samoa and Tuvalu in the next couple of months.
The same thing is happening in the Indian Ocean, where thermal stress could reach levels that will cause massive coral bleaching in Seychelles, Mauritius, Madagascar, western Australia and some parts of Indonesia.
Eakin explained that they will keep the situation under observation to see if the same thing will happen in Southeast Asia and the region known as the Coral Triangle, sometime in the second half of 2015.
Jennifer Koss, acting program manager at the NOOA Coral Reef Conservation Program, said that climate change plays a very important role in the massive coral bleaching and its impact on the coral reef ecosystems is devastating.
The coral reefs are extremely important ecosystems that support more than 4,000 fish species, which is more than any other underwater environment. The reefs are also crucial for sustaining a many coastal communities. The reefs are reaped through fishing, diving and tourism.
According to experts, bleaching is very similar to coral cancer and it occurs when the corals are affected by changes in temperature, nutrients and light.
Recent reports show that approximately 3% of the global coral reefs have been destroyed by bleaching, which was caused mostly by pollution, climate change and coastal development.
Almost 15% of the world’s coral reefs were destroyed because of bleaching in 1998.
Image Source: seriousshops