The acidification of our world's oceans has become an increasingly dangerous situation as it threatens the lives of our coral reefs. Although they may seem like rocks, coral is actually a living organism that is the basis of the many…
In June of 2018, NAMEPA traveled to Washington DC to attend Capitol Hill Ocean Week, affectionately known as CHOW. CHOW is a 3 day conference where scientists, politicians, educators, entrepreneurs, and innovators gather together to discuss the latest in marine research and methods for protecting our oceans.
Carbon sequestration, ocean acidification, and global climate change: these are just a few complex processes associated with the carbon cycle and ultimately, the future of our environment. More familiar and accessible to the general public, however, is the fact that the amount of atmospheric carbon, a primary driver of climate change, is steadily on the rise in today’s world. Questions and concerns on the future of our planet develop when we begin to contemplate what consequences will arise as a result of this increased carbon. How will nature react?
Many threats face coral reefs today, from coral bleaching to storms to boats and anchors that break fragile coral branches. But all hope is not lost - corals are capable of regrowth. Recently, a great deal of research has gone into understanding coral resiliency.
Corals take at least several decades for regrowth and it is a slow and steady process. Naturally, it is important for coral to have evolved the ability to rebuild and regrow because natural disasters like storms and variations in fish grazing happen all the time. The problem now is how corals can regrow in the context of human-caused environmental change.
Global Weirding: The Coral Catastrophe
Coral reefs are the rainforests of the sea. Full of diversity and severely endangered, corals play a very similar role in reefs to the role of trees in rainforests. Corals provide a backbone for the most lush, colorful, and productive ecosystems on the planet.
For humans, reefs buffer shorelines, provide homes for important fisheries species, are important tourist destinations, and can provide novel medicines. According to a study done in 1997, the economic worth of coral reefs adds up to approximately $375 billion each year, even though reefs only cover 1% of the earth’s surface. Yet all of this value is at risk under the influence of climate change.
“Exposing the truth about global warming hysteria” reads the tagline of the website GlobalClimateScam.com. However, this is what I’m about to attempt: to expose the truth about the importance of why everyone is so up in arms about this whole global warming problem and what buzzwords like “global warming” and “climate change” mean. So here we go: ocean acidification and climate change, the basics.