Ocean Heroes! I am here with Naomi from the SocietyToStopClimateChange for my first collab post!
*I’m normal font, and Naomi is bold*
So, oceans and climate change are pretty interconnected. Oceans are affected by climate change, but also provide many solutions to the problems of climate change and global warming (Which ARE two different things- check out this post to learn about the difference!).
Therefore, in this post, we will be discussing one of the problems that involves both global warming and the oceans- bleaching of the coral reefs. Let’s get into it!
Long story short, the bleaching of the coral reefs is a result of the warming oceans. It’s when coral loses their marine algae plants (which give them color) and that turns them white, hence the term bleaching, and that’s not good for the oceans and the ecosystem.
Coral bleaching is caused by many things, but the most common one is climate change. How does this happen? Well, climate change warms the water, and the coral is not used to this. So, this stresses out the coral and causes the algae to leave the coral. Without algae in the coral, the coral goes white and is much more vulnerable to getting a disease.
Interesting! So what are the other causes?
Well, water pollution ALSO stresses out the algae, and that bleaches it the same way warm water does. Another thing that causes bleaching is low tides. When the tide is low for too long, it exposes the reef to air, and the coral gets bleached.
That… doesn’t sound too good. Poor coral!
The main effect of coral bleaching is the effect on the coral reef ecosystems. Fish and other marine animals depend on the coral for shelter, food, and spawning grounds. Coral reefs support many biodiverse species, and biodiversity is the key to the ocean’s survival. If the coral reefs die from the bleaching, some already at risk marine animals may go extinct.
Wow. Coral sounds really important to the ecosystem! That definitely makes me want to save the reefs. So, does the bleaching affect people as well? Or just the animals and ocean?
The bleaching of the coral reefs DOES impact us as well, especially coastal towns that rely on the fish and other marine animals that live in the coral reefs for food and to make a living. The coral reefs also protect coastal towns from storms, and new medicines to treat cancer, arthritis, and heart disease to name a few.
Coral is so important! Thanks for telling us about why.
Use reef-safe sunscreen. Chemicals in sunscreen can be harmful for coral reefs, and can even kill them, but there are types of sunscreen without those chemicals that you can buy to help this cause! (Evil Sunscreen Jamboard Post By Naomi)
Write! If you’ve seen my lists of how to help before, you know that I always put write on here. For this, you can write to your friends and family to tell them about the bleaching of the coral reefs. Or, you can write to governments about better protecting the reefs!
As Naomi said previously, water pollution also stresses out the coral, leading to bleaching. Not using chemicals such as pesticides and weed killer, and recycling your plastic instead of littering, are examples of things you can do that will help stop water pollution and help those poor coral not stress out!
Generally, try to do some things in your life to reduce your carbon footprint such as saving energy in your house or buying less new products. This will help stop the effects of climate change, including the bleaching of the coral reefs!
“8 Easy Ways You Can Help Coral Reefs.” The Nature Conservancy, 2018, www.nature.org/en-us/what-we-do/our-priorities/protect-water-and-land/land-and-water-stories/8-easy-ways-you-can-help-coral-reefs/.
“Coral Bleaching | NASA Climate Kids.” Nasa.gov, 2019, climatekids.nasa.gov/coral-bleaching/.
NOAA. “What Is Coral Bleaching?” Noaa.gov, 5 Nov. 2020, oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/coral_bleach.html.
Great Barrier Reef Foundation. “Coral Bleaching.” Great Barrier Reef Foundation, 2021, www.barrierreef.org/the-reef/coral-bleaching.
Hancock, Lorin. “Everything You Need to Know about Coral Bleaching—and How We Can Stop It.” World Wildlife Fund, 2014, www.worldwildlife.org/pages/everything-you-need-to-know-about-coral-bleaching-and-how-we-can-stop-it.
US. “What Does Coral Have to Do with Medicine?” Noaa.gov, 2014, oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/coral_medicine.html.
US EPA,OW. “What You Can Do to Help Protect Coral Reefs | US EPA.” US EPA, 26 Sept. 2018, www.epa.gov/coral-reefs/what-you-can-do-help-protect-coral-reefs.
And that was my first collaboration for collaboration month! Hope you enjoyed!
Are you excited for more collabs with Naomi? Are you planning to do any of the suggested things to help stop the bleaching of the coral reefs? Tell me down below in the comments!
Leader, Hero, Activist, Writer