What part are humans playing in the destruction of coral reefs around the world? This question has so many answers it's hard to narrow it down, between greenhouse gases, scuba diving/snorkeling, coastal development, drudging and dumping we are singlehandedly destroying one of our most fragile marine systems we have on the Earth. Considering the fact that they are so delicate you’d conclude that they are susceptible to the smallest of things, right? Well ⅔ of the world’s coral reefs are dying off, and if current conditions continue 70% of them may be gone by 2050.
This article was written in 2014 but is relevant to our times now more than ever. Around a year ago the U.N. released a statement saying that the, "continuing rise in average temperature of the Earth's climate system is posing irreversible damages to the coral reefs in the world's smaller islands."
This spring break I was fortunate enough to go to the gorgeous Grand Cayman Island. While it is so incredibly easy to focus on the beauty of such a unique place, i decided to photograph the a large piece of Coral that was washed up and no longer alive. The amount of dead coral that washed up on the beach amazed me and seeing the amount of algae covered coral that has been bleached made me realize the true impact humanity has on such a unique ecosystem. Enjoy.
Ocean acidification is a rising problem on Earth. It is a term used to decribe the rising acidity in the oceans. 1/3 of the carbon dioxide we edmit from burning ficil fuels is absorbed by the oceans. This equals to 1 million tones every day. When the carbon dioxide disolves into the sea water, the H2O and CO2 molecules combine forming carbonic acid (H2CO3). This changing chemistry is causing our oceans to become more acidic. Over the past 200 years the acidity has risen by 30%. The pH of the oceans has droped by 0.1 pH units (from 8.2-8.1).