Corral All Reef Enthusiasts: Let’s Talk Oceans
Coral reefs are one of the most ancient and tenacious rocks plants animals that occupy our biodiversity. The Great Barrier has nearly died five times in the past 30,000 years, which is impressive given how vulnerable reefs are today. However, scientists consider the current damage that has been done to the reef irreversible.
The world has lost almost half its coral reefs in the last 30 years. Despite only covering less than 0.1 percent of the ocean floor, coral reefs are home to more than a quarter of the planet’s marine ecosystem, protect 150,000km of coastlines from damaging effects of waves and tropical storms, indirectly generate billions in tourism revenue, and serve as a source of food, income, coastal protection, and more for over 500m people.
The oceans have long served as a buffer for humankind’s dangerous greenhouse gas emissions, absorbing CO2 that would otherwise stay in the atmosphere. According to Friday in Science, between 1994 and 2007, oceans absorbed 34 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide, roughly 31 percent of what humans emitted in total. As the planet has warmed from mounting emissions, the oceans have warmed first and the fastest, absorbing 90 percent% of that excess heat. And unfortunately, coral reefs have suffered as a result.
So, what’s killing the coral reefs this time around and why is it irreversible? The simple answer: rising water temperatures. But hold on, humans are animals and we love warm sea water, so why don’t our hardy invertebrates friends? Great question — when sea water becomes too warm, coral ejects algae, which takes away corals vibrant colors and leaves it a ghostly white — commonly referred to as coral bleaching. Okay, so what? This stress response can ruin the symbiosis between coral and its main food, microalgae, that lives on and inside its tissue. The warmer temperatures make microalgae overproduce sugars and toxins, in-turn leading to the coral polyps having to spit them out. However, coral polyps are dependent on microalgae for survival and without it coral will turn white which increases the chances of diseases and death. Additionally, the constant chemical mix-up and increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is increasing the acidity of seawater, which makes it harder for corals to form their skeletons. And the scary reality is that coral bleaching is happening five times more frequently than it did in the 1970s.
The Earth has already warmed 1 degree Celsius since the 19th century and is on track to increase by 2 degrees this century. After the Paris Agreement nations around the world agreed to try and reduce this figure to 1.5 degrees, to preindustrial levels. However even if the agreement is met, it is predicted that coral reefs will still decline by 70–90 percent.
The delicate nature of coral leaves them hypersensitive to climate change, but many other ecosystems both above ground and beneath the ocean will also be vulnerable to rising temperatures in the coming years and decades. If we are unable to reduce greenhouse gas emissions faster, these special coral reef systems — that we are so dependent on — will suffer greatly.
Please click here to see how you can help keep the coral reef alive.
Hamish Baillieu, Investment Analyst
In 2014, an El Nino-driven coal bleaching event swept the world’s reefs that lasted three years — the longest and most damaging of its kind on record. Bleaching was evident in 75% of tropical reefs and brought nearly 30% to mortality level.
Scientists have been forced to get creative with trying to save coral reefs around the world due to major die-offs in recent years due to mass bleaching events. A 200-page report written by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine listed 23 intervention strategies that could help coral reefs become more resilient to the effects of climate change. Some strategies include relocation and genetic manipulation of coral species to antibiotic use and spraying salt water into the atmosphere to shade and cool reefs.
What is life like in a coral reef? What do corals eat? Why are corals more colorful at nighttime? Learn about some of the most beautiful locations in the natural world in Gail Gibbon’s book, Corral Reefs.
This newsletter is intended solely for informational purposes, and should not be construed as investment/trading advice and are not meant to be a solicitation or recommendation to buy, sell, or hold any securities mentioned. Any reproduction or distribution of this document, in whole or in part, or the disclosure of its contents, without the prior written consent of Flat World Partners is prohibited
Forwarded this message? Subscribe Here!
Copyright © 2019 Flat World Partners, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email as a believer in competitive financial and social returns.
Our mailing address is:
Flat World Partners
386 Park Avenue South
New York, Ny 10016