Corals are tiny invertebrate sea animals that stay in a fixed position for long periods.Their body is covered by a hard exoskeleton that after death, becomes hard and interconnects with other corals.
In doing so, after decades and even centuries of coral skeletons connecting, a coral reef is formed. These coral reefs are home to some of the richest underwater ecosystems on planet earth.
However in the past decade or so these coral reefs have been endangered by climate change and more. One of the effects of climate change is a phenomenon called coral bleaching. It occurs when these colorful corals lose their color and turn completely white. While this may seem harmless enough and to a point even captivating , when bleaching occurs it means that the algae living in coral tissues which are essential to several life processes is expelled.
However, this doesn’t mean that the coral is dead but that it is much more likely to diseases and mortality. Furthermore, coral bleaching causes a severe dip in ecosystems based on it. Seeing as once a coral dies it nearly never grows back, coral bleaching is a death spell to coral reefs.The world’s largest underwater ecosystem, the great barrier reef, home to over 9000 species is under threat from this very disaster.
It is our responsibility to save these beautiful ecosystems and as readers, we can help do so by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, switching to solar power and taking public transport or carpooling.
About the author
My name is Ajay Prabhakar and i am 14 years of age. I am currently studying in a school called Harishree Vidhyalaya in Chennai , India. I love biology, specifically marine biology and am a certified scuba diver. Apart from scuba diving, i also enjoy reading books.