Global warming is not only causing harm to human beings but also taking a toll on aquatic flora and fauna. The world’s heritage which is the Great Barrier Reef of Australia is largely affected due to coral bleaching. Now the US coral reefs are also under threat due to coral bleaching.
The US coral reefs and marine sanctuaries located near Hawaii, Florida, and the Caribbean may disappear in few decades according to the scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). About 70% of world’s reefs have been affected due to global warming and many US reefs will become extinct in coming decades.
According to The Guardian reports many reefs present near Florida and Hawaii will experience the impacts of rising ocean temperatures in summer. Great Barrier Reef has got acquired media’s attention but a threat to US reefs is not well-known. The negative effect of global warming seen on US coral reefs can be an indication of climate change on marine life. The fact that US coral reefs will sustain for another 100 years is not true in fact they would disappear within 20 to 30 years.
Coral reefs are vibrantly colored by photosynthetic algae called zooxanthellae which provide them food and oxygen. But exposure to carbon dioxide increases the water temperature in which the algae can’t survive and they die. Due to this the corals deteriorate and lose their color which is known as bleaching.
Coral bleaching not only causes the disappearance of reefs but also affects the life they support. As per NOAA experts, the coral bleaching to US reefs is increasing at an alarming rate due to human-induced climate change.
Out of all the marine species, 22 of them are listed as “threatened” and three of them are “endangered”. The primary reason behind coral bleaching is global warming and very little can be done to preserve these reefs. But the reefs present near Hawaii are already under protected zones but they are still affected by the rising temperatures these years. The world’s oceans absorb more than 90% of the excess heat generated by greenhouse gases due to human activities.