Dissolving coral reefs: As oceans grow more acidic, marine life suffers - 2012-Jan-18 | adapting to climate change | Scoop.it
If you drive, fertilize your lawn, or buy sushi, you could be contributing to the demise of coral reefs. Scientists call coral reefs the rainforests of the ocean, because these ...

 

Paulo Maurin, education coordinator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s coral reef conservation program, names three main threats to coral — land based pollution, adverse impacts of fishing, and climate change, which causes ocean acidification and coral bleaching. We all contribute to each one of these in some way, no matter where we live.

 

Land-based pollution includes the big things, such as agricultural and industrial run-off, but also little things like oil washing off your driveway. Many fish species used to produce our fish sticks and cat food (and even stock our home aquariums) are being removed from the ocean at unsustainable rates. The right type and number of fish are critical to maintaining healthy coral reefs; some fish eat algae, for example, and without enough of them doing so, too much algae grows over coral, eventually smothering it. Vehicle exhaust and emissions from the power plants producing our electricity increase the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which causes ocean acidification.