Global Issues – Coral Reefs

This resource is a website that gives great detail about the coral reef. It describes the ecosystem of coral reefs, why coral reefs are endangered, and the politics needed to save the coral reefs around the world. When looking at the subsection about the ecosystem of the coral reef, I learned that they support thousands of species and are considered “the rainforest of the sea.”

I also learned how coral reefs protect people. They protect the shores from harmful waves and storms, give food and medicine to people, and provided tourist attractions for the locals. “The World Meteorological Organization says that tropical coral reefs yield more than US$ 30 billion annually in global goods and services , such as coastline protection, tourism and food.” But, according to the US agency National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), coral reefs provide jobs, estimate to be worth $375 billion each year.

In looking at the importance of the ecosystem of coral reefs, it is also important to also understand what is happening to the coral reefs. The coral reefs are dying all around the world.

As of 2004:
– 20% of the world’s coral reefs have been destroyed and show no signs of recovery.
-24% of the world’s coral reefs are on the brink of collapsing due to humans.

Coral Reefs are in threat by over fishing, development along the coast, climate change, inland population, and ocean acidification (excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere).

http://www.globalissues.org/article/173/coral-reefs

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