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Saturday, July 20, 2013

Research Paper on Impact of Global Warming

Research Paper on Impact of Global Warming

One of the major problems our generation is facing today is global warming, wherein there is a rising average temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere. Global warming happens because of the build up of carbon dioxide and other global warming pollutants in the atmosphere, forming like a blanket, trapping the sun’s heat and causing the planet to warm up (An Introduction to Climate Change). It is one of the causes why our planet’s climate is changing and it has affected the human population in several aspects, our industries, economies, and health to name a few. But global warming has not only caused trouble to us but to Mother Nature itself.

Part of the habitats affected by global warming is our marine environment especially the coral reefs which is home to many species of fish, crustaceans and marine invertebrates. Coral reefs are also natural protective barriers in coastal areas. However, coral reefs are sensitive ecosystems and can only tolerate a narrow range in temperature. According to Markey in his article Global Warming has Devastating Effect on Coral Reefs, authors of the first long term study of the effects of global warming on reefs pointed out that the increase in temperature of the ocean waters has caused the corals to bleach. When you go snorkeling or diving to view corals, you will observe that when they are full of life, they come in a variety of colors but when you spot a coral that is plain white then it’s a dead coral or a bleached coral with only the calcium carbonate skeleton or the remnants left of what used to be a home to marine life.

How does global warming lead to coral bleaching? With the increase of temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere, the oceans also warm up. The heat then affects the algae which live symbiotically inside the corals. Corals get food from the algae and so when heat stress kills the algae, they also die. If the temperature of the Earth continues to rise then the rate of coral destruction also increases posing a threat to our marine life, their diversity, their population and sustainability.

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