Home ScienceEnvironment The Great Barrier Reef Is Officially Dying

The Great Barrier Reef Is Officially Dying

Image: Wikimedia Commons

Climate change has been a major point of discussion in this century and despite scientists’ warnings, we are far from taking measures to mitigate causes of such changes. And now, researchers have revealed that the Great Barrier Reef is dying after the recent rise in ocean temperature.

Although scientists around the world were expecting such result from Climate changes, it’s much earlier than expected as Fabien Cousteau, environmental advocate and founder of the Fabien Cousteau Ocean Learning Center has said that the destruction of the coral reefs is similar to the effects canary in a coal mine has. He said, “They have taken quite a beating, as we’ve seen lately in the news, and unfortunately, that’s not going to stop. It’s highly alarming.”

“The stony corals, which is what everyone is focusing on right now, has been quite badly battered and damaged, and there are hundreds of species of hard corals within that ecosystem, some of which resist better than others to climate change. Many of them bleach, unfortunately, for various reasons, including the temperature variations, and that’s what we’re seeing right now.”

“Nature is a phenomenal thing. Nature has three general rules that it lives by, and adaptation is one of them. Of course, when there are vacancies within those coral reefs, other critters, other organisms, fill those gaps typically. Not necessarily the ones that we’re used [to] or the ones that a coral reef can thrive on, but it is one of those things where space is a premium and a coral reef, being an underwater city, has vacancies, and therefore, other creatures go in there. So, you’ll see a morphing over the years from different species and different colors, but it’s not going to be as complex and rich an ecosystem.”

“Coral is a complex colony, if you will, of animals. Basically, there are two components — the hard structure, and then the residents, which are the zooxanthellae, and those are the polyps; those are what give the coral color. When they’re disrupted, they eject themselves, and that’s when you get the coral bleaching. [With 3-D printing], we’re creating structure, we’re creating the buildings, the infrastructure or the housing, if you will, for those zooxanthellae to come back.”

“The ‘problem’ of climate change is a very complex one — it comes from a lot of different sources, and most importantly, from our everyday bad habits. Doing 3-D coral printing happens to be just a drop in the bucket in addressing a very large global problem. We know where we’re headed if we don’t do anything, so I’m charging full on into it, and I encourage everybody on this planet to do the same so that we can hope for a better world.”

Source: WNYC

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