Scientists calculated that 70-90% of the coral reefs that we see right now will disappear in the coming 20 years, due to acidity and a rise in temperature of the Oceans.
Renee Setter stated that the situation was pretty grim as all the coral reefs would be extinct by 2100. Renee is a scientist, working at the University of Hawaii.
The latest research was focusing on transplanting the corals into reefs. The corals would be lab-grown and the new coral would revive the dead coral reefs.
Scientists have been worried about the fate of these coral reefs and have attempted to play sounds of healthy reefs to seduce marine life towards itself. The current results might be positive but we have no idea about its feasibility in 2100, under harsher conditions.
Coral Reefs: A Basic Understanding
Corals are found to be in mutual symbiotic relationships with algae. These photosynthetic algae are known as zooxanthellae. The corals create rigid calcium carbonate shelters and provide protection to these zooxanthellae. These calcium carbonate aggregates make up the base of the coral reefs. These algae provide nourishment to these corals in return.
The coral kicks these algae out when the ocean temperatures rise. This process is known as “coral bleaching” and leads the coral towards death. A similar occurrence is observed when the corals come in contact with pollutants, from the close landmasses.
Ocean acidification leads to coral deaths too. When the atmospheric CO2 rises, the oceans absorb the excess amount and it propels them to be acidic. This high acidity makes it difficult for the coral reefs to maintain their calcium skeletons and these structures become brittle and fragile.
The rise in ocean temperatures and the acidification of oceans is due to the high CO2 amounts in the atmosphere. The increased pollution due to fertilizers or runoff is also killing the coral reefs and making it difficult for them to exist for future generations.