climate in crisis

Climate Focus: Bleaching Could Stem Growth of Coral Reefs

NBC Universal, Inc.

A key sign of our climate in crisis is showing up just below the surface of oceans around the world.

What’s sometimes referred to as the rain forest of the sea, coral reefs provide food and shelter to 25% of marine life and are known for their bright beautiful color and interesting shapes. But that color is fading at an alarming rate in what’s know as bleaching is becoming more common.

A before and after picture of coral reef damage by our changing climate illustrates the bleaching effect.

Before and after photos show the effects of coral bleaching.

Main causes of bleaching are ocean acidification due to carbon dioxide absorption, harmful chemicals like oxybenzone found in sunscreen, and warm temperatures.

Some scientists believe that in the next 80 years, if greenhouse gases are not decreased significantly, coral reefs could stop growing around the world by 2100.

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