According to Time Magazine, humans are the main reason coral reefs are dying out. Commercial fishing that uses dynamite or poison to capture large amounts of fish damage a lot of the coral. Agricultural water runoff is pollution that just pours into the oceans and ‘chokes’ the reefs. Also, divers and tourists do some damage to while touring them.
Global warming is also a factor in the potential extinction of coral. The rising water temperatures cause coral to expel the algae that live inside them. The algae is what protects them from disease, so they are then very vulnerable. The process is called ‘bleaching’ because the coral turns white without the algae. Last, the increased carbon dioxide in our atmosphere makes the ocean acidic, which dissolves and damages the reefs.
The main factor, according to the Institute of Physics (IOP), stems from emission of greenhouse gases, which cause acidification in the oceans, leading to the destruction of coral reefs. Currently, the IOP states that targets to reduce emissions from the global community are unrealistically low. If carbon dioxide levels continue to flourish, the ocean’s temperature could rise by as much as 4.2 degrees Celsius, and the projected date for the demise of coral reefs under such conditions would be around 2100.
I have not heard of this, but I would guess it’s because humans want some easy money and they know that coral reefs are chalked full of it.
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