Threats to coral reefs include over-fishing, soil erosion, high temperatures, and natural disasters such as hurricanes.
Coral reefs face many threats from natural stresses such as hurricanes, cyclones, and typhoons to coral-eating predators such as starfish. These natural stresses are irregular and healthy reefs tend to recover over time. Human caused disturbances to coral reefs on the other hand are very consistent and are constantly intensifying. There are several things humans have done that has led to the decay of coral reefs. Coral reefs can be damaged by anchors and overfishing. Increasing global temperatures have also caused corals to turn white and die off because of the excessive heat.
Coral reefs face many threats such as natural disasters, severe weather, erosion (caused by mining, logging, and construction) and over-fishing. However, one of the two biggest threat to coral reefs today is ocean acidification. Ocean acidification occurs when CO2 emmissions are absorbed by the ocean, leading to lower PH levels in the water. To date, our oceans have absorbed approximately 525 billion tons of CO2 emmissions from the atmosphere, which is great for us living on land, but extremely harmful for the corals, marine plankton, and shellfish. In addition to the PH balance being dangerously tipped, ocean warming is another real threat to the corals, and is also caused by CO2 pollution in our oceans. The other largest threat to today’s coral reefs is miscellaneous human pollution being dumped into the oceans. Oil, gas, pesticides, and human & animal waste are primary examples of this.
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