The Effects Of Ocean Acidification On Coral Reefs

Brian Tomaso
November 8, 2013
CHM 141

The effects of ocean acidification on coral reefs

The ocean covers most of the earth's surface and is filled with beautiful organisms that are extremely sensitive to changes in environment. One of the most beautiful pieces of the ocean are coral reefs. These reefs are especially sensitive to temperature changes and ocean pH. Even slight changes in these factors caused by CO2 can cause coral to die. Coral reefs are the home to numerous organisms in oceans and are also a tourist attraction. They require work to keep safe and the warming of earth's oceans is not helping the coral reefs survival.
The warmer air and ocean surface temperatures ...

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stay higher than usual for many weeks, the zooxanthellae they depend on for some of their food leave their tissue (2). Without zooxanthellae, corals turn white because zooxanthellae give corals their color (2). The zooxanthellae contain chlorophyll that absorbs the light around the coral and if the intensity is too much or too little the coral will expel zooxanthellae or the amount of chlorophyll will be reduced (2). White, unhealthy corals are called bleached (2). Bleached corals are weak and less able to combat disease. Bleaching events on coral reefs around the globe were observed in 1998(2). As climate change continues, bleaching will become more common, and the overall health of coral reefs will decline.
Much of the carbon dioxide that enters the atmosphere dissolves into the ocean(5). In fact, the oceans have absorbed about 1/3 of the carbon dioxide produced from human activities since 1800 and about 1/2 of the carbon dioxide produced by burning fossil fuels(1). As ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 2/18/2014 04:41:53 AM
Submitted By: LolClouDy
Category: Science & Nature
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 912
Pages: 4

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