Is it Earth's destiny to lose its coral reefs? Madison duncan

Coral reefs are a large physical structure in the sea formed by the growth of coral. Coral polyps have these little organisms living within them called zooxanthellae which helps feed the coral, and give it energy. Not only does it give the reefs energy it helps the coral with photosynthesis. Zooxanthellae attaches to hard surfaces just like coral reefs. Something that can affect these organisms is carbon dioxide. For instance if CO2 were to dissolve in the ocean it becomes bicarbonate ions (HCO3-) and it also creates hydrogen ions making the oceans pH level drop. If the oceans pH level drops it affects the coral reefs from being able to form their calcium carbonate structures because the water becomes more acidic. Carbon dioxide is absorbed by the ocean where it reacts with the seawater to increase the acidity. If the water has to much acid it dissolves the corals calcium carbonate which a decent amount of other organisms need. For instance, crabs and lobsters need calcium carbonate to create their hard shells.

Coral contain Coral polyps which create the coral. Coral polyps are tiny soft-body organisms related to jellyfish or sea anemones. At the base is a hard protective limestone skeleton called a calicle, which forms the structure of reefs.

Coral reefs play an important role in today's world. From giving fish and other creatures somewhere to live, to helping humans develop treatment with arthritis, heart disease and cancer.

I don't believe that it's earth's destiny to lose its coral reefs because without them we would have more tsunamis, fish would no longer have a home or sea turtles will no longer have something to eat but fish, and when the fish are all gone then all the other creatures die. We already have lost half of our coral reefs just imagine if we lost all of it. The only way that could help is stopping all the other problems like over fishing, pollution, and coastal development. So when coral reefs are hit with climate change they could have a better chance of staying alive because their will no longer be other problems than climate change.

This is a picture of coral bleaching something that all coral go through when the climate changes. What happens is the coral pushes out the algae or another words zooxanthellae, which gives the coral the energy. When the coral pushes the algae out the coral is not dead, but is under a lot of stress to bring it back to being healthy again. When this happens the coral can die or live all depends on the coral.

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