No White Lies
2018, Middle School, Art
The effect of global warming that I chose to center my piece around is the effect on our coral reefs. The coral reefs around the world are an important and usually overlooked part of this earth and its survival. The effect that climate change can have on our coral reefs is something called coral bleaching. Coral bleaching occurs when coral is stressed by changes in climate conditions. They expel the symbiotic algae living in their tissues, causing them to turn completely white. Without this symbiotic algae, the coral loses its major source of food and is more susceptible to disease. Changes like this in the coral communities also affect animals that depend on coral for food or shelter, like fish and invertebrates. With fish declining because of coral reefs declining, fisheries will begin to struggle as well, causing a big economic rift in areas that rely on fish for profit or food. Along with providing means of survival for animals in the ocean, corals also give us a natural shoreline protection from waves and floods, but bleached coral may not be able to sustain the accretion rates necessary to ensure this protection. The death of coral due to coral bleaching can also cause a large economic downfall to communities near reefs as tourism rates drop.The effect on our coral reefs is something many people ignore, but while what they do for the earth may seem small, its effects are huge in the long run.