The Threats that the Coral Reefs Face due to the Climate Change

TheThreats that the Coral Reefs Face due to the Climate Change


TheThreats that the Coral Reefs Face due to the Climate Change

Despitethe usefulness of the coral reefs, these wildlife habitats arecurrently endangered all over the world. It has been estimated that75% of the coral reefs currently in existence are being jeopardized,and the majority have already been lost (Hopley,2011).More so, the most pristine and remote reefs are also losing thespecies.

Coralreefs threats due to the climate change

  1. The warming waters

Thereare a lot of issues that are currently facing the coral reefs, butthe rising temperatures of the seawater due to the changes in climateis among the most adverse causes of the jeopardy of the corals in theworld. When the temperatures go up, the relationship between thecoral reefs and their synergetic microalgae usually breaks down(Ismail,2012).The algae usually give the corals the beautiful bright colors, andso, when the symbiotic relationship breaks, the corals often appearto be bleached. Just a rise in temperature by one degree over thetypical summer max can bleach a myriad of corals. If the temperaturesremain too high for an extended period, it becomes tough for thecoral reefs and their microalgae to recuperate. Over the past threedecades, the bleaching process has become more regular, morewidespread, and more intense. As a result, a lot of corals have diedoff.

Thewarmer temperatures of the ocean cause more troubles when it comes tothe coral diseases. The high temperatures usually cause the frequentcoral diseases, hence accelerating the growth of the disease-causingorganisms.

  1. The acidification of the oceans

Theemission of more and more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has a hugeimplication on the oceans. As such, the acidification of the oceanhas stemmed as another likely adverse issue to the coral reefs (Reid,2009).The seawater usually absorbs the excess carbon dioxide from the air,resulting in the acidity of the oceans. The acidity of the ocean thenincreases from time to time over the past twenty decades. The acidsdissolve in the skeletons of the coral reefs making it hard for thesecorals to grow. If this goes on for a long time, the reefs will notbe able to grow at all.

  1. The other threats

Thelist of the coral reef threats is endless. Nonetheless, the extremeweather changes and the rising in the sea level cannot be left out.The increase in the sea level because of the melting ice and thethermal expansion of the oceans can also pose a threat to the reefsby deeply submerging them, where they cannot receive enough sunlight.Sunlight is very essential for the coral survival. Additionally, theextreme weather changes such as the cyclones happen more frequentlydue to the climate change. Since the storms are adamant, the coralreefs will quickly degrade because they are already weak due to coralbleaching and ocean acidification.


Globalwarming is a huge issue that occurs due to changes in climate. Assuch, this process has already resulted in the bleaching of the coralreefs. The bleaching has significantly threatened the reefs due toacidification of the seawaters. More so, the changes in weather suchas the occurrences of the Cyclones have not been any friendly tothese coral reefs. However, such threats can be countered by themeasures such as creating awareness through education, engaging ofthe community to preserve the corals (Sundaresan,2014),and using technology to predict the impending threats.


Hopley,D. (2011). Encyclopediaof modern coral reefs.Dordrecht: Springer.

Ismail,I. (2012). Coral reef stress risk analysis (2nd ed.).Berkeley: University of California Press.

Reid,C. (2009). Coralreefs and climate change.Brisbane: CoralWatch, the University of Queensland.

Sundaresan,J. (2014). Geospatialtechnologies and climate change.Cham: Springer.