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					Natalia Gorski 4B

                                  Data Trends: Coral Bleaching
   I.      Topic/Trend
        Coral is “a rocklike deposit consisting of the calcareous skeletons secreted by various
anthozoans.” The purpose of Coral reefs is to “make natural barriers against violent waves,
protecting vulnerable coasts and wetlands.”
         Coral bleaching is when “warm water makes the algae that lives on the coral expel,
making the coral completely white.” The problem being the increasing global warming
(temperature is abiotic factor), making the water temperatures higher, therefore an increasing rate
of coral bleaching (Coral is biotic factor). Coral bleaching is unhealthy because the coral loses
the algae (zooxanthellae), which cause them to turn white because they aren’t then getting the
proteins, carbohydrates, or calcium carbonates the algae produces for the coral. The coral needs
this, since the algae and coral work together forming a mutualism relationship, where the coral
gives the algae a place to live and the algae gives the coral the necessities for life. Therefore, the
warm water negatively impacts the coral, causing the waters to be more violent, without having a
strong coral reef barrier.

   II.     Data




Analysis
                 Looking at the above data tables and graphs, we can observe a data trend. It is
easy to tell that over the years the temperatures have gotten higher over the years, all around the
globe. This data shows that the temperature of the Sea Surface temperature increased, and when
the ocean temperature increases, the coral starts to lose its zooxanthella which causes the coral to
turn white resulting in “coral bleaching.” For instance, the 5 year mean in the graph, showed that
the temperature got higher from 1880 to 2010. After all, the temperature anomaly (variation of
the original temperature) started off at -.02 in 1880 and increase to an anomaly of about-.06 in
2010. Thus proving the average temperatures of each have increased slightly causing higher
temperatures overall in the seas. The higher sea temperature over the years has led to the increase
of coral bleaching. Coral bleaching negatively impacts the seas and oceans by causing coral reefs
that contain coral bleaching to be unhealthier, since healthy coral is a natural barrier against
waves. Therefore, the impact of the increase of temperature is brutal to the coral, increasing the
amount of coral bleaching.
        Conclusion
                So, as you can see when zooxanthellae leave coral, it allows the coral to starve,
resulting in the Coral turning white, causing Coral Bleaching. This all leads to a negative impact
in Earth’s Oceans; all because of global warming’s increasing temperatures.

   III.      Proposal

             For Citizens:
          Introduction-
                  Coral is a big part our oceans, it acts as a barrier in the ocean and protect coastal
          areas, as well as gives fish and other sea creatures a place to live. The coral contains
          algae called zooxanthellae that work with the coral in a mutual relationship, giving the
          coral food, while the coral gives the algae a protected environment and the necessities for
          photosynthesis. However with the increasing warm weather, the algae separates from the
          coral, thus the coral doesn’t get any food, so it starves and turns white. This process is
          called Coral bleaching. Coral bleaching is now a serious problem in our oceans and we
          need to fix it.

          Proposal-
                  In order to fix the negative impact of coral bleaching some changes should be
          made. Although, people cannot change the increasing temperature, people change their
          actions at the beach and in the water. For instance, sunscreen contains protection against
          UV rays (Ultra Violet Radiation), so people wear it at the beach, however, when people
          put sunscreen on and just go into the water, the sunscreen usually doesn’t dry and just
          washes off into the water. Then, the chemicals from the sunscreen mix into the water and
          eventually get to the coral, which causes oral bleaching. To improve this, people should
          purchase sunscreens that are waterproof and also wait at least 15-20minutes before
          entering the water. This plan will not stop coral bleaching, but it may decrease the
          increasing amount of coral bleaching, and at this point, that is enough. There isn’t much
          more we can do for the coral bleaching, so let’s make this a must at the beach.

          Actions on our Part-
                  First off, to promote our proposal, we will send out flyers to people at the beach,
          once they are interested about the coral reefs, they may support the plan and put it to
          action, as citizens. We will promote the plan on billboards and on TV, which will be
          costly, but worth the money to save the seas. Updates will be made daily via a blog that
          we will create when monitoring the amount of chemicals from the sunscreen in the water.
          The blog will be called Save our Seas, and will be posted on the flyers we handout, as
          well as the billboards, and on TV.
                  To monitor the outcome of the “plan,” we will send out a specialist daily (as well
          as 1 day before the plan starts) into the water to use a special device which will measure
          the amount of chemicals in the water, this will allow us to see, if the chemicals in the
          water are decreasing. The specialist will take the sample back to the lab, and will perform
          this procedure every day for 3 weeks. The results of each days testing will be posted on
          our Save our Seas blog and website.




          Resources-
1. When corals are stressed by changes in conditions such as temperature,
light, or nutrients, they expel the symbiotic algae living in their tissues,
causing them to turn completely white . (2011, March 29). Retrieved from
http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/coral_bleach.html
2 . C o r a l . ( 2 0 0 9 ) . R e t r i e v e d f r o m h t t p : / / w w w . t h e f r e e d i c t i o n a r y. c o m / c o r a l
3. How does climate change affect coral reefs? . (n.d.). Retrieved from
http://www1.coseecoastaltrends.net/modules/coral_reefs_and_climate_cha
n g e / h o w _ d o e s _ c l i m a t e _ c h a n g e _ a f f e c t _ c o r a l _ r e e f s / http://terrax.org/teacher/lesson
s/australia/reef/reeffacts.aspx
4. Want to Know it. (2011). What causes coral bleaching . Retrieved from
http://wanttoknowit.com/what -causes-coral-
b l e a c h i n g / http://www.science.org.au/nova/076/076print.htm
5. Zooxanthellae… what's that? . (2008, March 25). Retrieved from
http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/education/kits/corals/coral02_zooxanthellae.
html
6. Global land-ocean temperature index. (n.d.). Retrieved from
http://renewable.cc/wp -content/uploads/2011/04/fig3 -NASA-global-land-
ocean-temperatures.jpg
7. Coral bleaching and global warming: The rising threat . (n.d.).
Retrieved from http://sitemaker.umich.edu/section6group1/final paper

				
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posted:9/16/2012
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