A Tragic Die-Off of Most of the Coral in Japan’S Largest Coral Reef (Download PDF)

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The coral bleaching continues to have its impact even in 2017 as a new study by the Japanese environment ministry revealed that almost three-quarters of Japan’s biggest coral reef has died. Report blames global warming and rising sea temperatures for the demise of coral reefs.

Bleached corals at Japan’s largest coral reef, Sekiseishoko

Bleached Corals at Japan’s Largest Coral Reef, Sekiseishoko

Bleached corals at Japan’s largest coral reef, Sekiseishoko

Highlights

  • Japan has reported an alarming rate of death in its largest coral reef.
  • The environment ministry reports 70 percent of the coral at Sekiseishoko, off Okinawa, is dead.
  • Experts blame global warming and rising sea temperatures for the demise of coral reefs.
  • The ministry observed that the plight of the reef has become “extremely serious” in recent years.
  • The dead coral has now turned dark brown and is now covered with algae.
  • It was also the highest average temperature since records began in 1982.
  • The Coral Reef Watch programme at the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) had earlier warned that global coral bleaching could become the “new normal” due to ocean warming.

What is coral bleaching?

Image of Coral Bleaching

Image of Coral Bleaching

Image of Coral Bleaching

  • Coral bleaching occurs when coral loses the algae that live within it.
  • It occurs due to increased water temperatures and pollution.
  • The algae gives coral its colour, and supplies nutrients;
  • Without it, the coral loses a major supply of food, and its skeleton is exposed, exacerbating the bleaching further.
  • Bleached corals can recover if they are not exposed to extra stress, and some reefs are more resilient than others.
  • It is another alarming sign of global warming.
Causes of coral bleaches

Causes of Coral Bleaches

Causes of coral bleaches

- Published/Last Modified on: March 17, 2017

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