ALERT: Ocean Life is Dying More Than Ever

What has already died in the ocean?

If you did not know, the oceans are in serious trouble. This trend has shown in many parts of the ocean, but the Great Barrier Reef has definitely shown it. According to Robinson Meyer from The Atlantic, half of the coral in the Great Barrier Reef is already dead. The article, "Half the Coral in the Great Barrier Reef has Died," discusses that the dead coral experienced bleaching. Perhaps even worse, the coral "died instantly of heat stress," which means they did not nearly have a chance of surviving (Meyer). The article included this image to prove how destroyed these coral reefs were:

 

Coral are supposed to be vibrant in color, but here they are bleached (David Burdick).

Why is the ocean dying?

Another article by Christine Dell'Amore, from National Geographic, says that according to a new study, "almost all coral reefs will experience bleaching by 2050." This article was written in 2016, and as seen with the Great Barrier Reef in 2017-2018, this study may be true. Why are the coral reefs experiencing bleaching? Bleaching is caused by too much warmth (Meyer), the warmth is due to the hurricanes and typhoons, and the hurricanes/typhoons have "increased to 30 percent per degree of global warming" (Dell'Amore). 

There is also bad news for jellyfish lovers. Although it is great that jellyfish can adapt to their destroyed environment, they "are predicted to change habitats---for instance, some species may migrate to deeper waters" (Dell'Amore). Perhaps it is for the best that they will be out of human reach, but it is still disheartening to know that they are changing habitats because of human lifestyle.

(Photographed by David Doubilet)

How can we help?

National Geographic released an article that advised we do things like be aware of our carbon footprint, do not use a ton of plastic products (i.e. use reusable water bottles), and be careful about what fish products you buy (don't buy coral bracelets or shark teeth). Check out their article here for more tips. There are also plenty of fun items out there, such as purchasing a bracelet that contributes a percentage of the purchase to an organization, and these are great, but it really starts with our lifestyle. If we were all cautious about what we buy and what we waste, then we wouldn't have to send so many people to help clean up the oceans. 

For some of us, there are many memories attached to the ocean. Whether you have lived there, have taken a vacation there, or want to make an important change, it is time that we start today to make some sort of lifestyle change to save the ocean and earth.

 

 

References

"10 Things You Can Do To Save The Ocean." National Geographic, 27 Apr. 2010, https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/oceans/take-action/10-thi.... Accessed 19 Apr. 2018.

Dell'Amore, Christine. "Oceans Can't Protect Us Anymore---Here's Why." National Geographic, 5 Sept. 2016, https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/09/oceans-warming-global-enviro.... Accessed 19 Apr. 2018.

Forti, Kathy J. "Coral Reef Dying Before and After, 2017." Trinfinity and Beyond, Trinfinity 8, 27 Mar. 2017, http://www.trinfinity8.com/studies-link-monsantos-glyphosate-to-ocean-de.... Accessed 19 Apr. 2018.

Meyer, Robinson. "Since 2016, Half of All Coral in the Great Barrier Reef Has Died." The Atlantic, 18 Apr. 2018, https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2018/04/since-2016-half-the-.... Accessed 19 Apr. 2018.