Climate change is causing devastating effects around the globe. Several major coral bleaching events have happened since 1979 (1). In 2016 and 2017 the world’s coral reefs, particularly the Great Barrier Reef (2), experienced a bleaching event like none other. If you have read our summary about coral reefs, you know that coral reefs are an important part of the world. Read on to find out how coral bleaching happens and how we can stop it.
You have probably heard in the news that we need to reduce our carbon emissions to prevent global climate change, but what are carbon emissions? And why are they important? Carbon emissions can be defined as the release of carbon into the atmosphere, mainly in the form of carbon dioxide (CO2) or as methane (CH4). This occurs during the burning of a fuel source to produce energy. A common example of this is the use of a fossil fuel, such as gasoline, to power our vehicles (1, 2). But why is carbon dioxide such a big deal? What properties does it have that make it such a big threat to the climate of our planet?
Coral and coral reef are some of those terms that are important to know but can be easily overlooked. Maybe your first introduction to a coral reef was in a popular movie about a clownfish. Maybe you have visited a reef before but you still are not really sure what you were looking at. By knowing what corals are we can better understand how important they are to the oceans and appreciate them that much more!