So the Great Barrier Reef is Dying…

July 19, 2017

Great Barrier Reef

While living in Cozumel I discovered a fiery passion that I have for the ocean. Being near the ocean and snorkeling whenever I dang well felt like it opened my mind to what is out there.  It is a bigger world under the sea than it is above. That really puts things in perspective for me.

I realize that many people don’t have that same opportunity of being around the ocean on a regular basis. Out of sight out of mind, right? We can’t see what is going on down there all the time, and it’s not on the radar for most of the world. Unfortunately what started happening to our oceans in 2016 is VERY WORRISOME, particularly what is happening in the Great Barrier Reef.

Great Barrier ReefOur ocean temperature has raised 2°C. What does that mean exactly? The ocean has a fever.

A constant fever.

Can you imagine living with that and what would eventually happen to your body?

What Does That Mean for the Ocean?

The corals in the ocean are bleaching. The algae is actually leaving the coral, and without that algae to eat, the coral becomes sick. A white coral may be beautiful to look at, but it is sick. This event can actually be compared to the “canary in the coalmine”. It is a signal that there is something wrong.

Can coral survive a bleaching event? If the stress-caused bleaching is not severe, coral have been known to recover. If the algae loss is prolonged and the stress continues, coral eventually dies. –National Ocean Service

Bleached coral can recover if the water temperature returns to normal quickly. If it does not, it will die.

This has happened before. According to the National Ocean Service, the U.S. lost half of its coral reefs in the Caribbean in one year due to a massive bleaching event. The warm waters centered around the northern Antilles near the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico expanded southward. Thermal stress from the 2005 event were greater than the previous 20 years combined.

According to WWF Global, from 1876-1979 only three bleaching events were recorded, whereas 60 are on record from 1980 until 1993; in 2002 more than 400 events were recorded.

Obviously times are changing.

26% of The Great Barrier Reef died in 2016 alone. It’s gone.

If our rainforests started disappearing at that rate, the world would be in a state of panic.

What Does That Mean for Us?

Great Barrier Reef

 

This will leave the world in a much more vulnerable state to natural disasters, food shortages (especially in 3rd world countries), and the economy will fail in touristic areas like my home of Cozumel.

Without the oceans our average air temperature would be 122° F. The oceans are our life, and why we are able to live on this planet. They produce oxygen in our atmosphere and absorb the most carbon from it.

If our ocean has a fever, what is the next part of the earth to react negatively?

“It’s not too late for coral reefs… indeed, for many other ecosystems that are facing challenges from climate change. It’s still possible to reduce the rate at which the climate is changing, and that’s within our power today.” – Dr. Ove Hoegh-Guldberg

Maybe we should listen to the canary in the coal mine.

What Can You Do?

There is a problem that needs attention from all of you. We are losing an entire ecosystem because of the unwise practices we have adopted. Take action by clicking HERE.
RALLY BEHIND OUR LARGEST REEF!
The Great Barrier Reef is among other World Heritage Sites being threatened by new coal plants. Call on UNESCO to issue a statement halting new fossil fuel development near these sites. Sign the petition!
Another key, simple thing we can do is to use sunscreen without oxybenzone. This chemical can damage coral DNA and cause corals and reefs to become sterile.

Please share! Everyone needs to be aware of what is happening in our planet.

 

By Rachel

I am a young mom who thrives on life in the outdoors. I have lived in Utah, Idaho, and Cozumel Mexico. In my travels I have learned many things that I would like to share with others.