The name might sound a little bit, you know, dire and morbid, but, really, it’s a perfect fit. The ocean’s situation is dire, and what’s going to happen if we don’t fix it is pretty darn morbid.
I was watching Years of Living Dangerously (or YOLD, as we like to call it) last night with my family, and the entire episode was about coral reefs. I’m not sure how much you folks know about coral bleaching (learn more here), but it’s basically the corals losing the bacteria that gives them energy, causing them to turn white and brittle, to grow slower, and to be more susceptible to storms.
Coral bleaching is caused by global warming and ocean acidification. The increasing temperatures and acidity from our CO2 emissions are going to destroy a huge foundation for marine life. Fish, turtles, sharks, and other much-needed sea creatures all depend on coral reefs to survive.
It’s not just that. Without the reefs, animals that survive in them are going to slowly fade away. That, paired with the mass demand for seafood in some places… a lot of species are going to become extinct, or at least become very rare.
But! We can still help. We may not see the effects of our cutting carbon in our lifetime, but in about 10,000 years, things might go back to the way they used to be, with healthy reefs, and a thriving ocean habitat.
To learn more about what is being done to help, go here.