Great Barrier Reef

Topics: Coral reef, Greenhouse gas, Earth Pages: 3 (893 words) Published: September 17, 2010
The Great Barrier Reef a World Heritage listed, it is the vastest stretch of coral reef in the world. This essay will provide information on how the Great Barrier Reef is being protected against global warming for our future generations. We all love going to the beach for a swim or a snorkel however a different image was created by an article published by the Australian Academy of Science on their web site Nova Science in the News (2009): “Imagine you are on a beautiful tropical island on the Great Barrier Reef. You put on your mask, fins and snorkel and jump into the water. But instead of the famous brightly coloured coral, brittle white branches spread as far as the eye can see. The coral is dead.” This image is taking place more and more all over the world not just to the Great Barrier Reef. It is known as coral bleaching which is caused by rising sea temperatures. We don’t want our future generation left with white skeleton Reefs

The greenhouse effect is the natural process by which the atmosphere traps some of the sun’s energy, warming the Earth enough to support life. Without the greenhouse effect the Earth’s average global temperature would be -18C rather than the present 15C. Since the Industrial Revolution gases like carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide has been added to the earth’s atmosphere (GBRMP 2009). This causing the concentration of the greenhouse gases to increase those making the Earth warmer than usual (GBRMP 2009). By year 2065 the CO2 levels will increase by double, contributing to a rise in temperature by 0.3C every ten years (GBRMP 2009). As the greenhouse gases increase this results in the sea temperature to escalate 1 to 2 C ultimately killing the corals (GBRMP 2009).

The impact of global warming is the greatest long – term threat to the Great Barrier Reef. Coral species live within a limited temperature margin, and inconsistent temperatures can bring about coral bleaching (Buchheim 2009). Solar Irradiance is...
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