The Causes and Effects of Coral Bleaching

Have you been to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia? Whether you have or have not, you are probably familiar with it because it is always introduced on the news, and on printed materials like newspapers and magazines with pictures. You may also agree with how naturally beautiful the place is.

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The Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef in the entire world and that’s one reason why it is very popular which invites local and international tourists to visit it. You cannot blame why there are lots and more people would want to visit the place. It is 100% stunning but imagine if the place starts to become less blue and green in color due to pollution. Think what would happen if most of the sea creatures are already endangered and some corals have vanished. It would not become as beautiful as it is used to be anymore if anything happens to the ecosystem in the Great Barrier Reef. Well, there is always a big possibility that coral reefs like that one in Australia can have an impact to the general ecosystem in the world. So, what is my point of bringing this up?

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Unfortunately, coral bleaching is one factor that can provide threat to the ecosystem. Scientifically, coral bleaching refers to the loss of intracellular endosymbionts or in a much common term zooxanthelae, which can cause whitening of invertebrate taxa or photosynthetic pigment reduction in corals. Zooxanthelae is like the melanin that indicates coloration, which can be either in natural color or light color. When corals become whiter than their natural color, zooxanthellae has been force out due to some factors that mostly come from human activities.

Yes, one possible cause of coral reef bleaching is traced back by the things people make when they go swim, scuba dive, or fish. Are you aware that everytime we go to the beach, most of the time we are actually releasing chemicals from our own body? It’s true like the sunscreen lotion we put on our skin before swimming. We thought of protecting ourselves from hazardous tanning when swimming or tanning, but sometimes we forget how it would make a bad impact to the ecosystem. The good news is that this does not mean we won’t have to get rid of sunblock lotions at all. It only suggests that we should be more selective on what we apply on our skin.

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The sunscreen lotion that you have to take and use everytime you go out for some beach party, choose a product with physical UV filters added. Those are ingredients that are not harmful to the ecosystem. These include zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, and kaolin. The next time you buy sunscreen lotion, check out if the ingredients or label of the product has one of those mentioned UV filters. By doing this, you are making a big impact on how to save coral reefs and the general ecosystem of any beach in your area. This must be promoted and encouraged from one person to another so at least majority of people would not do any damage to coral reefs.

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