The Great Dead Reef

Your loss of a computer screensaver is a bigger deal than you think.

Annie Knight, staff writer

The Great Barrier Reef- one of the Seven Wonders of the World and Australia’s greatest tourist attraction- is on it’s way out. Severe bleaching of the magnificent coral reef indicates that it is on its way to being laid to rest in a watery grave.

The Great Barrier Reef has generated $3 billion in tourist revenue for Australia and its death will take a toll on the economy.

Sadly what is happening to the Great Barrier Reef isn’t a new trend; it’s happened to 12 percent of the world’s reef’s already. A reef becomes bleached when warm waters in the ocean surround the coral for a significant amount of time to the point where the algae that resides inside the coral reefs, called zooxanthellae, is expelled from the coral. The exploitation of the algae leaves the coral without food and without color. If the temperatures do not stabilize then the coral dies. The phenomenon of bleaching of coral all comes down to one problem: climate change.

Climate change causes the waters in the ocean to stay too warm for too long and kills the coral. Climate change not only affects the beautiful coral the citizens of the world love, but also causes severe droughts and heat waves, increasing intensity of hurricanes and other natural disasters, rising sea levels, and the depletion of artic ice. These disastrous effects are killing our planet.

Climate change is caused mostly by human activities that emit green house gases that deplete the ozone layer and degrade our planet. If humans don’t curb their carbon footprints the great barrier reefs won’t be the only things that go.