In the race for more wealth and power, the very core of the systems that support our existence as a species on this planet are being chipped away. We sit on top of the animal kingdom’s food chain. Carving out the bottom only hurts are interests. Of what use is oil and money if the waters of our planet stops supporting life?
One of the great wonders of our world, the Great Barrier Reef along with other coral reefs are bearing the brunt of our action/inaction. Water temperatures of the world’s oceans are seeing a steady rise.
While scientists are still looking for an answer to the million dollar question – how can we save them in a relatively straightforward way or does it need more drastic action? For the coral reef systems in our planet, unfortunately, it’s not looking very good.
According to researchers, the knee jerk reactions to fight off coral bleaching, which worked earlier, including improving the water quality and tightening fishing controls, aren’t of any help.
Regardless of whether an area is dirty or immaculately clean, it continues to be susceptible to damage. In the past two weeks, scientists have noted the occurrence of four large-scale bleaching events all of which were the result of increase in the heat of the water temperature.
The only surefire solution available seems to be “urgent and rapid action” to slow global warming. Increased efforts to by the fossil fuel lobby to extract oil is not exactly helping.
While faster-growing corals usually recover between bleaching events, it is not an option for other corals. Furthermore, the gap between bleaching is getting shorter.
Scientists say, it’s “no longer realistic” to hope for an extended gap between two bleaching events, which could give the slower growing coral, a fighting chance for survival.
Saving Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is no mean feat. As noted by The Guardian, both the state of Queensland and the Australian government have been pushing for a coal mine, whose operations would only contribute to global warming through increased emissions.
Perhaps it would take a rude awakening for officials to back away from policies that hurt natural ecosystems of which we humans are at the top of the food chain.