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Oceanic Damage: What Have We Done To Our Planet?

4872 words - 20 pages

Daniel Voisine
Professor Feldman
English 1A – College Composition
October 27, 2014

Oceanic Damage: What have we done to our planet?

Negative press, research, and reports from around the world raised issues regarding our problematic oceans. Misguided and crucial errors humans make harm oceans using unsustainable practices which eventually eliminate many species of sea creatures and destroy the water they inhabit and we need for our survival as well. Countries around the world have been heavily positively praised while some have been lauded negatively, for instance, the United States. A crying shame how most countries on Earth seem in continuing spiraling towards ecological harm ...view middle of the document...


Less then 0.1 % of the ocean’s surface provides a home for twenty five percent of all marine species on Earth, yet, the once-abundance of coral reefs are in danger resulting throughout decades of abuse via carbon dioxide. Even though coral reefs are protected well, damage from our endangered waters and skies. Coral reefs have survived throughout decades of abominable abuse and are clinging to life as it stands, even throughout a global warming epidemic and tourism. Many of said reefs, some in wildlife preservation areas like the Great Barrier Reef, span 1,400 miles long and most of which is tourism limited. However, all over the world, “Reefs have long been under threat from destructive fishing practices, sediment and nutrient runoff, coral mining, reckless tourism and coastal development. Now, scientists say,global warming is accelerating the destruction” (Rudolf, 3). Episodes of so-called “coral-bleaching” are becoming evident. What once was beautiful colored coral reefs, such as those in Panama, “the bleaching was the most graphic I’ve ever seen,” said Nancy Knowlton, a marine biologist with the Smithsonian Institution. “Everything was just bone white” (Rudolf, 5). As global warming heats the waters and carbon dioxide develops, the colors drain, resulting in white coral. The percentages of degradation are astounding high, according to a report by the World Resources Network, who say seventy-five percent of reefs are degraded, while “another analysis, by the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network, found that as much as one-fifth of the world’s reefs have been degraded beyond recognition or lost entirely” (Rudolf, 7). Problems arise the atmosphere regarding the management of carbon dioxide. “There's a very good possibility that bleaching events and disease events will be occurring with greater frequency and, if that occurs, there is a good chance that some species are not going to be able to replenish themselves fast enough," says marine biologist Kent Carpenter of Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va., who led the research” (Biello, 2). In school, we learn carbon dioxide is good for plants, yet, carbon dioxide is deadly for coral. “Add ocean acidification [also caused by rising CO2 levels in the atmosphere], which is even more insidious than ocean warming, and you've got a real dire picture” (Biello, 2). However, conflict reports suggest that coral reefs are not necessarily problematic as elaborated. Marine biologist John Bruno of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill suggests, “"Clearly lions and tigers are threatened by extinction when there are currently only a few thousand of them left. But is a coral species, whose population was reduced from maybe a billion to 300 million or even a few hundred thousand, really threatened by extinction? Personally, I very much doubt it, but I think the ecological function of many reef-building corals is threatened by quite drastic losses in their abundances” (Biello, 8). Even with...

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