A year after it was first revealed that ocean acidity levels have increased at alarming rates, researchers are beginning to understand how climate change is having an impact on coral reefs.
The Atlantic’s iconic marine ecosystems have seen their carbon sink reach new lows, which has led to a “super-oxidative stress” on the coral and algae, according to a new study published this week in the journal Science Advances.
Scientists have identified a number of factors that can contribute to coral reef degradation, and have begun to examine the causes of this decline.
Here are five of the most important things we know about coral reef health: 1.
Coral reefs are made of many different kinds of algae.
Each of the eight types of coral that live on the ocean floor can contain different types of organisms.
While most species are capable of reproducing, some coral species are unable to reproduce due to the extreme stress that is associated with ocean acidifying conditions.
This can lead to a decline in coral populations and damage the reef ecosystem, researchers have found.
Some types of algae are able to withstand ocean acidified conditions.
For example, algae are also able to resist the effects of acidification by taking up carbon dioxide as part of their photosynthesis process.
Some algae can even reproduce under very low pH conditions.
However, the researchers note that coral reefs can also become stressed by ocean acidify conditions.
Coral reef communities may be at risk from other factors.
Some species of algae can have effects on coral ecosystems that are not seen in the absence of acidifying seawater.
For instance, some species of corals can use calcium carbonate as a carbon sink.
In other cases, corals may be able to use these algae to increase their carbon uptake.
Coral communities are changing.
Coral is becoming more susceptible to acidification as its ecosystem becomes increasingly dependent on the carbon dioxide and other nutrients that come from the ocean.
Coral ecosystems also become more susceptible because of changes in water temperature, nutrient availability, and pH. 5.
Coral and other marine organisms are being hit particularly hard by ocean-derived pollution.
The ocean is increasingly used to release pollutants into the atmosphere.
These pollutants are used in a variety of ways, including by humans to fertilize crops and industrial processes, to treat sewage, and to help control algae blooms.
Scientists are beginning, however, to understand why some pollutants can affect coral ecosystems more than others.
Researchers are beginning by looking at how certain kinds of pollution can be passed from animals to marine life.
For one example, researchers found that a particular type of pollutant, known as CO 2 , can damage coral reefs in a very large number of ways.
This pollutant can cause corals to die off, and the amount of time that they live depends on how long they can survive after they are killed by the pollutant.
It also increases the likelihood that coral will die off as a result of the pollutants release.
Coral-based fertilizers have been shown to damage coral ecosystems, and may also be causing coral to die from other causes.
These findings may provide insight into why certain types of pollution have the potential to damage corals and what we can do to prevent these pollutants from harming coral.
Understanding how pollution affects coral reefs will also help us better understand how pollution can affect human health.