Coral reef threat to 25 percent of all marine creatures

Our ravished oceans face another threat: irreversible damage to the world’s beautiful coral reefs.

As reported by Aljazeera, half the corals on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef have died over the past 25 years. Climate change is irreversibly destroying the World Heritage-listed underwater ecosystem.

Coral reefs teem with life, covering less than one percent of the ocean floor, but supporting about 25 percent of all marine creatures.

“They buffer shorelines from the effects of hurricanes. An estimated 500 million people earn their livelihoods from the fishing stocks and tourism opportunities reefs provide. The tiny animals that give rise to reefs are even offering hope for new drugs to treat cancer and other diseases.” [National Geographic]

Due to global warming and warming seas, the coral is disappearing fast.

Over the last year, about 12 percent of the world’s reefs have bleached, due to El Niño and climate change. Scientists have predicted that nearly half of these reefs (more than 4,600 square miles or 12,000 square kilometers, or more than five percent of reefs) could disappear forever.

Life-based learning takes the issue of the environment seriously as one of nine equal priority themes through which all subject learning is channelled. The Physical World theme teaches children about how environments can change as a result of human actions.

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