Surviving coral bleaching
This picture is taken at a few meters of depth in a reef at the Maldives. In the central part, it shows a clownfish hosted by a sea anemone; to the sides, the reef appears largely dead (i.e., whitish parts), with only minor corals managing to survive (i.e., darker parts). This picture is emblematic of the present state of the reefs in the Maldives and eastern Australia, whose corals are experiencing bleaching due to the increase in the temperature of the oceans, as a consequence of global warming. The temperature increase of the oceans at low latitudes causes the coral polyps to expel the algae living inside their tissues, eventually leading to the starvation and death of the coral. In the Maldives, it is estimated that more than 60% of the corals have been hit by bleaching in the very last years.
Taken on 15
Submitted on 13 February 2019
Credit: Valerio Acocella (distributed via imaggeo.egu.eu)
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