The topic of climate change is not a new issue, but it is a very important one to discuss.
Recently in the news, we’ve heard that February 2016 was the warmest month recorded to date. Along with these warm temperatures, we’ve seen recent reports about arctic ice melting. Just last week, BusinessInsider.com put out an article regarding a gigantic chunk of ice breaking off into the Arctic Ocean. The chunk of ice was roughly a 2,000 square-mile block of ice. It’s about the size of Rhode Island and slightly smaller than Delaware! To read more about this event please visit the link below.
Not only is the Arctic experiencing the effects of climate change, but so are our oceans as well. In another recent news article written by ProjectAware.org, Australian scientists that are managing the Great Barrier Reef have lifted their emergency response to the highest level following the publication of video footage of massive coral bleaching damage.
The Great Barrier Reef stretches 2,000 km (1,200 miles) along Australia’s northeast coast and is the world’s largest living ecosystem. Authorities this month said that areas of the Great Barrier Reef were experiencing the worst coral bleaching in 15 years. Coral bleaching is a process by which coral expels living algae, causing it to calcify.
Coral can only survive within a narrow band of ocean temperature. They generally live in water temperatures of 20–32°C. In February 2016 the water temperatures were 1.35℃ above the average temperatures! It only takes a temperature increase of 1-2℃ to cause entire reefs and regions to bleach.
For more information about coral bleaching please visit this link: http://theconversation.com/coral-bleaching-comes-to-the-great-barrier-reef-as-record-breaking-global-temperatures-continue-56570