White House Underwater?!
Most people would be jealous if one says that he or she lives in a white house, but that is not the case for the marine-animals that rely on the coral reefs for shelter and food. Just imagine being hunted by furious predators, not able to eat, and feeling insecure but knowing that that is their home.
Robert Ballard, a famous underwater archeologist, said that people know the dark outer space much more than the oceans that cover 75 percent of their own planet. What could possibly be happening under the churning surface of the Caribbean that would put all the living beings on their edge? 2010 is also an El Niño year that had happened in 1983 which was a serious regional bleaching and drastic die-offs of coral.
The once beautiful rainforests of the sea are reacting to the heat stress by shedding their color and going into survival mode. Many have already died, and more are expected to do so in coming months. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), this year is only the second known global bleaching of coral reefs. Scientists are hoping that it will not be as bad as 1998, the hottest year in record.
“I feel that the sea creatures are suffering from our mistakes,” Gillian Houston, a fellow Cooper Middle School eight grader, shared her feelings.
Bleaching occurs when corals get thermally stressed that the symbiotic relationship with their solar-powered algae falls apart and the pigmented-algae get expelled. Polyps are tiny animals that build new corals. They cannot survive in polluted water, and they are highly sensitive to excess heat. Global warming from the buildup of greenhouse gases and pollutions that enter the ocean from acid-rain and oil spills has caused the coral reefs to lose these functions.
Mr. Earl Brewer, the Physical Education teacher of Cooper, suggests, “We need to find alternative ways like the cars that runs on electricity and change our source of fuel instead of oil. That...