Is it too late to stop the world’s coral reefs from dissolving?
About a year ago, a friend of mine shared with me that her marine biologist boyfriend had discovered that it appeared that reefs near Turtle Bay Resort on the North Shore of Oahu were crumbling and he didn’t know why. I remember at the time thinking “this can’t be good”. Fast forward to 5 days ago Scientific America reports on a new study that increasing acidification is causing the world’s coral reefs to really dissolve. Reefs in some sites with the highest rates of acidification are dissolving faster then they can be built up. The prediction is that by the end of the century most coral reefs will be dissolving away. What this means for surfing is one thing: what it means for all of humanity is unnerving!
Healthy coral reefs provide a home to over one million aquatic species and income in the billions and millions of jobs for people around the world. In addition to food for people living near coral reefs especially on small islands. Coral reefs also provide a natural barrier protecting coastal cities, communities, and beaches worldwide from high surf and erosion. The potential for treatments for many of the worlds diseased may also rest in the vast biodiversity the world’s reefs host. I remember back in the day when I was trying to get elected to political office; it struck me how many of our leaders saw the Ocean as a flat surface with a little perspective on of concepts such as the Ocean’s being the lungs of the planet. I pray and hope that before it’s too late, we all wake up and change our ways.