The phenomenon of coral bleaching occurs today almost in all coral reefs around the world (see NOAA map). Bleaching, a disease that indicates damage to algae that have a symbiotic relationship with the coral and produces most of its food, can cause the death of coral and reefs. These algae, known as Symbiodinium, live within the coral and contribute to the reef structure. The algae are the ones that give the coral its color. Without the algae, the coral can still exist, as it is armed with hunting arms. But that is not enough for him and he is in a constant state of starvation until he dies.
Corals are animals that need a constant water temperature and sunlight. They are the basis of most marine life systems and around them a rich ecological environment develops. Their deaths indicate the decline of the oceans as an ecosystem. Coral bleaching is associated with warming of the ocean water, an increase in acidity in the water composition and possibly an increase in water level and a turbidity that causes a decrease in the amount of sunlight in the water.
In the winter season, when the water temperature cools slightly, acceleration can renew the coral symbiosis and allow it to live. But a few consecutive years of bleaching can lead to the death of the coral. The fear is that with the warming of the oceans, the effect of the algee will be greatly reduced and the entire reef will wane.
Coral reefs occupy about 3% of the ocean’s surface and store a quarter of all species of organisms living at sea. About 10% of all coral reefs are dead, another 60% are in immediate danger.