Today, the health of our oceans is being threatened from all sides. Whether it is water pollution, global climate change or ocean acidification, the issues simply can no longer be ignored. In addition, tons of trash enter the ocean everyday choking our fragile ecosystems including one of the most important; the coral reef. The organisms that used to thrive on these reefs are showing signs that the cumulative effects of this man-made assault are now having a significant effect on their very existence.
Coral reefs support the highest marine biodiversity in our oceans and they are home to more than 25% of all marine life. About one-quarter of coral reefs worldwide are already considered to be damaged beyond repair. Massive coral bleaching events have been occurring more often worldwide and the frequency with which these events are occurring has a devastating and prolonged effect on the reefs. Just recently the largest reef in the world, the Great Barrier Reef, experienced this type of event and as much as 22% of the reef had significant coral mortality. Coral reefs are found in 109 countries around the world and in 93 of those countries, they have seen significant degradation in the last few decades, making this a truly global problem.
Here's a simple definition of global warming. (And yes, it's really happening.) Over the past 50 years, the average global temperature has increased at the fastest rate in recorded history. And experts see the trend is accelerating: All but one of the 16 hottest years in NASA’s 134-year record have occurred since 2000.
Greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, absorb heat from sunlight, preventing it from escaping back into space. As the level of greenhouse gases rises, so will temperatures. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicts that by 2100, temperatures may rise as much as 6 degrees Celsius. Though the Earth's climate has changed in the past, the rapid severity of this change will directly affect ecosystems and biodiversity.
The varied effects of climate change are changing the ocean; these changes dramatically affect coral reef ecosystems.
Climate change is the greatest global threat to coral reef ecosystems. Scientific evidence now clearly indicates that the Earth's atmosphere and ocean are warming, and that these changes are primarily due to greenhouse gases derived from human activities.
As temperatures rise, mass coral bleaching events and infectious disease outbreaks are becoming more frequent. Additionally, carbon dioxide absorbed into the ocean from the atmosphere has already begun to reduce calcification rates in reef-building and reef-associated organisms by altering seawater chemistry through decreases in pH. This process is called ocean acidification.
Climate change will affect coral reef ecosystems, through sea level rise, changes to the frequency and intensity of tropical storms, and altered ocean circulation patterns. When combined, all of these impacts dramatically alter ecosystem function, as well as the goods and services coral reef ecosystems provide to people around the globe.
|Explore Ocean Facts on NOAA - https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/
Coral reefs cover less than 0.1% of the ocean's area, but house about one third of ocean biodiversity. So, anyone who cares about extinctions and biodiversity needs to care about the future of coral reefs.
The reefs and their abundance of marine life provide livelihoods for millions of people around the world, so the decline in coral reefs is poised to become a humanitarian crisis.
(Source BBC Science News)
Rethinking your logistics - the planning and implementation of moving goods and supplying services - can help you reduce your environmental impact.
If your business transports either your own or another organisation's freight, improving your systems may benefit your business and reduce your impact on the environment.
For example, if your business is making and receiving deliveries to and from a warehouse, it might make sense to have one central distribution centre. This could be cost-effective and has less environmental impact than a dispersed distribution system.
Moving freight by rail or water instead of by road can help reduce the environmental impact of logistics and be good for your business.
In addition to reducing your environmental impact, better use of transport can benefit your business by saving you money, increasing business opportunities and improving its image. This could help attract new employees and increase your customer base.
Apps, software, and interactive resources to help you measure, manage and reduce your organisation's environmental impact.