Friday Climate Stories
Coral reefs are the rainforests of the oceans, they are pieces of paradise that provides home for a stunning array of life. The base of these massive ecosystems are the reef-building corals, colonies of thousands of polyps, that are responsible for the hard calcium carbonate structure of coral reefs. Barely seeable with human eyes every polyp has a photosynthetic algae called zooxanthellae and both of these organisms live in symbiosis.
All the coral reefs together occupy less than 0,1% of the Oceans surface, however they provide home for more than 25% of all the marine species.
But these underwater complex and marvellous cities are also fragile and are currently under a dramatic threat, mostly cause of the rising water temperatures, oceanic acidification, overfishing and contamination. And the sad true is that half of the world corals have already been lost in the past 40 years. And the climate scientists estimate that 90% of all coral reefs will disappear in the next 20 years.
For you to better understand how everything is connected, the more CO2 in the atmosphere, the more CO2 is absorbed into the oceans, causing the oceans to become more acidic. This increased acidity makes it harder for corals to build their calcium carbonate skeleton and makes their skeletons more fragile and susceptible to breaking. Plus, when surface ocean temperatures pass a livable range, the coral kicks out the zooxanthellae, causing “coral bleaching” and the eventual death of the coral.
So, in order to avoid the disappearance of this rainforests of the Oceans, we must act now. Thanks to a few anonymous heroes and NGOs like Coral Gardeners, Coral Reef Alliance and Coral Guardian some damaged reefs are already being rebuild through coral farming and the transplant of coral cuttings onto degraded areas of reef. But without a serious global commitment to fight climate change, the work of these heroes is just delaying a catastrophic end for our corals, our Oceans, and all of us.
Friday Climate Stories
From all the human inventions, plastic is the one that most “democratized” contamination. Humans lived thousands of years without plastic, but, suddenly, it become essential, just because plastic is the cheapest and easiest way of consuming non-stop, it´s ephemeral, we will never truly care nothing made of plastic, but, why take care if we can change, buy more, buy new…
We are drowning in plastic, and, when plastic surpasses fish on the Oceans, when all the coral reefs vanish, we, the humans, the first intelligent specie on Earth, will be the ones to blame.
Even if you live hundreds of miles from the coast, the plastic you buy and after throw away, make its way into the Ocean. And once there, it decomposes very slowly, breaking down into small pieces known as micro plastics that are devastating to sea life. More than 80% of plastic in our oceans is from land sources.
So, in order to reduce your plastic footprint we give you 7 easy tips:
- Bring your own bottle always with you (our oceans and beaches are full of millions of plastic bottles used for half an hour but that are going to contaminate for hundreds of years).
- Say no to straws (Do you really need to use a straw? Straws are sucking the life out of the Oceans, and even if you are too used to it, there are better alternatives, as paper and inox straws).
- Avoid glitter (Glitter can give you a few hours of extra colour on a party, but after their microplastics will be contaminating our Oceans for hundreds of years, so, just choose a more sustainable way of being colourful).
- Use a reusable eco-friendly bag (a common plastic bag can take as long as 1000 years to degrade).
- Make fresh squeezed juice or eat fruit instead of buying juice in plastic bottles (It's healthier and better for the environment).
- Skip the frozen foods section (You will be eating fewer processed foods while helping the environment).
- Bring your own food container (Whether you're buying a take-away meal or bringing home your restaurant leftovers, use your own reusable container).