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Global Degradation of Coral Reefs - Essay Example

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Global Degradation of Coral Reefs

Coral reefs are productive ecosystem and diverse habitats in the world because of their economic and social importance including food provision, tourism among others. There is a high rate of global degradation of coral reefs and these calls for their sustainable management. Their reduction has fueled the local and international communities to come up with approaches of monitoring coral reefs. Ecology involves the study of organisms in the environmental surroundings which require spatially accurate data given the distribution of spices. In the past manual and field observation methods were used to gather ecological information. These methods were labour intensive and time consuming. As a result, remote sensing became widely incorporated in the ecological duties because of its large coverage, cost effectiveness and accuracy. This called for the venture into new technologies to enable easy and faster access of remote sensed information in the management and monitoring of ecological species. (Knight, D., E. LeDrew, et al. 1997). Coral ecosystem is one of the important habitats in the world. Coral reefs play a significant role in checking the amount of carbon dioxide in the sea. Without them regulating the level carbon dioxide in water could be difficult and many species on earth including human being could be at a high risk. Although, that is the current situation in the world because people have destroyed the reefs due to the level of impurities in the water bodies this has resulted in global warming. They are also a habitat to millions of fish species, source of employment, food provision, tourism attraction sites and protect the shores fro waves. In short they are source of livelihood to millions of people around the globe (Goodman, J. A., M. Velez-Reyes, et al. 2006).This paper addresses landscape remote sensing approaches of mapping coral reefs.
Discussion


By 2100 coral reefs will be degraded if no measures are taken. They only cover 2 percent of the total ocean area and annually they provide a home for almost 33 percent of thousands on marine species. As mentioned above, coral reefs are threatened by a number of factors. For example, coral diseases resulting from ruining the reefs, coral reefs can be in danger of water related coastal development as it is in the case in the Caribbean. (Gledhill, D. K., R. Wanninkhof, et al. 2008). As a result of a variety of biological species in the coral ecosystem, over fishing can also be harmful because they interact and depend on one another for food and competition. Harvesting of coral reefs can be classified into controllable, Malthusian-over fished and poisonus.Studies show that reduction of species in the coral ecosystem can lead to prolification of algae. (Manus, J. W., L. A. B. Menez, et al. 1999).In response to this damage a 5 year project was launched and it was funded by the centre for sponsored coastal ocean research (CSCOR).The research key provisions were to provide adequate data on coral reefs, tool and approaches to help marine scientists and identify phenomena that caused the degradation of coral reefs. The research addressed four major areas namely; interaction between water related activities and coral reefs, causes of biological pressure, assessment of marine protected areas and the overall nature of coral ecosystem (Hallock, P., B. H. Lidz, et al. 2003). Researchers ...Show more
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Summary

Coral reefs are being degraded almost 20 percent globally, the coral ecosystem faces threats that span from; over fishing, oil spillage contamination, bleaching as a result of elevated sea temperatures, enhanced sedimentation, eutrophication as well as the specter of a warming planet…
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