(Image credits to Google)
Studies show that when coral reefs are stressed out they are more prone to diseases and death. Since the recent effects of climate change and over-fishing along with many other aspects both natural and man-made, coral reefs are in more danger.
But what is Coral bleaching? When corals are exposed to changes in conditions they get stressed out, and they expel the symbolic acid living in their tissues causing them to turn completely white
Recently due to overfishing, hurricanes, chemicals, etc, there has been a drastic increase in coral bleaching. In some cases, corals may recover from bleaching. If conditions normalize and remain intact, the corals can regain algae, return to their vibrant colors, and survive. However, prolonged stressors such as warming and deteriorating water quality can weaken living corals. They can struggle to regrow, reproduce, and resist disease, making them highly susceptible to disease and mortality.
Why is it a problem?
Marine heatwaves are dangerous for coral reefs, as higher-than-average ocean temperatures stress corals and can lead to large-scale coral bleaching events. Marine heatwaves can last for weeks, months, or even years. If the water temperature is high for more than 8 weeks, the coral will not recover and will start to die.