Image from Giphy
Remember the gorgeous birthplace of Nemo, the cute clown fish in the movie Finding Nemo. That was the Great Barrier Reef.
The Great Barrier Reef is not just the world's largest structure built by living beings, it is also a living structure, alive with a rich variety of beautiful colourful corrals weaving intricate patterns, ocean life, and algae. It's like a natural work of art.
The Great Barrier Reef supports a vast, complex and diverse ecosystem, including many endangered species. It is vibrant and colourful, a sight to mesmerize the most jaded souls. It's no surprise, that it is considered to be one of the seven natural wonders of the world.
Algae are very important to the survival of the corral reefs, but they are very sensitive to temperature and can survive only in a very narrow temperature range. When the water gets heated to a temperature above this goldilocks range, due to global warming or other reasons, the algae die causing the corral polyps to die too.
However in any ecosystem, a delicate balance between various species must be preserved, and any environmental change can have far reaching, unpredictable, devastating consequences. Due to increased levels of carbon-di-oxide, certain species of weed like algae, secreting potent chemicals that supress corral growth or kill corrals, are thriving.
Besides, like for any other ecosystem, humans activities are also a threat. Ocean pollution, shipping, overfishing and climate change are all detrimental to the continued existance of the reef.
The Great Barrier Reef is in danger, and efforts must be made to preserve it, not only for it's aesthetic beauty, but also because of the unknown, incalculable, unimaginable, but far reaching, damaging repurcussions, the loss of such a complex and large ecosystem, will have.
Now over to Nina and Nana.
You can read Lavanya's take here.