Causes of Coral Bleaching

There are multiple causes to this issue, and humans are a big reason behind it.

Coral bleaching does happen naturally. However, the issue is that humans cause it to happen faster and at larger scales than normal. Our activities basically make it happen at rates that are not found naturally.

One of the biggest causes of coral bleaching is the warming of ocean waters. Ocean water can naturally warm up, however, human activity warms the water at rates that naturally do not happen. The main reason for this is climate change.

Explaining climate change:

Human activity, such as factories, release what we call greenhouse gasses. Greenhouse gasses can be found naturally in our atmosphere, and their job is to trap sunlight and keep the Earth warm. However, the increased number of greenhouse gasses from humans trap more sunlight, causing the temperature to rise, which then warms the oceans. The water warms up, causing the corals to get stressed and lose their algae.

Pollution from human activities near water can also create unhealthy water conditions. This also stresses out the coral, causing them to lose their algae.

Tourism and directly provoking corals can stress them out as well. Irresponsible diving and fishing may lead to direct contact with the corals which can also cause them stress. Remember, when a coral is stressed it loses its algae, and therefore loses its color.