The higher concentration of CO2 is the major factor for increasing temperature in atmosphere. The excess CO2 is absorbed by ocean and it will lead to chemical changes in water. The CO2 reacted with water and produce carbonic acid. This will lead to low pH and carbonate ions and increasing acidity of water.
The hard corals are the reef building coral. Their skeletons are made up of carbonate similar to shell of other marine organisms. But the increasing water acidity will affect the formation of coral skeletons due to the reduction of carbonate ions. This will affect the corals resilience and they may be easily susceptible for breaking, formation of pores, and diseases. Same as other shelled marine organisms are under threat of ocean acidification.
In the context of climate change, the coral bleaching is a major threat of coral reefs. The ocean acidification is the reason for coral bleaching incidents. The corals are nourishing by symbiotic algae (zooxanthellae) living in their tissues. The warming water and acidic water will expel the green algae from their tissues and turned in to whitening. This is known as coral bleaching.
The degradation of the algae’s photosynthetic pigment will lead to stress in corals and they will susceptible for diseases and lead to complete destruction in bleached corals. The organisms such as crustaceans, fishes, benthic organisms, turtles living in coral reefs will also affected by these coral destruction. So that the reduction of biodiversity and other trophic cascade will occur in ocean. It will affect the fishery potential in our seas.
The reduction of carbon emission is one of the important solution to save our ocean and coral reef ecosystems. For this, we need to increase vegetation on land and reduce carbon footprint. Stop the drilling of ice n polar regions will helpful to reduce the greenhouse gas emission in those region. Sustainable way of living style is another solution. Besides this, reuse of resources, reduce the number of vehicles and use of fuels, use of vegetarian foods, banning of coal and byproducts and sustainable use of natural resources will be helpful to control the carbon emission. It need more awareness among people to reduce carbon footprint in our home, offices and industries.
*Some useful links are given below for more information on this topic.