The Moxie Mountie

Making waves: the third wonder of the natural world

Back to Article
Back to Article

Making waves: the third wonder of the natural world

Artist: Oli Grenke

Artist: Oli Grenke

Artist: Oli Grenke

Sydney Boulter and Oli Grenke

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






The Great Barrier Reef is the World’s largest coral reef stretching 1,429 miles along the Queensland coastline in Australia, covering an area of 132,973 square-miles. With it stretching such a great length it is named the world’s largest living structure on the planet, it is so big that it is visible from space.

According to Time Magazine, reefs occupy only one percent of the world’s marine environment, but they provide a home to a quarter of marine species—including a unique set of fish, turtles and algae.

In the last several years, this beautiful reef, home to many, due to the natural phenomenon El Niño (complex series of climate changes) the bleaching process has started killing over more than 50 percent of its entirety.

“The soft corals were just decomposing—animals literally dripping off the rocks,” said Mr. Richard Vevers about his dive in the Great Barrier Reef. “The most horrifying part was that we just absolutely stank of rotting animals. That’s when you really realize that reefs are made up of billions of organisms.”

Bleaching occurs when warm water stresses corals so much that eject tiny algae called zooxanthellae that normally live inside of the coral. This specific algae provides the coral with most of its food and color.

Bleaching, though dangerous, is not the only factor causing the death of many coral reefs. Reefs are also threatened by nutrient runoffs from farm and lawn chemicals, as well as overfishing of the marine life in these places.

“You can’t grow back a 500-year old reef in 15 years,” said Mark Eakin, a NOAA coral reef scientist. “In many cases, it’s like you’ve killed the giant redwoods.”

Due to these factors many of the species living in not only the Great Barrier Reef but others as well could permanently be lost. With temperatures only expected to rise in the coming years chances are thin that reefs will be able to rebuild themselves from the beginning once more.

All of these problems are just causing more death in the oceans.

“If you think of corals as canaries [in a coal mine], they’re chirping really loudly right now,” said Jennifer Koss, NOAA’s Coral Reef Conservation Program director, at a recent press conference. “The ones that are still alive, that is.”

Life for marine species has changed drastically; their lives are now on the line more than ever.

Artist: Oli Grenke

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
About the Writers
Sydney Boulter, Assistant Editor-in-Chief

Sydney is a senior who enjoys martial arts, reading, and being sarcastic. She also enjoys long walks on the beach.
"Life is what you make it." Eleanor...

Oli Grenke, Media Manager

Oli is a senior who enjoys baking, drawing and painting in his free time. He also loves cats.
"Shoot for the moon, if you miss you'll die in outer space,...

Leave a Comment

Comments are closed.

Navigate Left
  • Making waves: the third wonder of the natural world

    Feature

    Adopt A Family organizer continues to support families

  • Making waves: the third wonder of the natural world

    Feature

    Student Spotlight: Freshman Joshua Shimmons

  • Making waves: the third wonder of the natural world

    Feature

    Career exploration at Northwest

  • Making waves: the third wonder of the natural world

    Feature

    Club explores Hispanic culture through dance, music, food

  • Making waves: the third wonder of the natural world

    Feature

    Senior competes in Tang Soo Do with third degree black belt

  • Making waves: the third wonder of the natural world

    Feature

    Former student returns as officer to serve and protect

  • Making waves: the third wonder of the natural world

    Feature

    Former graduate Grace Latz shares Olympic training experience

  • Making waves: the third wonder of the natural world

    Column

    Finding the flowers: Gaining maturity by learning from parents

  • Making waves: the third wonder of the natural world

    Column

    Fork in the road: Gaining responsibility throughout high school experiences

  • Making waves: the third wonder of the natural world

    Feature

    Changing lives one book at a time

Navigate Right
The student news site of Northwest High School in Jackson, Michigan
Making waves: the third wonder of the natural world