Effects of Global Warming on Coral Reefs Essay

Global Warming and Climate Change has emerged as a greatest threat to the ecosystem of the coral reefs. Coral Reefs are also called as the “Rainforests of the Sea” because of their richness of life. Apart from supporting a healthy ecosystem, the aesthetic beauty of the coral reefs is really amazing. But due to the increasing global warming and climate change the coral reefs are fighting for their survival.

Long Essay on Effects of Global Warming on Coral Reefs in English

In the following essay on effects of Global warming and Coral Reefs, we will try to understand the effects of global warming on Coral Reefs and its ecosystems. We will also discuss how global warming is making coral reefs endangered and gradually leading to their extinction. You can go through this essay to know in detail:

Long Essay on Effects of Global Warming on Coral Reefs (1300 Words)


The scenic beauty of Coral Reefs and its attractive natural structural form attracts a large amount of tourists at many places around the world. Their beauty is directly related to their healthy ecological system. But the increase in the global warming and climate change is not only affecting mankind but it is also having a negative impact on ocean’s ecosystem.

The heating up of the oceans, acidification, coral bleaching, infectious diseases, change in the ocean patterns are few of the impacts of global warming directly posing a threat to the coral reefs across the globe. We have to wake up now and come forward in saving the ecosystem of the oceans.

Impacts of Global Warming on Coral Reefs

Coral Reefs are the ecosystem of the earth which is highly threatened by the global warming. Coral reefs are very fragile and vulnerable to the change in the temperature and water conditions. The recent climatic changes in the world and increase in the green house gases in the atmosphere are directly affecting the survival of the coral reefs around the globe. It is because of the human activities that the other species of earth have to suffer.

As it is a matter of fact that global warming is caused by the human activities, we as a respect towards the other surviving species of the world should take strict measures to reduce the emission of the green house gases in the atmosphere. The impacts of global warming on coral reefs are not limited however following are the main effects of global warming on the coral reefs making them endangered species:

  • Coral Bleaching

Corals mainly depend on the algae for their food and nutrients. It is the algae which gives various colors to the corals. The warming and acidification of the ocean due to global warming and climate change causes the algae to expel from coral thus making corals look white causing coral bleaching.


Though the coral might survive the bleaching phase but without the algae they start starving and become more vulnerable to diseases eventually leading to their death. Coral reefs around the world are suffering from mass coral bleaching eventually causing the death of the corals.

  • Heating up of the Oceans causing Coral Bleaching

Global warming has not only caused the increase in temperature of the earth but it has also raised the ocean’s temperature causing the warming up of ocean to a significant degrees. Since the corals are very much sensitive to the warmer temperatures, it leads to thermal stress and coral bleaching, which makes them vulnerable to infectious diseases and if this continues it eventually leads to the death of the corals.

  • Ocean Acidification: A threat to Corals

The increase of Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere causes the ocean acidification. The oceans acts as a carbon sink and absorb around 33% of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. In the course of time these dissolved gases get to react with water and form carbonic acid leading to the acidification of the ocean.

The reduction in the pH level causes the acidification of the water. This poses a threat to the species that use calcium carbonate for the development of their shells and skeletons since acidification disrupts their formation. Corals are also a part of this group of species hence acidification disrupts the growth of the corals and also affects their structural integrity.

  • Vulnerable to Diseases

Ocean Acidification and Coral Bleaching decrease the growth of the corals and make them more vulnerable to diseases. Coral mainly depends on algae for food and nutrients. They get starved due to the coral bleaching and become prone to many diseases like black band disease, white band disease and skeletal eroding band disease leading to their slow death. Coral bleaching has caused the death of around 50% of corals of ‘The Great Barrier Reef’, Australia in the year 2016-17.


  • Lack of Nutrients and Dispersal of Larvae

Corals are dependent on the ocean currents for the delivery of their food in the form of ‘zooplankton’ and for dispersal of the coral larvae. The change in the ocean current caused due to the global warming affects corals in getting their food supply and hampers their dispersal of the larvae, which in turn not only affects their growth but may also cause their extinction.

  • Stronger Storm Patterns

Global Warming leading to the climate change has given rise to increased frequency of occurrence of more intensified storms. These storms are a threat to the coastal ecosystems like coral reefs. Storms in the area of the coral reefs can be very dangerous since a strong storm can wash off the coral reefs colonies leading to the clearing of the coral reefs. A very strong storm may cause a huge destruction of the coral reefs and it might take several years for them to reconstruct the coral reef colonies.

  • Rise in the Sea Level

The melting of the ice caps and the glaciers leading to the rise in the sea level also affects the corals dwelling on the coastline. Many species of the corals can only photosynthesize at shallow water and increase in the level of the sea would eventually lead to their deaths.

  • Changes in the Precipitation

The change in the climatic conditions has lead to the changes in the amount of the precipitation eventually causing the flow of sediments and increasing run off of the freshwater leading to the algal bloom which results in reducing the condition of light in the ocean affecting the corals. The high precipitation causes the land based pollutants accumulation on the coastlines threatening the growth of the corals.

  • Migration of Fish population

We all know that global warming causes the rise in the ocean temperature. The rise in the temperature causes the migration of the fish population. This poses a high risk of invasion to the coral reefs. Inability to fight with many invasive fish species can lead to make corals endangered and slowly make them extinct.


We can now understand how global warming is impacting the coral reefs. Coral reefs are very important for the maintenance of a balanced ecological system.  The extinction of the coral reefs will definitely have a long term impact on our ecosystem.

We should also understand that global warming is the result of the human activities and it has started affecting those who were not at all responsible for it. Recent reports says that the coral bleaching is not only limited to the coastal coral reefs but it has also started showing it effects to the coral reefs residing at the surface of the ocean posing a threat to the overall species of corals reefs.

And all of these is just because of the careless and irresponsible behavior of the human. We are so busy in ourselves that we do not care if our deeds are becoming a suffering to others. We have to take immediate steps to stop the emission of green house gases in the atmosphere or else it will have severe impacts not only on us but also on the other 8.7 million species of the earth’s ecosystem.