From above, the ocean looks blue, calm, and empty. But that’s just on the surface. Explore below the waves and you’ll be rapt in a deep riot of colors and life that exists on coral reefs. Found mostly in shallow tropical seas, corals may look like colourful rocks or plants but they are actually animals. Beneath their colourful exteriors, coral reefs work very hard to maintain one of the most important ecosystems on our planet. The human world is also dependent on this underwater rainforest to survive.
However, Earth’s coral reefs are under threat. Due to climate change and unchecked human activities, the coral reefs are declining globally. According to World Resources Institute reports, more than half of Earth’s reefs could be under threat by 2030, and unless urgent action is taken on a grand-scale, they could disappear completely by mid-century.
Researchers have raised hopes that coral survival is possible. Their goal is to identify the factors that define a healthy coral reef and consider how we can bring the ecological characteristics back to the reefs that have been damaged. This module discusses the future of coral reefs and several technological mechanisms deployed at local, national and global levels to conserve the rich coral reef biodiversity.