Academic journal article European Journal of Sustainable Development

Coral Reefs within Australian Coasts: Impact of Climate Change and Environmental Threats

Academic journal article European Journal of Sustainable Development

Coral Reefs within Australian Coasts: Impact of Climate Change and Environmental Threats

Article excerpt

1. Introduction

In general, coral reefs can be considered as ecosystems of shallow-water that composed of multiple reefs. The calcium carbonate represents the main component of these reefs where it secreted via encrusting large algae and coral reef-building. Further, coral reefs provide several ecosystem services and goods like attractive tourism environments, marine protection and fisheries home (Wild et al., 2011). The majority of coral reefs throughout the world is exposed to deterioration risk. Until the beginning of 1980s, most of disorders that impact on coral reefs were caused by human and they were considered as local disorders such as pollution, overfishing, unsustainable development of coasts and nutrient enrichment. After that, the disorders obtained from ocean warming become diffused and the concern about ocean acidification effect was increased (Burke et al, 2011). During the year of 2002, about 95% of existing coral reefs were bleached due to the effect of ocean warming. The figure below reviews the coral reefs after and before the bleaching.

The GBR within Australia involves about 17% of the coral reefs within the world. However, the vicarious pressures that obtained from climate variance increased the concern for coral reefs within Australia. Ocean acidification, floods, growth tornado intensity and increased temperature of sea-surface are the key pressures that obtained from climate variance. Thus, Australia increased their management efforts in order to preserve their coral reefs by building MPAs. The aim of building these areas was to confirm that the coral reefs have high flexibility to face the growth variance of climate (Caillaud et al, 2012).

The percentage of coral reefs over the world that influenced by flooding and runoff is 25%. However, just 5% of coral reefs within Australia are exposed to the ground runoff (Burke et al, 2011). Further, there are too nutrient runoff that travel from rivers toward the Australian East coast (Kroon et al, 2011), where this will influence on the coral communities of the GBR and this impact can be appear via the spread of the crown-ofthorn starfish (De'ath et al, 2012). Thus, the effect of floods and runoff on the Australian reefs will be significantly increased.

One of the tools that utilized to preserve the coral reef is the "Marine Protected Areas (MPAs)". The "World Resources Institute (WRI)" retrieved that about 2,679 MPAs are distributed in a manner that compatible with the areas of coral reef that extended around the worldwide. These MPAs involve about 27% of the coral reefs within the world (Burke et al, 2011). However, the studies retrieved that only 6% of worldwide coral reefs are protected via the MPAs and this refers to the insufficiency within organizations enforcement, management and planning.

The MPAs structures are extended between "Large Scale Marine Protected Areas (LSMPAa)" and "Small Units to No-take Areas Networks (NTMRs)". The initial constructed MPA located in Australia and it was built in 1975. This MPA is known as the "Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (GBRMP) and it has 20,679 Km2 as a covered area for coral reefs. Aother MPA is located in Australiaand it is known as "Coral Sea Commonwealth Marine Reserve (CSCMR)". CSCMR was established in 2011 with area equals to 989,842 Km2(Wilkinson et al, 2016).

1.1 Main Problem

Australia is considered as one of the significant countries that contains huge number coral reefs. GBPMP is one of the greatest places in Australia to preserve the community of coral reefs. About 1.9 million tourists visit the GBPMP every year and this provided the economy of Australia with 54,000 different jobs and $5.4 billion. During the last years, the impact of climate change and natural threats on coral reefs within Australia has been increased. Thus, several measures and steps should be performed to solve this problem.

1.2 Aim of Paper

This paper aims to discuss the impact of climate change and environmental threats on the coral reefs within Australian coasts. …

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