Warming up to the truth. This paper is an exploratory essay on global warming.

Essay by cdmobley21College, UndergraduateA-, February 2012

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English 1000

October 14, 2011

Warming Up to the Truth

Being an avid hydrophile, I wanted to explore a topic that involved the world of life in the ocean. This allowed me start wondering about coral reefs inside the ocean and caused me to raise the question about how and why some of these become bleached. A number of coral reefs that have been bleached lasted such a long time as luminous organisms filled with color and beauty before suddenly turning white and dull. How does something like that last such a long time and then just change so rapidly, almost overnight it seems? I figured it has to have something to do with the changing of its environment, but why are changes in the environment just now starting to cause this phenomenon? After exploring this idea of coral bleaching, I present the question; is coral bleaching a sign of global warming?

The first thing that I needed to do after presenting these questions is to find out more about what exactly coral bleaching is and get a little more in depth information about it.

For the most part, the idea behind coral bleaching is actually fairly simple. Based on information on Stanford's website, "Coral in the ocean have what is called a symbiotic relationship with microscopic algae called zooxanthellae" (Microdocs: Coral Bleaching). A symbiotic relationship is one which two organisms depend upon each other to receive some sort of positive element. In this situation, "zooxanthellae live inside the skin tissue of coral and rely on them for protection whilst providing the coral with food and nutrients from undergoing photosynthesis inside of them" (Microdocs: Coral Bleaching). This extra food that is being provided to the coral by the algae allow for them to grow into giant reefs and give...