1. What is a polyp? What does a polyp need to be considered “coral”?
A polyp is formed when a coral larvae grows out of a substrate. The polyp is a sessile creature that has a stalk attached to the substrate caudally. Its mouth is located on the opposite end and is surrounded by tentacles. This polyp then multiplies to make hundreds of polyps. At this point the colony is called coral. When there are many corals growing together, it is called a reef.
2. What types of things are coral sensitive to in the ocean?
3. When does coral bleaching occur?
When the temperature of the ocean increases a few degrees, the algae living on the coral (zooxanthellae live symbiotically within the coral tissues to assist in nutrient production) move to a new and more stable location. When this happens, the coral no longer has a sufficient energy source and loses its color as result of the lack of algae. This lack of coloration in the coral colonies is referred to as coral bleaching. If the temperature of the water does not return to its normal cooler temperature quickly, the bleached coral dies.
Picture: (1) Bleached Coral (2) Nearly Recovered Coral
4. Why do scientists think that coral bleaching is occurring more now than ever?
Saving energy, avoiding car travel, and recycling are three ways we can help make a difference and help save the coral reefs.
Video #2: Why should we care about climate change/destruction of coral reefs? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wcoyj2VPCOM
1,500 species of fish, 360 species of hard coral, 1/3 of the world’s species of soft corals, 22 species of sea birds, and 32 species of shore birds rely on the Great Barrier Reef ecosystem for survival.
2. What is responsible for warming our oceans?
Climate change is responsible for warming the world’s oceans. We are directly affecting the underwater life on our planet.
3. How does increased flooding affect the reefs and the fish that birds that live there?
Increased flooding pollutes the reef. The fish living in the area move to farther and deeper water to escape the harmful effects of the pollution. As a result of this, birds lose their most important food source. The birds cannot travel so far off the shore and cannot reach the fish.
We can buy environmentally sustainable products, open windows instead of using air conditioners, and dry clothes on the line instead of using a dryer. All of these things can help protect the environment.
Video #3/#4: Educating children about the effects of climate change
Watch the following two videos that are aimed at teaching children about the effects of climate change. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RnqJMInH5yM&feature=related http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEdoizgeNJk&feature=related
1. List two benefits and two drawbacks to using this kind of media to teach this information.
Benefits: These videos are targeted at Australia’s children. By educating the children, the next generation will be able to create a difference and a better future. These videos are fun to watch. As one watches them, they become attached to the main character and hate to see the harmful effects global warming has on them. These videos make people want to help.
Drawbacks: These advertisements are aimed at specific groups of people. It is hard to create a video such as this that appeals to adults but is on a child’s understanding level. Another issue is most people in other nations do not see these videos. It is harder to create a difference when only a few people are aware of the situation.
Videos about the Great Barrier Reef: Please Watch!
This video is would be beneficial for foreigners not from Australia because it describes the coral bleaching process in detail and without the requirement of having previous background knowledge. It explains the entire process clearly and gives advanced information on the subject.
This video is beneficial to the tourists visiting The Great Barrier Reef. It not only provides information on the threat the reef is under, it also gives background information on the reef and the affects the reef has on the economy and on the world. These things are very important for travelers to know before they go to a new place.