A series of initiatives involving scientists, NGOs and fishing communities across south-east Asia is attempting to breathe new life into vital marine ecosystems damaged by heating waters, acidification and years of overfishing.
Text and photographs by Giacomo d’Orlando.
Coral reefs are some of the most diverse ecosystems on the planet. A home for fish, invertebrates and other marine life, they are crucial for maintaining the health and balance of the ocean. As well as generating half of Earth’s oxygen – it is said that the ocean gives us every second breath we take – oceans absorb more than 25% of all carbon dioxide emissions, and capture 90% of the excess heat generated by these emissions, up to four times faster than the same area of tropical forest.
Human activity and greenhouse gas emissions, however, are causing substantial changes in this delicate environment. Rising sea temperatures are an established phenomenon – but less frequently discussed, though similarly important, is acidification.
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