Mystery disease is killing Caribbean corals

https://www.sciencenewsforstudents.org/article/mystery-disease-killing-caribbean-corals

I read a news article about a disease that is killing Caribbean corals. I found this news in Science News for Students. The article mainly explained how disease kills corals and how it forms.

Last January, when divers were studying corals near the Virgin Islands, they suddenly saw some alarming things. On one reef, the color of the reef has disappeared, and all that is left is just white skeletons. The next day, some reefs were dead too. Four months later, half of the reef near the island of St Thomas was dead. The prime suspect is a disease. It was first discovered off Florida in 2014. Its name is “stone coral tissue loss disease,“ and its nickname is “skittle-D.” One of the ecologists said, ”Whatever the cause, it is annihilating whole species.” Skittle-D is like candy, and it’s the deadliest coral disease outbreak on record.

Coral reefs cover 2% of the ocean floor, but it still plays an important role in the ocean. Climate change is providing an urgency to learn more about these diseases. Global warming is like a one-two punch for corals. Heat stress weakens coral’s defenses. At the same time, warming waters send microbes that cause disease into overdrive. Oceans are warming in 40 percent faster than what the United Nation scientists had predicted in 2014. If we don’t do something now, coral reefs will die forever. We need to save them as much as we can.

I chose this article because I know coral reefs are really important to ocean lives and ocean environment. If all the coral reefs die, all fish that live in coral reefs will die too. Our beautiful ocean will disappear. So we need to do something to protect them!

By Tyler 4T

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