Geoengineering May Help Preserve Coral Reefs

July 20, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. deteriorating / dəˈtɪriəˌretɪŋ / (adj.) – becoming worse over time
Example: The environment’s deteriorating condition is alarming.

2. collaborative / kəˈlæb ər ə tɪv / (adj.) – involving more than one person or group
Example: Three experts did a collaborative research about climate change.

3. reflect / rɪˈflɛkt / (v.) – to throw something back after hitting a surface
Example: The heat on earth is reflected back into space.

4. severe / səˈvɪər / (adj.) – being in a very serious or bad condition
Example: The river suffers from severe water pollution.

5. essential / əˈsɛn ʃəl / (adj.) – being important
Example: Corals are essential in providing shelter for many types of fish.


Read the text below.
A new study suggests that geoengineering may help preserve coral reefs.

Coral reefs around the world are in danger of mass coral bleaching because of increasing sea surface temperature. Coral bleaching happens when the photosynthetic algae leave the corals’ tissues because of deteriorating environmental conditions. This is harmful to corals, as bleaching slows down their growth and reproduction and causes mortality.

A collaborative research done by different universities found a possible way to reduce coral bleaching—a geoengineering technique called Solar Radiation Management (SRM). SRM works by injecting small reflective particles into the atmosphere. The said particles will reflect the heat of incoming sunlight back into space, thus preventing the sea surface temperature to further rise.

Among the coral reefs that suffered severe coral bleaching are those in the Seychelles [SEY-shelz] Islands, National Park of American Samoa [suh-MOH-uh], Fagatele [fung'-a-tell-ee] Bay National Marine Sanctuary, and Maloata [mah-loh-AH-ta] Bay.

Helping prevent coral bleaching is essential, as corals are vital to the marine ecosystem. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), different aquatic species get their food and find shelter in coral reefs. Coral reefs also keep the shorelines protected from ocean storms and floods. In addition, coral reefs serve as water quality indicators based on the corals’ strict requirements on water temperature, salinity, clarity, and other conditions.

Coral reefs are also a good source of medicine that can treat various diseases and other health conditions. As a plus, coral reefs also attract tourists, which can help boost the economy. 

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you think scientists should do more studies to determine how the coral reefs can be protected? Why?
·         How else do you think coral reefs can be protected?

Discussion B

·         What human activities do you think negatively affect marine life?
·         How do you think you can help in taking care of the ocean?

July 20, 2015