Rising temperatures to blame for coral catastrophe this year

  • A sustained rise in water temperature this year has wreaked havoc on coral reefs, wiping out 16.2 per cent of corals in the Gulf of Mannar (GoM) — the highest yearly mortality rate for the past few decades.
  • The live coral cover in the Gulf of Mannar has declined from 38.86 per cent in 2015 to 22.54 per cent this year.
  • Destruction of corals was the result of a phenomenon called ‘coral bleaching’, which occurs when water temperatures rise for a sustained period of time.
  • In general, the bleached corals recover once the temperature falls, but severe mortality was observed even in July and August, notwithstanding a drop in temperature.
  • The maximum temperature was 33 degree Celsius in all reef areas and though the bleaching was high in Thoothukudi group (30 per cent), mortality was comparatively low (9.2 per cent) due to high recovery (20.8 per cent).

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IAS Amol Srivastava attended UPSC Mock Interview organized by Chanakya IAS Academy under the guidance of Experienced personnel and Retired IAS officers.
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