Happy Earth Day: The Ocean Is Melting And We Are On Fire

Happy Earth Day! I hope you are cozied up to some coffee and already sitting down, because the lovely scientists who have been trying to get our fleeting attention for decades have some more fun news about our earth, and by “fun” I mean HOLY SHIT THIS PLANET IS IN FLAMES! So you know how we need the ocean because of all of the water and beauty and plantlife and animals and food in there, not to mention all the sunken pirate ships full of gold we’ve yet to loot? WELL, some recent news revealed that 93 percent of the Great Barrier Reef has been hit by coral bleaching, which means a notable percentage of those reefs will die. This is not…the best news. In fact, it’s really shitty and terrifying news.

This whole ocean-death scenario is like the plot of a dystopian action adventure movie, except we can’t solve our problems with guns and ammo because the production of those are also destroying the earth! Somebody please pass the bong this way, or a large bowl of water to float my head in.

The event of “coral bleaching” itself occurs as a reaction to abnormally high ocean temperatures, when the hot water causes the coral to expel it’s zooxanthella (which is an algae it needs for food) and turn white. If the water doesn’t manage to chill out in a timely matter, the bleached coral then dies.

CoralBleaching
CREDIT: Wikimedia

Scientists have estimated that as much as a third of the world’s corals are threatened by this mass phenomenon, which is a terrifying piece of news since reefs house a quarter of the world’s marine life. Not to mention that the fish supported by this failing eco-system feed roughly one billion of us garbage humans, and provide fishing jobs for millions of fishers. I hope you like Hot Pockets, because it’s looking like the future is just gonna be humankind sword-fighting with forks over the one gigantic, flaming Hot Pocket that sits where the ocean used to be.

Although we are essentially hurling on a flaming ball into an even deeper abyss of flames, all is not completely lost. There is still Netflix and Oscar Isaac, and also scientists are working on developing the Marvel hero we need most: Super corals. If all goes as planned, super corals would be bred and evolved to maintain resilience against acidification, and would be able to breed with each other even in hot ocean temperatures. If scientists can get them developed fast enough, they hope to introduce them to the flaming eco-systems of our bleached Great Barrier Reef as a last ditch attempt at saving us human assholes, or at least waylaying the death-by-explosion we deserve.