Evaluate the Relative Importance of Global and Local Threats to One Named Global Ecosystem

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Evaluate the relative importance of global and local threats to one named global ecosystem (15 mark) One named global ecosystem is the coral reef. In order for an ecosystem to be a coral reef they would need to be in certain conditions; it usually is where the temperature is around 24 degrees and be in water less than 25m depth. The Coral reef has many global and local threats. The coral reefs are homes to over 25% of known sea creatures and are an invaluable service for the local population as a source of food and income. One major threat is that coral reefs are under huge stress due to the impact that human activities are having and in fact already 1/5 of the world’s coral reefs are so damaged that they are beyond repair. The increase of average global temperatures is leading to an increased rate of ice cap melting. This is due to global warming, making a global threat to all ecosystems including the coral reef. The reason for this is that the melting of the ice caps releases more fresh water into the oceans, reducing salinity making sea level rise. Due to sea level rising coral reefs are getting destroyed, as they cannot survive in water above 25m. Also the increase of sea levels changes the nutrient flow, which will further damage the food chains. Furthermore coral bleaching is another side affect of global warming which affects the coral reef. Coral bleaching is permanent damage and is effected globally. It gets especially worse during an El Nino year. In 1990 during the El Nino 65% of the coral reef in the Persian Gulf was destroyed. There are many local threats of a coral reef, one of them being fishing. A huge percentage of the world’s population relies on coral reefs for food and income. Local residents fish on the reefs as their livelihood depends on it. This caused many aftermath problems such as the coral reefs being overfished and the fish

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