There have been five mass extinctions on the planet earth. Each extinction has been preceded by the death of the coral reef. In the last 15 years, 30% of the world's coral reefs have perished and another 6% are expected to die in the next two years. Scientists are predicting that the Great Barrier Reef will become a geological relic in 27 years. In 1998 there was a massive global coral bleaching event. In 2010 there was another one. Because of global warming, massive global coral bleaching events will happen with increasing frequency and with far-reaching results. Bleaching of this magnitude has not occurred for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. We will continue to lose thousands of square kilometers of coral reef ; Unless, of course, we do something about it.
Coral reefs comprise some of the most biologically diverse and valuable ecosystems on the planet. although reefs occupy only 0.2 percent of the ocean's area worldwide, they are home to one-third of all sea life. and support more species per unit area than any other marine environment, including about 4,000 species of fish, 800 species of hard corals. Iit is estimated that there are 8 million (8,000,000) undiscovered plants and animals that may live in or near coral reefs.
The annual global economic value of coral reefs is estimated between US $30 to $375 billion in goods and services, including; fisheries, tourism, coastal protection, as a source of medical advances, and environmental wealth.
Every day 30 million TONS of carbon dioxide is poured into the ocean - EVERY. DAY. The ocean is becoming too warm and acidic for the organisms that live there and the acid is killing coral and many thousands of species. The warming planet has slowed down the underwater jet stream which provides both the nutrients and the cooler water to the surface of the ocean. As a result, the coral are getting too hot and are becoming nutrient deprived. And if the coral reefs go extinct, which they are, life as we know it is permanently going away.
Humans are naïve to believe that life will continue as usual without healthy coral reefs, or, for that matter, a planet. A quarter of all marine species spend some part of their life cycle in the coral reef ecosystem. It is estimated that 100 million humans will die by 2030 because of climate change. That is 100 million people in the next 14 years. 660,000 humans have already died due to climate change. We must protect the biggest, most diverse environment on the planet or pay the price.
THE SOLUTION: Seawater Air Conditioning uses cold deep water from seas or lakes to cool buildings, military bases and entire cities. On a multi-megawatt scale, it takes comparatively little energy to bring such cold water to the shoreline, where it passes through a titanium heat exchanger to cool a closed-loop chilled fresh water cooling system. That system runs under the streets to district buildings to provide chilled-water air conditioning that is standard in many commercial buildings, especially high-rise buildings.
Water enters the system at just a few degrees Celcius, providing chilled water at a typical temperature for 44 degrees F. After the air chilling, the temperature of the return water is typically on the order of 54 degrees F. The seawater return temperature is on the order of 54 degrees F, providing plenty of surplus capacity to seasonally cool nearby coral reefs. This cooling has been demonstrated to reverse coral bleaching in some locations, potentially protecting square kilometers of reef from seasonal bleaching due to excess heat in the local summer. This combination of renewable energy practice and coral reef conservation provides strong benefits to the economy and local ecosystems. The Climate Foundation is dedicated to developing these kinds of synergies in combined commercial practice and conservation efforts.