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6) For coral colonies that have taken millions of years to form, climate change poses a great threat that would affect millions of islanders across the world. Comment. (250 words)

Topic: conservation, environmental pollution and degradation

6) For coral colonies that have taken millions of years to form, climate change poses a great threat that would affect millions of islanders across the world. Comment. (250 words)

The hindu

The hindu

Why this question

Coral reefs are a sensitive ecosystem which have been put to huge stress in the face of climate change. The recent IPCC report highlights the danger posed by the climate change to the corals and it is essential to discuss the issue in detail because coral reefs play a huge role in the ecosystem as well as the society.

Directive word

Comment- here we have to express our knowledge and understanding of the issue and form an overall opinion thereupon.  

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to express our knowledge and understanding of the threats faced by the coral reefs from climate change and how it will impact the environment and the society.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  declining health of corals across the world. E.g The Global Warming of 1.5ºC report of the IPCC has predicted that coral reefs would suffer a mass die-off by as soon as 2040, just 22 years away etc.

Body-

Discuss the issue in detail and bring out how the coral damage will impact millions of islanders across the world. E.g Corals, and the atolls and lagoons they form, are now in grave danger from global warming; Coral reefs would decline by 70-90% with global warming of 1.5°C, whereas virtually all (more than 99%) would be lost with a rise of 2°C compared with pre industrial times- IPCC report; A quarter of all marine life depends on coral reefs, and over 500 million people worldwide rely on coral reefs for food security, economic well-being and cultural identity; A combination of rising ocean temperatures due to global warming and localised threats has resulted in the loss of 50% of reef-building corals in the past 30 years etc.

Conclusion– based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue. E.g there is an imperative to swiftly and drastically lowering greenhouse gas emissions, and effectively reducing local stresses to reefs and atolls.