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Current Affairs

Red Sea Rainforests

Date: 31 March 2021 Tags: Biodiversity

Issue

A picture from International Space Station has captured the thriving coral reef system near Saudi Arabian coast in the Red Sea.

 

Background

The salty and warm waters of the Red Sea coast are suitable for coral species to grow. There are about 260 coral reef species that have been studied.

 

Details

  • Coral reefs are called as “rainforests of the sea” because of their biodiversity and their functionality in nature.

  • They provide large amount of food source for other sea life and humans, while also indulging in protection of shorelines.

  • The Saudi Arabian coast contains large number of freshwater treatment plants that supply drinking water to its citizens. The brine obtained during the process mixes back into the sea.

  • The brine solution is excessively salty and their mixing in sea will lower the dissolved oxygen levels, which threaten organisms with hypoxia.

 

Coral ecosystem

  • A coral ecosystem consists of one of the most biologically diverse ecosystems on the Earth. The diversity is only rivalled by Tropical rainforests.

  • Coral reefs are source of food for humans and animals, provide shelter for marine life such as fishes, support recreation and tourism activities, cycle marine nutrients and remove pollutants from water.

  • They are threatened by events such as global warming, sea level rise, physical damages and oil pollution.