The 6th Water Source Summit

Earth at risk amid loss of ‘under water rain forests'

Li Qian

THE Earth is losing its "underwater rain forests," posing a severe threat to the balance of ecosystems, experts attending the 6th World Water Source Summit in Shanghai have beard. Oceans supply half of the oxygen on Earth, and coral reefs are the lungs of oceans. Also, they provide a home for 25 percent of all marine life, with an estimated 1 billion people depending on them for food and income, according to the World Wildlife Fund.

Statistics from 1985 to 2020, however, show that coral reefs are bleaching, or losing color and turning white, nearly seven times as frequently as they did in the 1980s.

Coral bleaching used to take place once every 27 years, but it's happening every four years now, according to the China Natural Resources News, a newspaper administered by the Ministry of Natural Resources. In March, the Great Barrier Reef. one of the seven wonders of the natural world, experienced the third mass coral bleaching event in five years, the most widespread and the second most severe on record.