Amidst Climate Crisis, Lakshadweep’s Once-Bustling Coral Reefs Now Face Existential Threat

Uuncover the delicate balance between natural wonder and environmental peril.

by Mallika Khurana
Amidst Climate Crisis, Lakshadweep’s Once-Bustling Coral Reefs Now Face Existential Threat

A trip to the picturesque Lakshadweep islands off the western coast of India offers an adventure into an underwater world of unmatched beauty. It is a sanctuary for snorkelers hoping to catch a glimpse of underwater wonders because of its clear waters and colourful coral reefs. However, beneath the surface allure is a story of ecological peril. The once-vibrant corals act as spectral reminders of the impending threat posed by climate change. The latest reports act as a sobering reminder of this underwater paradise’s impending threat. 

The Tragic Fate Of Lakshadweep’s Coral Reefs

Photo Credits: Canva

Today, bleached coral is what snorkelers find when they descend into the deep blue. It is a clear sign of the threats to the healthy environment beneath the surface. The Lakshadweep Sea’s coral reefs have been extensively bleached by marine heatwaves since October 2023, according to research from the ICAR-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute. As per the Live Mint reports, this is the fourth and most severe instance of bleaching that has ever occurred.

Environmental stressors are primarily affecting coral reefs worldwide as the global climate continues to warm. It is a difficult but necessary task to reduce carbon emissions to preserve the natural beauty that lies beneath the turquoise tides of Lakshadweep.

Polyps and algae in coral reefs have complex symbiotic relationships that maintain a delicate balance of nutrients. This balance is certainly necessary for their survival. But long-term exposure to high temperatures upsets this balance, forcing corals to chase away their algae partners to survive. This process is known as bleaching, and it results in corals losing their vivid colours and turning ghostly white.

Also Read: Content Creator Opens 5-Star Restaurant On Mumbai Streets For 24 Hours; Netizens Call It “Wholesome”

Underwater Paradise Under Threat

Photo Credits: Canva

Coral reefs are remarkably resilient to bleaching events when the right conditions are met. However, the threat to their resilience is immediate due to rising sea temperatures. The urgency of addressing climate change cannot be overstated. The planet is dangerously close to exceeding the critical threshold of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels due to humanity’s collective failure to reduce carbon emissions. 

The fate of Lakshadweep serves as a reminder of the impact of human activity on the planet.

Cover Image Courtesy: Canva