A recentstudy shows that the world’s coral reefs have been showing signs of strong bleaching due toglobal warming. In the 1980s bleaching was rare, occurring about once every 25 years. Now the rate has risen to about once every five years. Environmentalistspredict that by 2050 bleaching will happen every year or two.
Bleaching is caused when warm water breaks down the algae inside the reefs. They provide food for the corals and keep them healthy. When algae fall off, corals lose their colour and can die within a short period of time. Even if the water surrounding the reefs gets colder again it may take years for the damaged reefs to recover completely.
While bleaching is especially a problem in the waters of the Carribean Sea and Western Atlantic, reefs around Australia and South Africa have hardly been hit. In addition to the warming temperatures of the oceans, coral reefs are also endangered by pollution and overfishing.
Coral reefs are an important ecosystem. They are home to 25% of all marine species and provide a habitat for countless types of fish. Reefs protect coastal regions from flooding and tidal waves. In addition, coral reefs are tourist attractions that lure millions of people every year. The tourist industry around the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, for example, is worth about 5 billion dollars a year.
billion = a thousand million
bleaching = to make something pale or white; when an object loses its colour
break down = to change its structure
Carribean Sea = sea between North and South America
cause = the reason for something; why something happens
countless = too many to be counted
due to = because of
ecosystem = all the animals and plants in a certain area and the way they live together
endangered = to be in danger
environmentalist = a person who cares about the world around us
especially = above all
global warming = when the temperatures in the atmosphere get higher because of increased amounts of carbon dioxide
habitat = place to live
in addition = also
lure = attract; here: bring people to the area
marine species = animals and plants that live in the oceans
occur = happen
overfishing = when you take too many fish from the sea so that the overall number of fish becomes too low
pollution = when water becomes dirty so that it cannot be used anymore
predict = to say that something will happen in the future
protect = keep safe
provide = give
rare = not very often
recent = a short time ago
recover = to become as healthy as they were before
sign = to show that something is happening
study = a piece of work that is done to find out more about a certain topic
surrounding = around
tidal wave = very large ocean wave that flows over land and destroys things
Authorities at Uluru National Park have announced that tourists will no longer be allowed to climb up to the top of Australia’s most famous landmark. The ban will take effect at the beginning of 2019. Officials say that Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock, is not an entertainment park, like Disneyland.
About 250 000 people visit the large red monolith in central Australia every year. However, only about 16% want to climb the rock.
Although Australia’s government wants to keep the site open for hikers to climb, the decision was made out of respect to the native Australians who consider Uluru as a sacred place. In 1985 the government returned it back to the aboriginalpeople of the region. For a long time , local residents have asked visitors not to climb the rock out of respect.
National park authorities are worried that hiking to the top of 1,100 ft high rock will damage the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Tour operators are now in search of other ways to show the monolith to its visitors, including camel rides around it.
Uluru National Park is open all year round, but climbing is only allowed on certain days because of strong winds and other weather conditions. Climbing the rock is not always safe. In the last 70 years , 35 people have died in climbing accidents.
Not all locals, however, are in favour of the ban. Some say that hiking should only be allowed with a guide and on special pathways.
Aboriginal people = people who have lived in Australia from the earliest times on
although = while
announce = to say officially
authorities = an official organisation that controls or is in charge of something
ban = order that stops something from being done
consider = think that…; look at something as …
damage = cause harm to something
entertainment park = area where you can go to in order to have fun, ride on roller coasters etc..
government = the people who rule a country
guide = person who shows you around a place
hiker = someone who walks long distances in the mountains
in favour of = to be for something
including = also
landmark = something that is easy to see , even from far away
local = a person who lives in the area
monolith = a large tall block of stone
native Australians = the people who have been in Australia before Europeans came
official = a person in an organisation who is in charge of something
pathway = track that is made for walking
resident = a person who lives in a place
sacred = holy , religious
take effect = put into effect, become a law
UNESCO World Heritage Site = place that has been selected by the United Nations because it is very valuable ; it should be protected by all countries
The first commercial flight landed on the British island of St. Helena a few days ago. It was the first passenger flight ever to land on the remote island, located in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. St. Helena’s authorities hope that the new air service from Johannesburg, South Africa will help boost tourism on the island.
Up to now only a boat service every three weeks connected the island with the African continent. It took a ship about 6 days to travel from South Africa. The small island reliesheavily on British aid to survive. St. Helena’s tourism officials say that the new air link will bring 30,000 visitors to the island every year, compared to only 4,000 last year.
The airport cost almost £ 300 m and has been widely criticised as being the most useless airport in the world. Only smaller airplanes can fly to the island because strong winds to not allow large jet planes to take off and land.
Saint Helena is mostly known as the island to which French emperor Napoleon was banned and diedafter he had suffered a defeat at Waterloo. The British overseas territory is only 122 square kilometres large and lies 2000 km off the coast of Africa. It has a population of 4,200 .
Development on the island has been slow. It got its first mobile phone service in 2015 and the first luxury hotel on the island is opening soon. Wildlife and nature on and around the island is why tourists find there way to St. Helena. A Marine Protected Area was established there last year.
aid = financial help; money
air link = flights to and from a place
air service = company that arranges flights
authorities = the people who rule a place
ban = here: to bring someone to a faraway place so that he/she cannot escape
boost = improve; make better
coast = where land meets the sea
commercial = with passengers on board who pay for the flight
development = to increase business, trade and growth in a region
emperor = man who rules a group of countries
establish = create
heavily = very much; strongly
luxury hotel = very expensive hotel
Marine Protected Area = place in the ocean where animals and plants are protected
official = a person who is in a high position in an organisation
population = the number of people who live in an area
rely = depend on; need
remote = very far away
suffer a defeat = here: lose a battle in a war
survive = to continue to exist
useless = not needed
wildlife = animals and plants that grow under natural conditions
The government of Thailand has announced that smoking on tourist beaches will not be allowed any more. Those who do not obey the new law must pay a fine of up to $3850 or risk going to prison for a year.
The ban will affect 20 tourist beaches. Authorities in Thailand have been coping with the problem of cigarette butts being thrown away and polluting the country’s wonderful beaches.
Tourism officials say, however, that there will be places further inland where tourists will be allowed to smoke.
The ban was proclaimed after authorities collected over 140,000 cigarette butts on a 2.5 km long stretch of beach on Phuket Island – 30% of all the total waste found near the coast.
Tourism makes up about 10% of the Thailand’s income. About 35 million people visit the country’s beaches every year.
affect = here: where the new law is put into effect
announce = to say in public
authorities = organisation or government department that has the power to make decisions
ban = law that forbids something
cigarette butt = part of a cigarette that remains when someone has finished smoking
cope = deal with
income = the money a country gets for services and products
inland = farther away from the beaches
obey = follow, respect
official = person who is in a high position
pollute = to make dirty
prison = building where you keep people as a punishment because they have done something wrong
proclaim = to say officially that something exists