People, Environment

DOE to Probe Persian Gulf Coral Bleaching

DOE to Probe Persian Gulf Coral BleachingDOE to Probe Persian Gulf Coral Bleaching

The Department of Environment will dispatch a team to evaluate the extent of coral bleaching in the Persian Gulf and find its cause, according to Davoud Mirsehkar, the director of Aquatic Biomes Office at DOE.

The team, which will be dispatched in two weeks, will study the phenomenon on the islands of Nayband, Khark, Kharko, Qeshm, Lark and Hengam, as well as Chabahar Port, Mehr News Agency reported.

“Results of the investigation will be published after a final review by officials of the department,” Mirshekar said.

The gradual rise in global temperatures poses a serious threat to coral reefs in the Persian Gulf.

For the past two years, there have been scattered reports of coral bleaching in the region. While coral bleaching reverses after summer when the temperatures drop, consistently high temperatures in recent years have ensured corals receive no respite.

“Global warming has robbed the corals of their ability to recover. Soon, the rising temperatures will affect more resilient species,” Seyyed Mohammad Hashem Dakhteh, head of Qeshm Free Zone’s Department of Environment, warned last week.

He said the situation is being monitored by the department’s Marine Biology Office, adding that recent studies show coral reefs in the Persian Gulf are not adapting to the rising temperatures.

“The department is cooperating with the Coral Watch Organization at the University of Queensland in Australia. We’ve sent them all the data obtained from our studies,” he said.

In addition to corals, many other marine species are on the verge of extinction.

“Ecosystems on lands are not immune to the effects of global warming either. Many forests are currently withering,” Mirshekar said.