Read the story here. Advertise at Before It's News here.
Profile image
Story Views
Last hour:
Last 24 hours:

Two-thirds of the Great Barrier Reef is bleached from climate change

% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents.

Two-thirds of the Australia’s Great Barrier Reef – an estimated 900 mile (1,500 km) stretch of the UNESCO World Heritage Site – have been damaged by “unprecedented” bleaching over the past two years, researchers from James Cook University in Queensland have revealed.

Aerial surveys conducted by Professor Terry Hughes, director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at the university and his colleagues discovered bleaching in back-to-back years for the first time ever, according to BBC News and the Washington Post.

While last year, the northern part of the reef was hit hard by bleaching, this year the majority of the damage was suffered in the middle section, the climate scientists discovered. In light of their discovery, experts are concerned that there is little hope of recovery for the damaged coral.

“Last year we lost 67 percent… of the corals in the northern 700 kilometers (430 miles) of the barrier reef, between March and October. We’re likely to see something similar happen now in the middle third this year,” Hughes told the Post. “That’s obviously an enormous loss over two-thirds of the Great Barrier Reef.”

“I wouldn’t say the barrier reef is dying. But clearly, we’re measuring serious losses here,” he added. “And the reason it’s happening is global warming.”

‘Window’ to deal with climate change ‘is rapidly closing’

That’s obviously bad news for a place that, according to BBC News, has been called the “most biodiverse” of the planet’s World Heritage sites and an area of “enormous scientific and intrinsic importance.” The 1,400 mile (2,250 km) reef is the largest structure of its kind on Earth.

Coral bleaching occurs as a result of unusual increases in water temperature – a naturally-occurring phenomenon that is believed to be made worse by human-caused climate change. An estimated 93 percent of all increases in the Earth’s heat are absorbed by oceans, and when that happens, it causes corals to become stressed, resulting in the loss of photosynthetic algae.

The loss of that algae, better known as zooxanthellae, causes the coral to lose their color and turn while, indicating that their metabolism has been disturbed. If conditions are returned to normal, then the corals can recover in a few decades but is the stress is not alleviated, the corals can die. With bleaching events recorded in consecutive years, scientists are concerned that the reef might not be able to recover.

“Bleached corals are not necessarily dead corals, but in the severe central region we anticipate high levels of coral loss,” Dr. James Kerry, who led the aerial surveys, told Sky News. “It takes at least a decade for a full recovery of even the fastest growing corals, so mass bleaching events 12 months apart offers zero prospect of recovery for reefs that were damaged in 2016.”

“Clearly the reef is struggling with multiple impacts. Without a doubt the most pressing of these is global warming. As temperatures continue to rise the corals will experience more and more of these events. Ultimately, we need to cut carbon emissions, and the window to do so is rapidly closing,” added Hughes, who went on to tell BBC News, “The sooner we take action on global greenhouse gas emissions and transition away from fossil fuels to renewables, the better.”


Image credit: Ed Roberts/ARC

The post Two-thirds of the Great Barrier Reef is bleached from climate change appeared first on Redorbit.
offers Science, Space, Technology, Health news, videos, images and reference information. For the latest science news, space news, technology news, health news visit frequently. Learn something new every day.”


Before It’s News® is a community of individuals who report on what’s going on around them, from all around the world.

Anyone can join.
Anyone can contribute.
Anyone can become informed about their world.

"United We Stand" Click Here To Create Your Personal Citizen Journalist Account Today, Be Sure To Invite Your Friends.

Please Help Support BeforeitsNews by trying our Natural Health Products below!

Order by Phone at 888-809-8385 or online at M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Order by Phone at 888-388-7003 or online at M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Order by Phone at 888-388-7003 or online at M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Humic & Fulvic Trace Minerals Complex - Nature's most important supplement! Vivid Dreams again!

HNEX HydroNano EXtracellular Water - Improve immune system health and reduce inflammation

Ultimate Clinical Potency Curcumin - Natural pain relief, reduce inflammation and so much more.

MitoCopper - Bioavailable Copper destroys pathogens and gives you more energy. (See Blood Video)
Oxy Powder - Natural Colon Cleanser!  Cleans out toxic buildup with oxygen! 
Nascent Iodine - Promotes detoxification, mental focus and thyroid health.
Smart Meter Cover -  Reduces Smart Meter radiation by 96%!  (See Video)

Immusist Beverage Concentrate - Proprietary blend, formulated to reduce inflammation while hydrating and oxygenating the cells.

Report abuse


    Your Comments
    Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green

    Load more ...




    Email this story
    Email this story

    If you really want to ban this commenter, please write down the reason:

    If you really want to disable all recommended stories, click on OK button. After that, you will be redirect to your options page.