News Worms
News Worms

Another Mass Bleaching Occurs In Great Barrier Reef

Another Mass Bleaching Occurs In Great Barrier Reef

The region was home to some of the worst bleaching previous year and coral have been weakened by months on end of continued heat.

Corals can recover if the water temperature drops and the algae are able to recolonise them.

This is the first time we've had back-to-back bleaching. Algae is already beginning to overgrow numerous corals.

"As we saw previous year bleaching and mortality can be highly variable across the 344,000 square kilometre Marine Park - an area bigger than Italy", he said.

It follows pictures of newly bleached coral taken in recent weeks at Moore Reef, near Cairns, by the reef scientist Tyrone Ridgway, as well as by divers further south near Palm Island.

In 2015, UNESCO placed the Great Barrier Reef on its watchlist due to concerns about the Australian Government's management of the World Heritage Area.

For the second year in a row, a mass coral bleaching made its way to the Great Barrier Reef. The bleaching is the result of 12 months of above-average sea temperatures, which is "cooking the reef alive".

Images released by Greenpeace show another year of above average water temperatures is "cooking the reef alive", according to biologist Brett Monroe Garner. Now, everywhere you look is white.

The 2,300-kilometre reef suffered its most severe bleaching on record a year ago due to warming sea temperatures during March and April.

When water is too warm, corals expel the algae (zooxanthellae) living in their tissues causing the coral to turn completely white.

"What's happening with global warming is that these events are becoming the new normal", he told BuzzFeed News.

The second consecutive coral bleaching incident is bound to scar the reef permanently.

"We are working closely with the Commonwealth to ensure we gather all the information required to determine the extent of this latest bleaching event", Mr Miles said.

"It's vital the world acts to implement the Paris Agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions", he added.

'We are extremely concerned moving into the future'.

The bleaching has prompted Terry Hughes, a leading reef scientist at James Cook University who is also with the National Coral Bleaching Taskforce, to embark on a week-long aerial survey of the reef from next Wednesday.

The Australian and Queensland governments, which are obliged to show how they are jointly managing the reef's long-term conservation, acknowledge climate change is its main threat. "Tackling climate change is the only real solution here, and that starts by stopping public funding for climate-killing coal projects", Alix Foster Vander Elst said.


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