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35% of Northern and Central Great Barrier Reef Is Dead or Dying

Climate

According to Australian scientists, more than a third of the central and northern Great Barrier Reef has died as a result of mass bleaching in the last three months.

Bleached mature staghorn coral in February 2016 at Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef. It was dead and overgrown by algae by April 2016. Photo credit: ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies

This year’s bleaching event is considered the worst in history, exacerbated by a particularly strong El Nino this year and climate change.

"In the north, the mortality rates are off the scale,” said Prof. Terry Hughes, director of the ARC Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, about the northern reef where the mortality rate is reaching 50 percent.

For a deeper dive: Reuters, Washington PostIB TimesNew York TimesChristian Science Monitor

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