Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Dramatic Images Show Worst Coral Bleaching Event to Ever Hit Most Pristine Part of Great Barrier Reef

Climate

Dramatic new video and still shots of coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef's Lizard Island show the sort of damage that has prompted the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority to lift its response to Level 3—the highest response level.

The video was shot by a CoralWatch team led by Prof. Justin Marshall from the University of Queensland and the stills were shot by XL Catlin Seaview Survey.

Three weeks ago Lizard Island was suffering the worst bleaching in 15 years and it has deteriorated further since then.

Filming the coral bleaching, Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, March 2016. Photo credit: XL Catlin Seaview Survey

World Wildlife Fund spokesperson Richard Leck said the increased surveying and monitoring announced by Great Barrier Reef Marine Park was a positive step but we must also address the climate crisis—fueled by the burning of fossil fuels—that is driving coral bleaching.

“The new video and stills are very concerning and show large sections of coral drained of all color and fighting for survival," he said. "This is the worst coral bleaching event ever to hit this most pristine part of the Great Barrier Reef.

Coral bleaching, Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, March 2016. Photo credit: XL Catlin Seaview Survey

“As the IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] has stated coral bleaching is the most widespread and conspicuous impact of climate change.

"We can turn this around. The reef can recover but we must speed up the shift to clean, renewable energy and we must build reef resilience by reducing runoff pollution from farms and land clearing. Australia must speed up the transition to clean energy—like solar and wind—by setting a target of 100 percent renewable electricity by 2035.

“And a legal cap on chemical pollution running into the reef's waters would build reef resilience and help it survive while the world tackles climate change."

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Red From 'Angry Birds' Tackles Climate Change

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Pixabay

By Lauren Panoff, MPH, RD

Fresh fruits and vegetables are a healthy way to incorporate vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants into your diet.

Read More Show Less
These 19 organizations and individuals represent a small portion of the efforts underway to fight racism and inequality and to build stronger Black communities and food systems. rez-art / Getty Images

By Danielle Nierenberg

Following the murder of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis, people around the United States are protesting racism, police brutality, inequality, and violence in their own communities. No matter your political affiliation, the violence by multiple police departments in this country is unacceptable.

Read More Show Less
Residents plant mangroves on the coast of West Aceh District in Indonesia on Feb. 21, 2020. Mangroves play a crucial role in stabilizing the coastline, providing protection from storms, waves and tidal erosion. Dekyon Eon / Opn Images / Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Mangroves play a vital role in capturing carbon from the atmosphere. Mangrove forests are tremendous assets in the fight to stem the climate crisis. They store more carbon than a rainforest of the same size.

Read More Show Less
UN World Oceans Day is usually an invite-only affair at the UN headquarters in New York, but this year anyone can join in by following the live stream on the UNWOD website from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST. https://unworldoceansday.org/

Monday is World Oceans Day, but how can you celebrate our blue planet while social distancing?

Read More Show Less
Cryptococcus yeasts (pictured), including ones that are hybrids, can cause life-threatening infections in primarily immunocompromised people. KATERYNA KON/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY / Getty Images

By Jacob L. Steenwyk and Antonis Rokas

From the mythical minotaur to the mule, creatures created from merging two or more distinct organisms – hybrids – have played defining roles in human history and culture. However, not all hybrids are as fantastic as the minotaur or as dependable as the mule; in fact, some of them cause human diseases.

Read More Show Less
National Trails Day 2020 is now titled In Solidarity, AHS Suspends Promotion of National Trails Day 2020. The American Hiking Society is seeking to amplify Black voices in the outdoor community and advocate for equal access to the outdoors. Klaus Vedfelt / DigitalVision / Getty Images

This Saturday, June 6, marks National Trails Day, an annual celebration of the remarkable recreational, scenic and hiking trails that crisscross parks nationwide. The event, which started in 1993, honors the National Trail System and calls for volunteers to help with trail maintenance in parks across the country.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Indigenous people from the Parque das Tribos community mourn the death of Chief Messias of the Kokama tribe from Covid-19, in Manaus, Brazil, on May 14, 2020. MICHAEL DANTAS / AFP / Getty Images

By John Letzing

This past Wednesday, when some previously hard-hit countries were able to register daily COVID-19 infections in the single digits, the Navajo Nation – a 71,000 square-kilometer (27,000-square-mile) expanse of the western US – reported 54 new cases of what's referred to locally as "Dikos Ntsaaígíí-19."

Read More Show Less