The Great Barrier Reef has been hit hard by climate change. As waters warm, the higher ocean temperatures force the coral to expel the algae that lives inside of it, providing it with both its nutrients and its brilliant colors. If the water does not cool fast enough and the algae does not return, the coral dies.
The non-profit organization Great Barrier Reef Legacy and marine scientist Charlie Veron, a world expert on coral reefs, confirmed the diversity of the site, also known as the "Legacy Super Site" on the outer reef.
For any nature lover, one of the most sobering pieces of information from this month's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report was that global warming of just two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels could kill off 99 percent of tropical coral reefs. And even if we act quickly and successfully limit warming to 1.5 degrees, 70 to 90 percent of these invaluable ecosystems will still be lost.
Now, an alarming forecast from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) shows that process could begin as early as this Australian summer in one of the most iconic reefs of all: the Great Barrier Reef.
In a recent interview with SkyNews, deputy prime minister Michael McCormack said Australia will "absolutely" continue to use and exploit its coal reserves regardless of what the IPCC report says.
The Great Barrier Reef—Australia's remarkable but imperiled natural wonder—is under risk of repeat coral bleaching events unless greenhouse gas emissions are slashed, Australia's Climate Council warned Thursday.
The new report, Lethal Consequences: Climate Change Impacts on the Great Barrier Reef, determined that by 2034, the extreme ocean temperatures that led to the mass bleaching events of 2016 and 2017 may occur every two years if emissions continue on current trends.
The Australian government announced Sunday its largest investment in the Great Barrier Reef to date. More than $500 million Australian dollars (US $379 million) will go towards helping the highly vulnerable site that's under threat from climate change.
Hope for Great Barrier Reef? New Study Shows Genetic Diversity of Coral Could Extend Our Chance to Save It
By Daisy Dunne
A new study published in Nature finds that the surge in sea temperatures during the 2016 bleaching event led to an immediate and long-lasting die-off of coral.