The Great Barrier Reef is threatened by the hot waters and climate change. The ARC Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at Australia’s James Cook University published its findings this Tuesday.
These discoveries are outlining a mass bleaching event taking place off the coast of Australia, according to the latest info coming from Gizmodo.
It’s important to note that bleaching occurs when the water is too hot, and it pushes out the symbiotic algae that are helping feed corals and gives them their color.
Even if it’s not always the case, bleaching has the ability to kill corals. The Great Barrier Reef has already seen its share of coral mortality.
The mass bleaching event seems to be much worse compared to other ones that took place in the recent five years – this marks a really sad trend.
“That is just a harrowing statistic and, of course, one that helps us remember the acute threat that global reefs are under every single year,” Kim Cobb, a coral researcher at Georgia Tech, told Earther – Gizmodo.
Cobb continued and highlighted: “But the Great Barrier Reef seems to be taking these repeated hits. It’s horrific to see.”
The same online publication reported that during the last two weeks of March, experts conducted aerial surveys of 1,036 coral reefs to measure just how massive this bleaching is.
The whole Great Barrier Reef is threatened
It’s been discovered that the northern, central, and southern sections of the reef were being threatened.
Back in 2916, the northern part was suffering the most and then in 2017, the central one. Now, it’s the whole thing.
“The issue with that is that when you have pockets of reefs that remain healthy through these events, you obviously stand a better chance at broader-scale resilience because you have a healthy adjoining reef to this larger system,” Cobb said.
The expert continued and explained, “That was a ray of bright light in the 2016 and 2017 bleaching events . This time, of course, that has been wiped out .”