It so happens to be the case that coral death rates have shot up in large portions of the Great Barrier Reef.
Most of the coral is no longer alive in the Great Barrier Reef which lies off the coast of Australia. Or at least this was the news when a survey of 84 similar reefs around the global village took place.
This massive bleaching effect has wreaked havoc on this heritage of marine biology. About 35% of the coral is dead as a door-nail. Some of it is also in the process of dying. This is taking place in the north and central regions of the Great Barrier Reef.
The Australian research authorities reported this sad fact recently. However, every cloud has a silver lining. Only 5% of the coral south of Cairns has died thus opening the way for tourists to carry on their activities which benefit the tourism industry.
Yet almost 93% of the Great Barrier Reef has had to undergo the ordeals of bleaching. Portions of coral tend to bleach when the temperatures get too hot.
Once the heat descends on the corals, they give up their colorful algae and become bleached as a result. Meanwhile, after the heat exceeds a certain limit, the coral dies and is replaced by seaweed.
Yet Nature’s flexible standards may be observed in the fact that this process is reversible. Sometimes if the temperatures return to normal, the coral reef tends to go back to its colorful living state. This is what has occurred south of Cairns. South of Cairns, at least 95% of the reefs have managed to eke out an existence. Even the ones that have been bleached have only suffered mildly.
Such a bleaching effect would have not have taken place had global warming not become the order of the day. The release of greenhouse gases has wrecked the environment beyond relief.
Within the next two decades, we will feel the pinch as far as environmental degradation is concerned. This is the third time in more than a dozen and a half years that the Great Barrier Reef has suffered the consequences of global warming.
Overall global temperatures have risen by one degrees celsius since pre-industrial times. Time is of the essence. Unfortunately there is not much of it left.
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It is all we have before the crescendo of man-made catastrophes collide leading to wholesale extinction of flora and fauna on the small planet we inhabit.