Scientists have found that the Great Barrier Reef almost got completely destroyed thousands of years ago.
A scientific study, led by the University of Sydney, of the Great Barrier Reef during its last interglacial period showed that it nearly got drowned. While it did have some degree of stability of its own, the impact that changes had on it time after time led to large parts of it becoming destroyed.
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This was due to rising sea levels during that period. Melting glaciers and polar sea ice were the reason behind the rising sea levels.
All this holds many lessons for today’s atmosphere of climate change. The Great Barrier Reef still showed much in the way of resilience about 125,000 years ago.
Yet the modern day problems are once again destroying it. Insecticides, global warming and mining activity not to mention rising sea levels could spell doom for the Great Barrier Reef.
The last interglacial period was a period of changes and transformations. It was hotter than it is today and sea levels were rising as well. Yet that past is where we might be headed in the future if we don’t stop climate change dead in its tracks.
The research involved an analysis of parts of the reef that were 40 meters below sea level. The age of the fossil remains of the reef below the Great Barrier Reef was also calculated.
This reef is actually like a layer cake. The upper crust is the latest addition in the series of layers. Samples of the reef were taken and made a part of the study, published in the journal Global and Planetary Change.
The fossilized parts of the reef nearly got drowned out several hundreds of thousands of years ago. There is a fear among scientists that history may repeat itself.
Yet it is being hoped that mankind will finally awaken to the climate change dangers extant in today’s world. This way the reef may be saved from imminent disaster.
The sea levels could rise by six meters which is equal to what happened way back in the interglacial period. Thus the reef’s resilience will have to be beefed up using human ingenuity and creativity.
Reef management and the reduction of the human impact on it are two objectives before the authorities concerned with the conservation of this marine sanctuary. However, were climate change to go ahead in its relentless march, the Great Barrier Reef would get drowned out in no time.