Great Barrier Reef Bleaching Kills Record Corals This Year

Posted: Nov 29 2016, 5:52am CST | by , in Latest Science News


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Great Barrier Reef Bleaching Kills Record Corals This Year
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  • Great Barrier Reef Faced Record Coral Bleaching This Year

The Great Barrier Reef faced the most devastating bleaching this year. It is just a shadow of the reef it used to be.

Heating of the oceanic waters caused the Great Barrier Reef to undergo degradation in 2016. Over 67% of the corals died off. In the center there were still some signs of life.

Here only 6% of the corals died out. The southern areas are in a healthy state though. Yet scientists have said in an official statement that the rehabilitation of the corals would be a fool’s errand if climate change continues unimpeded in its pace.

Coral bleaching occurs when there is a rise in temperatures. During certain months of 2016, sea temperatures were at least one degree Celsius higher than usual.

Heat stress was the culprit all along. The coral got cooked. Starvation is an issue that has plagued the coral since a long time. After the colorful algae zooxanthella which turned sunlight into nutrients was expelled from the corals, the white skeletal appearance became more prominent.

The corals were left without their main source of nutrition. As for the corals which survived the onslaught of heating and zooxanthella expulsion, they fell prey to snails and crown of thorns starfish.

The massive bleaching of the corals in 2016 was even worse than what occurred in 1998 and 2002. Carbon emissions are responsible for the increased water temperatures.

Within two decades, the climate change could cause even further bleaching to occur. The northern areas of the Great Barrier Reef have faced the worst bleaching.

Lizard Island near Queensland is an area where 90% of the coral has died. Lizard Island is a region where scientists have returned again and again to carry out research on marine life.

It doesn’t look good at all. While there is the problem of misreporting regarding the bleaching of corals, much of the Great Barrier Reef does not present a pretty picture.

Without this environmental buffer and stabilizer, we wouldn’t be able to survive at all. Therefore it is of paramount importance that our politicians and government leaders do what they can to get the legislation regarding carbon emissions off the ground.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
Sumayah Aamir (Google+) has deep experience in analyzing the latest trends.




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