Things Go From Bad To Worse On The Great Barrier Reef

Posted April 11, 2017

"The combined impact of this back-to-back bleaching stretches for 1,500 km (900 miles), leaving only the southern third unscathed", professor Terry Hughes, director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University who headed up the aerial surveys, said in a university statement.

The ARC Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies released results of an expansive aerial survey of the Great Barrier Reef this Sunday.

The record-breaking bleaching event past year killed, on average, about 67 percent of the 500-mile coral stretch in the northern section of the reef.

For the second time in 12 months, Australia's Great Barrier Reef has experienced a severe coral bleaching event.

Hughes spent a lot of time flying above the reefs to identify areas where bleaching was occurring and then divers working on the study also went underwater to verify the findings discovered during aerial observation.

The Great Barrier Reef is suffering yet another mass coral bleaching event, scientists announced on Sunday, the latest gut punch delivered to the planet's largest living structure by humanity.

The 2017 survey of the reef covered more than 8,000km (5,000 miles) and almost 800 coral reefs that matched the 2016 aerial surveys.

Researchers have declared that this year coral bleaching event has severely affected the central part of the reef.

Tropical Cyclone Debbie also destroyed parts of the reef around the Whitsundays, a popular tourist destination that had largely escaped the worst of the bleaching so far.

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"Clearly the reef is struggling with multiple impacts", said Hughes.

Coral bleaching occurs when water temperatures in the reef are too hot or too cold for corals.

"There is a rapidly closing window where we still have the opportunity to address this issue".

AN AREA the size of India could be lost to global warming with each additional degree the earth heats, Yorkshire scientists said last night.

The Great Barrier Reef is home to many species of fish - such as clownfish, groupers, surgeonfish and trout.

The biology experts fear the proximity of the two events will give bleached coral tiny chance to recover.

Speaking to The Guardian, Mr Hughes said there is concern over the frequency of bleaching of the reef when it takes around 10 years for some of the coral to recover from these events.

Essentially bleaching is when the water becomes so warm the corals stress and eject symbiotic algae. "Last year was bad enough, this year is a disaster year", Brodie said. The reefs which were damaged two years in a row, the problem reached to be extremely severe because they are dying off. Kerry said bleached corals don't always die, but take at least a decade to make a full recovery, so with back-to-back bleaching they expect coral loss.