Now may be your last chance to see the Great Barrier Reef
Now may be your last chance to see the Great Barrier Reef.
For the first time, the bleaching event immediately followed another the year before—which was the bleaching ever recorded on the reef.
Bleached corals are not necessarily dead, but the one-two punch of consecutive bleaching events all but seals a deathly fate for large swaths of the reef.
Hughes and his team conducted the aerial survey that confirmed both 2016 and 2017 bleaching events.
Rising sea temperatures driven by global warming are primarily to blame for the widespread and rapid degradation of the reef.
Four mass bleaching events in the Great Barrier Reef have now occurred since just 1998; none had ever been recorded before that year.
Corals bleach when the water warms to a temperature above what they can tolerate.
If the warm temperatures persist, the chance of recovery goes down.
And to have a greater chance at recovery, bleached reef must be connected with healthy reef, so the reef can repopulate with new coral polyps.
Jon Brodie, a scientist who has on water quality issues affecting reefs, told the Guardian the Great Barrier Reef is now in a “terminal stage.” “We’ve given up.