Over the past five years, global warming has once again targeted Australia’s coral reefs. The Great Barrier Reef of the GBR experiences its third massive coral bleaching. The last eruption of this species took place in 2016 and 2017 and destroyed almost half of the shallow water coral. The GBR is the largest reef system in the world and it is in danger. Professor Terry Hughes of James Cook University is an expert in the study of coral reefs and has conducted a detailed study on the subject. He has taken aerial photographs of hundreds of individual reefs and has reported for some media: We know that this is massive money laundering and that it is a serious event. He also added that the current money laundering rate is higher than in 1998 and 2002.
It remains to be seen how this relates to the discolourations of 2016 and 2017.
According to the custodian bank, the professor, in collaboration with those involved in the care of the Great Barrier Reef, carried out the research with a reconnaissance aircraft. She flew low to assess the degree and severity of discoloration. It is a consequence of global warming caused by greenhouse gases and is considered a major threat to coral reef ecosystems.
Besides, not all bleached corals die. A white colour is created when they stay in warm water for a long time. Recovery is possible if the temperature drops, otherwise they die.
More coral bleaching in shallow water
The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicts the loss of most tropical coral reefs, even if global warming were limited to 1.5°C. If the temperature were kept at 1.2°C, the reefs would be in great danger. In this context, it should be noted that the world was already warmed up by 1C after the Industrial Revolution.
As a result, the rise in global temperature will damage coral reefs.
This has never happened before.
The beautiful Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Australia is whiter than ever as the higher sea temperature warms the coral and makes it fade. https://t.co/okqyiQgsar.
– New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) 24. March 2020.
The Guardian quotes Hughes, who says the impact of coral bleaching on popular tourist destinations between Cairns and Pentecost is minimal.
The type of bleaching was mild, and they could recover over time. However, some young corals are bleached in the central part of the reef. The authorities’ report indicates that the prospects for reefs need to be improved. The Great Barrier Reef is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the massive bleaching operations associated with it can be a major problem.
Global warming threat to Australian coral reefs
According to NBC News, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is a tourist destination. There is a risk of large-scale coral bleaching. Scientists attribute this to the rise in global temperature in connection with the associated warming of the oceans.
These are threats to vulnerable corals. The current money laundering is the third such event in the last five years. This alerted the experts. Fading due to heat would be natural, but climate change has increased its frequency and the corals have no time to recover and grow. Professor Terry Hughes says the gap between one event and another is narrowing, not just for the Great Barrier Reef, but for reefs in all the tropics. He added that recovery takes time. Even fast-growing corals take about ten years to develop, and slow-growing corals can take much longer.
Coral reefs are part of the marine ecosystem
The Great Barrier Reef is a world heritage site. It is also an integral part of the marine ecosystem. NBC News reports that the GBR covers a large area stretching almost 1,500 miles off the Queensland coast. It is home to a variety of marine organisms such as fish, turtles, molluscs, etc. Coral fading is the result of abnormal water conditions. One is when the sea temperature fluctuates, the other when the sea water becomes more acidic. Such environmental pollution causes corals to lose their attractive colour and turn white as ghosts.
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