Australia's Great Barrier Reef Corals Suffering from Bleaching and Dying

Australia's Great Barrier Reef Corals Suffering from Bleaching and Dying


Scientists are sounding the alarm - a majority of the corals of Australia's Great Barrier Reef are suffering from bleaching, leading to their death. The disease has already affected 73% of the corals, or about three quarters of the entire reef. According to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, more than 50 countries and regions have experienced mass reef bleaching in the past 15 months. Experts attribute this to climate change, which is leading to the warming of ocean surface waters.

As explained by climatologists, bleaching is caused by rising water temperatures, which force the corals to expel the colorful algae that live in their tissues. However, corals cannot survive without these algae, which provide them with nutrients, and they die. In late April, the world's leading coral reef monitoring body, Coral Reef Watch, announced that this is the fourth global reef bleaching event in the past three decades.

"The Great Barrier Reef is an incredible ecosystem, and while it has proven its resilience time and again, climate change poses a major threat to the reef in Australia, as well as to coral reefs in other regions," warned Roger Beeden of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.

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