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Great Barrier Reef in crisis

December 2, 2016

Higher water temperatures this year have caused the worst erosion of corals ever recorded on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

Scientists estimate two-thirds of coral coverage has died along a 700km stretch of reef off far north Queensland.

In February, March and April of this year, sea surface temperatures across the Great Barrier Reef were the hottest on record, at least 1°C higher than the monthly average.

These hotter than usual water temperatures cause coral bleaching. When water is too warm, corals will expel the algae (zooxanthellae) living in their tissues causing the coral to turn completely white.

When bleaching occurs, in the 6-12-month period afterwards, the corals either survive and regain their colour, or if they don’t regain their colour, they slowly die.

James Cook University researchers have been carrying out underwater surveys since the severe coral bleaching event.

They have confirmed that resulted in the largest die-off of corals ever recorded on the Reef – though some areas showed remarkable improvement.

It could take between 10 and 15 years for new corals to grow.

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6 Comments

  1. XxXCoolBoi420XxX

    December 13, 2016 at 9:43 am

    WOW! This can’t be true! 🙁 🙁 >:( D:

  2. XxXCoolGuy420XxX

    December 13, 2016 at 9:40 am

    Wow, thats really amazing!

  3. Pingu

    December 9, 2016 at 11:08 am

    I wanna see the Great Barrier Reef tho! NOOT NOOT!

  4. maddie

    December 6, 2016 at 8:59 am

    That is so sad I’ve never been there but from what I’ve heard its beatiful.
    Coral dying is such a major global warming aspect so I’m glad it’s been looked into.

  5. shafeek

    December 2, 2016 at 1:20 pm

    Thats horrible! I want to see the grat barrier reef!😭

  6. Rain-Yuchen Lin

    December 2, 2016 at 9:22 am

    WOW!

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