Shocking New Pictures Of Coral Bleaching On Great Barrier Reef
12 March, 2017, 00:25 | Author: Lorena Waters
The corals aren't getting the chance to bounce back from last year's bleaching event.
The back-to-back bleaching is also an indication that the coral is losing its ability to recover from extreme heat, Neal Cantin from the Australian Institute of Marine Science said in the release. These coral rely on microscopic algae embedded in their tissue to produce food via photosynthesis.
"In these photos almost 100% of the corals are bleaching, and who knows how many will recover".
Brett Monroe Garner, a conservation photographer and marine biologist documenting the bleaching with Greenpeace, said: 'I've been photographing this area of the reef for several years now and what we're seeing is unprecedented.
Coral bleaching is the event in which the symbiotic relationship between the algae and the coral is damaged, and the algae are lost, leading the coral to lose its colorful pigment and subsequently die.
Great Barrier Reef in Australian is suffering from the unhealthy bleaching process the second year in a row. This is the result of 12 months of above average sea temperatures across the Reef.
"We can't afford to sit by and watch climate change drive all the world's coral reefs to extinctions by the end of the century", Julia Baum, a reef researcher at the University of Victoria, told Climate Central past year.
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An aerial survey showed the effects of climate change have now reached the central part of the reef, which remained relatively untouched in 2016.
"Just a few months ago, these corals were full of colour and life".
The algae that live inside corals give them their extraordinary color and provide the nutrients corals need to live, but corals have a limited temperature range in which they can survive. Now, everywhere you look is white.
"What's happening with global warming is that these events are becoming the new normal", he told BuzzFeed News. If oceans warm 2.7°F, it will essentially be a death sentence for most coral.
The survey will replicate one past year that drew global attention to the extent of damage to the natural wonder.
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