Great Barrier Reef Witnesses Worst Coral Bleaching in History
Great Barrier Reef Witnesses Worst Coral Bleaching in History

Major regions of the Great Barrier Reef are currently experiencing the worst coral bleaching in history, revealed Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority of Australia. Environmentalists have raised alarms about Great Barrier Reef in the past as well.

The northern region of over a thousand-miles long reef is witnessing massive bleaching, announced Terry Hughes, a professor at the James Cook University. This severe bleaching suggests that the conditions are serious for the reef, and harsh El Niño events are all set to initiate a bleaching event, the professor added.

Hughes, head of the Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, said researchers have surveyed more than 500 reefs north of Cairns in Australia. There were only four reefs that weren’t bleached, while over 95% of the reefs were among the top two severe bleaching categories, as per Hughes.

“A prior bleaching event in 2002 led to only 18% of reefs falling into these two categories, meaning that, at present, the northern barrier reef is much more severely bleached than ever before”, Hughes continued.

In a press release, the National Coral Bleaching Taskforce of Australia announced that the new findings by Hughes and other researchers didn’t mince words. Key sections of the Great Barrier Reef are currently seeing worst bleaching event observed in history, the taskforce added.

The Great Barrier Reef, where more than 400 coral species and 1,500 fish species, is a World Heritage Site. As per UNESCO, if it becomes compulsory to choose just one coral reef site for the World Heritage List, it will be the Great Barrier Reef.

As per experts, global warming is the major threat to corals around the world. When temperature of the sea rises, the skeletal growth of corals gets affected, they said.

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