Great Barrier Reef Face Permanent Destruction

Extreme temperatures are causing severe bleaching to large sections of the Great Barrier Reef, according to a Australian study.

The Great Barrier Reef, off the coast of Queensland in northeastern Australia, is world's largest coral reef system stretching for over 2,300 kilometres (area - 344,400 square kilometres) and is even visible from outer space.

Overheated seawater destroyed about 22% of coral in 2016, the warmest recorded year and continued high temperatures this year have not only hindered the recovery but further killed off previously safe sections of the reef.

Australian Government's Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority declared “regrettably” widespread damage after aerial surveys last month.

The authority’s David Wachenfeld told ABC news that real danger lies ahead as “the climate is changing and that is bringing a much greater frequency of extreme weather events to the Great Barrier Reef”.

“In total, those extreme weather events and the overall impact of climate change is a major threat to the future of the reef.”

Mature stands of clonal staghorn corals on Lizard Island in the Great Barrier Reef could be seen destroyed by
 heat stress on Feb. 26, 2016, at left, and colonized by algae just a few weeks later on April 19, at right.CreditPhotographs by Terry Hughes et al./Nature

Dr Jim Salinger, a kiwi scientist, has said about the reef that 'See it while you still can'.

"The extreme marine heatwave in 2016 killed two-thirds of the corals along a 700km stretch of the northern Great Barrier Reef, from Port Douglas to Papua New Guinea.

"It caused dramatic change for the reef and that climate change is here now.

"The message is simple - visit it now otherwise if we see more diebacks of corals in the next few years, little if any action on emissions and inadequate progress on water quality, then an 'in danger' listing in 2020 as a World Heritage area."


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