Great Barrier Reef Recovery Is Slowed Down By Climate Change

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It is no secret that climate change, and ocean warming as one of its consequences, has a massive impact on our planet, and there have been plenty of victims so far. As it turns out, the Great Barrier Reef is also affected by global warming. In Australia, rising temperatures delay the recovery of the Great Barrier Reef.

That coral reef is the biggest one in the world, and it can even be seen from space. The Great Barrier Reef has 2,300 km in length, and it has been dramatically damaged by coral bleaching events in 2016 and 2017. A new study analyzed the Great Barrier Reef.

“The number of new corals settling on the Great Barrier Reef declined by 89 percent following the unprecedented loss of adult corals from global warming in 2016 and 2017,” explained Terry Hughes, lead author of the study published in Nature magazine.

The Great Barrier Reef might face some serious problems due to coral bleaching events caused by climate change

Those numbers are unfortunate, as corals can’t reproduce if they are dead. Therefore, the future of the Great Barrier Reef is an uncertain one. “Dead corals don’t make babies,” added Hughes, also director of the Center for Excellence in Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University (JCU).

The study took a closer look at the survival rate of the Great Barrier Reef’s corals after 2016 and 2017. The coral bleaching events led to a downfall in repopulation capacity when researchers compared it to the previous years, such as the ones before 2016-17 when ocean warming due to climate change hit its maximum.

“The number of coral larvae that are produced each year, and where they travel to before settling on a reef, are vital components of the resilience of the Great Barrier Reef. Our study shows that reef resilience is now severely compromised,” the study’s co-author Andrew Baird explained.


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