September 30, 2022

Great Barrier Reef: 91% of reefs surveyed suffered coral bleaching in 2022

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Scientists at the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) Confirmed in March It was the sixth major reef bleaching incident on record and the fourth since 2016.
But Tuesday’s report, Reef Snapshot: Summer 2021-22Almost every coral reef surveyed in the 1,400 mile (2,300 km) system has been affected by bleaching.
Coral reefs are the most dynamic marine ecosystem on Earth – in between One-fourth and one-third of all marine species Trust them at some point in your life cycle. But the rapid warming of the planet due to human emissions of heat trapped gases is causing higher than average water temperatures, leading to massive stresses such as bleaching.
Coral bleaching occurs when the water temperature is warmer than normal. But for the first time, it comes with massive bleaching La NinaThe scientists said that the weather event which is characterized by the colder than normal temperature in the equatorial Pacific Ocean.

The report surveyed a total of 719 rocks from low-flying aircraft during the Australian summer 2021-2022 and found that 654 rocks, 91%, “exhibit some bleaching.”

“Surveys confirm the occurrence of large-scale bleaching, with coral bleaching observed on multiple rocks in all regions. This is the fourth large-scale bleaching since 2016 and the Great Barrier Reef since 1998. Is the sixth such incident, “the Australian government’s Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority said in a statement.

The waters of the Great Barrier Reef began to warm in December 2021 and exceeded the “historic summer limit”. The report said that by early April 2022, it had experienced three separate heat waves during the summer, which increased the “thermal stress” in the central and northern parts of the reef.

Stress coral removes algae from its tissues, depriving it of food. If conditions do not improve, corals can starve to death, turning its carbonate skeleton white when exposed.

The Great Barrier Reef is the victim of the sixth large-scale bleaching incident.  Here's why scientists are concerned.
“Even the strongest corals take about a decade to heal,” said Judy Romer, an associate professor of marine biology at James Cook University in Townsville. Told CNN in March.

“So we’re really losing that window of recovery. We’re getting back-to-back bleaching events, back-to-back heat waves. And the corals aren’t just adapting to these new conditions,” he said.

The report warns that the climate crisis is the biggest threat to the rock and that “disruptions to the rock are becoming more frequent.”

This is the fourth large-scale bleaching in six years. First after 2020When symptoms appeared in a quarter of the surveyed rock Severe bleaching. The incident comes just three years after a series of bleaching incidents in 2016 and 2017. The last bleaching took place in 1998 and 2002.

Scientists say time is running out for rehabilitation of rocks and governments urgently need to address the root cause: the climate crisis.

This March 7 photo shows the current state of coral reefs on the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Queensland, Australia.
“To give our rock a chance to fight, we must tackle the number one problem: climate change. No amount of funding will stop these bleaching incidents unless we reduce our emissions this decade.” Will do, “said Amanda McKenzie, CEO of the Meteorological Council. In March.

The Great Barrier Reef is one of Australia’s national treasures, stretching about 1,400 miles (2,300 km) off the coast of Queensland, and attracted about 3 million tourists a year before the epidemic.

The Australian government has been under intense pressure from UNESCO to prove that it is doing enough to save the rock, and global meteorologists have called for, among others, to move Australia away from fossil fuels and green. Not doing enough to reduce house gas emissions.

The report comes as leading scientists called on the agency to release its findings ahead of the May 21 federal election.

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