Great Barrier Reef may never recover from warming

Rodiano Bonacci
Ottobre 14, 2020

The Great Barrier Reef's corals have been halved over the past 25 years, with scientists identifying climate change and bleaching as culprits.

An undated handout photo received from the ARC Centre of Excellence Coral Reef Studies on October 14, 2020 shows a damaged part of the Great Barrier Reef.

Coral bleaching occurs when conditions including too much light cause corals to be put under stress, causing them to expel the symbiotic algae living in their pores and turning them white.

"Our results show the Great Barrier Reef's resilience - and its regression - is being compromised compared to the past because there are fewer children and larger breeding adults", he said.

"It was the worst in 2016 and 2017, affected by the record temperatures that triggered mass bleaching", Hughes said.

Researchers at the ARC Center for Coral Studies in Queensland, northeastern Australia, estimated the coral communities and their colony size along the length of the Great Barrier Reef between 1995 and 2017 and that nearly all coral populations were declining, they said on Tuesday.

Well, by making The Great Barrier Reef a citizen of Australia, she'll be protected by key Australian rights and freedoms: the right to the highest attainable standard of physical health; freedom from torture or cruel, degrading or inhuman treatment and punishment;the right to maintain your own means of subsistence; and the right to life.

"A vibrant coral population has millions of small, baby corals, as well as many large ones, the big mamas who produce most of the larvae", the study's lead author Andy Dietzel, also from James Cook University, said.

Coral population sizes are also considered vital when it comes to the coral's ability to breed. The Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef or coral reef in the world.

Together with his co-authors, Dr. Dietzel evaluated coral communities and the size of their colony along the length of the Great Barrier Reef between 1995 and 2017.

Declines were observed in both shallow and deep water and were especially pronounced along the reef's northern and central regions.

Those types of corals are known for their significant structures for reef inhabitants like fish.

The capacity of the Great Barrier Reef to bounce back is increasingly compromised, said Hughes. The number of coral colonies along sections of 30 reefs had fallen by over 50% in 20 years apart, in 1996 and 2016 respectively.

Authors of the study, published Wednesday in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, warn "there is no time to lose" in ensuring carbon emissions are rapidly reduced. Even with its enormous size, the supposed resilience of the Great Barrier Reef has no match when it comes to climate change.

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