Australia: 98% Great Barrier Reef bleached due to the climate crisis



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Australia: 98% Great Barrier Reef bleached due to the climate crisis

The bleaching of Australia's Great Barrier Reef has reached 98%, saving only a fraction of the largest set of corals in the world, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1981. The Great Barrier Reef has undergone three other major bleaching episodes since 1998, in 2016, 2017 and 2020.

Researchers assured last July that the corals had shown signs of healing since the last bleaching, but warned that the long outlook term of this 2,300 km long ecosystem are very bad. The reef is also threatened by cyclones, increasingly frequent due to global warming, and by a starfish (purple acanthaster) which devours corals and which has proliferated due to pollution and agricultural runoff.

It was announced by a study published in the journal Current Biology, according to which only 2% of this immense underwater ecosystem has escaped the phenomenon since the first major bleaching episode in 1998. The frequency, intensity and amplitude of marine heat waves that cause it continue to increase, points out study lead author Terry Hughes, of the Australian Research Council (Arc) Center of Excellence based at James Cook University.

This is a phenomenon of deterioration, which results in a discoloration of the corals, due to the rise in the water temperature which causes the expulsion of symbiotic algae that usually give the coral its color and its nutrients.

Air pollution brings developmental problems for children

Air pollution is a form of pollution, that is the set of all physical, chemical and biological agents that modify the natural characteristics of the earth's atmosphere.

The effects on human health due to poor air quality mainly involve the respiratory system and the cardiovascular system. Outdoor air pollution causes 2.1 to 4.21 million deaths each year. Overall, air pollution causes the deaths of approximately 7 million people worldwide each year and is the single largest environmental health risk in the world.

The various means of transport can impact the environment differently depending on their characteristics, first of all the greater the size and weight of the vehicle, the greater the energy needed to accelerate and stop the vehicle, generating a greater impact than a small vehicle.

of equal technology, both as regards the pollutants produced by the engine and its power source (petrol, diesel, LPG, methane, electricity, etc.) and the dust produced by tires and brakes, but also the environmental impact to produce the vehicle varies greatly both in size and technology, as well as in the production process adopted by the relative company, the last factor is the disposal at the end of the life cycle of the vehicle, some solutions that can be very valid to reduce the production of pollutants.

The study: Air pollution and neurological development in children, published on the Developmental medicine and child neurology, tries to go in depth on an aspect that concerns transversely but also directly air pollution.

We can read: "Pregnancy and early childhood are periods with high plasticity in neurological development. Environmental perturbations during these sensitive windows can have lifelong developmental consequences. This review summarizes key findings relevant to the effects of air pollution on neurological development.

Mounting evidence suggests that exposure to air pollution, both during pregnancy and childhood, is associated with childhood developmental outcomes ranging from changes in brain structures to subclinical deficits in developmental test scores, and, ultimately, developmental disorders such as attention-deficit / hyperactivity disorders or autism spectrum disorders.

Although the biological mechanisms of effects remain to be elucidated, multiple pathways are probably involved and include oxidative stress, inflammation, and / or endocrine disruption. Given the alarming global increase in developmental disorders in recent years, and increased human exposures to pollution, it is critic al to reduce personal and community-level exposures through tight collaboration of interdisciplinary and multi-level bodies including community partners, physicians, industry partners, policy makers, public health practitioners, and researchers.

WHAT THIS PAPER ADDS: Exposure to air pollution is associated with a range of childhood developmental complications. Biological mechanisms may include oxidative stress, inflammation, and endocrine disruption. "