Great Barrier Bleaching by 91%, Lissa Schindler: "Terrible News"
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Great Barrier Reef in Australia in serious danger, due to coral bleaching reached 91%. A survey by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park found that mass bleaching affected 91% of the shoals examined, according to the report cited by the Guardian Australia.
Bleaching occurs when coral is stressed by above average water temperatures. The animal in the coral expels the photosynthetic algae which feeds it and gives it the attractive colors. Lissa Schindler, campaign manager for the Australian Marine Conservation Society, told the Guardian Australia: "This is terrible news for those who love the Barrier, yet another demonstration that cutting fossil fuel emissions must be a top priority for the next.
Australian government, after the federal elections of 21 May."
The Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral expanse in the world, consisting of over 2 900 single reefs and 900 islands. It extends for 2 300 km, covering an area of approximately 344 400 km².
It is one of Australia's largest tourist attractions, generating AU $ 5 billion in income annually. The Great Barrier Reef is located off the coast of Queensland in northeastern Australia. The Great Barrier Reef can be seen from space and is the largest structure made up of living organisms.
The structure is made up of billions of tiny organisms known as coral polyps. The reef has great biodiversity, and was included as a World Heritage Site in 1981. A large part of the reef is protected by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, which helps limit human impact, such as overfishing and tourism.
Other environmental pressures for the reef and its ecosystem are the quality of runoff water, climate change along with coral bleaching. In 2016 the Great Barrier Reef, according to a study published in Nature in March 2017, underwent unprecedented bleaching due to a sea temperature rise of 4 degrees, which led to the death of more than 20% of corals; in the north, two thirds have even disappeared.
David Wachenfeld, co-author of the research, said the Australian Barrier is practically dead and that if action is not taken to limit global warming, its end will come very soon.