Well, it seems after years and years of warning, large parts of our Great Barrier Reef are dead without any hope of recovery.
Due to spikes in temperature, with little to no respite between bleaching periods, the reef has been damaged beyond repair.
“Globally these events have become the new normal, and the time between them is getting shorter and shorter… as these events become more frequent and more severe as temperatures keep going up, there's less and less time between them for anything like a full recovery” said Dr Terry Hughes of James Cook University.
Last year’s bleaching was confirmed to be the worst ever recorded. The Northern third of the Great Barrier Reef was hit particularly badly with some areas losing 80 per cent of their corals.
Image: Bleached coral| Great Barrier Reef | by Oregon State University| Flikr
And unfortunately, according to Dr Hughs, a new bleaching period may be upon us.
And there’s not much we can do about it. Due to the rise of temperatures globally- (climate change), there is no relief, no conservation or even rehabilitation that will help. And though the Government’s efforts to curb over-fishing and agricultural run-off is admirable, the only course of action is to fight back against climate change (read more about the reef and climate change here).
“Climate change is already dangerous for the Great Barrier Reef… We've got a window of opportunity, but it's getting narrower and narrower to quickly move away from fossil fuels and curb emissions.”
The long and short of it: unless we take immediate action against climate change, we will lose our beloved Great Barrier Reef forever. Andrew King, a climate scientist from the University of Melbourne, explained that the results found in Dr Hugh’s research point to the inevitability of more bleaching and limited, if no recovery.
I don't think people are aware just how bad it is.