Tags: great barrier reef | bleaching

Great Barrier Reef Bleaching for 2nd Year Means No Recovery Time

Image: Great Barrier Reef Bleaching for 2nd Year Means No Recovery Time
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By    |   Monday, 13 Mar 2017 04:33 PM

An aerial survey of the Great Barrier Reef has discovered large areas of bleaching for the second year in a row, making this the first time the reef has not been able to recover from one bleaching event before another takes place.

The six-hour flyover between Townsville and Cairns, Australia, by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and the Australian Institute of Marine Science found bleaching in the central part of the reef, which did not have severe bleaching last year, according to USA Today.

“Not all bleached coral will die,” said Marine Park Authority Director of Reef Recovery Dr. David Wachenfeld in a report on the bleaching. “As we saw last year bleaching and mortality can be highly variable across the 344,000 square kilometer Marine Park — an area bigger than Italy.”

Dr. Neal Cantin from the Australian Institute of Marine Science did voice concern about the lack of recovery time between bleaching events, however.

“We are seeing a decrease in the stress tolerance of these corals,” he said in the report. “This is the first time the Great Barrier reef has not had a few years between bleaching events to recover.”

“Many coral species appear to be more susceptible to bleaching after more than 12 months of sustained above-average ocean temperatures,” Cantin continued.

Wachenfeld expressed that climate change might be impacting the Great Barrier Reef and causing the water temperatures to reach dangerous levels that can damage the coral. In the report, he said people can help by following zoning rules and not removing plant-eating fish from the waters around the reef “to help control seaweed and enable coral larvae to settle and create new colonies.”

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An aerial survey of the Great Barrier Reef has discovered large areas of bleaching for the second year in a row, making this the first time the reef has not been able to recover from one bleaching event before another takes place.
great barrier reef, bleaching
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2017-33-13
Monday, 13 Mar 2017 04:33 PM
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