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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Australia. The Great Barrier Reef is bleaching massively

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The Great Barrier Reef is suffering from massive coral bleaching. According to Australian scientists, the phenomenon occurs over a huge area of ​​the ecosystem. Its occurrence is related to stress caused by high surface water temperatures.

On Friday, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (GBRMPA) in Australia said mass coral bleaching had been observed on the reef. Aerial surveys showed that the process began in shallow water in most parts of the ecosystem studied.

Sad forecasts

Roger Beeden, a member of the Reef Authority research group that studies the Great Barrier Reef, emphasized that these observations are consistent with previous predictions.

“The results reflect what we predicted with above-average sea surface temperatures that persisted for a long time in the Marine Park,” he said. – It should be noted that heat stress was not uniform across the reef and the observed bleaching is variable.

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Due to increased thermal pressure, corals get rid of colorful algae living in their tissues and turn white. Without them, organisms have problems absorbing food and therefore die. Although bleaching is reversible, long-term or intense stress can contribute to the death of huge numbers of corals.

This is not the first bleaching episode to have occurred around the world in the last 12 months. Mass bleaching occurred in the summer of 2023 in the Northern Hemisphere. High surface water temperatures resulting from climate change have been further amplified by the El Nino phenomenon in the Pacific.

Main photo source: Reuters/TropWATER James Cook University

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