The Guardians of the Great Barrier Reef
Coral bleaching occurs when excessively warm water kills off the algae that sustain tropical coral, causing it to turn white. The bleaching that struck the Great Barrier Reef in 2016 was the worst episode on record, killing off nearly 30 percent of the reef’s coral. Bleaching plagued the reef again in February and March, extending the cumulative damage to almost half of its coral cover. And now, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) sees indications that the next summer peak (in Australia), in early 2018, could raise water temperatures enough to bleach large areas of coral — an event almost unknown in marine science a few decades ago — for a third consecutive year.
Great Barrier Reef, QLD, Australia
Issue: Climate Change Typology: Arenas