Status: 05/11/2022 10:29 am
About 90 percent of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is affected by coral bleaching. A heat wave, unusual for this time of year, is pressing the rock with temperatures of around 50 °C.
The ongoing heatwave in Australia has damaged more than 90 percent of the Great Barrier Reef’s corals. This is according to a report by the Australian Government. The loss is a result of climate change.
The report said that of the 719 reefs surveyed, 654 – or 91 percent – exhibited some degree of coral bleaching. Bleaching is a phenomenon that occurs when corals are stressed and the colorful algae living within them are shed.
One such strain on corals could be the Australian heatwave. It has been going on since December and at times the temperature has reached around 50 degree Celsius. Although bleached corals are still alive and moderately affected parts of the reef may be able to recover, “heavily bleached corals have a higher mortality rate,” the report continued.
coral bleaching sad premiere this time
But something is different from previous years: according to government reports, this year marks the first time the reef has been affected by bleaching during the period of the so-called La Nia season. Generally cooler temperatures are expected during this time.
They have lost almost all their color: the bleached corals on the Great Barrier Reef.
Environmentalists urge government to act
Ten days ahead of parliamentary elections, environmentalists called on politicians to do more for climate protection. Lisa Schindler from the Australian Marine Conservation Society warns:
Although bleaching is becoming more common, it is not common and we should not tolerate it.
Schindler continued, both major political parties are faced with the fact that their climate goals are not high enough to rock.
UNESCO may classify the reef as “vulnerable”.
Next month, UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee will decide whether to classify the Great Barrier Reef as “vulnerable”. In 2015, Australia was able to prevent the imminent downgrading of a World Heritage site by drawing up a long-term action plan by the government and investing billions in safeguards.