Select the search type
  • Site
  • Web
Search
Go Green banner ads

Published on Monday, March 27, 2017

The Great Barrier Reef is on the Brink of Extinction

[TRAGIC]

The Great Barrier Reef is on the Brink of Extinction

After a eulogy commemorating the death of the Great Barrier Reef was published last year, scientists and researchers were both grateful for the attention brought to the reef and outraged that the public was happy to accept that the reef was already dead. They insisted the reef was not dead yet and that this is the time to take action, not eulogize. Unfortunately, it seems their pleas have fallen on deaf ears as the Great Barrier Reef is facing more serious threats to its survival than ever before.


Mass Bleaching of the Reef

Bleaching is one of the biggest threats to the Great Barrier Reef. Bleaching, when the coral turns white, is caused when extreme heats forces the coral to release photosynthetic algae. After prolonged exposure to heat, the coral can die.

Three mass bleachings of the Great Barrier Reef occurred in 1998, 2002 and most recently in 2016. The bleaching in 2016 was the worst in recorded history; 22% of the coral died in a single event.

Terry Hughes, the convener of the National Coral Bleaching Task Force, explained that global warming is to blame for the increased heat and bleaching facing the reef. “It broke my heart to see so many corals dying on northern reefs on the Great Barrier Reef in 2016. With rising temperatures due to global warming, it's only a matter of time before we see more of these events,” Hughes said.


Hughes hopes that the bleaching the coral might face in 2017 won’t be anything like what we saw in 2016. The severity of the coral reef bleaching in 2016 was worse than scientists and researchers had ever seen before. Over the last 20 years, 91% of the Great Barrier Reef coral has suffered from bleaching.


Why Current Conservation Methods Just Aren’t Working

Australia’s long-term conservation plan for the Great Barrier Reef is largely concerned with bettering the quality of the water. However, the plan is relatively quiet on climate-change action which, according to Hughes, is central for keeping the reef alive. A research study by 46 scientists published in Nature magazine seriously questions the Australian government’s current plan for protecting the reef.


Researchers explained, “Local management of coral reef fisheries and water quality affords little, if any, resistance to recurrent severe bleaching events; even the most highly protected reefs and near-pristine areas are highly susceptible to severe heat stress." So despite efforts to improve the quality of the water around the Great Barrier Reef, the reef is still in trouble due to global warming.

The study also questions the government’s support for a proposed coal mine. The Carmichael Mine, which will be one of the largest coal mines in the world, is planning to export coal in ships through the Great Barrier Reef. This is dangerous to the reef because of the carbon emissions from the ships and the disruption of marine life.

The Future of the Great Barrier Reef
The study in Nature magazine warned that a fourth mass bleaching event was set to occur in the next 10-20 years. This bleaching would devastate the reef and leave the northern section with an extremely slim chance of recovering.

However, the study warns that if current conservation plans stay as they are, there will be little chance for the coral to resist the extreme heat. And with more heat causing mass bleaching, the chance of recovery for the reef is diminishing. Hughes stated, “Securing a future for coral reefs, including intensively managed ones such as the Great Barrier Reef, ultimately requires urgent and rapid action to reduce global warming. A sustained absence of another severe bleaching event is no longer realistic while global temperatures continue to rise.”



Rate this article:
No rating
Comments ()Number of views (338)

Author: AThompson

Categories: Blogs, Research, Animals & Wildlife, Climate & Weather

Tags:

Print

Search Jobs

Calender

«June 2017»
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
293031
1654

As Our Oceans Warm, Marine Animals Suffer

The warming of the oceans is causing some catastrophic changes to take place for the marine life that dwells there. Have a look at what's happening and what you can do to stop it. 

Read more
1
1655

The NEW Zoo in Wisconsin Gets a Kick Out of Their Playful Baby Armadillo

Watch this adorable footage of a baby armadillo playing with his favorite pink toy at the Green Bay, WI zoo. A cute video that will warm anyone's heart. 

Read more
2
1656

How Trump’s Budget Will Affect EPA Programs

News of Trump's new budget has hit the public recently and in addition to a slew of budgetary cuts, the EPA is in serious danger of annihilation. 

Read more
34
5
1658

Trump Pulls Out of The Paris Climate Change Agreement

Trump has struck another blow to environmental regulation and consideration by pulling out of the historic Paris Agreement, becoming one of only three countries to do so.

Read more
6
1661

Hamster Successfully Completes First Level of Super Mario Bros

This footage of a hamster completing the first level of Super Mario Bros. is going viral. Watch as he races towards the finish and even goes down a pipe!

Read more
7
1659

New Research Rate of Acceleration for Sea Level Rise

Sea levels have been rising for years but recent research shows that the past decade has seen especially high rates of increase. And it doesn't like things are getting any better...

Read more
8
1662

How Do You Test the Patience of a Basset Hound?

Watch as an energetic baby emu puts the tolerance of a basset hound to the test. With all the energetic ear biting and chirping, it's a wonder he doesn't snap!

Read more
9
1660

Quick Tips for Reducing Your Carbon Footprint

Saving our planet isn't just in the hands of big name corporations and politicians. In fact, you can help give the effort a push just by following these quick tips. 

Read more
1011
12
1663

What is Tobacco Doing to Our Environment?

We all know about the terrible effects tobacco can have on our health. But what about the health of the environment? Have a look and see the real extent of this damaging plant. 

Read more
13
1666

Fiona the Baby Hippo Explores Her Outdoor Habitat

Internet-famous Fiona the baby hippo keeps her fans in the loop with this new video from Cincinnati Zoo showing her exploring her outdoor enclosure.

Read more
14
1665

Antarctic Peninsula Soon to Change from a Large Crack

The Larsen C ice shelf continues to break away in the Antarctic. But what does this breakaway really mean in terms of sea level rise and climate change?

Read more
15
1667

Black Mamba Snakes Battle it Out on a Golf Course

Watch as a pair of black mambas, one of the world's deadliest snakes, engage in battle on a golf course in South Africa. Amazing footage!

Read more
16
1664

The Carbon Capture Plant

Up until recently, prevention was the primary tactic to combat the buildup of greenhouse gases. Thanks to a new plant in Switzerland though, we can now take CO2 right out of the air!

Read more
1718
19
1668

Maggots at Work to Cut Food Waste

Food waste is a huge problem. Luckily, researchers are coming up with some creative ways to combat and profit from it: by using maggots!

Read more
20
1671

Panda Keeper Struggles to Clean Because of Mischievous Panda Cubs

Panda cubs are some of the cutest animals on the planet. But taking care of them, especially when they're in a group, can be a real pain too!

Read more
21
1669

Artificial Reef in the Mediterranean Made with Rubber Algae

Scientists have joined together to come up with a solution to dwindling coral reef populations caused by warming sea waters. This could be it.

Read more
22
1672

Opossum Super Mom Carries All of Her Babies in One Go

Have a look at this footage of a mother opossum carrying her 10 to 15 babies on her back. A truly amazing mother for sure!

Read more
232425
262728293012
3456789

Category

Categories

    Help Us Go Green
      
    Help Us Go Green