Is the world left without the Great Barrier Reef?

Photo-illustration: Pixabay

We are all on the “target” of climate change, global warming has been affecting flora and fauna, as well as humans for years. And while some, as much as possible, are successfully fighting and resisting, the Great Barrier Reef seems to be slowing down.

According to the latest research, as much as 98 percent of the Great Barrier Reef is affected by bleaching. Which means that only two percent, a tiny part of this system, is undamaged.

Bleaching occurs when coral polyps are left without algae from which they draw up to 90 percent of their energy. Their symbiotic relationship is crucial for both healthe of individual corals, as well as for the health of the entire reef. This connection is broken due to the rise in water temperature caused by global warming.

A team of experts, including Professor Terry Hughes from James Cook University, studied several locations of the ridge where bleaching was observed and discovered something really devastating. Only 1.7 percent of individual ridges avoided bleaching, according to a study published in the journal Current Biology.

However, a glimmer of hope comes from some scientists who hope that the reef will recover in colder areas, because it will serve as a safe place from bleaching. The ideal scenario would be for the corals to survive in these parts and then naturally scatter their larvae on the damaged reefs.

The Great Barrier Reef stretches for 2,300 kilometers and can be seen from space. He managed to “survive” the three major bleachings that occurred in 2016, 2017 and 2020, however, they were not as drastic as this one that is currently happening.

It remains to be seen whether and how the Great Barrier Reef will recover.

Milica Radičević

Source: Energetski portal Srbije by

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