The fading did not affect only two percent of the Great Barrier Reef – Earth – Science and Technology

A new study by James Cook University (JCU) in Australia reported for the first time that only two per cent of the Great Barrier Reef has not faded since 1998, one of the warmest years on the planet.

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Great Barrier Reef

However, according to the study, the barrier can and will survive if the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 ° C above pre-industrial levels is met.

In the study, the JCU dealt with various disasters that have hit the Great Barrier Reef so far. According to the study’s head professor Terry Hughes the composition of the barrier coral will change anyway, but this ecosystem can still prosper if the world keeps global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius.

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“If the average global temperature rises by three or four degrees, which is what we are currently heading for, then there will not be much left of the Great Barrier Reef or any other coral reef in the tropics,” Hughes said.

Coral fading is a response to stress caused by coral overheating during heat waves. Corals lose color as they fade and have to fight for survival. According to the study, at least eight percent of this Australian coral unit, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has faded since 2016.

“Even the most remote and least affected parts of the Great Barrier Reef have been hit at least once by a more pronounced fading,” Hughes said.

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The study also found that corals can adapt and can develop greater tolerance to heat if they survive one of the “whitening” episodes. However, these episodes are becoming more frequent and corals have less time to recover from such an event.

Hughes therefore criticized the Australian government, which he said did not take responsibility for the problem of fading the Great Coral Reef.

“The government is still issuing permits for new coal mines – it’s simply irresponsible in terms of Australia’s responsibility to the Great Barrier Reef,” Hughes said.

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The Great Coral Barrier consists of approximately 3,000 separate coral reefs that stretch to a length of 2,300 kilometers. This vast ecosystem employs about 65,000 people working in coral reef tourism. Hundreds of millions of people worldwide depend on the survival of coral reefs, whose livelihoods and food security depend on reefs.


Source: Pravda – Veda a technika by vat.pravda.sk.

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