A third of Great Barrier Reef corals were killed by mass bleaching

. According to ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reed Studies, a group of Australian scientists has found that the bleaching process caused the death of more than a third of Great Barrier Reef corals. Scientists have now released an initial estimate of coral bleaching’s death rate after months of extensive underwater and aerial survey. Coral bleaching is caused by the expulsion of zooxanthellae, tiny photosynthetic algae, from corals. Coral bleaching is an example. Corals can recover if the temperature of the water returns quickly to its normal level. Otherwise, it will most likely die. The corals will turn white if their concentrations fall below a specific level. They turn white. They may become white if temperatures fall again, and the zooxanthellae are able to recolonize corals. Researchers say that coral bleaching is still a major concern for the Great Barrier Reef. The researchers add that northern areas are more affected than the other sections. Terry Hughes is the Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (JCU), Queensland, Australia. He said that 35% of corals were dead or dying in the 84 sections of Great Barrier Reef between Townsville, Papua New Guinea, and Townsville. Some reefs have better health, particularly from Cairns southwards where average mortality is only 5%. Bleached mature Staghorn Coral in February 2016, Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef. It was overgrown with algae by April 2016. Image: coralcoe.org.au. “This is the third year in 18 that the Great Barrier Reef experienced massive bleaching from global warming. And the current event has been much more severe than any previous years.” It is quickly becoming impossible to curb greenhouse gas emissions. The southern section of the Great Barrier Reef has done better. Dr. Mia Hoogenboom from JCU explained that the underwater survey showed that more than 95% of corals survived in south Cairns. She also said that the bleaching stress will temporarily reduce the rate at which corals reproduce and grow. Scientists said that the area in question was spared from serious damage because the water temperature was closer to the normal summer temperatures. Diagram of death estimates for coral reefs in 1100 kilometers of the Great Barrier Reef. Image: coralcoe.org.au. Great Coral Reef is less resilient than it was before Professor John Pandolfi from The University of Queensland’s ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies stated: “It’s crucial now that we strengthen the Reef’s resilience and maximize its natural ability to recover. The reef has lost its resilience and is now unable to withstand three severe bleaching events within 18years. The bleaching in Western Australia has been severe and uneventful, along with the increase of mortality. According to Dr Verena Schoepf, a researcher at The University of Western Australia: “On my coast in Kimberley, up to 80% of all coral reefs have been severely bleached and some corals may even have already died.” The scientists plan to return to the reefs over the next few months to assess the extent of coral bleaching. They predict that coral recovery will take at most ten years. The recovery of the oldest and largest corals will be much more difficult. About 80% of #corals on the #Kimberley coast are severely bleached, at least 15% dead @CoralCoE data shows pic.twitter.com/8JU9n46RrB — CoralCoE (@CoralCoE) May 30, 2016 Economic importance of the Reef The Australian Government says that Reef Tourism generates an income of approximately AUD$5 billion each year, and directly provides nearly 70,000 jobs. According to the Government, climate change (global heating) poses the greatest threat to the Great Barrier Reef as well as the livelihoods of the many people who depend on it. Daniel Gschwind is the Chief Executive of Queensland Tourism Industry Council. He stated that while many reef areas are in good shape, we cannot ignore coral bleaching. We must also hope for rapid recovery. The short-term policies of development must be balanced against the long-term effects on the environment, such as impacts on coral reefs from climate change. Watch this video to learn how coral bleaching threatens the lives and health of marine fish. Fatal Attraction: Watch to see how #coral #bleaching is endangering the lives of reef fish #gbr @jcu @MarkIMcComick pic.twitter.com/61lUl8q6xe — CoralCoE (@CoralCoE) May 13, 2016

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