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Another massive coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) has reported that there has been massive coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef. Just three days before a United Nations delegation visited the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, a massive coral bleaching occurred. The visit by UN officials was to assess the health of the world’s
Published: March 23, 2022 - 09:00
Updated: July 23, 2023 - 00:27
Another massive coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) has reported that there has been massive coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef.

Just three days before a United Nations delegation visited the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, a massive coral bleaching occurred. The visit by UN officials was to assess the health of the world’s largest coral reef.

First coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef in 2022.

According to information reported by Australian media, the coral bleaching is extensive and covers the northern and central parts of the reef. Specialists from the GBRMPA have assessed its condition in the central part as severe. At this point, park staff are still trying to determine the full extent of the damage.

The previous such extensive coral bleaching occurred just two years ago. The health of the Great Barrier Reef has been severely compromised and future predictions are not optimistic. According to reef research officials, the situation is worrying.

In areas in the central part of the Great Barrier Reef, where heat stress has been the worst this summer, we are starting to see increasing coral mortality said Prof David Wachenfeld.

Until 1998, scientists had not observed any cases of the mass bleaching of corals on the Great Barrier Reef. However, since then, further cases have occurred in 2002, 2016, 2017 and 2020.

Causes of coral bleaching

Researchers link the phenomenon of coral bleaching to the rise in ocean temperatures that results from a warming climate. It occurs when the water is too warm and this continues for too long. The coral then expels the algae living in it, making it fade. The algae provide the coral with most of its energy and if the temperature does not return to normal, the coral dies.

Recovery of coral reefs from mass coral bleaching is possible, but it is a very slow process. Such recovery takes years, and on top of that, if the fading occurs systematically, it can destroy the entire ecosystem.

TheGreat Barrier Reef is not just another large concentration of corals, but the largest such formation in the world. The area is a habitat for thousands of species of sea creatures and birds. Many of these are endemic and threatened with extinction. For this reason, the Great Barrier Reef is a specially protected area, and in 1981 it was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Photo: Faded coral, Keppel Islands, Great Barrier Reef, CC BY 3.0

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About author

Julia
My love for scuba diving started as a 12-year-old in the Canary Islands, at which time I took my first Open Water Diver course. This love for the blue turned into a huge passion that accompanies me to this day. Although blue is hard to come by in the Baltic, no conditions are terrible for me. In this sport, I find peace, patience, courage, focus, and balance. I have recently started to engage in underwater modeling and I am fulfilled with this.
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