Summer Heatwave Damages 91% Of Great Barrier Reef: Report

by Ishita Agarwal
Summer Heatwave Damages 91% Of Great Barrier Reef: Report

According to a newly released government monitoring study, the summer heatwave in Australia caused coral on 91 per cent of the Great Barrier Reef to bleach. As a result, damage to the coral. It was the first time in history that the reef was affected by bleaching during a La Nina weather cycle, typically associated with lower temperatures than anticipated. 

Bleaching Is Damaging The Great Barrier Reef Coral 

In 2016, 2017, and 2020, two-thirds of the renowned reef off the eastern coast of Australia was devastated by bleaching. Coral bleaching is a reaction to heat stress. According to David Wachenfeld, the authority’s chief scientist who monitors the Great Barrier Reef ecosystem, most coral will recover from the recent occurrence. 

Last December, the first month of summer in the Southern Hemisphere, was the reef’s hottest since 1900. According to the research, a “marine heatwave” had arrived by late February. A UN delegation visited the reef in March to assess the impact of climate change on its World Heritage status.  In July of last year, Australia gathered sufficient international backing to prevent UNESCO.  Great Barrier Reef’s World Heritage status is downgrade due to climate change. 



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Also Read: Australia’s Great Barrier Reef Now On UNESCO’s Endangered List; Half Of Its Corals Lost Due To Climate Change

Climate Change Is The Main Reason 

The most recent bleaching serves as an uncomfortable reminder of Australian lawmakers’ divergent climate change policies. The conservative administration running for re-election on 21 May has less aggressive emission reduction goals than the centre-left opposition.

The Liberal Party of Prime Minister Scott Morrison plans to cut Australia’s emissions by 26 to 28 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030. The opposition Labor Party has pledged a 43 per cent reduction in emissions by the end of the decade.

During the November 2016 United Nations climate summit, Morrison got harshly criticised for failing to propose a more aggressive goal. White-hot bleaching is “yet another blistering indictment of the Morrison government. However, it is failed to defend the great barrier reef and exacerbated” the catastrophe, Greenpeace Australia Pacific stated. 

Also Read: I Travelled SOLO From India To Dive Into The Great Barrier Reef In Australia & Knocked It Off My Bucket List