Science 14 Oct 2016 World’s larges ...

World’s largest reef system, Great Barrier Reef declared dead

DECCAN CHRONICLE
Published Oct 14, 2016, 6:54 pm IST
Updated Oct 14, 2016, 6:56 pm IST
New pictures reveal the extent of damage caused to Australia’s coral due to climate change.
World’s largest reef system, Great Barrier Reef nearing death.
 World’s largest reef system, Great Barrier Reef nearing death.

The world’s largest reef system, the Great Barrier Reef has been declared dead in an obituary written for Outside Magazine by Rowan Jacobsen.

‘The Great Barrier Reef of Australia passed away in 2016 after a long illness,’ said Rowan Jacobsen, Environment writer for Outside Magazine.

 

The Great Barrier Reef was 25 million years old. Being approximately 1,400 miles long with up to 2,900 individual reefs and 1,050 islands, it was the World’s only living structure that was visible from space. ‘It harbored 1,625 species of fish, 3,000 species of mollusc, 450 species of coral, 220 species of birds and 30 species of whales and dolphins,’ the obituary read.

In fact, aerial-view images of the Great Barrier Reef shared by Independent even reveal the extent of the damage caused by climate change.

Earlier this year, researchers discovered how over 93 per cent of individual reefs had been affected by coral bleaching. This was the worst coral bleaching hit that impacted the Great Barrier Reef.

 

‘After the bleaching event in May, 60 per cent of what we saw was bleached very white. Another 19-20 per cent was covered in sludgy brown algae. Even of what remained healthy, some looked a bit on edge,’ said Amanda McKenzie, CEO of the Australian Climate Council.

‘The Great Barrier Reef was predeceased by the South Pacific’s Coral Triangle, the Florida Reef off the Florida Keys, and most other coral reefs on earth. It is survived by the remnants of the Belize Barrier Reef and some deepwater corals,’ Jacobsen concluded towards the end of his post.

 

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