A new report from experts accounts for the massive phenomenon of coral bleaching registered at the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. The impressive natural structure is damaged to the point of no return. There were rumors that the Great Barrier Reef was already dead. Researchers state that it is not entirely dead yet, but many of the ecosystems are not active anymore.
The recent report shows that no less than ninety-five percent of the coral reefs in Australia are now dead. Coral bleaching turns them white. Specialists explain that fish still use the corals as habitat a while longer after they are dead, but, eventually, they leave the site.
The new survey was conducted by specialists at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies in Australia. The discovery came as no surprise for them because they could as well anticipated such an outcome. However, facing the facts is still a shock.
The phenomenon of coral bleaching was brought about by climate change. The rising temperatures in the atmosphere determined rising temperatures in the ocean too. This new environment and climate conditions put stress and pressure on corals, as specialists explain.
Corals and algae have a strong bond, and they depend on each other to survive. However, corals resent warm water, and they experience an aggressive reaction. This makes them reject the colorful algae that inhabit them. The corals don’t die immediately, and the sea plants can return to them, but if the water temperature stays the same, the structures go through the same reaction and eventually die.
The algae render color to coral reefs. They are also the ones that attract different fish species to inhabit the reef. Fish help corals by providing them with food. However, if the algae are gone, the white and lonely corals are not longer able to attract fish and have no food source to rely on.
Statistics show that more than eighty reefs were affected by coral bleaching. As a result, the structures no longer exist. The specialists at ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies have investigated only fifty of the sites so far.
A previous survey in March showed that many of the reefs at the Great Barrier were ill. The recent research revealed that many of them didn’t survive. However, the researchers also state that the Southern area of the Great Barrier Reef is in good shape.
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