29 Mar 2016
DEVASTATING: SCIENTISTS SAY THE GREAT BARRIER REEF IS EXPERIENCING ITS WORST CORAL BLEACHING EVENT ON RECORD
Coral bleaching on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef appears to be far worse than originally thought, says one of the world’s leading coral reef scientists.
The Reef’s most pristine section in the north, now has been 95% bleached, according to a survey undertaken by Professor Terry Hughes.
Professor Hughes told ABC TV’s 7.30 program that huge levels of bleaching has occurred in the top 1,000 kilometres of the world heritage listed Reef.
“This will change the Great Barrier Reef forever,” Professor Hughes told the ABC.
“It's too early to tell precisely how many of the bleached coral will die, but judging from the extreme level even the most robust corals are snow white, I'd expect to see about half of those corals die in the coming month or so.” .
“When you look at those stark, white photos, you’re looking at the face of climate change," Mr Heath said.
Prevent coral bleaching from happening again
CEO of WWF-Australia Dermot O’Gorman called on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to travel to the Great Barrier Reef, so he can see for himself why his government needs to show real leadership on climate change.
"The Australian Government has said in the past that the Reef's world heritage values are safe. But if there are mass coral deaths from this event, what does that mean for the Reef's ongoing world heritage status?
“The Prime Minister cannot allow his Government to continue its complacency on climate change, or on action to protect the Reef from farm pollution.
“If we don’t start to see some real leadership on the Reef, it will be gone.”