Published On: Fri, Aug 30th, 2019

Great Barrier Reef: Outlook downgraded to very poor – world’s greatest wonder to be lost | World | News

The Australian government’s Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) has released a five-yearly report on the health of the coral reef. In the last report on the Reef released in 2014, the Reef was ranked as “poor”. In the 2019 report, the Reef has now been downgraded to “very poor”.

It is thought the Reef has been suffering as a result of escalating climate change.

The report said: “Threats to the reef are multiple, cumulative and increasing.

“The window of opportunity to improve the reef’s long-term future is now.”

The report points to rising sea temperatures, and extreme events linked to climate change, as the most immediate risks to the Reef.

GBRMPA’s chief scientist, David Wachenfeld, acknowledged the reef’s problems were “largely driven by climate change”.

He added: “Despite that, with the right mix of local actions to improve the resilience of the system and global actions to tackle climate change in the strongest and fastest way possible, we can turn that around.”

According to a study in Nature, the number of new corals on the Great Barrier Reef crashed by 89% as a result of mass bleaching in 2016 and 2017.

Corals can be stressed by changes in condition, such as rising sea temperatures as a result of climate change, according to the National Ocean Service.

READ MORE: The holiday destinations being attacked by pollution and overpopulat

Corals then expel symbiotic algae living in their tissues, which causes them to turn completely white.

Issues such as coastal development, illegal fishing and land-based run-off (where water is contaminated with pesticides and sediment) are also causing problems for the Reef.

Sea-life populations, including fish and sea turtles, have also suffered as a result of habitat loss.

In addition, crown-of-thorns starfish, who feed on coral, have caused issues for the Great Barrier Reef.

READ MORE: Coral reefs ‘have been around since dinosaurs’

In normal numbers, the starfish species can help control coral populations and encourage coral diversity.

However, recent outbreaks of the crown-of-thorns starfish have aided the disappearance of coral in the Reef.

The 2,300km-long Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef system, and it can be seen from outer space.

Unesco’s World Heritage Committee is due to consider adding the Great Barrier Reef to its list of “in danger” sites.

Source link

Most Popular News