Major Portion Of The Great Barrier Reef Is Dead, Latest Study Says; Climate Change Has Been Affecting The Reef For 30 Years?

By Jeff Thompson - 16 Mar '17 10:59AM
  • Great Barrier Reef Threatened With Extinction 'Within 20 Years'
  • (Photo : Phil Walter/Getty) The latest photographs have shown that most of the Great Barrier Reef is either dead or getting bleached.

One of the largest natural wonders in the world, Australia's Great Barrier Reef is in an imminent danger. The latest study shows that a major portion of the reef is now dead and the remaining areas are also facing a future death. The report pointed out that the global warming has created the extreme condition for the reefs.

It is reported that temperature change in sea water in the recent years hastened the death of many reefs and the remaining are getting bleached now. It is known that an average heat is required for the growth of coral reefs, but excessive heat can kill the reef in the end. The main culprit of the sudden death of coral reefs in considered to be fossil fuels and its ever-increasing use year after year. "We didn't think this level of damage to the Great Barrier Reef at least for 30 years," said Terry Hughes director of coral reef studies at James Cook University.

"In the north, at least two-thirds of reefs are dead now," Terry continued. The calamity of reefs was initially noticed in 1998 when bleaching was noticed due to climate change. The story is also pointing out to the health of the seas. It is estimated that the reef loss could cause a significant impact on the world economy as tourism will be affected and diving will be stopped. Also, it would cause food crisis for millions of people as they depend on fish for cheap protein.

The scientists have already warned the potential threats of global warming decades ago and now say that they know who the culprits behind the tragedy are. "Climate change is not something that will happen in the future; it's been happening on the Great Barrier Reef for the last 30 years," Hughes said. The temperature of the planet rose 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit from the early 20th century. Incidentally, the El Niño weather effect in 2016 further peaked the temperature and recorded the year as the hottest year referencing the records from 1880.

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