Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is suffering from severe coral bleaching due to increased ocean temperatures. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Authority manages the world’s largest coral reef ecosystem and it released a report three days before a United Nations delegation. It is to discuss and assess whether the reef’s World Heritage listing should be downgraded due to the severity of climate change.
The authority explained that “weather patterns over the next few weeks will be critical in determining the overall extent and severity of coral bleaching across the Marine Park,… Bleaching has been detected across the Marine Park – it is widespread but variable, across multiple regions, ranging in impact from minor to severe,”
The reef has suffered tremendously from coral bleaching in 2016,2017, and 2020 due to high ocean temperatures. The previous episodes of bleaching left two-thirds of the coral damaged. Greenpeace, an environmental group, said the severe and widespread coral bleaching suffered during a La Nina weather pattern is evidence of Australia’s inability to protect the coral from climate change.
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