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Great Barrier Reef continues to suffer severe mass bleaching

Great Barrier Reef in September 2017. (Photo: AP)

This is information released by Australian authorities on March 25.

Management agency Great Barrier Reef The world’s largest coral reef system, which stretches more than 2,300 kilometers (1,400 miles) along Australia’s northeast coast, is being affected by the effects of heat, said the report.

The above survey did not show, bleached coral In many areas across a large area of ​​the Great Barrier Reef, “this is the fourth mass bleaching event since 2016,” the Great Barrier Reef Management Authority confirmed in a report.

The Great Barrier Reef, home to some 1,500 species of fish and 4,000 species of molluscs, has suffered from the heat despite the cooling effects of the La Nina weather phenomenon, which is currently affecting affect Australia’s climate.

This area, which includes some 2,500 individual reefs and more than 900 islands, bleaches as the corals remove the algae that live in their tissues, causing them to lose their vibrant colors.

The Great Barrier Reef continues to suffer severe mass bleaching - Photo 1.

Hardy Reef near the Whitsunday Islands, Australia on June 22, 2014. (Photo: AP)

The Great Barrier Reef Management Authority says that despite the intense bleaching of corals today, they can still recover if weather conditions become milder: “Weather patterns in the The next few weeks continue to be a key factor in determining the overall extent and severity of coral bleaching across the Marine Park,” it said.

The report of mass bleaching comes four days after the United Nations sent a monitoring mission to assess whether the world heritage site is being protected from the effects of climate change.

UNESCO’s mission is to assess whether the Australian Government is doing enough to address threats to the Great Barrier Reef, including climate change, before the World Heritage Committee. The world considered putting the Great Barrier Reef on its “endangered” list in June.

“The beloved Great Barrier Reef’s vibrant colors are being replaced by white coral,” said climate impact activist Martin Zavan of Greenpeace Australia.

He urged the Australian Government to send a UN mission to inspect damaged reef areas rather than picturesque coral reefs that have yet to be touched.

Mr. Zavan said: “If we really want the UN delegation to have a complete picture of the state of the reef, the Australian Government must send the mission to the northern and central regions. Here, Corals are being “cooked” by temperatures up to 4°C above average, which is especially alarming in a La Nina year, cooler ocean temperatures.”

The Great Barrier Reef continues to suffer severe mass bleaching - Photo 2.

Underwater images taken in 2022 show that the Great Barrier Reef is under pressure from rising temperatures. (Photo: CNN)

The World Heritage Committee’s decision not to add the Great Barrier Reef to its “threatened” list in July 2021 surprised many, as UNESCO had been recommending the listing for weeks. before.

When the United Nations earlier threatened to downgrade the reef’s World Heritage list in 2015, Australia drew up a “Creal 2050” plan and poured billions of dollars into protecting the Great Barrier.

The world’s oceans will hit record high temperatures in 2021, said Amanda McKenzie, Executive Director of Climate Action Australia’s Climate Council.

Ms McKenzie said: “Unfortunately, as increasingly severe bleaching is reported across the Great Barrier Reef, we could see these devastating events becoming more common at a rapid rate of development. greenhouse gas emissions are consistently high. To give our coral reefs a chance to develop normally, we must deal with the number one issue – climate change. No amount of funding will stop it. whitewashing events unless we reduce emissions this decade.”

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