NOAA Predicts Further Bleaching Of The Great Barrier Reef This Season

Early stages of bleaching in Staghorn coral

Bleaching in the Great Barrier Reef expected to continue

The Great Barrier Reef has lost a significant amount of coral in the last few years due to bleaching.  Unfortunately, the latest the latest forecasts from the US National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Coral Watch program warn the trend will continue. They state that bleaching of portions of the reef is very likely over the coming months leading into February.

Potential stress levels for reefs south of the equator this season. NOAA

The world heritage site, which stretches for thousands of kilometers along the eastern coast of Australia, has had an unprecedented two bleaching events in the past two years.

Although predication do expect bleaching to continue, there are significant predication limitations the further into the future predictions go. Regardless, the researchers still believe the catastrophic trend will continue.

In recent years, northern reefs have lost as much as 90 percent of the coral in certain areas., leaving ecosystems totally decimated. When the first event occurred in 2016, up to 30 percent of the coral was killed. In 2017, El Nino pushed the warming waters even hire, killing another 20 percent of the coral. Most of the coral death occurred in the north or center. Predictions this year have the south reefs possibly being bleached this year.

The 2017 documentary Chasing Coral covered the lost of coral in the Great Barrier Reef the last two years and brought a lot of attention to the devastation of the problem.


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