The Great Barrier Reef Is About To Face Its Third Significant Coral Bleaching

The Great Barrier Reef jas been through two major coral bleaching outbreaks so far, and the third one is just around the corner, scientists say.

It looks like in about five years from now, the coral reef in Australia could have another coral bleaching outbreak due to the high ocean temperatures. If the ocean’s high temperatures won’t drop in the following couple of weeks, this is the path the Great Barrier Reef is heading to. “We are down to the wire,” warns Prof Terry Hughes, director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University.

How exactly is the warm water affecting the corals? Warm water causes the coral to stress, and as a reaction, the coral starts bleaching. The algae separation from the animal causes the bleaching process. This alga provides food and the coral’s color.

Considerable Coral Bleaching Event Starts Affecting The Great Barrier Reef

This type of stress is very well defined cross the touristy places such as the central and southern regions. The situation of the world’s largest coral reef system is kept under observation by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.

“We are worried about the level of heat that’s out there now, with four weeks still to go until we get the peak of summer temperatures. That’s usually around mid-March. So with about a month to go, the pattern so far is following in the footsteps of 2016-17, and it’s already hotter than it was in the interim years,” said Hughes.

“If it happens or not will depend on the vagaries of the weather for the next two weeks.” If the ocean keeps the temperature, it has now; it will still be a red flag for the coral reef system as “we are likely to get bleaching and, if they get hotter still, we will get severe bleaching,” he adds.

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