Quantcast
Connect with us

Large parts of Great Barrier Reef ‘dead in 20 years’

Published

on

Large parts of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef could be dead within 20 years as climate change drives mass coral bleaching, scientists warned Friday.

The World Heritage-listed reef is currently suffering its worst bleaching in recorded history with 93 percent of corals affected due to warming sea temperatures.

Experts from the government-backed ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science said in a study that if greenhouse gases keep rising, similar events will be the new normal, occurring every two years by the mid-2030s.

ADVERTISEMENT

Given reefs need some 15 years to completely recover from bleaching of this magnitude, the centre said “we are likely to lose large parts of the Great Barrier Reef in just a couple of decades”.

Researchers found climate change had added 1.0 degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) of warming to the ocean temperatures off the Queensland coast in March, when corals were first noted turning white.

“These extreme temperatures will become commonplace by the 2030s, putting a great strain on the ecosystems of the Great Barrier Reef,” said lead author Andrew King.

“Our research showed this year’s bleaching event is 175 times more likely today than in a world where humans weren’t emitting greenhouse gases. We have loaded the odds against the survival of one of the world’s greatest natural wonders.”

Bleaching is a phenomenon that turns corals white or fades their colours as they expel tiny photosynthetic algae, threatening a valuable source of biodiversity, tourism and fishing.

ADVERTISEMENT

They can recover if the water temperature drops and the algae are able to recolonise them.

The study is yet to be peer-reviewed, but the centre took the unusual step of releasing it early because the reef is in such a dire predicament.

“We are confident in the results because these kind of attribution studies are well established but what we found demands urgent action if we are to preserve the reef,” said King.

ADVERTISEMENT

“For this reason, we felt it was vital to get our findings out as quickly as possible.”

Earlier this month, researchers at Australia’s James Cook University said only seven percent of the huge reef had escaped the whitening, following extensive aerial and underwater surveys.

ADVERTISEMENT

The damage ranges from minor in the southern areas — which are expected to recover soon — to very severe in the northern and most pristine reaches of the 2,300 kilometre (1,430 miles) site off Australia’s east coast.

Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, from the Global Change Institute at the University of Queensland, who published a controversial study in 1999 forecasting such an event, said his predictions were now looking conservative.

“Reefs need time, around 15 years, to completely recover from a coral bleaching event of this magnitude,” Hoegh-Guldberg said.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Recovery rates are being overwhelmed by more frequent and severe mass coral bleaching.”


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Trump’s NSC is ignoring intelligence reports and basing policy on handouts of Trump’s tweets: report

Published

on

According to a report from the New York Times, members of the National Security Council under Donald Trump no longer uses their extensive knowledge of international relations, politics, and history to formulate foreign policy security proposals for the president's review -- and are instead using the president's tweets to make policy based upon his desires and social media proclamations.

The report begins with noting that council members are often handed printouts of the president's tweets when they convene and are expected to use his words as their guide to formulate proposals that will likely find favor with the president.

Continue Reading

Facebook

Wells Fargo to pay $3 billion to settle fake accounts scandal

Published

on

Wells Fargo has agreed to pay US regulators $3 billion to settle three investigations into the bank's damaging fake accounts scandal, the Department of Justice said on Friday.

The fine settles criminal and civil liability in the case in which the nation's fourth largest bank between 2002 and 2016 pressured employees to meet unrealistic sales goals that led to creating millions of accounts or credit cards without consent.

Wells Fargo admitted it collected millions of dollars in fees and interest, harmed the credit ratings of certain customers, and misused personal information, the Justice Department said in a statement.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Donald Trump Jr. one of only 3 people who wants to legally kill an Alaskan grizzly bear this year

Published

on

According to a report from Reuters, Donald Trump Jr. has been awarded an out-of-state permit from Alaska to hunt and kill a grizzly bear this year making him one of only three who applied for one of the 27 permits available.

The report states the son of President Donald Trump has "been granted the right to hunt a grizzly bear in northwestern Alaska near the Bering Sea town of Nome, a state official said on Friday."

Continue Reading
 
 
close-image