Climate change is putting one of the wonders of the world in a vice. For an unprecedented second year in a row, Great Barrier Reef coral have been decimated by a wave of warm water.
Last year’s mass bleaching was fueled in part by a powerful El Niño, but would have been nearly impossible without climate change bumping up background temperatures. Research showed that climate change made warm waters in the Coral Sea up to 175 times more likely.
This article was originally published at Climate Central
While no similar attribution has been done for this year’s mass bleaching, 2017’s heat is occurring in the absence of El Niño. And there’s one main culprit scientists are pointing to.
“The bleaching is caused by record-breaking temperatures driven by global warming,” said Terry Hughes, a director of the ARC Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies.
The northern half of the reef was particularly hard hit in both 2016 and 2017. Bleaching has spread across 900 miles of the reef this time around. And while the intense heat doesn’t spell the demise of all coral, it does make it very hard for any coral that survived to rebuild the reefs.
“It takes at least a decade for a full recovery of even the fastest growing corals, so mass bleaching events 12 months apart offers zero prospect of recovery for reefs that were damaged in 2016,” James Kerry, a scientist at the center, said.
Coral are the oceanic canary in the coal mine and rising ocean temperatures are leaving them gasping for breath. What’s happening in the Great Barrier Reef is the highest profile case of the stress coral are under.
“This is part of the global coral bleaching event that started in June 2014 and hasn’t gone away,” Mark Eakin, the coordinator at Coral Reef Watch, said.
The planet’s reefs have been forced to cope with an oceanic heat wave since then that’s caused coral bleaching in every ocean basin. It’s only the third recorded instance of global coral bleaching, with the other two coming in 1998 and 2010, but it’s easily the longest running.
The Coral Reef Watch forecast is for elevated risk of coral bleaching to continue until at least July around the world, adding further stress to coral.
‘Disconnected from reality’: NY Times editor ridicules Trump for being a ‘farce’ of a president
New York Times editorial board member, Michelle Cottle, released a scathing op-ed highlighting the president's tendency to give oxygen to his adversaries that no one else would be paying attention to otherwise.
In a piece relating the White House to a "three-ring" circus, Cottle called the president a "farce" for his new war with Anthony Scaramucci.
As the president tweeted, no one had heard of Scaramucci until Trump hired him and former chief-of-staff John Kelly fired him after only 11 days.
Ex-white nationalist issues horrifying warning Trump’s government is neglecting the ‘domestic extremism problem’
Former white supremacist Christian Picciolini noted in an interview with MSNBC Sunday that the United States is dealing with a severe domestic terrorism problem, but that the Donald Trump administration is asleep at the wheel.
Since the El Paso shooting, there have been more than 30 thwarted mass shootings and at least two of those were directly related to domestic terrorism. Luckily state and local police were able to step in, and Americans have been more likely to warn law enforcement about possible attacks.
Trump goes off on Twitter rant about ‘My Stock Market’ at nearly 2 a.m. in France
President Donald Trump has an early morning meeting Monday with Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi. He also has a full day of meeting with the G-7, but that wasn't his focus in the early morning hours.
"My Stock Market gains must be judged from the day after the Election (sic), November 9, 2016, where the Market went up big after the win, and because of the win. Had my opponent won, CRASH!" Trump tweeted Sunday night in the U.S., which was nearly 2 a.m. in France where the president is staying during the G-7 summit.
My Stock Market gains must be judged from the day after the Election, November 9, 2016, where the Market went up big after the win, and because of the win. Had my opponent won, CRASH!