91% of the Great Barrier Reef suffered from bleaching

91% of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef has recently been affected by bleaching. This was announced by the Australian authorities. Very disturbing rate. This is the fourth episode of bleaching since 2016. But this time it happened at a period when it shouldn’t have happened.

“It’s heartbreaking, it’s very disturbing, it shows that our (Great) Barrier Reef is really in very serious trouble.”. Simon Bradshaw, director of research at the Climate Council, makes no secret of scientists’ concerns about the bleaching of 91% of the Great Barrier Reef.

The change is associated with the prolonged heat wave in the Australian summer. There were already other episodes like this. But it is the first to occur during the climatic phenomenon of La Niña, which usually cools the waters of the Pacific Ocean. The heat turns the components of the algae that nourish and color the coral into toxins. This poisonous algae spits out. They starve, weaken and turn white. Surviving vulnerable coral reefs depends on limiting global warming, Simon Bradshaw explains, based on the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC):

With a 2°C increase in temperature, we would lose nearly all tropical coral reefs. If we can limit warming to as close to 1.5°C as possible, we’ll give corals, and parts of them, a chance to survive. So it’s not too late. We must do everything we can

Simon Bradshaw, Director of Research at the Climate Council

… by significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions, which is a political issue

Concretely, we should significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. The world is categorical. “We need to cut global emissions roughly in half, during this period. In Australia, if it does its part, given these amazing opportunities we have for new clean industries, we should aim to reduce our emissions by 75% by 2030.”

In light of legislative elections on May 21, the Conservative government opts to cut emissions by 26 to 28%. Labor opposition suggests 43%. In June, UNESCO can classify the Great Barrier Reef among vulnerable sites. Much to the chagrin of Canberra, which nonetheless launched a protection plan.

The Great Barrier Reef covers 348,000 square kilometres, the largest area of ​​this type in the world. It represents 10% of the world’s coral reef ecosystems (that is, 2500 corals). This is home to 400 species of coral, 1,500 fish and 4,000 species of mollusks.

Find below the Bruno Sat report:

© New Caledonia

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