The Great Barrier Reef suffers another mass bleaching

Australia’s Great Barrier Reef has suffered the third mass bleaching in only 5 years 😢

This is due to warm sea temperatures, especially in February. Two thirds of the reef was damaged by similar events in 2016 and 2017.

The Great Barrier Reef covers 2,300 km (1,400 miles) and is a World Heritage site. It is one of the seven wonders of the natural world, and the only living thing on earth visible from space.

It is home to thousands or marine species and protects the coastline from storm surges.

Global temperatures have already risen about 1C since pre-industrial times. The U.N. has warned that if temperatures rise by 1.5C, 90% of the World’s corals will be wiped out.

What is coral bleaching?

When the coral is healthy, photosynthetic algae live in coral polyps and create nutriments for the corals.

Under stress, the coral will expel the algae and will start fading to white.

If conditions don’t improve for algae to return, corals can starve and will lose their colour. It’s called bleaching.

Coral can recover if the water cools. But these successive heat waves have increased the amount of coral bleaching, and scientists fear most of it might not survive.

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