Friday, April 22, 2016
There may be questions about global warming. The climate models may be incomplete, even inaccurate. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change may have been fudging data for years. But there is no denying that modern, human industrial pollution is having a large and catastrophic
impact on our environment.
The Great Barrier Reef is almost dead.
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The Great Barrier Reef - the largest living structure on Earth - is dying as a result of El Nino and climate change.
This week, scientists from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies completed an extensive survey of the iconic reef and found that 93 percent has been impacted by the most severe coral bleaching event on record.
Coral bleaching is a phenomenon in which stressed corals expel algae and turn white. If not given time to recover, bleached corals can perish.
The Great Barrier Reef, the world's largest reef system, is located off the coast of Queensland, Australia, and extends more than 1,400 miles. It consists of some 3,000 individual reefs and is home to more than 100 islands.
Of the 911 reefs surveyed, only 68 - 7 percent - escaped bleaching, while between 60 and 100 percent of corals are severely bleached on 316 reefs.
While the forecast is bleak, scientists say communities can help by reducing local threats, including pollution, sedimentation and unsustainable fishing practices.