Friday, August 16, 2019

Coral Bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef

Since 1981 the Great Barrier Reef has suffered from four major mass bleaching events. Bleaching happen when very high sea temperatures cause the coral to release the colorful algae that lives inside its tissue. The algae is extremely important for the health of the coral. Without the algae the coral starves. In 2016 93% of the Great Barrier was effected by coral bleaching.

Carbon Brief's Can the Great Barrier Reef survive climate change? includes an interactive story map which looks at the Great Barrier Reef's four bleaching events since 1981. As you scroll through Carbon Brief's story the map updates to show the extent of the barrier reef effected by each of these four bleaching events.

Coral bleaching happens when sea temperatures rise. A rise in temperature of 1 degree Celsius above average can cause bleaching. Because of global heating severe coral bleaching is five times more frequent now than it was 40 years ago. Carbon Brief's report explores how coral bleaching has a knock on effect on many other species which rely on the coral reef to survive. It also explores how warmer sea temperatures effect the coral's ability to reproduce.

No comments: