SYDNEY, Australia — When Terry Hughes surveyed the Great Barrier Reef four years ago from a small plane, mapping the bleaching and death of corals from water warmed by climate change, he hoped such a rare and heartbreaking scene would not be repeated anytime soon. Roughly 30 percent of the corals on the Great Barrier Reef died after the 2016 bleaching, which was the worst of five separate bleaching events since 1998. Almost a quarter of the coral on the Great Barrier Reef is now dead, according to two government agencies, with the previously pristine remote northern sections worst affected.. It was 25 million years old," read the article. A sighting can be anything a Reef user feels important enough to report and can include incidents like a bleaching event, Crown-of-thorns starfish, stranded or sick wildlife and coral damage. Great Barrier Reef Is Bleaching Again. I am in the belief that arguing over whether the Great Barrier Reef is dead or dying is petty and more efforts should be attributed to preserve the reef and conserve the living corals rather than arguing the state of living of world’s biggest organism. And the Great Barrier Reef is not dead, but it is dying. It is much more complicated than that," he said. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority conducted a survey and found that 22% of the coral had died from coral bleaching, but the rest of it could still recover. Outside magazine wrote an obituary for the Great Barrier Reef, declaring it dead at the age of roughly 25 million years. Those who believe that the GBR is alive and well cite UNESCO’s resolve not to declare it endangered even in the face of fears that it may be degrading fast. One of Australia’s most remarkable natural gifts, the Great Barrier Reef is blessed with the breathtaking beauty of the world’s largest coral reef. Different researchers, media outlets, and scientists have done their research on the subject matter and have very compelling reasons for their points of view. The Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest coral reef ecosystem and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Climate & Environment. The Great Barrier Reef is dying, and we may have just run out of time to save it. Image Credits: AP. By Joss Fong and Dion Lee May 22, 2017, 11:40am EDT Greg Torda, ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies Proponents of this argument also say that those who declared the GBR dead only did aerial views and did not conduct close examinations. The incredible Coral Sea Wilderness has been declared dead by scientists at 25 million years old – ending its years of struggle and illness. Equally, divers, biologists, and locals report that marine life within the GBR is flourishing with turtles, tropical fish, sharks, and underwater creatures among others. 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. It covers more than 300,000 square kilometers and consists of … There are 2,900 specific reefs and 900 islands covering an area of 133,000 square miles and stretching for 1,400 miles that make up the Great Barrier Reef. Prior to 2016, GBR bleached in the 1980s. Temperatures in February, during the Southern Hemisphere summer, were far above that. The cause of death was listed as coral bleaching, which happens when warming oceans cause corals to expel their algae, preventing them from getting the nutrients necessary to survive. Cause of death: global warming. “We’re surprised by the pace of this acceleration in bleaching,” he said. Eye on the Reef is managed by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GRMPA). “We had a 14-year gap between 2002 and 2016, and now in five years we’ve had three severe events.”. The Great Barrier Reef, the world's largest coral reef, covers nearly 133,000 square miles and is home to more than 1,500 species of fish, 411 species of hard corals and dozens of other species. THE Great Barrier Reef has been declared dead by scientists at 25 million years old - bringing an end to the colourful life of the world's largest single structure made u of livings organism. To declare the Great Barrier Reef dead at this point could detract from efforts to protect it. "The Great Barrier Reef of Australia passed away in 2016 after a long illness. All these events are entirely natural and are part of life on the reef. A 2016 survey of more than 900 reefs found that only 7 percent were not displaying signs of coral bleaching. The Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest coral reef system composed of over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands stretching for over 2,300 kilometres (1,400 mi) over an area of approximately 344,400 square kilometres (133,000 sq mi). However, locals claim that the reports of its demise have been exaggerated and there is plenty of life left in the … Dead staghorn coral killed by bleaching on the northern Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Australia, November 2016. From the two debating points, the main threats to GBR are global warming, atmospheric carbon dioxide, and oceanic acidification, therefore, global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adoption of environmentally friendly practices is what the GBR needs. They thrive in warm water, but only up to a point: Just two or three degrees Fahrenheit of excess warming can kill the tiny creatures. Despite the obituary that surfaced over the weekend by Outside Magazine, scientists report that the Great Barrier Reef is not officially dead. In the past, they might have recovered after the water cooled, a process that could take 10 to 15 years. Contrary to popular belief, the Great Barrier Reef is not entirely dead. Threats to GBR are real and well documented but no scientist has ever declared it officially dead, and in the event that officials declare it so, nobody has the authority, like a doctor, to declare it dead thus the frustration with sources that declared GBR dead. “Isn’t it time we started telling them something more than that?”. “The Great Barrier Reef of Australia passed away in 2016 after a long illness,” Outside Magazine declared this week in a viral obituary. Marie has also engaged local indigenous community, and incorporates the Reef… Other evidence suggests that even within places of severe bleaching, there are some extended areas that are alive and colorful. The unfortunate coral death was human-induced climate change which has affected the favourable environment required for the corals to exist. "The Great Barrier Reef is not like a human being, where when your heart stops and your brain ceases to function you can be proclaimed dead. The Great Barrier Reef is now in its second, consecutive year of severe coral bleaching, a result of record ocean temperatures. For corals, the stress from these ever-warming waters usually leads to death. A video explainer on coral bleaching, the No. What this argument means is that the percentage of bleaching is an exaggeration and that most of the bleached parts are bouncing back. Believed to be approximately 25 million years, Outside Magazine Online declared the GBR dead in 2016 citing the fragile state of the reef which suffers from the ever-increasing sea surface temperature and acidity that made the corals expel the zooxanthellae algae thus leading to coral bleaching (whitening) although this condition is reversible if the conditions become favorable. It is as diverse as a rainforest, a mosaic of more than 70 types of habitats hosting thousands of species of marine life. Below are the reasons given for each argument. The Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef ecosystem in the world and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Great Barrier Reef is dying, and we may have just run out of time to save it. It was in many ways what Professor Ainsworth expected. It’s Getting More Widespread. Credit: Tourism and Events Queensland Their advice was clear: the Reef isn’t dead. Coral reefs undergo bleaching as a result of temperature changes and can recover if conditions return to normal. “It’s the first time we’ve seen severely bleached reefs along the whole length of the reef, in particular, the coastal reefs,” said Professor Hughes, the director of the ARC Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University. The Great Barrier Reef stretches 1,430 miles along the Queensland coastline and is one of the seven wonders of the natural world, as well as a Unesco … Then he returned last month, leading to another devastating conclusion: The reef was being ravaged by bleaching yet again, this time across an even wider area. The good news is, relatively speaking, that the rest of the 1,400-mile-long coral reef is alive — severely threatened, yes, but not yet dead. In October, the popular magazine “Outside” published Obituary: Great Barrier Reef (25 Million BC-2016). But rising temperatures sent him back to the air in 2017, when the reef bleached again. The survey amounts to an updated X-ray for a dying patient, with the markers of illness being the telltale white of coral that has lost its color, visible from the air and in the water. The news keeps getting worse for the the world's greatest coral reef system. A school of fish hovers over staghorn coral on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. By Mark Owuor Otieno on May 13 2018 in Environment. Great Barrier Reef declared dead 'after a long illness' in obituary 'To say the reef was an extremely active member of its community is an understatement' There is a need for a global-scale clean-up and commitment from individuals to governments because the feature is a global feature, not just a national feature of Australia. THE Great Barrier Reef has been declared dead at 25 million years old by an environmentalist writer. The Great Barrier Reef—which, at 1,400 miles long, is the longest and largest coral reef in the world—was blanketed by dangerously hot water in the summer of 2016. CNN recently posted an article disclaiming that the Great Barrier Reef is dead stating there is a difference between “dead” and dying”. The … Threats to GBR are real and well documented but no scientist has ever declared it officially dead, and in the event that officials declare it so, nobody has the authority, like a doctor, to declare it dead thus the frustration with sources that declared GBR dead. The Great Barrier Reef isn’t the only place in peril — reefs the world over are suffering. She noted that scientists had warned 20 years ago that coral reefs would be at risk if humans did not address climate change, adding that many people who lived near them believed the science back then and are now demanding to know why more isn’t being done. Tracy Ainsworth, a marine biologist at the University of New South Wales, was working with a team on Heron Island, in the southern section of the Great Barrier Reef that bleached this year for the first time. Huge sections of the Great Barrier Reef, stretching across hundreds of miles of its most pristine northern sector, were recently found to be dead, killed last year by overheated seawater. Recovery Efforts Initiated so far. The Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest coral reef system composed of over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands stretching for over 2,300 kilometres (1,400 mi) over an area of approximately 344,400 square kilometres (133,000 sq mi). But it is in trouble. The Great Barrier Reef Outlook Report spells out the challenges. The Reef supports one of the most biodiverse ecosystems on the planet, and it is home to thousands of marine animals that depend on it for survival. Greg Torda, ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies The world’s oceans, which absorb 93 percent of the heat trapped by the greenhouse gases that humans send into the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels, are warming up 40 percent faster on average than scientists estimated six years ago. But it is in trouble. California. In October of 2016, Outside magazine published a cheeky, hyperbolic piece in which it declared the Great Barrier Reef dead. The bad news: 22 percent of Australia's Great Barrier Reef has died. Australia’s stunning Great Barrier Reef has been pronounced dead after 25 million years in existence. Great Barrier Reef (CNN)Andy Ridley is shivering in a wet T-shirt on the deck of the Dreamtime after coming up from a dive on the outer edge of Australia's Great Barrier Reef. New data shows example after example of overheating and damage along the 1,500-mile natural wonder. Credit: Tourism and Events Queensland Their advice was clear: the Reef isn’t dead. Great Barrier Reef pronounced DEAD in 2016: How death is here after 25million years THE Great Barrier Reef has been pronounced DEAD at the age of 25 million years in an 'obituary' published online. Coral bleaching is the biggest threat to the Great Barrier Reef. Now, though, a wide range of species of coral reefs all over the world are experiencing mass die-offs. New aerial data from Professor Hughes and other scientists released on Monday shows example after example of overheating and damage along the reef, a 1,500-mile natural wonder. The reef covers 300,000 square kilometers and has more than 3,000 reefs. Other sources reported that 93% of the corals had bleached this could worsen if there will be no reduction in greenhouse gases that cause the rising temperatures. The species most likely to bleach and die are staghorn coral and other root and branch corals with spaces that allow many kinds of fish to swim and gain protection. The mass bleaching indicates that corals are under intense stress from the waters around them, which have been growing increasingly hotter. After 25 million years, it was pronounced dead in 2016. The article was an interesting read with a firm background on the reef and the recent environmental problems. “It was 25 million years old.” The controversial article racked up nearly 350,000 shares across social media, sparking countless think pieces commenting about coral bleaching and the reality of the Great Barrier Reef's decline. Hundreds of millions of people get their protein primarily from reef fish like the coral trout, which is already being affected by the bleaching events on the Great Barrier Reef. All maps, graphics, flags, photos and original descriptions © 2020 worldatlas.com. They’re sensitive creatures. ... the Great Barrier Reef. We have been closely following this crisis as it unfolds and it’s beginning to feel like sitting bedside with an elderly parent as their life support systems begin to shut down. Great Barrier Reef declared dead 'after a long illness' in obituary 'To say the reef was an extremely active member of its community is an understatement' “We are going to keep reporting decline and recording change on reefs and telling people what they already know about how corals die,” Professor Ainsworth said. A barrier reef protects the shallow shore waters from the open sea, providing protection for many coastal organisms. The ripple effect could be significant. The Great Barrier Reef is considered Australia’s national treasure as it once was filled with marine life, amazing coral reefs, and crystal clear waters. In fact, each of the 3000 individual reefs, along the entire 2000km length of the Great Barrier Reef, is a 50-100m high plateau of dead coral rubble that has built up over millennia. Corals around islands on the Great Barrier Reef in 2018. mapping the bleaching and death of corals, which have been growing increasingly hotter. Business. The Great Barrier Reef -- the largest living structure on Earth-- is dying as a result of El Nino and climate change. A widely shared "obituary" in Outside magazine last week inaccurately claimed Coral reefs undergo bleaching as a result of temperature changes and can recover if conditions return to normal. After a stretch of cooler weather in February, the overheating continued from late February through March, with scientists finding dead corals in shallow reef habitats, and bleaching in deeper reef slopes that were believed to be better protected. RIP Great Barrier Reef In response to this, environmental writer Rowan Jacobsen has written an article as if the rainbow palette of corals and shimmering, dancing life it … “The Great Barrier Reef of Australia passed away in 2016 after a long illness,” Outside Magazine declared this week in a viral obituary. Professor Hughes said the heat waves of recent years were creating a cumulative effect that was drastically altering the makeup of the reef. This year’s bleaching — which was documented by surveying 1,036 sections of the reef — appears to rank second only to 2016, according to Professor Hughes. "The key threat to the Great Barrier Reef is climate change -- the government has recognized that many times," Hughes told the Sydney Morning Herald. However, many took issue with the declaration that the Great Barrier Reef was dead. Now it’s described by Outside Magazine as dead. Not so fast, scientists say. Believed to be approximately 25 million years, Outside Magazine Online declared the GBR dead in 2016 citing the fragile state of the reef which suffers from the ever-increasing sea surface temperature and acidity that made the corals expel the zooxanthellae algae … Half of the Great Barrier Reef Is Dead See where coral in the world's largest coral reef system has been bleached to death. It was the warmest month on record for water temperatures near the reef, with readings in some places peaking at more than 5 degrees Fahrenheit above average for the time of year. The corals started to show signs of stress in January, she said, around the same time that Australia’s bush-fire crisis reached its apex. According to one recent study, 2019 was the hottest year on record for the world’s oceans. Jacobsen’s point in declaring the Great Barrier Reef dead was really more of a wake-up call raising awareness of a phenomenon that has been troubling scientists for decades. The species that seem hearty enough to survive tend to be dome-like corals, known as brain corals, which play a role in protecting against coastal erosion but are less valuable to fish and other wildlife. The Great Barrier Reef is not entirely dead — it is large enough to support swaths of healthy coral. The Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest coral reef ecosystem and a UNESCO World Heritage site. The Great Barrier Reef Outlook Report spells out the challenges. Is The Great Barrier Reef Dead? But the Great Barrier Reef is not dead. The Great Barrier Reef is not entirely dead — it is large enough to support swaths of healthy coral. In the meantime, scientists who were conducting research in March before the coronavirus outbreak forced lockdowns said they had been saddened and frustrated by what they witnessed at sea. Thousands of species of Marine life scientists Report that the loss of that food supply could become a humanitarian.. 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