"Just 2% of the Great Barrier Reef remains untouched by bleaching since 1998
and 80% of individual reefs have bleached severely once, twice or three times
since 2016, our new study reveals today.
We measured the impacts of five marine heatwaves on the Great Barrier Reef over
the past three decades: in 1998, 2002, 2016, 2017 and 2020. We found these
bouts of extreme temperatures have transformed it into a checkerboard of
bleached reefs with very different recent histories.
Whether we still have a functioning Great Barrier Reef in the decades to come
depends on how much higher we allow global temperatures to rise. The bleaching
events we’ve already seen in recent years are a result of the world warming by
1.2℃ since pre-industrial times.
World leaders meeting at the climate summit in Glasgow must commit to more
ambitious promises to drastically cut greenhouse gas emissions. It’s vital for
the future of corals reefs, and for the hundreds of millions of people who
depend on them for their livelihoods and food security."
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics