Great Barrier Reef Sees Its Worst Damage on Record
The Great Barrier Reef is reportedly experiencing its worst damage via coral bleaching by far in history. The culprit is none other than the significant increase in water temperatures, which is record high as well. More than half of the coral population in the northern section has perished, while the central and southern centers have been reported to be in better health.
According to a report from BBC, the sustained increase in temperatures has triggered the corals' expulsion of an algae species known as zooxanthellae. These algae live in the tissues of corals and once they have been released, the coral will turn completely white, thus the name coral bleaching.
So why the big deal out of this? The algae present in the tissues of the coral serve as its primary food source. Once the algae are expelled, the coral will be susceptible to disease and will become ill of health with very limited food source.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, this becomes a problem as the vulnerability of the corals could potentially lead them to their death. With the water temperatures higher than it used to be, the estimated recovery for these corals will take a much longer time. In the worst case, they might not be able to recover at all.
If this trend continues, future generations might not be able to witness the beauty of this earth's natural wonder. Enthusiasts and environmentalists from all over the world have exerted efforts in making this problem an international concern, pushing organizations into actions to save the Great Barrier Reef's life.
On the other hand, a report from the Guardian has indicated that even if Australia has been pushing for action for the protection of the natural wonder, funding seems to still be a big problem. If no action is to take place in the near future, the Great Barrier Reef may experience further death or maybe even extinction.