2016 Record Worst Destruction and Bleaching of Corals at Great Barrier Reef
Higher water temperatures in 2016 were the cause of the worst destruction of corals ever recorded on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, a report found.
According to a November 29 report from ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, the worst affected areas in the northeast reefs experienced an average loss of 67 per cent of its shallow-water coral in the past eight to nine months. ARC’s director Professor Terry Hughes attributed widespread destruction to rising sea temperatures. He said although reefs in the southern and central regions escaped with minor damage, unless the heat stress was addressed they could experience an annual bleaching event within 20 years.
Although there has been a massive push from the scientific and tourism industry to address the reef destruction, they have come against new obstacles in the form of politics. The One Nation party, who hold the balance of power in the Senate, have launched an attack on conventional climate science and called for investigations against scientific bodies such as CSIRO – calling them corrupt. On November 25, they visited the aforementioned southern regions 1,000 kilometres south of the worst affected islands and told Storyful the destruction claims were “hyperbolic”.
Video: Facebook/WWF Australia via Storyful