The rising temperatures of water over the threshold and for a sustained period of time; the sediment run-off; influences in nutrient levels; and, the damage caused by commodities industries are all factors that have contributed to global coral bleaching events.
According to the U.S. National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), when corals are stressed due conditional changes like temperature, light or nutrients they lose their colors and turn completely white and, in consequence, they expel their symbiotic algae residents.
Back in 2005, the U.S. lost half of its coral reef system in the Caribbean in one year because of warm waters. However, bleaching events can occur by cold water temperatures as well, like the coral bleaching case of Florida Keys in 2010.
The catalyst in the north of Queensland town of Cairns has been increased in the baseline temperature between half a degree and a full degree for a sustained period of time, which is causing a massive coral bleaching, said Terry Hughes, convener of the National Coral Taskforce, who considers this case as “the jewel in the crown.”
Reefs are lodestones of biodiversity and environmental equilibrium. They are enormous food systems and also protective barriers for coastlines from the elements. Sustainable, fishing, recreation and tourism are also industries nourished by their beautiful existence.
Australia’s Great Barrier Reef bleaching is alarming
The Great Barrier Reef is doomed to functional extinction by 2030, said a report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Due to climate change effects and the ever impressive assaults of El Niño, The Great Barrier Reef is in a bleaching crisis.
“We have never seen bleaching of this magnitude or intensity in such a pristine area of the Reef,” claimed the Great Barrier Reef campaign director, Imogen Zeethoven.
Despite the big damage its causing, Australian market continues approving more coal mines and coal export terminals, encouraging foreign investors seeking for an economic advantage. China merchants, for example, bought a share in the largest coal mining export terminal on the planet, located in Sydney.
The reliance on coal, that causes so much damage, and despite the sentimentality linked to the Great Barrier Reef, state governments haven’t been responding to it as they should, they keep ensuring that they will protect the environment, but injuries do nothing but increase.
Source: Global Research