Coral on Australia's legendary Great Barrier Reef suffered a catastrophic fatality after the prolonged sea heat in 2016, according to a study
Scientists from the ARC Coral CoE Competence Center in Australia map the geographic pattern of solar heat exposure.
They measured the survival of corals on the 2,300-kilometer stretch of the Great Barrier Reef, the world's largest reef system, after the extreme sea heat of 2016.
The study was published in the journal Nature found that 29 percent of the 3,863 reefs that host the world's largest reef system have lost two-thirds or more of their coral, altering the ability of these reefs to sustain full ecological function
"When coral can bleach from a heatwave, it can either survive and its color recover slowly when the temperature drops, or they can die, "said Terry Hughes of the ARC Coral CoE Center of Competence
The amount of coral extinctions that the researchers measured was closely related to the amount of bleaching and the Level of heat exposure, with the northern third of the Great Barrier Reef hit hardest.
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These findings underscore the need to assess the risk of large-scale collapse of reef ecosystems, especially when global climate change measures do not limit warming to 1.5
The study is unique because it is testing the new framework for the IUCN's ecosystem of the International Union for the Protection of the Environment (EUCN), which aims to classify vulnerable ecosystems as "safe". "threatened" or "threatened with extinction".
"The Great Barrier Reef is certainly threatened by climate change, but it's not going to fail if we deal with greenhouse gas emissions very quickly, and our study shows that coral reefs are already radically shifting due to unprecedented heat waves," Hughes said. PTI
The Great Barrier Reef is threatened by climate change, but it is not lost if we deal with greenhouse gas emissions very quickly. Our study shows that coral reefs are already radically shifting towards an unprecedented heat wave