After 25 million years, the Great Barrier Reef has officially died, scientists discovered came as scientists carried out a major investigation into bleaching.
Environmental writer Rowan Jacobsen, for Outside Magazine actually published an obituary for the barrier reef, pronouncing it officially dead.
“For most of its life, the reef was the world’s largest living structure, and the only one visible from space. It was 1,400 miles long, with 2,900 individual reefs and 1,050 islands. In total area, it was larger than the United Kingdom, and it contained more biodiversity than all of Europe combined. It harbored 1,625 species of fish, 3,000 species of mollusk, 450 species of coral, 220 species of birds, and 30 species of whales and dolphins. Among its many other achievements, the reef was home to one of the world’s largest populations of dugong and the largest breeding ground of green turtles.”
Warming of ocean waters due to climate change causes the corals to expel the algae, becoming transparent skeletons. Without algae, the coral starves. Additionally, the algae gives them tat incredible colors.
The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority is now in the second phase of its in-water survey to impact of the mass coral bleaching event, according to Express co. The survey revealed how a previous study this year “show 22 per cent of the coral on the Reef died due to the worst mass bleaching event on record.”