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It’s “the worst bleaching ever seen on what was the healthiest part of the Great Barrier Reef,” Dr. Mark Eakin, the Coordinator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Coral Reef Watch, told me. “It’s quite sad.”
A new survey conducted by Professor Terry Hughes of James Cook University, who used charter planes and helicopters to conduct an aerial survey of the reef, found that as much as 95 percent of the northern section of the Reef—an area spanning 100,000 square kilometers (38,600 square miles)—was “severely” bleached.
Eakin adds that while the plight of the GBR is making headlines, there are other reefs that are currently faring even worse. The water was so warm in Fiji that it wasn’t just bleaching that grew severe—fish were straight-up dying off. The inshore reefs of New Caledonia are also in deep trouble, as are those in Kiribati, where Eakin’s colleagues are currently returning from an expedition with what he expects will be extraordinarily dire news.
All of which is to say: The world’s reefs, one of our most colorful, vibrant ecosystems, are going white. Many are dying off. Some experts, as I’ve noted before, fear that this is the beginning of the end of coral itself.
When I asked Eakin just how dire the situation was, he responded with a two-word sentence.
The government has not been listening to us for the past 20 years,
I'm really angry that the government isn't listening to us, to the evidence we've been providing to them since 1998.
originally posted by: hopenotfeariswhatweneed
a reply to: mc_squared
I am planning to go to Whitsundays in the next couple of months and spend some time viewing the reef i will make sure to take lots of photos....