Friday, April 15, 2016

A Tragedy of Our Own Making

The Great Barrier Reef is dying, due to Global Warming, the man made disaster propelled by the use of fossil fuels. The unfolding of this tragedy of our own making is heartbreaking to see while the reef slowly dies, a natural wonder our grandchildren will never see if we don't change our ways before it's too late.

Large sections of the Great Barrier Reef, the Earth’s largest living structure, are dying before our eyes. Sustained high sea temperatures have stressed the corals to the point where they expel the brightly coloured algae that live within their tissues. This process is aptly named bleaching as it removes all pigment and exposes the shocking white calcium skeleton of the reef structures.

The coral can survive in this state for up to a few weeks. Thereafter, if temperatures do not decrease then they will die.

The Great Barrier Reef has experienced bleaching events twice before. The first, in 1998, was bad enough, with 50% of the reef affected. 2002 was even worse with 60% of the reef bleached. Recent aerial surveys of the northern 1000km of the reef evaluated 500 different sections – 95% were bleached.

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