According to an article in the magazine Current Biology, Only 2% of this massive underwater environment has survived the event since the first major bleaching episode of 1998, the hottest year in history. This Registration He has since been repeatedly beaten.
Terry Hughes, a leading author at the Australian Research Council (ARC) Special Center for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University, points out that the frequency, intensity and magnitude of the ocean heat waves that cause this eruption are increasing.
“Five episodes of Giant Bleaching since 1998 have transformed the Great Barrier Reef into a checkerboard of rocks with very different recent histories, with 2% of the reefs completely escaping bleaching, and at least 80% bleaching at least once since 2016.“, He notes.
Bleaching is a futile event that results in discoloration. This is because the water temperature rises. This results in the excretion of symbiotic algae that give the coral its color and its nutrients.
Three unprecedented bleaching episodes
The Great Barrier, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was whitewashed in 1981 during the heat waves of 2016, 2017 and 2020.
In July, researchers confirmed that coral reefs had shown signs of recovery from past bleaching, while acknowledging that “2,300 km of long-term potential for the world’s largest coral reef.”Too bad“.
The rocks are threatened by hurricanes, and the increasingly occurring coral-eating starfish due to climate change and purple agglomeration, pollution and agricultural waste.
The coral needs more time to recover before another cycle of thermal stress, so it will form children, scatter, settle, and cover the deformed areas of the rocks.
Sean Connolly, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
Research released on Thursday, November 4, shows that corals already exposed to heat waves are less susceptible to thermal stress. However, Sean Connolly, co-editor of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, warns that frequent and excessive exposure reduces the resilience of corals.
“The coral needs more time to recover before another cycle of thermal stress, so it will form children, scatter, settle, and cover the deformed areas of the rocks., He explains. Measures to slow climate change are important. “
The study was published in Glasgow, Scotland during COP26. Australia, a major exporter of fossil fuels, has promised to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 and refuses to set a more ambitious date of 2030.