The first coral bleaching in a supposedly cold year

The Great Barrier Reef off the east coast of Australia, the world’s largest coral reef, has been hit by another devastating coral bleaching event. Not only is this the fourth such event in seven years, it also comes at an unexpected time. The Pacific Ocean is undergoing a La Niña phase, which is supposed to bring cold waters to the coast of eastern Australia – experts had hoped this year’s reefs will recover from coral bleaching in recent years. According to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, which oversees the protected area, bleached corals can be seen in all four sectors of the reef from aircraft observations. These do not die spontaneously, but such events have a significant impact on growth, reproduction, and the ability of organisms to resist infection. Recurrent severe coral bleaching threatens to kill large areas of coral reefs.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.