The Great Barrier Reef is not dead - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

The Great Barrier Reef is not dead

Source: The Great Barrier Reef Source: The Great Barrier Reef

Although the beautiful Great Barrier Reef is dying, you still have some time to see this underwater gem. Recently, a website posted an obituary for the Great Barrier Reef and inaccurately declared that it was completely dead. Author Rowan Jacobsen writes, “The Great Barrier Reef of Australia passed away in 2016 after a long illness. It was 25 million years old.”

While the reef is undoubtedly struggling, It still has some time before scientists declare it dead. The reef has suffered the worst coral bleaching on record, which is attributed to natural occurrences such as El Nino and human-influenced causes like dredging. In April, it was discovered that 93% of the reef was impacted by this bleaching. However, scientists recently concluded about 23% of the reef had actually died from this event.

The Great Barrier Reef, which is off the coast of Queensland, Australia, has been susceptible to bleaching over the past few years due to the abnormally warm ocean temperatures. Although bleaching sounds scary, it is quite literally when the bright coral turns white from warm ocean temperatures. Although extremely troubling, this is not necessarily a death sentence for coral and it can recover if given the proper amount of time.

Since it is one of the biggest tourist draws to Queensland, the Australian government is taking extensive measures to protect the Great Coral Reef. As part of the Reef 2050 Plan, the government is working to improve water quality and stop the disposal of dredging material from ports.

Even with the proactive plan set out by scientists and politicians in Australia, there is still uncertainty on how much of the reef can recover in the coming years. Although the Great Barrier Reef is not dead yet, it’s fate still looks grim over the next decade. 

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