Climate change, more specifically its ocean warming ‘component,’ is responsible for damaging the Great Barrier Reef. Dr. Zoe Richards is a coral scientist, and ever since 2011, she has started researching the corals. In January 2011, she left the Great Barrier Reef Island and she began studying 245 coral species, all situated in 14 different locations.
Six years later, she reported massive destruction of the reefs caused by the mass bleaching and the cyclones that were occurring during the past four years. However, the upcoming year she saw thousands of new colonies of reefs started to grow back. They were still not mature enough to face the challenges that nature has prepared for them, but the progress they made was incredible.
Ocean Warming Kills The Great Barrier Reef
What is alarming is that the reefs still needed more strength when the new mass bleaching returned to the island. Fortunately, it was not as aggressive as the previous ones, but it showed enough force to damage the marine life. The difference was that back in 2016 and 2017, when the first two massive breaches occurred, almost 30% of the reef’s corals were killed, while this time, they were only damaged.
The scientists are spreading awareness that due to climate change and the rise in temperatures, tropical reefs bleach might occur every year. Nonetheless, this problem can be fixed by means of two alternatives. The first possibility is if the governments make more in-depth cuts in the greenhouse gas emissions, with a view to keeping the global heating at a point of 1.5 degrees Celsius.
The second option is determining a way in which rising temperatures to no longer is a threat to the environment. Therefore, what is clear is that this problem could be fixed with the help of each and every one. Otherwise, the magic that the Great Barrier Reef’s Lizard Island provides will be lost for eternity due to the ocean warming.