There Is A 'Positive Update' On The Great Barrier Reef According To A New Report

There Is A 'Positive Update' On The Great Barrier Reef According To A New Report

JC Photo/Shutterstock

After decades of damning reports, bleak photos, and depressing headlines, a new report claims to have a “positive update” on the GBR - the Great Barrier Reef.

The Reef & Rainforest Research Centre (RRRC) is a non-profit organization that has recently published a report for the Queensland State Government. The report claims parts of the GBR are showing signs of recovery from years of bleaching.

However, don’t crack out the champagne yet, as the future of the largest coral reef in the world(or any coral reef, for that matter) still isn't looking rosy. At all.

Although scientists and policymakers have been working really hard to support the reefs, the recent development is mainly thanks to a milder 2017-18 summer. The weather has let parts of the reef regain some health after the disastrous bleaching events of 2016 and 2017. However, all it takes is another bad reason and it is back to square one.

Saxon Reef, for instance, suffered some form of bleaching on 47.1% of its live coral cover during the 2016 event, according to Sheriden Morris, RRRC Managing Director. Luckily, much of the bleached coral recovered, but "this recovery is always going to be contingent on environmental conditions", he said in a statement, warning about the continuation of global warming.

Coral have a mutually beneficial relationship with microalgae which live in their tissues. The corals provide protection and extra surface area, the photosynthetic algae provide the “food.” If the algae become stressed by pollution, disease, or temperatures, then the algae leave the coral. Along with losing their vibrant rich coloring, the corals will lose a significant energy source, becoming weak and susceptible to disease. Luckily, corals do have an important capacity to bounce back from this damage.

The GBR is much more than a beautiful sight. Stretching for more than 2,300 km (1,430 miles) down the coastline of Queensland in northeast Australia, it's the largest coral reef system in the world by some margin. Coral reefs, in general, contain approximately a third of the Earth's known marine biodiversity, such as giant turtles and teeny seahorses.

There Is A 'Positive Update' On The Great Barrier Reef According To A New Report

A section of bleached coral. Richard Whitcombe/Shutterstock

For Queensland, it is also a great source of tourism.

There Is A 'Positive Update' On The Great Barrier Reef According To A New Report There Is A 'Positive Update' On The Great Barrier Reef According To A New Report Reviewed by Katerina Papakyriakopoulou on 1:59 PM Rating: 5


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