US News The Great Barrier Reef’s catastrophic coral bleaching, in one map

18:11  20 april  2017
18:11  20 april  2017 Source:   Vox.com

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The scientists who study the Great Barrier Reef are shocked and horrified by what they're seeing right now. Record hot temperatures in the Pacific Ocean — driven by global warming and a powerful El Niño — have fueled the worst coral bleaching event ever seen along the northern third of Australia' s

Bleaching is not necessarily fatal for coral , but 2016 was also the highest level of coral mortality ever recorded on the Great Barrier Reef . As you can see in the map below, this February marked yet another unseasonably hot month. NOAA’ s Coral Reef Watch recorded abnormal heat stress at nearly

  The Great Barrier Reef’s catastrophic coral bleaching, in one map © Provided by Vox.com Two-thirds of the reef have bleached in the past two years.

Record ocean temperatures have produced mass bleaching along Australia’s Great Barrier Reef for the second year in a row.

The latest aerial surveys released by scientists this month show a recent bleaching event almost as severe as the record bleaching of 2016 that left two-thirds of the reef damaged. Bleaching occurs when extreme heat forces algae to abandon coral, turning them pale white.

In 2016, El Niño was responsible for a spike in ocean temperatures, which led to an unprecedented level of bleaching along the northern third of the reef. Scientists found as many as 95 percent of the corals surveyed in 2016 were severely bleached.

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TOP: Coral bleaching at Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef , March 2016. ATTACHMENT 3 – Map showing observed bleaching prepared by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (June 13, 2016)30.

In images shared exclusively with the Guardian, the catastrophic nature of the current mass bleaching event on previously pristine parts of the Great Barrier Reef can now be revealed. Nasa to map coral reefs from the air to show impact of climate change.

Bleaching is not necessarily fatal for coral, but 2016 was also the highest level of coral mortality ever recorded on the Great Barrier Reef. In the worst-affected area, a 435-mile region in the north near Cooktown, Australia, as much as 67 percent of shallow-water corals died.

This year, scientists says climate change and rising ocean temperatures are behind the bleaching of the reef, with bleaching spread further south, hitting the middle third particularly hard. Only the southern third of the reef is unharmed.

Map of coral bleaching incidents along the Great Barrier Reef © Vox Map of coral bleaching incidents along the Great Barrier Reef

Scientists say it’s too soon to calculate this year’s coral death toll, but it’s already clear the damage extends further south than last year.

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The Great Barrier Reef is famous for its kaleidoscope of colors: a rainbow of sea creatures swimming past bright corals . Last year, however, something strange happened — the reef ' s coral turned bone-white. Scientists call this " bleaching ."

The coral bleaching event that struck the Great Barrier Reef earlier this year was the deadliest ever recorded in the region. Customer Service Site Map Privacy Policy Ad Choices Terms of Use Your California Privacy Rights Careers.

Bleached coral reefs can recover, but rising ocean temperatures are making this increasingly difficult

Scientists have now documented four major bleaching episodes along the Great Barrier Reef — 1998, 2002, 2016, and now 2017 — which means that most of the reef has undergone some form of severe bleaching in the past 18 years. (If you want to read more about why recent bleaching events are putting the reef in serious jeopardy, you should check out Brad Plumer’s excellent explainer).

Corals can bounce back from bleaching. But recovery is a slow and uneven process, particularly for coral that are centuries old.

“It takes at least a decade for a full recovery of even the fastest-growing corals, so mass bleaching events 12 months apart offers zero prospect of recovery for reefs that were damaged in 2016,” said James Kerry, one of the researchers at James Cook University’s Australian Research Council Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, in a statement on the most recent findings.

Pregnant woman recovers after bleach attack

  Pregnant woman recovers after bleach attack A pregnant woman is recovering after she had bleach thrown in her eyes, police said. The mother-to-be was walking with a man when the noxious substance was thrown at them from someone in a passing car on Friday night.Both were hit in the eyes in the incident in Ashton Old Road in Openshaw, Manchester, but while they suffered "severe discomfort" police believe they suffered no lasting damage.Minutes after the attack a third person, a man, was also targeted with bleach from a passing car in the same road.He was uninjured but his clothes were left stained after the substance struck his back.

AU QLD: Survey Finds Catastrophic Coral Die Off on Great Barrier Reef Various10:52. Coral researchers said a fourth bleaching episode was unfolding at the Great Barrier Reef , warning climate change has positioned the natural wonder in a position of ?life and death?.

Record bleaching at Lizard Island in the Great Barrier Reef , March 2016. (XL Caitlin Survey). Map of mortality estimates on coral reefs along 1 ,100 km of the Great Barrier Reef .

Chart showing the process for how a coral is bleached © Vox Chart showing the process for how a coral is bleached

Complicating coral recovery now is the fact that the bouts of bleaching are growing longer and more severe, while the much-needed recovery periods are shorter and less frequent.

The culprit? Record-high ocean temperatures that don’t appear to be dropping anytime soon. As you can see in the map below, this February marked yet another unseasonably hot month. NOAA’s Coral Reef Watch recorded abnormal heat stress at nearly every point along Australia’s eastern coast from February 21 to 27, 2017.

Map of bleaching alerts in February 2017 along the Great Barrier Reef © Vox Map of bleaching alerts in February 2017 along the Great Barrier Reef

Light tan means an area is under heat stress. Orange areas are under a bleaching warning. Light red means bleaching is likely, and dark red indicates mortality of coral is likely.

Mark Eakin, coordinator of Coral Reef Watch, told NASA that this is alarming because the current bleaching along the Great Barrier Reef is ongoing.

“Unlike past global bleaching events (in 1998 and 2010) that lasted less than 12 months, this event is in its 33rd month and shows no sign of stopping,” he said. “It has been the longest, most widespread, and most damaging coral bleaching event ever recorded.”

Pregnant woman among three hit by bleach attack

  Pregnant woman among three hit by bleach attack A pregnant woman is one of three people to have been hit by bleach thrown by someone in a passing car. The woman was walking with a man in Manchester when the bleach was thrown at them by someone at about 8.10pm on Friday.Both victims were hit in the eyes and suffered "severe discomfort" but no lasting damage, police said.Around 20 minutes later, a third person was hit with bleach thrown from a passing silver Ford Fiesta on the same road - Ashton Old Road in the suburb of Openshaw in the east of the city.The man was not hurt but the bleach hit his back and stained his clothes.

Image: ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies. Coral bleaching in the Great Barrier Reef is a piece of a much bigger picture, and it shows us that even the most pristine ecosystems on Earth are susceptible to the impacts of climate change.

ABC Australia: Great Barrier Reef : Citizen scientists lend a hand to document coral bleaching impact — "Thousands of so-called citizen scientists are putting up their hands to help professional scientists working to measure the impact on the Great Barrier Reef in the aftermath of this year' s catastrophic

What’s more, some experts believe efforts to combat coral bleaching have been in vain. Jon Brodie, a researcher at James Cook University and water quality expert, told the Guardian that projects to improve Australia’s water quality, which were at the heart of the government’s response, were failing.

“Last year was bad enough, this year is a disaster year,” Brodie told the Guardian. “The federal government is doing nothing really, and the current programs, the water quality management is having very limited success. It’s unsuccessful.”

The real answer to stop coral bleaching lies in reducing our CO2 emissions, which are causing ocean waters to warm. But emissions are not on track to stay below the 1.5 degrees Celsius threshold, and coral reefs could perish if the planet continues to warm.

As Terry Hughes, head of the Australian Research Council Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, said in a statement, the “window to do so is rapidly closing.” Otherwise, we are looking at unabated bleaching of the reef.

Stunning photos of coral reefs around the world (provided by Photos)

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