Scientists: Great Barrier Reef Has Suffered Another Mass Bleaching Event

Great Barrier Reef experiencing third coral bleaching in five years

Experts predict that these events will become more frequent and more severe as global temperatures continue to rise, and the latest surveys of the reef will do little to allay those concerns.

However, they have also found a few healthy pockets amid the reef, which covers over 2,300km (1,400 miles).

This third major bleaching event follows the worst outbreak of mass bleaching on record, which in 2016 and 2017 killed some 50 percent of the shallow water corals in the world's largest reef system.

Scientists say they have detected widespread bleaching, including extensive patches of severe damage.

A outcome of climate change and rising ocean temperatures, coral bleaching occurs when water is too warm, causing corals to expel algae living in their tissue, which turns them white.

Australia's iconic Great Barrier Reef, a World Heritage site recognised for its "enormous scientific and intrinsic importance", has suffered yet another mass coral bleaching for the third time in five years, scientists said on Thursday.

That conditions exacerbated a years-long drought in much of eastern Australia, contributing to the summer's devastating wildfires that burnt out an area nearly the size of England. If a coral is bleached, it doesn't mean it is dead, and if it is only a mild or moderate level of bleaching, it will often recover.

Terry Hughes, director of the Australian Research Council's Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University in Australia, decribed the coral damage he viewed as "heartbreaking".

The australian coral reef the Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest of its kind, has again been hit by the big blegningsskader.

"The inshore section between Cairns and Townsville is certainly severely bleached".

According to the agency, climate change remains the single greatest threat to the reef.

Aerial view of the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of the Whitsunday Islands, along the central coast of Queensland.

Last August, the GBRMPA downgraded its outlook for the corals' health from "poor" to "very poor" and said the target set by the government's Reef 2050 plan to improve water quality had not been achieved.

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