‘Zero recovery’ for Great Barrier Reef corals in back-to-back bleaching

Researchers said last month they were detecting another round of mass bleaching this year after a severe event in 2016, and their fears were confirmed after aerial surveys of the entire 2,300km long bio-diverse reef.

Last year, the northern areas of the World Heritage-listed reef were hardest hit, with the middle-third now experiencing the worst effects.

“Bleached corals are not necessarily dead corals, but in the severe central region we anticipate high levels of coral loss,” said James Kerry, a marine biologist at James Cook University.

“It takes at least a decade for a full recovery of even the fastest growing corals, so mass bleaching events 12 months apart offer zero prospect of recovery for reefs that were damaged in 2016.”

It is the fourth time coral bleaching has hit the reef after previous events in 1998 and 2002.

“The combined impact of this back-to-back bleaching stretches for 1,500km, leaving only the southern third unscathed,” said Terry Hughes, head of the Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, also at James Cook University.

“The bleaching is caused by record-breaking temperatures driven by global warming.

“This year, 2017, we are seeing mass bleaching, even without the assistance of El Nino conditions,” he added, referring to the natural climate cycle in the Pacific Ocean.

The Barrier Reef is already under pressure from farming run-off, development and the crown-of-thorns starfish.

It was also recently hammered by Category four Tropical Cyclone Debbie, which barrelled through the region last month, mostly affecting southern parts which largely escaped the bleaching.

The extent of the destruction wrought by Debbie is not yet known, although scientists have said damage could range from minor to severe.

Hughes warned rising temperatures could see more bleaching events.

“One degree Celsius (33.8 degrees Fahrenheit) of warming so far has already caused four events in the past 19 years,” he said.

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This entry was posted in Biến đổi khí hậu - Climate change, Môi trường - Environment, Quản lý tài nguyên biển and tagged , , , , by Trần Đình Hoành. Bookmark the permalink.

About Trần Đình Hoành

I am an attorney in the Washington DC area, with a Doctor of Law in the US, attended the master program at the National School of Administration of Việt Nam, and graduated from Sài Gòn University Law School. I aso studied philosophy at the School of Letters in Sài Gòn. I have worked as an anti-trust attorney for Federal Trade Commission and a litigator for a fortune-100 telecom company in Washington DC. I have taught law courses for legal professionals in Việt Nam and still counsel VN government agencies on legal matters. I have founded and managed businesses for me and my family, both law and non-law. I have published many articles on national newspapers and radio stations in Việt Nam. In 1989 I was one of the founding members of US-VN Trade Council, working to re-establish US-VN relationship. Since the early 90's, I have established and managed VNFORUM and VNBIZ forum on VN-related matters; these forums are the subject of a PhD thesis by Dr. Caroline Valverde at UC-Berkeley and her book Transnationalizing Viet Nam. I translate poetry and my translation of "A Request at Đồng Lộc Cemetery" is now engraved on a stone memorial at Đồng Lộc National Shrine in VN. I study and teach the Bible and Buddhism. In 2009 I founded and still manage dotchuoinon.com on positive thinking and two other blogs on Buddhism. In 2015 a group of friends and I founded website CVD - Conversations on Vietnam Development (cvdvn.net). I study the art of leadership with many friends who are religious, business and government leaders from many countries. In October 2011 Phu Nu Publishing House in Hanoi published my book "Positive Thinking to Change Your Life", in Vietnamese (TƯ DUY TÍCH CỰC Thay Đổi Cuộc Sống). In December 2013 Phu Nu Publishing House published my book "10 Core Values for Success". I practice Jiu Jitsu and Tai Chi for health, and play guitar as a hobby, usually accompanying my wife Trần Lê Túy Phượng, aka singer Linh Phượng.

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