Higher water temperatures are affecting the Great Barrier Reef again

Global warming is certainly not an unknown concept to any of us and we are already all-too-aware of how badly it is affecting our planet.

Temperatures around the world are getting higher, the ice and glaciers in the North and South Poles are melting and the level of water in the oceans is rising, all of which are not a very good sign for the environment or wildlife.

The beautiful, brightly colored coral reefs are no exception to the effects of climate change. The Great Barrier Reef in Australia is one of the natural wonders of the world and is considered one of the prettiest and most diverse coral reefs in the entire world. Unfortunately, because the temperature of the water is rising, making it too warm for the coral, the reef is at risk of losing its colour.

Coral bleaching, a process that takes place when coral reefs are exposed to high water temperatures for a long period of time. The algae, which feed the corals and also provide their colour separate from the reefs, leading the corals to become ‘bleached’. This can weaken the corals and even kill them if it continues for too long.

Greenpeace.org

At the moment, the Great Barrier Reef is being subjected to a water temperature that is 1.5°C higher than the normal temperature at this time of year and experts predict that if these temperatures continue for the next two weeks, the reef will begin bleaching. This will be the third time in just five years that coral bleaching has taken place at the Great Barrier Reef.

Although water temperatures in the northern part of the reef are forecasted to come down, in some areas of the reef the bleaching has already started and people around the world are expressing their concern.

The World Heritage Committee is also scheduled to review the condition of the reef in June and if the situation does not get any better, the Great Barrier Reef will be placed on the list of sites that are considered to be ‘in danger’.


Written by: Disha Mirchandani. Disha is a former lawyer turned freelance content writer. She is a fitness enthusiast and amateur aerialist with her own fitness photo-blog as well.