Barrier Reef coral bleaching getting worse

A protest against a 2013 decision by environment minister Greg Hunt to approve dredging at Abbot Point in the Great Barrier Reef. AAP Image/Dan Peled

A protest against a 2013 decision by environment minister Greg Hunt to approve dredging at Abbot Point in the Great Barrier Reef. AAP Image/Dan Peled

Brisbane [AAP]

Coral bleaching on the iconic Great Barrier Reef is getting worse, with authorities raising the threat level for the second time in a week after discovering it is more severe than previously thought.

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority has lifted its response to level three – its highest – which means severe regional bleaching has been detected.

Environment minister Greg Hunt flew over the reef on Sunday to observe some of the hardest hit areas around Lizard Island, north of Cairns.

The level-three upgrade comes a week after the authority increased the coral bleaching warning from level one to two after surveys carried out by divers over the preceding fortnight detected widespread bleaching.

The surveys found reefs around Lizard Island and further north were the worst impacted.

In the worst affected sites in the remote far north on inshore Cape York reefs, divers found up to half of the coral has died from prolonged higher than average sea surface temperatures.

One response to “Barrier Reef coral bleaching getting worse”

  1. Roger Graf says:

    What’s the use of trying to fix something that is already broke! There is no ability for the change for improvement to the reef due to a steady pace of global warming.
    Our government and many other governments’ throughout the world are tunnelled vision in that they want growth and jobs as their catchcry.
    Our government has placed a ‘red’ alert and is offering $3.0 million to reduce pesticides and herbicides reaching the Great Barrier Reef [GBR]… you think a porphyry $3.0 million will save the bleaching of the GBR?
    The GBR is doomed, period!
    I would suggest that our government start seeding the islands further to the south of the GBR with living coral so as the adaptation for life could be sustained.
    I live at Fingal Head and the water temperature is a staggering 27 degrees Celsius. You also have acidification to compete against.
    If countries were to listen to the scientist much earlier than what they have done, this could have been prevented. But whilst we have the Minister for the Environment allowing for further and future coal mining and other fossil fuels to increase our signature of climate change there is no ability to improve such delicate environmental natural/living formations like the GBR.
    When Malcolm Turnbull MP lost his position as the opposition leader of the LNP and a denialist like Tony Abbott MP took over the position… the science for climate change was never going to see the light of day for future reductions of greenhouse gases and fossil fuels.
    The country tax payer’s is paying the polluters to improve their greenhouse gases… what an absurdity! The worse to come is the fact that the tourism industry will suffer a major blow with the loss of the GBR, and more job losses! The LNP is either in wonderland where no harm comes from or they have their heads in the sand, whichever, nothing will improve the reef and any money spent is a waste of tax payer’s dollars.

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