Barrier Reef in 'uncharted territory'

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Barrier Reef in 'uncharted territory'

Marine biologist and conservation photographer for Greenpeace Brett Monroe Garner filmed the coral on February 20 and in a statement via Greenpeace said, "I've been photographing this area of the reef for several years now and what we're seeing is unprecedented".

"The reef is under pressure and is in a state of decline because of climate change", he said.

'Coral reefs are a beloved natural wonder but less appreciated is that they also directly support the jobs, livelihoods and food supplies of many millions of people.

Scientists in Australia have uncovered widespread damage to coral in the Great Barrier Reef, warning that "we are entering uncharted territory", after surveys showed consecutive years of bleaching for the first time. But if the water gets too warm or polluted, those algae can be expelled. Without them, they begin to starve and turn a ghostly white.

While mildly bleached corals can recover if the temperature drops and the algae return, severely bleached corals die.

This followed severe bleaching along the 1,500-mile stretch of reefs past year - the worst on record - caused by warm sea temperatures in March and April. This year's reports are fairly unsurprising-we've basically been experiencing the same continuous global coral reef bleaching event since 2014, Mark Eakin, Coordinator of NOAA's Coral Reef Watch program explained to Gizmodo. "The scary part is that 2017 is not an El Nino year - and the period between these bleaching events is getting shorter, too short for recovery".

Another mass bleaching has affected vast areas of the Great Barrier Reef.

The unusually high temperatures of the water are affecting the population of corals.

The problem with years of successive bleaching is that corals have little time to recover in between.

Tragically, bleaching is becoming more commonplace due to climate change.

But even the Paris Agreement might not even be enough to save corals. "We're already up one degree and look what's already happening". "This issue is moving onto the core agenda for many leaders around the world, particularly those whose people's lives depend on healthy reefs".

'We are seeing a decrease in the stress tolerance of these corals, ' he said.

"I've been photographing this area of the reef for several years now and what we're seeing is unprecedented", Garner said.

Surveys over the rest of the reef will be conducted in the next fortnight. Regardless of what a few important Americans may think, human carbon emissions will continue to be to blame as coral continue to suffer from increased bleaching events and ocean acidification.

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