Half of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef’s corals have died over the past 25 years, amid global warming, scientists wrote in a study published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society Journal in London, GB.
They came across an alarming rate of decline for all sizes of corals since the mid-1990s on the World Heritage-listed underwater ecosystem which stretches for 1,400 miles long off the coast of Queensland.
Researchers found that the larger coral reef species – such as branching and table-shaped corals – had been worst affected by the climate change and had almost disappeared from the far northern reaches of the reef.
“They’re typically depleted by (up to) 80 or 90 percent compared to 25 years ago,” told Terry Hughes, professor at the James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland, to the AFP news agency.
Another consequence is that the reef is at risk of losing its coveted World Heritage Status because of ocean warming and damages caused on its ecosystem.
Photo > Aerial view of Arlington Reef, Queensland, Australia. Credit : Luka Peternel/Wikipedia.