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Climate change is the greatest threat to the Great Barrier Reef and coral reefs worldwide. Climate change is caused by global emissions of greenhouse gases, .does how to do a flip turn in swimming
Climate change is caused by global emissions of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels coal, oil and natural gas , agriculture and land clearing. Not only has the current concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reached record levels in the last , years, the climate is changing at a rate unprecedented over decades to millennia. The rapid increase in greenhouse gas emissions has caused an estimated 1. The rising global temperature is causing an increase in sea temperature, which has a multitude of impacts, including destructive marine heatwaves. On 18 July , the Authority released our position statement on climate change. Our position is:.
It comes ahead of the release of two government reports that are expected to project a poor outlook for the reef, the status of which will be reassessed by Unesco next year after previously avoiding an in danger listing. The world heritage committee has been reviewing its climate change policy and how countries should manage the impact of the climate crisis on the world heritage system. At a meeting of the committee in July, Australian representatives said climate change should not be used as the basis for an in danger listing for world heritage properties. Climate change has been recognised as an existential threat to many world heritage properties. It will be the first time it has assessed the reef since the mass coral bleachings in and
During the last century the Earth has warmed by 0. At present, carbon dioxide CO 2 and methane gas levels are the highest they have been for at least years. These two gases, together with water vapour, nitrous oxide and halocarbons, make up the five predominant greenhouse gases. On average, four metric tonnes of carbon dioxide are added to the atmosphere per person per year. There could lead to:. The greatly elevated level of atmospheric carbon dioxide CO 2 is having an effect on ocean carbonate chemistry.
Bleaching occurs when some kind of stress — most commonly, unusually high sea temperatures — causes coral to release the colourful algae that lives inside its tissue, leaving it a ghostly white. This algae acts as the primary source of food and, without it, coral slowly starves. Small-scale bleaching is a common sight on the reef, but marked the first year that saw widespread bleaching, Hughes says. The first mass bleaching affected around 4, sq km of coral, according to Hughes. The second mass bleaching occurred four years later, in Most of the damage was concentrated in the northern section of the reef, where sea temperatures were particularly high, according to aerial surveys undertaken by Hughes. This is not necessarily a good thing, however, Hughes says.
Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is in grave danger. The twin perils brought by climate change — an increase in the temperature of the ocean and in its acidity — threaten its very existence. Rapid, human-induced climate change is one of the greatest threats to the long-term future of the Great Barrier Reef. The secret as to why some coral species naturally survive at higher temperatures than the same species on the Great Barrier Reef could be in their genes. Climate change Photo: Gary Cranitch.
The Great Barrier Reef can be seen from outer space and is the world's biggest single structure made by living organisms. A large part of the reef is protected by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park , which helps to limit the impact of human use, such as fishing and tourism. Other environmental pressures on the reef and its ecosystem include runoff , climate change accompanied by mass coral bleaching , dumping of dredging sludge and cyclic population outbreaks of the crown-of-thorns starfish. The Great Barrier Reef has long been known to and used by the Aboriginal Australian and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and is an important part of local groups' cultures and spirituality. The reef is a very popular destination for tourists, especially in the Whitsunday Islands and Cairns regions. A March report stated that coral bleaching was more widespread than previously thought, seriously affecting the northern parts of the reef as a result of warming ocean temperatures. Many of the mature breeding adults died in the bleaching events of leading to low coral birth rates.
What is coral bleaching? Can it be fixed?