Things keep getting worse for the Great Barrier Reef, which is facing massive bleaching for the second year in a row. According to a recent survey by the scientists at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, vast stretches of corals in the northern end of the reef have been bleached bone white for the second time in a row.
The findings suggest that the widespread bleaching has been caused by the rise in the temperature of the sea water.
A massive bleaching incident was reported in 2016, which was caused by the elevated sea water temperature due to El Nino. Nearly 67 percent of the corals had died in the northern section of the reef, while 6 percent of the corals had perished in the southern section.
This year’s so-called ‘normal’ bleaching has been caused by the rise in the global temperatures. The condition has been further aggravated by the rise in local temperatures. East coast of Australia witnessed warm winters this, with temperature touching record-breaking heights in March.
Cyclone Debbie was expected to bring some relief to the soaring sea-water temperature in the northern part of the continent nation, however, it came too late causing more damage to the relatively healthy sections of the reef.
ALSO READ: RIP Great Barrier Reef!
It takes at least a decade for the corals to fully recover from any bleaching event, while mildly bleached coral can recover when the temperature of the sea water drops. However, in the case of the massive bleaching event as the ones that have been reported in past two years, the damage is irrversible.