Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is flourishing despite previous reports sounding the alarm about the looming extinction of Australia’s natural wonder.
According to new findings reported on Thursday, a majority of the thriving Great Barrier Reef boasted the highest coral cover ever recorded. Two-thirds of the Great Barrier Reef had the largest amount of coral cover in the 36 years that it has been monitored.
The northern and central areas of the Great Barrier reef experienced growth, according to surveys conducted between August 2021 and May 2022 by the Australian Institute of Marine Sciences. The northern section soared from an all-time low of 13% coral coverage in 2017 to 36% in the most recent report. The central region jumped from a low of 12% in 2019 to 33% coverage in the latest AIMS annual report.
The coral coverage in the southern section fell by 4% – from 38% in the previous year to 34% in the latest report. The environmental experts believe the decrease stems from outbreaks of crown-of-thorns starfish.
AIMS considers a hard coral cover of more than 30% as “high value.”
AIMS CEO Paul Hardisty downplayed the positive news in a statement : “This shows how vulnerable the Reef is to the continued acute and severe disturbances that are occurring more often and are longer-lasting.”
“Every summer the Reef is at risk of temperature stress, bleaching and potentially mortality and our understanding of how the ecosystem responds to that is still developing,” Hardisty said.
“What we’re seeing is that the Great Barrier Reef is still a resilient system. It still maintains that ability to recover from disturbances,” AIMS Long-Term Monitoring Program leader Mike Emslie told Reuters , but he cautioned, “But the worrying thing is that the frequency of these disturbance events are increasing, particularly the mass coral bleaching events.”For nearly 40 years, AIMS has […]
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