The Great Barrier Reef has lost half its coral

The Great Barrier Reef has lost half its coral
(CNN) – Of Australia Great Barrier Reef 50% of it is lost Coral population Over the past three decades, a new study has found a major driver of the Chief’s turmoil with climate change.

Researchers at the ARC Center Excel for Excellence for Coral Reef Studies in Queensland, northeastern Australia, assessed the length of the Great Barrier Reef between 1995 and 2017 to assess coral community communities and the size of their settlements, they said on Tuesday. Told.

Coral reefs are the most influential marine ecosystems on the planet – Between a quarter and a third All marine species depend on them at some point in their life cycle.

The Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest coral reef, covers an area of ​​about 133,000 square miles and is home to more than 1,500 species of fish, 411 species of hardy chickens and dozens of other species.

“The number of small, medium and large corals on the Great Barrier Reef has dropped by less than 50% since the 1990s,” said co-author Terry Higgs, a well-known professor at the ARC Center of Excellence in Coral Reef Studies. In a statement.

Rocks are fundamental to the health of the marine environment – without them, the ecosystem collapses, and marine life dies.

The Great Barrier Reef is approximately 133,000 square miles.

Francois Gohier / VWPix / Universal Image Group / Getty Images

The size of the coral population is also considered important when it comes to the ability of corals to breed.

“A living coral population has millions of small, baby corals and many large mammals that produce a lot of larvae,” said Andy Dietzel, a doctoral student at the ARC Center Excel for Excellence for Coral Reef Studies. Said Dietzel, a doctoral student at the ARC Center of Excellence at Coral Reef Studies. In a statement.

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“Our results show the Great Barrier Reef’s ability to rehabilitate – its flexibility – has been compromised compared to the past, as there are fewer children and fewer reproductive adults,” he added.

Population declines have occurred in both low- and deep-water coral species, experts have found, but branch and table-sized corals – which provide a habitat for fish – have all been affected by mass bleaching incidents in 2016 and 2017. Affected by, which was started by record breaking temperatures.

This file photo, taken on September 22, 2014, shows a rooster floating on Australia's Great Barrier Reef.

The report’s authors warn that climate change is accelerating the frequency of “reef disturbances.”

William West / AFP / Getty Images

Warm ocean temperatures are the main driver of coral bleach, when chickens turn white in response to water stress which is very hot. Bleaching does not kill chickens immediately, but if the temperature stays high, the coral will eventually die, destroying the natural habitat for many species of marine life.

Tuesday’s study found major bleaching problems in the northern and central Great Barrier Reefs in 2016 and 2017.

The Great Barrier Reef has experienced a number of mass bleaching incidents over the past five years, and experts say the southern part of the reef also experienced record-breaking temperatures in early 2020.

“We think the Great Barrier Reef is protected by its huge size – but our results show that the world’s largest and comparatively well-protected reef system is also rapidly compromised and declining,” he said. Is in, “he said.

The authors of the report warn that climate change, like ocean currents, is accelerating the frequency of “reef disturbances”.

“There is no time to lose – we must rapidly reduce greenhouse gas emissions by the ASP,” the report’s authors warned in the newspaper, published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society Journal.

CNN’s Helen Reagan contributed to this report.

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