Warming: reefs are the new glaciers

Warming: reefs are the new glaciers

Global warming has never stopped damaging the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Australia, but this time it’s worse: what we’re talking about is a major bleaching episode For a second consecutive year.

The study published in Nature on March 15, which sounded the alert in the media from all over the place , highlights two things: first, although such bleaching events have already occurred in 1998, 2002 And 2016, it is the first time that one of them continues in a second year. On the other hand, mitigation measures seem to fail: improving water quality or imposing a moratorium on fishing does not prevent coral degradation. And the coral replacement experiences in the northern portion of the reef will take at least 10 to 15 years, Australian researchers say .

The ecosystem, which extends over 2,300 km, suffered in 2016 losses on one-third of its length due to warmer than normal temperatures. Large portions of the reef are considered dead. The fact that abnormally warm temperatures have been reported again since December means that the reef will not have had time to recover from the damage of 2016. As the Nature columnist writes , as a symbol of the irreparable damage caused To our planet, the reefs could be in our decade what the glaciers were in the previous decade.

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