Australia’s stunning Great Barrier Reef has been pronounced dead after 25 million years in existence.
is was one of natures most beautiful creations before we messed it all up with climate change and pollution.
Leading environmental writer Rowan Jacobsen wrote an obituary to the UNESCO site, which contains 1,625 species of fish, 3,000 molluscs and 30 different types of whale and dolphin, the Express reports.
Mr Jacobsen wrote:
The Great Barrier Reef of Australia passed away in 2016 after a long illness. It was 25 million years old.
The murderer goes by the name of Coral Bleaching.
This refers to the transparent skeletons of coral that are left due to environment stresses (like global warming) affecting the carefully balanced relationships between reefs and the microscopic algae that gives them their vibrant colour.
The warming of ocean waters causes algae to produce too much oxygen, which is toxic in high concentrations, and the corals must eject their algae to survive. Without the algae, the corals turn bone white and begin to starve.
Mr Jacobsen quoted Charlie Veron, longtime chief scientist for the Australian Institute of Marine Science and the Great Barrier Reef’s most passionate champion:
The whole northern section is trashed. It looks like a war zone. It’s heartbreaking.
I used to have the best job in the world. Now it’s turned sour… I’m 71 years old now, and I think I may outlive the reef.
Mass bleaching occurred in both 1998 and 2002, but luckily most of the reef survived as sea temperatures dropped in time.
The most recent bleaching event in May found that 60 per cent of what they saw was bleached very white.
Professor Tim Flannery, who part of the team which visited the reef in September, told ABC:
We wanted to see how much repair there’d been, but the coral we saw bleached and in danger a few months back has now mostly died.
On top of that we’ve seen a whole lot of new damage, a whole lot of white coral out there that’s been killed by Crown of Thorns starfish because it was too weak to defend itself.
If it [the reef] was a person, it would be on life support.
The Earth created it in 25 million years, and we’ve destroyed it in 150…we are so shit.
Show your support and #FightForTheReef here.