The world famous Great Barrier Reef can no longer be saved in its present state because of the ‘extraordinary rapidity’ of climate change.
The claims, made by a group of experts, were founded after they realised the reef had been severely damaged by the warming of the oceans, reports The Independent.
They also claimed that around 95 per cent of areas surveyed in 2016 were found to have been bleached – a process which occurs when coral polyps expel algae that lives inside their tissues.
The experts concluded that immediate action should be taken to protect the Great Barrier Reef’s ‘ecological function’ which is rapidly declining.
In a statement released by the panel, they claimed:
[We are] united in our concern about the seriousness of the impacts facing the Reef and concluded that coral bleaching since early 2016 has changed the Reef fundamentally.
There is great concern about the future of the Reef, and the communities and businesses that depend on it, but hope still remains for maintaining ecological function over the coming decades.
The report concluded:
Members agreed that, in our lifetime and on our watch, substantial areas of the Great Barrier Reef and the surrounding ecosystems are experiencing major long-term damage which may be irreversible unless action is taken now.
The planet has changed in a way that science informs us is unprecedented in human history. While that in itself may be cause for action, the extraordinary rapidity of the change we now observe makes action even more urgent.
Their answer? Stop using greenhouse gasses or at least cut them down drastically.