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Australia, one third of the Great Barrier Reef has died
Lo sbiancamento avrebbe ucciso il 35 per cento dei coralli che compongono il sito australiano classificato Patrimonio mondiale dell’Umanità.
The Australian Great Barrier Reef, one of the most extraordinary and biodiverse places of our planet and World Heritage Site, is relentlessly dying. 35 per cent of its corals have died due to bleaching caused by rising sea temperatures, researchers of the James Cook University have shown.
The worst situation in recorded history
Researchers led by Professor Terry Hughes have documented – through aerial and underwater observations – the most severe situation ever registered so far. The barrier reef has lost nearly half of its coral over the last 30 years.
As climate changes, corals die
The main threat to the Australian reef is climate change. Rising sea temperatures and ocean acidification, along with human-related activities and the invasion of a particular species of sea star that feeds on corals, are contributing to deteriorating one of the most biodiverse places on Earth. And warmer water temperatures result in coral bleaching. Corals bleach when the algae providing them with oxygen and nutrients leave the coral.
An entire ecosystem dies
The death of corals triggers an inevitable knock-on effect that poses threats to the survival of other species that depend on the barrier reef for shelter and livelihoods. The reef extends for 2,300 kilometres on a surface of about 344,400 square kilometres off the coasts of Queensland, North-East Australia.
Part of the barrier reef has been saved by a typhoon
The southern part of the barrier, south to Cairns, hasn’t bleached thanks to a typhoon that, along with heavy rainfall, cooled down the water.
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