Great Barrier Reef: – It looks dark

Great Barrier Reef: – It looks dark

In March, Australian authorities announced that the world's largest coral reef – the Great Barrier Reef – was once again affected by so-called mass bleaching.

This is the fifth time since 2016 that this phenomenon has struck the famous coral reef. This bleaching is caused by rising sea temperatures, and poses a serious threat to coral reefs. If temperatures do not drop and the bleaching recedes quickly, they may die.

Bjorn Samset, a climate researcher at Cicero, believes mass bleaching will continue.

-Unfortunately, it seems too dark for the coral reef. He says: From my point of view, there is no way to balance this now.

The largest in the world: The coral reef is more than 2,600 kilometers long, covers an area of ​​347,800 square kilometers, and can be seen from space. In 1981, it was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Photo: Jumbo Aerial Photography/Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority/AP/NTB
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– denotes something

Samsett believes the coral reefs off Australia are an example of how damaging global warming has been.

– Coral reefs can be easily seen as they are located just below the surface. This is one place where we can easily see the consequences of global warming, he continues:

– They become like the canary in the coal mine. These reefs indicate something about the status of the rest of the system.

Fear of another planet

Fear of another planet


New area

The first time mass bleaching occurred, in the 500-year history of coral reefs, was according to… Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) in 1998.

Mass bleaching occurs because water temperatures continue to rise, causing coral reefs to shed algae ZooxanthellaeWhich gives them nutrition and color.

Investigations are now underway to get an overview of the damage done so far, NTB wrote.

However, severe damage has already been discovered on part of the reef, which is 1,100 kilometers long, according to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.

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The situation affects, among other things, the southern parts of the reef, where coral reefs dating back centuries have been bleached.

– This bleaching is occurring in an area where coral reefs have not previously been exposed to extreme temperatures, says Richard Lake of the environmental organization WWF.

Study: A disastrous decade for Australian coral reefs

Study: A disastrous decade for Australian coral reefs


There is also the southernmost coral reef in the world, on Lord Howe Island off New South Wales in Australia He hitswrites NTB.

As Dagbladet wrote, 2023 was the warmest year yet measured worldwide.

Although it is too early to say how serious the bleaching will be this year, concern is now also spreading among many who have allowed themselves to be dazzled by the once-colorful Great Barrier Reef.

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Dalila Awolowo

Dalila Awolowo

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