Box Fish by Andy Luck

Box Fish by Andy Luck

The signing of The Paris Accord coincides with revelations of how much of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is suffering damage from coral bleaching according to the Washington Post’s article:
‘And then we wept’: Scientists say 93 percent of the Great Barrier Reef now bleached.

When stressed by unusually high water temperatures and other factors such as hostile pH, corals lose symbiotic algae, called zooxanthellae that enable them to live. Corals then lose their color and become starved of energy that they derived from the algae. Corals can reclaim their algae under the right conditions, but will die if the bleaching condition continues for too long.

According to the Washington Post, Prof. Terry Hughes, head of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University, told a press conference that “Between 60 and 100 percent of corals are severely bleached on 316 reefs, nearly all in the northern half of the Reef,”

With tourism alone, the Great Barrier Reef is worth $5 billion annually, and accounts for close to 70,000 jobs.., and with all other values which the reef harnesses, the potential loss is devastating to the country and the World.

This amazing reef, visible from space is still a Natural Wonder of The World, this reef has to be protected.

Click here for Wildopeneye Marine Comic on acidification of the oceans.

Bleached Brain Coral, Hol Chan Reserve, Belize. C.Paxton photo and copyright.

Carbon dioxide has been linked to higher temperatures that can kill marine coral through ‘bleaching’. Bleached Brain Coral, Hol Chan Reserve, Belize. C.Paxton photo and copyright.