It is widely known and has been for some time, that one of the world’s great wonders and UNESCO world heritage site, the Great Barrier Reef (GBR), is in deep trouble. A year ago we reported that the GBR was in dire straits due to the most severe mass bleaching event ever recorded, impacting large parts of the reef.
This week, new aerial and underwater surveys from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies document widespread damage, spanning 8,000 km and impacting two-thirds of the reef. This scale of bleaching outside an El Niño period is unprecedented and marks back-to-back bleaching events in 2016 and 2017, making it much harder for the GBR to recover. Global climate change is the main cause of the bleaching, where surface temperature rises have prompted two of the four mass bleaching events ever recorded, to occur in the last two years.
GBR is the largest coral reef in the world and the number one tourist destination in Australia.
In this picture series, we showcase the new aerial survey’s profound and shocking images.