Coral bleaching on Great Barrier Reef may cause Australia $750-million loss


What is in news?

Severe coral bleaching on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef may result in a loss of some $750 million for the economy and tourism industry in the state of Queensland

Report :

A report released by Australian Climate Council, ‘Climate Change: A Deadly Threat to Coral Reefs,’ looks at the economic impact of massive coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef in 2016 and 2017

About 1,500 km, or two-thirds, of this coral system in north-eastern Australia has already been extremely damaged.

The data in the report has indicated that if severe bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef continues, this could result in the loss of more than one million visitors to the region annually, as well as 10,000 jobs.

Bleaching caused by:

The bleaching was caused by a rise in water temperatures due to climate change and was exacerbated by the effects of El Nino cycle in 2016.

About Great barrier reef:

Great Barrier Reef, off the coast of Queensland in northeastern Australia, is the largest living thing on Earth, and even visible from outer space.

The 2,300km-long ecosystem comprises thousands of reefs and hundreds of islands made of over 600 types of hard and soft coral.

It’s home to countless species of colourful fish, molluscs and starfish, plus turtles, dolphins and sharks.

Area: 344,400 km²

Location: Queensland, Australia

UNESCO World Heritage Site inscription: 1981

UNESCO region: Asia-Pacific

Criteria: vii, viii, ix, x

What is coral bleaching?

Warmer water temperatures can result in coral bleaching. When water is too warm, corals will expel the algae (zooxanthellae) living in their tissues causing the coral to turn completely white. This is called coral bleaching. When a coral bleaches, it is not dead. Corals can survive a bleaching event, but they are under more stress and are subject to mortality.

How can we prevent damage to coral reefs?

Plant trees. Trees reduce runoff into oceans, and runoff can damage coral reefs.

Reduce your carbon footprint. This really matters. …

Use less water. …

Use organic fertilizer to avoid chemicals running into the ecosystem.

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