A researcher near Orpheus Island, Australia confirms coral bleaching seen during aerial surveys last month. Greg Torda/ARC COE
Scientists are reporting the second mass bleaching in the Great Barrier Reef in the last year. In a Yale Environment 360 interview, researcher Terry Hughes says these events have damaged two-thirds of the world’s largest coral reef and are directly caused by global warming.
By Richard Schiffman • April 10, 2017
The Great Barrier Reef, which stretches for more than 1,400 miles off Australia’s northeastern coast, has been called the largest living structure on earth. But the journal Nature reported last month that the reef is rapidly becoming the world’s largest dying structure. This assessment was based on a survey led by biologist Terry Hughes, the director of the Arc Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University in Queensland Australia. Hughes and his colleagues found that two-thirds of the northern sector of the reef has been badly damaged by a massive bleaching event that occurred over a period of several months last year.