Ours Could Be The Last Generation To See The Great Barrier Reef [Video]By Khaleb Skye A. Cruz
The Great Barrier Reef is the home of more than 3,000 types of mollusks, a hundred varieties of jellyfish, 1, 625 species of fish, and 30 kinds of whales and dolphins. In addition, hundreds of sharks and rays thrive in it. If it dies, a domino effect may lead to the death of many life forms on Earth.
Sadly, according to Futurism, scientists recently admitted that the Great Barrier Reef is now at "terminal stage". Reports added that this is due to back to back mass bleaching events. Most of the damaged areas show no hopes to recover anymore.
For one, mass bleaching is a phenomenon caused by global warming. Corals eject the symbiotic algae in their tissue as water temperature rises. Unfortunately, these types of algae are essential to their survival. Mass bleaching happens rarely, but the effects are catastrophic and often permanent.
For the record, this is only the fourth time the Great Barrier Reef has "bleached severely." Researcher James Kerry from James Cook University noted in previews statements that the rare incidents happened in 1998, 2002, 1026, and 2017. Well, Cook added that even the fastest growing corals take a decade or so to recover. Thus, two bleachings in 12 months mean that this generation could be the last to see the spectacular reef structure in Australia.
In total, the reef stretches across 2, 575 kilometers and covers an area of about 344,000 square kilometers. Now, 1,500 kilometers of the area is bleached. This new data came in less than a year after 93 percent of the reef suffered severe damage. The effects are also rapidly spreading further South.
On the other hand, SBS reported that the Federal government vowed to five $18 million in funding for six new projects to repair and maintain the Great Barrier Reef. However, experts say that the grant is "too little" and "too late". The original estimated cost of the maintenance was $8.2 billion to reach stable conditions by 2025.