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Is the Great Barrier Reef Dead?
For quite some time, the Great Barrier Reef has experienced mass bleaching. This occurs when prolonged high temperatures cause coral to expel symbiotic algae, turning them into white skeletons. Bleaching has swept corals around the world but is most visibly destructive on the Great Barrier Reef. While most parts of the reef suffered bleaching, not all have died. Scientists hope that large parts of the ecosystem will eventually recover from the damage.
Despite the obituary that surfaced over the weekend by Outside Magazine, scientists report that the Great Barrier Reef is not officially dead. There is no denying that it the reef is in serious trouble, but research has indicated that some corals may be able to adapt to warmer environments. Russell Brainard, director of the coral reef ecosystem Program at NOAA’s Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center explains “There is a lot we can do to minimize climate change and we need to get going on that. To say reefs are finished and we can’t do anything about it isn’t the message we need going forward” (Lewis, CNN).
Many people on social media are taking the announcement of the Great Barrier Reef at face value. Yes, it is very important to spread awareness about the effects of climate change and how it impacts certain ecosystems, but some are taking it too far. According to scientists, some users are even spreading false information about the reef and causing confusion among communities. One community who isn’t confused is The Great Barrier Reef Legacy, a nonprofit organization composed of several marine biologists. Their mission is to redefine the way research, education, communication and conservation projects can be funded to solve environmental problems.
How will you help save the Great Barrier Reef?
Lewis, S. (2016, October 14). The Great Barrier Reef is not actually dead. Retrieved October 17, 2016, from http://www.cnn.com/2016/10/14/us/barrier-reef-obit-trnd/