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Published on : Saturday, October 15, 2016
The Great Barrier Reef, which is one of the seven wonders of the world has been declared dead. An obituary for the UNESCO world heritage site has been released by a popular magazine mourning the loss of “an extremely active member of its community”.
The posthumous tribute to the UNESCO site which stretches for over 1.400 miles of Queensland’s north-west coast – contains 1,625 species of fish, 3,000 molluscs and 30 different types of whale and dolphin – came as scientists carried out a major investigation into the reef’s greatest enemy – bleaching.
Coral bleaching happens due to increased water temperatures. When the corals are exposed to high temperatures it results in the corals expelling the algae that lives on it, on which it’s dependent for its survival.
When the algae is expelled, the coral turns completely white, this process of bleaching leaves the coral incapable to secrete shell to form colonies of millions of individuals, which is home and habitat to different species of marine life including world’s largest populations of dugong and the largest breeding ground of green turtles.
While the reef has not actually been completely destroyed, it has experienced severe bouts of coral bleaching in recent years because of the warming water temperature.
Coral can recover from bleaching events, providing they do not last too long. New images have shown the reef is now struggling to recover itself.
The magazine mentions that, the Great Barrier Reef was the world’s largest living structure, and the only one visible from space.