Ocean

The Great Barrier Reef is suffering its 4th mass bleaching event since 2016 - here's what that means

Mass bleaching event in the Great Barrier Reef. Image: Chad Taylor/Unsplash

Adam Smith

Associate Professor, James Cook University

Nathan Cook

Marine Scientist, James Cook University

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Bleaching at John Brewer Reef, near Townsville Great Barrier Reef
Bleached corals in the Great Barrier Reef can still recover if conditions improve Image: Harriet Spark/Grumpy Turtle, Author provided

Bleaching at John Brewer Reef, near Townsville, Australia.
Bleaching can slow growth rates and reduce reproductive capacity. Image: Nathan Cook, Author provided

Coral reef.
Bleaching can slow coral growth rates and reduce reproduction. Image: Harriet Spark/Grumpy Turtle, Author provided

Australia sea surface temperature anomaly outlook. Great Barrier Reef
Current heat stress is pervasive across Australia's oceans. Image: James Gilmour
Scuba diver surveying coral reefs at the Great Barrier Reef
Any policy without action on climate change is ineffective. Image: Harriet Spark/Grumpy Turtle, Author provided

Mass coral bleaching event on the #GreatBarrierReef.
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority completed aerial surveys across 750 reefs Image: Dr Emma L Johnston

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Related topics:

OceanBiodiversityClimate IndicatorsAustraliaSDG 14: Life Below Water

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