Climate change threatens more and more what is considered a jewel of the world heritage of humanity: the Great Barrier Reef in Australia . According to a study published in the journal Nature Wednesday, April 18, 2018, the past years were black for the latter. She suffered a "catastrophic" hecatomb of her corals during a very marked heat wave in 2016 threatening a greater diversity of life than hitherto estimated. Thus, the reefs have been hard hit by the increase in water temperatures following global warming.
Since 1981, The coral reef is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It stretches about 348,000 square kilometers along the Australian coast making it the largest coral ensemble in the world. The report notes that about 30% of the coral reefs died during the heat wave between March and November 2016. These dates represent the first episode of two consecutive years of bleaching.
Pantry and Shelter [19659004TerryHuguesco-authorofthestudyanddirectoroftheCenterofExcellenceforCoralReefStudiesatJamesCookUniversitytoldAFPthatthemostendangeredcoralsarethosewithbrancheslikethecoraltablesthatprovidetheirhidingplacesforjuvenilefishIndeedcoralreefsserveashabitatforothermarinecreatures" The corals most likely to hold the shock are smooth, melon-shaped said the researcher. These corals do not have too much trouble building their skeleton but they are not very useful for habitat "
Researchers call for the protection of surviving corals. These are estimated at one billion. To this end, the commitments made in the Paris Agreement must absolutely be respected.
Coral reefs cover less than 0.2% of the ocean's surface but are home to 30% of marine animal and plant species. They protect them from predators and serve as their pantry. Coral reefs also contribute to coastal protection, human nutrition and tourism.