The Great Barrier Reef, in northeastern Australia, faces "unprecedented" challenges in recovering the health of its coral reefs from constant threats such as mass laundering and cyclones that do not give it any respite, a report published today.
"We know they can recover with the right weather and conditions, but they have not had much respite from the disturbances that have occurred in recent years," said Mike Emslie, leader of the Australian Maritime Institute (AIMS) monitoring program. , who prepared this study covering a period of 30 years.
Among the disturbances are the mass bleaching phenomena in 2016 and 2017 that destroyed a large part of the Great Barrier Reef corals, in addition to the constant onslaught of cyclones and four waves of thorn crown plagues, starfish that feed of corals.
The AIMS revealed in its study that the recovery of hard coral covers occurs slowly and at different rates, depending on the threats that afflict them.
"Long-term monitoring shows that ten years after the widespread damage caused in the southern region by tropical cyclone Hamish (in 2009), the reefs are still recovering," Emslie said.
This report appears days after the renowned ecologist David Attenborough told the British Parliament that the coral bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef, which extends over 2,300 kilometers off the Australian coast, is the most telling example of the effects of climate change.
Before this report, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF, in its acronym in English) called on the Australian government to abandon fossil fuels to respond to the climate crisis that damages the Great Barrier Reef, which contributes to the national economy 6.400 million AUD (4,455 million USD or 3,956 million EUR).
"The same government research institute says that the coral reefs are falling severely and the most respected naturalist says that Australia is facing the most extreme manifestations of climate change," Richard Leck, director of Oceans at WWF, said in a statement. Australia.
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