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RIP, The Great Barrier Reef: We’re just killing you

– A new study of the Great Barrier Reef says that half of its corals have died in the last 20 years – and the clock reports, reports NBC News. Researchers from Queensland, Australia, found a drastic reduction in the size of reef coral colonies between 1995 and 2017 in almost all species of all sizes in both deep and shallow waters. “We once thought that the Great Barrier Reef was protected by its huge size, but our results show that even the world̵

7;s largest and relatively well-protected reef system is increasingly compromised and in decline,” said study co-author Terry Hughes. Among the most affected are the branched corals in the shape of a mass, which provide a home for fish and other marine life. In fact, over 25% of all fish species live in reefs.

These two species “were most affected by record temperatures, which caused massive bleaching in 2016 and 2017,” Hughes added. He also tells guard that he was “very concerned” about the “diminishing gap” between such events. For protocol, bleaching occurs when stressed corals shed their algae; the corals then die or turn white, a sign that they are on edge. In this case, scientists point to climate change: “It’s hard to have a crystal ball and say a date,” when the Great Barrier Reef will die, says a professor who is not involved in the study. Washington Post. “Scientists are always trying to be careful, but if we don’t act meaningfully for the next five years, we won’t have vital and vital coral reefs as a legacy for future generations.” (Read more stories about the Great Barrier Reef.)

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