The increase in temperatures in Australian waters has caused the bleaching and death of a significant part of the corals in the northern third of the Great Barrier Reef. The data released this week by the Center for Excellence for the Study of Coral Reefs (body of the Council of Scientific Research of Australia, at James Cook University) confirm that in the 700 kilometers of the northern area of the Great Barrier Reef, lost 67% of shallow water corals in the last 8-9 months.
In the central and southern areas of the Great Barrier Reef, on the other hand, the death of corals due to water heating has been very small, says the team led by Terry Hugues, director of this center specializing in coral studies.
“Most of the losses in 2016 have occurred in the northern part, the most pristine area of the Great Barrier Reef. This region of the north exceeded with very little damage the two previous major whitening episodes -registered in 1998 and 2002-, but this time has been seriously affected, “said Terry Hughes.