Coast KZN

20 Oct 2016

Reports of the death of the GBR have been greatly exaggerated

(Northglen News)


An article about the death of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) – one of the seven wonders of the natural world – that was circulating on social media recently, was not true.

The tongue-in-cheek article Obituary: Great Barrier Reef (25 Million BC – 2016) was apparently intended as satire.


Mass coral bleaching events 

The preliminary findings of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority show that 22 percent of coral on the Reef died due to the worst mass bleaching event on record.

But 22 percent does not signify death.

During the worst of the Southern Hemisphere summer heat, 93 percent of the reef was experiencing some bleaching. Six months later, much of that coral has recovered.

The Australian Government announced that “substantial progress has been made toward protecting the Great Barrier Reef”.


Blame global warming

For their part, conservationists applaud improvements in the reef’s health and resilience, but caution that current government policies do far too little to counter global warming, which officials and scientists agree is the greatest threat to the reef’s long-term survival.


Pollution causes global warming
Much remains to be done – the most important being addressing the sources of pollution that cause global warming and coral bleaching.

About the satirical article that prompted the social media feeding frenzy, Prof. Terry Hughes, the Australian researcher whose surveys of the damaged reef led to impassioned pleas to help protect it, said: “You don’t write the obituary of a loved one when they are diagnosed with a serious illness – you help them fight for their life.”


Online Article