Huge parts of the Great Barrier Reef may be dead within 20 years due to coral bleaching caused by climate change, says Australian scientists.
Top scientists and researchers of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science, Australia, revealed that in two decades' time, the Great Barrier Reef will be dead due to the continuous rising of greenhouse gases resulting in huge events of coral bleaching in the area.
According to the scientists, mass coral bleaching such as the current gripping of the reef is expected to take place every two years starting at about mid 2030s. As a result, corals won't get enough time to recover. Corals need 15 years to be restored from bleaching.
The scientists say that due to climate change, the water in the ocean increased in temperature by 1 degree Celsius (33.8 Fahrenheit) as noted on the coral bleaching event last month. According to the authorities, the March coral bleaching event is the worst record.
"This year's bleaching event is 175 times more likely today than in a world where humans weren't emitting greenhouse gases. We have loaded the odds against the survival of one of the world's greatest natural wonders," said Andrew King, head author and scientist from the ARC Centre for Excellence.
"Climate change is very likely to make the extreme ocean temperatures underpinning this year's massive coral bleaching event occur every two years, during March, by 2034," the scientists warn.
Another scientist in the study said that the team's findings conform to his early predictions about the death of the Great Barrier Reef. In 1999, Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, a professor from the Global Change Institute, University of Queensland, controversially predicted that the Great Barrier Reef would be dead by 2040.
The scientists published their latest study earlier than usual - before the review process - since the findings reveal huge consequences, and time is of the essence for the reef's survival.
The scientists added that the result of their study demands urgent solution and action for the protection of the Great Barrier Reef.
In addition, the scientists warned that the loss of the corals would make a great impact on species inhabiting it. There would also be a domino effect on industries depending on this great wonder of nature. The death of the reefs might compromise 69,000 jobs in the tourism and fishing sectors.
Photo: Robert Linsdell | Flickr