Rising sea temperatures will lead to coral bleaching in 2016, officials say.
The announcement was made by the University of Queensland and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and is going to affect the Great Barrier Reef.
“If conditions continue to worsen, the Great Barrier Reef is set to suffer from widespread coral bleaching and subsequent mortality, the most common effect of rising sea temperatures,” claimed Hoegh-Guldberg, professor at the University of Queensland.
This phenomenon is a direct consequence of the El Niño effect. Hot summers stress corals, which later become bleached.
This situation was something which could be predicted, as it happened since 40 years ago. Up to the present, 80% of the corals in the Caribbean have been destroyed and other 50% had the same faith in Indonesia and in the Pacific Ocean.
These events are a direct consequence of the El Niño effect. Between 1982 and 1983, this phenomenon killed almost 95% of the corals found in Galapagos Islands. Moreover, between 1997 and 1998, the El Niño destroyed almost 16% of the total number of corals on the planet.
This event was foreseen by Hoegh-Guldberg. In a research dating back to 1999, he warned about the global warming and its consequences upon coral reefs. He predicted a decrease of coral reefs by the middle of the 21st century. The failure to reduce the atmospheric gases led to this unfortunate event.
NOAA informed that this would be the third event of its kind in history. The first event took place in 1998, when almost 10% of the corals from the Great Barrier Reef died.
Although the corals can turn back to their initial color if the water gets cooler, sever or long lasting bleaching can be deadly for them.
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