A few weeks ago the Great Barrier Reef Legacy team ventured into the northern region of the Great Barrier Reef to see how it was faring in the hot 2020 summer. In February, average sea surface temperatures on the reef were 1.25C above normal and the highest on record going back to 1900. 🥵Amid the Australian bushfires, coronavirus, and everything else 2020 has been throwing at us, news of the reef's plight has paled in comparison (pun intended). Weeks and weeks of hot, still and sunny days ☀️ meant we saw lots of paling, fluorescing, and bleaching corals, mostly in 0-6m, but also even as deep as 16m. This is due to both warm water and direct UV as some colonies only had bleaching on upper surfaces.
So far we have not witnessed any mortality, and with the temperature dropping, we are hoping the corals will recover. Only time will tell, and the question really is how long can the corals hold on? Days, weeks, months, years or decades? With every bleaching event we are losing the most vulnerable corals and reefs 🐠🐙🦑🦀🐳 more than ever we need the Living Coral Biobank to secure coral biodiversity immediately. For more info please visit https://greatbarrierreeflegacy.org/biobank
If coronavirus is teaching us anything it is that we CAN adapt our behaviour to address a crisis. Once this virus has passed maybe we can take some of the lessons we have learned during this tough time to create a more sustainable future.... 🌍 ❤️