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Catalog – Tech-Science – The Australian Great Barrier Reef is in danger

More frequent and intense heat waves are expected in Australian waters, also threatening the Great Barrier Reef, an Australian environmental organization said, on the occasion of a United Nations panel reviewing the status of a World Heritage-listed coral reef.

According to the Climate Council, after three massive coral bleaching events in the past six years, another major bleaching threatens the Great Barrier Reef as sea temperatures off Australia’s northeastern coast, where the reefs extend, are 2-4°C higher than average.

Most of the unique natural formation along the coast of Queensland has “experienced significant heat stress” this summer, which runs from December to February in the southern hemisphere, the Australian Coral Reef National Park Authority (GBRMPA) said.

The situation is bleak, it’s starting to get so dangerous that we slowly can’t simulate the conditions the corals are exposed to in the lab.

Said Jodi Romer, a marine biologist at James Cook University in Queensland.

If climate change continues at a steady pace, massive bleaching could hit the Great Barrier Reef every two years from 2034 and every year from 2044, the Climate Council warned in its report. According to Simon Bradshaw, one of the report’s authors, tropical coral reefs are already suffering “significant damage” even with a global warming of 1.1 degrees Celsius, and may not be able to withstand a warming of more than 1.5 degrees.

There is no decision yet on whether it will be hacked

A 10-day panel of experts from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Training Organization (UNESCO) will discuss the Australian Government’s 2050 Coral Rescue Plan with scientists, officials, politicians, community representatives and Indigenous leaders. Based on a report from the delegation expected in early May, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee is expected to make a recommendation at the end of June on whether the Great Barrier Reef should be declared a World Heritage Site in danger.

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The Australian government successfully lobbied in 2015 and 2021 to ensure coral reefs were not endangered by UNESCO, despite Canberra’s refusal to make deeper cuts in carbon emissions, which are the main cause of global warming. The Climate Council wants Australia to cut its carbon dioxide emissions three times more than planned, 75 percent by 2030 compared to pre-2005 levels, and reduce net emissions to zero by 2035, MTI reports.