RIP to the Great Barrier Reef, you will be missed [1000x1518]

RIP to the Great Barrier Reef, you will be missed [1000x1518]

And people wonder why scientist scoff at politicians. This has been predicted since the 80's! As long as politicians are allowed to spread flat out lies about science, this will continue.

Because the media is using it as click-bait and you all got sucked in.

What is the prognosis for recovery?

At 348,000 square kilometres, the Great Barrier Reef is large and resilient with the ability to recover from major events — as demonstrated by recently released data from the Australian Institute of Marine Science’s Long-term Data Monitoring Program.

The data shows between 2012 and 2015, coral cover improved in the central and southern sectors through post-cyclone coral growth, but declined in the northern sector due to more recent cyclone activity.

Since 2012, coral cover on the Reef increased to almost 20 per cent from a low point of about 17 per cent.

The new results show coral in the southern sector increased from 15 per cent in 2012 to 27 per cent in 2015. This strong coral growth was the main contributor to an increase in the Reef-wide figure.

Recovery from the current bleaching event will largely depend on how long ocean temperatures remain high locally.

If conditions return to normal, the tiny algae that give corals their food and colour can repopulate corals. However, if ocean temperatures are too high for too long, the corals will eventually starve and die.

Given the unprecedented scale and nature of the current bleaching event, it is too early to determine how long it will take for corals to recover from this period of extreme heat stress.

On the most resilient reefs and in ideal circumstances, bleached corals can regain their colour within a period of weeks to months once water temperatures return to normal.

However, corals experiencing chronic poor water quality and/or other stressors are unlikely to recover within these short timeframes and recovery will be impeded.

Even if a coral regains its colour, this does not necessarily mean it is in good health.

Research shows bleaching can deplete the corals' energy resource to the extent that corals do not reproduce for one or two years. Its weakened state means the coral is also more vulnerable to disease.

The water temperature is rising so the coral is bleaching(turning white and dying)

Giant ice cube.

So, I am completely uninformed on this. What is going on with The Great Barrier Reef?

Does anyone have a link to an older picture of the reef from space, for reference purposes?

From reef to grief.

"Solving the problem once and for all."



If you're referring to the dead coral, then that would be dead animal life. A large graveyard of coral skeletons, affixed in place... until someone breaks it off to sell at Pier 1 as a decorative piece.

Yeah, it sounds like it. The damage happened up north and was caused by a cyclone and El Nino. 60% got bleached in the 80's and it recovered. The reef is growing organism. It is forever evolving.

Never let the truth get in the way of a good story.

Yeah, too bad about that all being a lie. He'll be snorting cocaine off hookers tits while his secretary blows him in his private jet while he's alive. Then we'll all be dead and it won't matter anyway.

Giant Ice Cube 2016

Is there no way to recover or are they just doomed?

"Just like daddy puts in his drink in the morning! Then he gets mad....."

So, we good?

To global warming belief

It doesn't look much different from this view. Gotta be much closer to see the dead plant life.

The part about the coral reef being dead is a clickbait article but we'll soon be there.

Fucking politicians

Lemonade! Read the sign! It's lemonade!

Politicians have been reviled since even the Romans for a reason. They can tell the truth just like any human being but also like any human being they have the capacity to lie and humans tend to lie a lot more if it involves money or power. Conveniently being a politician allows one to obtain both.


sorry didn't find any from space. i tried. you had 65 upvotes and no actual fulfillment of your request. sorry

but basically, shouldn't be white

edit: thanks u/grenaria, in the above picture you're looking at recently deceased coral [white] followed by a few months after that [algae covered]

sorry didn't find any from space. i tried. you had 65 upvotes and no actual fulfillment of your request. sorry

but basically, shouldn't be white

edit: thanks u/grenaria, in the above picture you're looking at recently deceased coral [white] followed by a few months after that [algae covered]

Was just there about a week ago. Basically as one guy mentioned the water temps are rising. While not really bad for the coral there is other stuff that if causes.

There is a lot of surface run off containing fertilizers that enters the waters around the reef. The increased temps plus the fertilizers make it turn into algae orgys.

It gets a little complicated though since corals and algaes exist in a symbiotic relationship. The algae provides about 90% of the corals energy needs through photo synthesis.

Once you start getting to much algae though, their toxic by products (oxidants) from being on overdrive from the warm water and nutrients start causing havoc for our little coral buddies. First they will turn exotic colours, they are actually creating their own anti oxidants to combat the algae.

This is not "healthy" coral. It will become too much for them if the waters don't cool and they will eventually expel the algae from their body structures (bleaching).

Coral don't usually recover at this point since the algae was providing 90% of their needs.

edit wrote this in bed tired.

I wanted to add that the coral and rainforest ecosystem along the coast of Australia are intertwined. From what I understand the reef plays a large part in supplying the moist air that turns into rain as it moves inland over the mountains.

Loss of the reef could very possibly mean a loss of the rainforest.

Also I'm not Australian but just a Canadian visiting

Nothing will be done until humans start to experience a mass die off and by then it will be far too late to act.

What sucks is that the former PM Tony Abbott allowed so much of the destruction to occur. Here's an older article talking about his attitude towards it all. I was lucky enough to have gone in 2009 for a study abroad and it's still the most amazing diving experience I have ever had.

Fifty thousand sea creatures used to live here, now it's a ghost town.

For real. Is not wanting mass extinction considered a special interest?

A mass die off in some first world countries.

I wish

Effective lobby groups and politicians with more interest in self than public.

Ctrl + C, Ctrl + V

I'd say no. I've dived on some pretty untouched reefs and I've never in my life seen so much mixed color. Different colors exist but are typically found at different depths.

if conditions return to normal

That's a pretty big if, no?

But... the politicians... they're all liars right?

Sure is, although human actions have have sped it up a bit, it was bound to happen sooner or later. It's a natural though -- so it's cool.

Also natural occurrences: "mass extinction events", "widespread famine", "horrible, crippling/fatal diseases", and "dying in childbirth".

Sounds like it's time for a good ol' october revolution!

and more transparent than Clinton

no, we not good.

the australian government is notoriously shady when it comes to this and dismisses any hint that it might be a catastrophy because many tourists come to see it and not many tourists would come to see a dead and dying "reef".

large parts of reef are bleached, many corals can not survive once they eject the algae, leading to a chain reaction up and down the food chain.

fish do not tend to live in areas with no food. or you will get fish exploding in that area, but only a certain -and unwanted- fish who may be able to survive on eating whatever continues to grow there, probably some plant or other that is able to cope.

diversity will go down, there are bays off the coast of america where a certain type of ray is growing out of control, pushing many competitors out of their natural habitat. this has happened before, all over the world.

coral is the basis for the ecosystem, without it, there will only be the shell of the ecosystem.

The man who is in charge of coal and oil corruption in companies, will get a freaking beat down for eternity in the after life.

Just so everyone is clear, that picture on the right isn't of that same coral when it's healthy. It is the dead coral after a couple of months when it's skeleton has been overgrown with algae.

I know you're probably joking, but I think it's worth mentioning that the sense of cosmic justice that religion affords, where "it'll all somehow work out in the end," has dangerous consequences and breeds complacency.

Our politicians say there is nothing wrong with the great barrier reef.

Seize the means of production you say?

What the fuck is wrong with this world.

( ཀ ʖ̯ ཀ)


Politicians are people. They have the same needs, wants, desires, and flaws as everybody else. Any time a politician tries to claim they are above corruption, greed, and bias, they are lying.

The best way to fight political corruption is not by seeking incorruptible people, it's by diluting power. When the United States was created there was 1 representative for every 30,000 citizens. Today there is 1 representative for every 700,000 citizens and climbing. We'll pass 1 million to 1 soon.

Increase the number of representatives to dilute the power each representative has.

The barrier reef isn't dead, a small portion of it is dying off. I know you fell for the clickbait, but a defeatist attitude coupled with telling people that there is no longer hope aides in the misconception that there is nothing that can be done, which isn't st all true.

You're getting a lot of bad answers. Water temperature is a tiny part of it. The major factor is increasing CO2 levels dissolving into the ocean and causing it to become more acidic. This has caused the pH level to reach a point where it makes it hard for the coral to grow their shells and they die.

The acidity will increase, a lot, based on the current amount of CO2 in the atmosphere; we'd actually have to massively reduced CO2 levels to just keep the ocean as it is and instead we are increasing CO2 levels. Many shelled sea creatures are going to go extinct and it is too late to stop it without directly engineering the environment.

Not this quickly; organisms adapt to their environment through random mutations that increase their ability to pass on their genes to the next generation. Global climate change is fast acting in the scheme of evolution and many organisms are likely to perish because they cannot keep up with the changes.


Tony Abbots government placed Dick Warburton, a climate change and global warming denier, as head of renewable energy. Needless to say that government made some fucking horrible decisions for Australia.

Here's an idea


Also the pH is dropping which is messing with things too

This is depressing.

Edit: I googled "barrier reef then and now" and clicked images. This one stuck out to me. I didnt take the pictures, and they're probably edited and exaggerated. And yes I'm from the future.

This is depressing.

Edit: I googled "barrier reef then and now" and clicked images. This one stuck out to me. I didnt take the pictures, and they're probably edited and exaggerated. And yes I'm from the future.

The 80's were 30 years ago. Ocean temps have raised significantly since then. The reef may never recover.

Top two comments "we are good, it's doing great" and "we're doomed, it's bleached forever"

A fellow Redditor's explanation

Soon it's just going to be called 'The Reef'

That's not even the same piece of coral!

Except in this case its 95% of the reef and the water temperature is not going to cool again - they call it global warming for a reason.

Right, here's the most important sentence in the article: "if ocean temperatures are too high for too long, the corals will eventually starve and die."

If you're saying "we're good" then you're saying that massive consensus of scientists who say, "global warming is real and happening now" are wrong.

It's like looking at someone with terminal incurable cancer and saying, "he good."

More space for reefs, then. Perfect.

You guys realise that the temperature of the ocean is only going to continue to rise? From what I've heard in lectures we haven't even seen the effects of the 90s emissions yet... Though, what do I know...

man I sure hate that one evil dude who loves oil and corruption and hates clean, cold water. apparently he also started ISIS and never stops kicking dogs out of his penthouse window

The ph change is the cause of the bleaching.

Also public more interested in self than public.

The part about local temperatures rising is a problem. At the rate we are at, temperatures will continue to rise. I think there is still a big problem...

The most gorgeous colors on Earth

. Save it.

So it's working as intended.

Wrong rapper haha

Any time a politician tries to claim they are above corruption, greed, and bias, they are lying.

This is something I wish more people would understand. Positions of power attract those who want to take advantage of power.

Is that first one true colour?

Effective lobby groups and politicians with more interest in self than public anything.

As a marine biologist who works with corals and their symbiotic algae (which is what is expelled, resulting in a white "bleached" colony), I'll say that under the current understanding of the system temperature is a bigger influence on inducing bleaching than pH is. pH may make a coral more stressed and susceptible to bleach at a certain high temperature, but the increased temperature is what triggers the actual bleaching.

The lower pH really has more of an effect of the corals' ability to create its skeleton and grow. The skeleton is made of calcium carbonate, which is harder to produce under acidic conditions.

Having said all this, bleaching isn't the only thing killing corals. Ocean acidification is of course making things difficult for corals. It's just not causing the bleaching as much as temperature is.

*Edit for accuracy

The man in charge? Do you and I not use oil and gas every day? Maybe we're in a shit hole now because no one wants to take responsibility.

Is there a before picture taken at the same season? This still looks beautiful to me, but I'm not sure what irs supposed to look like.

"Global wahpoo?"

"Ehhh... yeah"


You are making it sound like the reef is saved and all, but that's far from a certainty. I understand the need to diffuse the click-bait, as there are efforts done to protect the Reef and it seems to pay off in some ways.

But saying that the GBR recovered is false, however. We managed to not be in the worst case scenario predicted some decades ago, which is great. But the overall health of the corals and the attached ecosystem has deteriorated in the last decade.

Coral cover is increasing, let's not forget that it's still down from where it has been 30 years ago. And that the current bleaching event is happening after the data provided in your sources. So the ecosystem is facing a new great stress while not having recovered fully from the last.

Let's throw in the fact that those catastrophic events are expected to increase in frequency and severity, and IMO, there's still a case to be made that the GBR is dying, or at least severely injured. Not dead by any means, true, but far from having recovered.

The 2014 Outlook report on the GBR was overall alarming, though noting that the public and politics were more aware of the threat, and that we understood more on the topic than ever. Despite that, they still noted that entire recovery of the GBR was highly improbable, if possible at all. And, to be honest, the whole report reads like any ecology report I've ever seen : overly optimistic because you don't want to sound like there's nothing that you can (and should do). There's been some genuine victories, like the humpback whale recovery, but overall, it doesn't sound like we are good at all.

Our politicians lie

And the circle is complete

I like. How do?

So many experts in this thread.

Really glad I don't need to do any research now that the top minds of reddit have made up their minds.

Anyone saying it's doing great is obviously lying. It is obviously doomed in the long run.

I have amazon Prime so can get it there in 2 days for free

Oh they terk er jerbs alright

and these surveys are where? more importantly, they somehow provide evidence that water temperatures and acidity are going to drop how?

your brain cells are a myth


I love how those are still the only option for everyone? I'm voting for this . He really is fighting for our health.

Still a better president than Trump.

The photo is an aerial shot of reefs, sandy cays and what looks to be a chunk of the mainland. You can't see anything in enough detail in this photo to determine how healthy the reef is.

There's still plenty of great spots to dive and the dive boats around here are still taking plenty of people out every day.

Pitchforks, comrade?

There is no war in Ba Sing Se.

So we just wait for the polar ice caps to melt, right?

Nope, at least not in the long run. Ocean temperatures and acidification will continue to rise. The reef will die pretty soon if we continue on our current trends, regardless of local anomalies.

Is that third one really from 2050?

No, I followed his link

There are a few reasons for the GBR bleaching. A great deal of it has to do with global climate change. While a two degree average increase may not sound like much, you have to think about what kind of wild temperature changes it takes to swing the average of the entire planet. Corals are very sensitive to temperature - because of how well water both reflects heat and holds onto heat, the reefs don't change temperature much. But the increased average temperatures around the globe have created intense high spikes of temperature, raising the water temperature higher than what the corals can deal with. Again, it's not entirely known why they purge their zooxanthellae algae, but that's what they're doing.

We'll be in good shape once we figure out how to reverse climate change and cool the earth back down, which seems unlikely to me. Personally, I think we're all fucked.


The ones that will die off won't be the ones who reigned over the world during the time of decline.

The oceans take up CO2 from the air, about one tird of it. If CO2 in the air rises, the oceans take up more. This makes the oceans more acid. Fish shells and coral dissolves in acid.

Humans haven't "sped it up a bit" but have caused the most of it. There's no indication this warming would have happened anyway in any meaningful timescale.

Deny climate change? No they don't.

so, not naturally occurring, which was the point

You are being downvoted because you have no citations to back up any of your claims.

And you don't think a 50% drop in known species population is alarming? Congratulations, you're part of the problem.

First one is oversaturated a rediculous amount.