A Whopping 95% Of The Northern Great Barrier Reef Suffers Coral Bleaching

After earlier reports that coral bleaching on the northern end of the Great Barrier Reef was worse than scientists had predicted, we’ve got worse news – scientists and conservationists now reckon that 95% of the northern 1000 kilometres of reef is suffering serious bleaching. 
Yeah, not good, hey?
Professor Terry Hughes, a coral reef expert at James Cook University, told ABC’s 7.30 that “this will change the Great Barrier Reef forever,” and that of the 520 reefs he surveyed, only four of them showed no evidence of bleaching. He expects around half of the bleached coral to die within the next few months.
Coral bleaching is caused by abnormally high sea temperatures, which many scientists allege is caused by climate change.
Environment Minister Greg Hunt surveyed the damage to the reef, and conceded that the northern portion is looking a little worse for wear, but argued that the bottom three-quarters is still not so bad. You know. You win some, you lose some.
Professor Hughes said that the best we can hope for is a ten year recovery period for some of the coral up north – assuming that sea temperatures don’t get any worse.
Source: ABC News.
Photo: Getty Images / Peter Charlesworth.