Scientists Reckon This Election Is The Last Chance We Got To Save The Reef

Scientifically speaking, the Great Barrier Reef is monumentally fucked.

Recent aeriel surveys showed that just 7% of it is untouched by coral bleaching, with the effects so devastating in the northern reef that is looks like “ten cyclones have come ashore all at once.”

And despite Environment Minister Greg Hunt – who is no joke the “best minister in the world” – popping up to the reef last March and saying it wasn’t as bad as we all thought, actual scientists studying the reef and climate change have estimated that we need $10 billion worth of funding over the next ten years if we have any hope of saving it.

“The upcoming election is arguably our last chance to put in place a plan that will save the reef,” write James Cook University’s Jon Brodie and Richard Pearson in The Conversation, pointing out that their estimate is five times the current state and federal funding.

Apart from bleaching, the reef is also in serious danger from a variety of threats, from declining hard coral cover, significant widespread losses of seagrass, a declining dugong population, coastal development, unsustainable fishing, declining water quality, shipping – honestly, the list goes on, and The Conversation has an entire thread about it.

“It is now overwhelmingly clear that we need to fix these problems to give the reef the best chance in a warming world,” write Brodie and Pearson, who recently outlined eight steps to undertake if the reef is to be improved by 2025, the date estimated as the tipping point, after which climate change effects will be overwhelming.

“Unless immediate action is taken to improve water quality, the onset of accelerating climate change impacts mean there is little chance the current decline in reef health can be prevented.”

Source: The Conversation.

Photo: Getty / Auscape.