Shocking New Pictures Of Coral Bleaching On Great Barrier Reef

The situation is still evolving but coral mortality could potentially be even higher than previous year.

"This is the first time we have ever seen bleaching in back-to-back summers", Cantin said, adding that more work is needed to be done to slow down the ramifications of global warning. Algae is already beginning to overgrow numerous corals. "In these photos almost 100 percent of the corals are bleaching, and who knows how many will recover".

Brett Monroe Garner, a conservation photographer and marine biologist documenting the bleaching with Greenpeace, said: 'I've been photographing this area of the reef for several years now and what we're seeing is unprecedented.

Scientists estimated that two-thirds of coral coverage died in a 700-kilometre stretch of reef north of Port Douglas in far north Queensland.

This event is right in the tourism heartland and it's a 6.4 billion dollar industry employing 63,000 people in the catchment of the great barrier reef.

Great Barrier Reef in Australian is suffering from the unhealthy bleaching process the second year in a row.

'Many coral species appear to be more susceptible to bleaching after more than 12 months of sustained above-average ocean temperatures.

"We can't afford to sit by and watch climate change drive all the world's coral reefs to extinctions by the end of the century", Julia Baum, a reef researcher at the University of Victoria, told Climate Central past year.

"Just a few months ago, these corals were full of color and life".

Marine Park Authority director of reef recovery Dr David Wachenfeld said: 'Mass bleaching is occurring on the Great Barrier Reef for the second consecutive year.

Warmer water temperatures resulted in the widespread bleaching of large areas of coral in the northern reef past year. "If this is the new normal, we're in trouble".

"We are working closely with the Commonwealth to ensure we gather all the information required to determine the extent of this latest bleaching event", Mr Miles said. If oceans warm 2.7°F, it will essentially be a death sentence for most coral.

Environmental groups have heavily criticised the proposed construction of the world's largest coal mine in Queensland's Galilee Basin, which will produce 60 million tonnes of coal a year and significantly contribute to Australia's greenhouse gas emissions.

"While the reef is fighting for its life, the Australian government is funding its destruction. We are extremely concerned moving into the future".

Bleaching happens when rising sea temperatures kills off the algae coral depends on, causing it to turn white as it gets "stressed" and eventually starves.

  • Joey Payne