Australia fears a new coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef. The temperature of the water at the reef has risen and since then the government organization that oversees the reef has been showing coral damage.
Authorities reported Thursday that water temperatures are 2 to 3 degrees Celsius higher than the average temperature in February, which was already the warmest month for the reef.
“These deviations are very disturbing and have only gotten worse in the past week,” said a government agency scientist. With divers, helicopters and visitors’ help, the government is trying to keep an eye on the situation.
Due to the abnormal temperatures, 30 to 40 percent of the coral in shallow parts of the reef would already show bleaching.
In 2016 and 2017, the reef was also affected by bleaching. Coral loses its color because algae die on the coral. This may be due to, among other things, warming water.
The Great Barrier Reef is located along the north-east coast of Australia.