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Great Barrier Reef bleaching stats are bad enough without media misreporting

Jon Day writes in The Conversation (27.4.16) about recent media reportage of coral bleaching damage to the Great Barrier Reef, which in some cases is misrepresenting the extent and nature of the problem.

‘The widespread bleaching event occurring across the Great Barrier Reef is unprecedented in scale and severity. It has rightly gained global media attention. Sadly, however, some of the headlines it has generated are factually incorrect or misleading:

Half of Great Barrier Reef “dead or dying” (ITV News)

Coral are bleaching along the entire Great Barrier Reef (Ars Technica)

Climate change has destroyed 93% of the Great Barrier Reef (RedOrbit)

‘… Part of the problem is that while many people around the world have heard of the Great Barrier Reef, few know enough about it to put such confronting headlines into context. For instance, it is important to understand the extent to which coral reefs form part of the much larger World Heritage Area.

‘… The magnitude of this bleaching, the worst ever to hit the reef, cannot be overstated. This is a massive blow to the UNESCO World Heritage site considered to be the most biodiverse on the planet.’

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