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Next few weeks critical as Great Barrier Reef suffers ‘tragic’ coral bleaching event

Nicole Hasham reports in the Brisbane Times (1.3.16) on marine experts’ fears that the Great Barrier Reef is under further threat of bleaching and permanent damage in the midst of prolonged hot conditions.

‘Fears of a mass coral bleaching event on the Great Barrier Reef have prompted federal authorities to issue an urgent warning on the natural wonder, which is under threat from climate change.

‘The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority on Tuesday said patchy bleaching had been detected on multiple reefs in mainly shallow areas, and weather forecasts of upcoming hot conditions posed a dangerous threat over the next few weeks.

‘In a statement, the authority said the conditions had triggered “level one incident response” involving more in-water field surveys and monitoring by authorities and researchers.’

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