John Brodie and Richard Pearson write in The Conversation (19.5.16) about the increasing threats to the Great Barrier Reef posed by climate change and ocean warming. They argue that this election may prove the last chance for our political leaders to commit to steps to address these threats.
‘The Great Barrier Reef has been in the spotlight thanks to severe coral bleaching since March, leaving only 7% of the reef untouched. The bleaching, driven by record-breaking sea temperatures, has been linked to human-caused climate change.
‘Apart from bleaching, the reef is in serious trouble thanks to a variety of threats. Many species and ecosystems of the Great Barrier Reef are in serious decline.
‘It is now overwhelmingly clear that we need to fix these problems to give the reef the best chance in a warming world. In fact, the upcoming election is arguably our last chance to put in place a plan that will save the reef.
‘In a recent paper, we estimate that we need to spend A$10 billion over the next ten years – about five times as much as current state and federal governments are spending – to fix up reef water quality before climate change impacts overwhelm it.’