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Will the Great Barrier Reef recover from its worst-ever bleaching?

Tracy Ainsworth and colleagues write in The Conversation (27.10.16) about the likelihood that the Great Barrier Reef can recover from the recent series of coral bleaching events which have left stretches of the World Heritage-protected landmark in a state of shocking decline.

‘A fifth of the Great Barrier Reef’s corals are dead after the worst bleaching event on record. Most of these deaths occurred in the northern part of the reef above Lizard Island.

‘Months after the bleaching event, research teams are now taking stock of the damage. Corals can recover from bleaching. But in a changing world they will have less time to do so before the next event.

‘… Action to reduce atmospheric CO2 levels, and halt the associated warming, must be quickly and vigorously pursued to avert the predicted degradation of coral reefs. If this is not undertaken, the consequences for reefs will only be amplified from what we have seen this year.’

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