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Particular concern raised for southern areas of the reef that have not been badly bleached since 2016

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on The Guardian or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: The Great Barrier Reef experiences its fifth mass coral bleaching event in eight years, raising concerns over the survival of corals, especially in the southern areas which haven't faced severe bleaching since 2016

🔭 The context: Global heating and the El Niño climate pattern are driving the widespread bleaching, with aerial surveys confirming the extensive impact across the reef
• This event follows previous mass bleachings, highlighting the ongoing threat of climate change to coral ecosystems

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: Coral reefs are early indicators of the effects of global warming
• The repeated bleaching events at the Great Barrier Reef underscore the urgent need for comprehensive climate action to mitigate the impact of marine heatwaves and safeguard these vital ecosystems

⏭️ What's next: With ocean temperatures at record highs, the impending decision by the World Heritage committee on whether to list the reef as "in danger" emphasizes the critical intersection of climate change, conservation efforts, and international policy

💬 One quote: "It’s devastating. Pretty much all of the heat-sensitive corals in the shallow waters have bleached," (Lyle Vail, co-director of the Australian Museum’s Lizard Island Research Station)

📈 One stat: The heat stress on corals in the reef’s southern and central region has been the highest on record, with significant coral mortality risks if temperatures do not significantly drop soon

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