World tourist attraction being destroyed

Bleaching kills off a third of Great Barrier Reef
One of the world’s great tourist attractions is dying, new research confirms. Around 35% of the coral in northern and central sections of the Great Barrier Reef is dead or dying.
Mass bleaching has destroyed vast sections of the 2,300km reef in Australia, according to the findings, which are a major blow to the World Heritage Site that attracts A$5bn ($3.23 billion) in tourism revenues each year.
“This year is the third time in 18 years that the Great Barrier Reef has experienced mass bleaching due to global warming, and the current event is much more extreme than we have measured before,” said Terry Hughes, a professor at James Cook University, Queensland.
Bleaching occurs when the water is too warm, forcing coral to expel living algae and making it calcify and turn white. Recovery of mildly bleached coral is possible if the temperature drops. If it doesn’t, it can die.
A strong El Nino weather system has made the bleaching worse this year, but scientists believe climate change is the main cause. Australia is one of the world’s biggest carbon emitters per capita because of its coal-fired power plants.
Al Jazeera


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