Australia lowers Great Barrier Reef condition outlook to 'very poor'
Australia has downgraded the outlook of the Great Barrier Reef’s condition from “poor” to “very poor”, due to climate change.
The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority's report, which is updated and released every five years, spells gloom for the 345,400 square kilometer (133,360 square miles) colorful coral network off the northeast Australian coast.
The site is being killed of by climate change and coral bleaching.
The study, issued Friday, stated the greatest threat to the reef remains climate change.
Other threats, associated with coastal development and human activity such as illegal fishing, were also recognised.
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An extract from the report reads: "Significant global action to address climate change is critical to slowing the deterioration of the reef's ecosystem and heritage values and supporting recovery.
"Such actions will complement and greatly increase the effectiveness of local management actions in the Reef and its catchment."
The Reef Authority chairman, Ian Poiner said. "The accumulation of impacts, through time and over an increasing area, is reducing its ability to recover from disturbances, with implications for reef-dependent communities and industries.
"The overall outlook for the Great Barrier Reef is very poor.”
In April 2018, researchers warned in the journal Nature that global warming could make the ecosystems of the reef completely collapse.
A marine heat wave in 2016 caused catastrophic ‘bleaching’ on the reef which caused coral to die off.
It was followed by another heat wave in 2017.