Exporting climate change killing the Reef

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Canary in the coal Chapter mine:

bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef

How does coral bleaching occur?

1 Healthy coral

2 Stressed coral

3

Coral and algae

If stressed, algae

depend on each

leaves the coral

other to survive

Bleached coral

Without algae, coral

is left bleached

and vulnerable

Coral

Algae

Coral have a symbiotic relationship

with the microscopic algae that

live in their tissues. These algae

are the coral’s primary food source

and give them their colour.

When this symbiotic

relationship becomes stressed

due to increased ocean

temperature or pollution, the

algae leave the coral’s tissue.

Without the algae, the coral

loses its major source of

food, turns white or very

pale, and is more susceptible

to disease.

Observed bleaching as at 12 April 2016

Cairns

G R E A T B A R R I E R

Townsville

Far Northern

management area

Severe bleaching

Cairns/Cooktown

management area

Moderate to Severe

bleaching

R E E F M A R I N E

PORT: Abbot Pt

Townsville/Whitsunday

management area

Minor to Severe

bleaching

Mean sea surface

temperatures for

February and

March 2016 over

the Great Barrier

Reef were the

highest on record

since 1900.

N

QLD

0 100

km

Galilee

Coal

Basin

Bowen

Coal

Basin

PORT: Hay Pt

Surat

Coal

Basin

P A R K

PORT: Gladstone

Brisbane

Mackay/Capricorn

management area

Minor bleaching

Exporting climate change, killing the Reef: Australia's Report Name post-Paris Subtitle contributions goes here 9

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