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Great Barrier Reef will Survive if Warming Kept to 1.5 Degrees

A study released by an Australian university looking at multiple catastrophes hitting the Great Barrier Reef has found for the first time that only 2% of its area has escaped bleaching since 1998, then the world’s hottestyear on record.

The lead author of the study said that If global warming is kept to 1.5 degrees, the maximum rise in average global temperature that was the focus of the COP26 United Nations climate conference, the mix of corals on the Great Barrier Reef will change but it could still thrive. He said that it can hold global warming to 1.5 degrees global average warming then I think we’ll still have a vibrant Great Barrier Reef.

The study found the corals adapted to have a higher heat threshold if they had survived a previous bleaching event, but the gap between bleaching events has shrunk, giving the reefs less time to recover between each episode. Australia, which last week said it would not back a pledge led by the United States and the European Union to cut methane emissions, needs to do more to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

The Great Barrier Reef comprises more than 3,000 individual reefs stretching for 2,300km. The ecosystem supports 65,000 jobs in reef tourism. Globally, hundreds of millions of people depend on the survival of coral reefs for their livelihoods and food security.

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