Researchers at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies say coral bleaching, which occurs when corals expel algae that live inside their tissues, has occurred among all coral species and specimens of all ages. "Our results show the ability of the Great Barrier Reef to recover-its resilience-is compromised compared to the past, because there are fewer babies, and fewer large breeding adults", added Dr. Dietzel. However, the table-shaped and branching corals were the most affected by the record-breaking temperatures that influence mass bleaching back in 2016 and 2017.
The Great Barrier Reef stretches for more than 2,300km along the Queensland coast, and in 1981, was designated a World Heritage Site for its "enormous scientific and intrinsic importance" to the planet.
Well, by making The Great Barrier Reef a citizen of Australia, she'll be protected by key Australian rights and freedoms: the right to the highest attainable standard of physical health; freedom from torture or cruel, degrading or inhuman treatment and punishment;the right to maintain your own means of subsistence; and the right to life.
The sizes of coral populations are also vital when it comes to corals' ability to reproduce. Research found greater deterioration in coral colonies in the northern and central Great Barrier Reef after mass coral bleaching in 2016 and 2017.
Dr Dietzel said better data is urgently needed to see "how coral populations are changing and whether or not they can recover between disturbances". The Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest coral reef, covering almost 133,000 square miles.
This story was first published on CNN.com, "The Great Barrier Reef has lost half its corals within 3 decades".
The Great Barrier Reef has experienced numerous mass bleaching events over the past five years, and experts say the southern part of the reef is also expected to reach record temperatures in early 2020.
The eulogy for the Great Barrier Reef has been written in the pages of journals, coral bleaching maps, and eerie photos of coral graveyards.
Researchers looking at coral populations over 30 years starting in 1995 found there was decline in both shallow and deeper water, and across different species. The researchers found that all types of coral had suffered a decline here, in the world's largest reef system.
The authors concluded by saying: "There is no time to lose - we must sharply decrease greenhouse gas emissions ASAP". Even with its huge size, the supposed resilience of the Great Barrier Reef has no match when it comes to climate change.