We are not yet done with mind blowing Great Barrier Reef facts. There are still many to write. So, yet another article on the reef system makes sense. This natural wonder has a lot to give but guess what? The Great Barrier Reef is actually dying out gradually with the biggest threat being rise in global temperature. In this article, we try to understand what has happened to the Great Barrier Reef and what scientists expect in near future. So, let’s begin…
Mind Blowing Great Barrier Reef Facts: 1-5
1. 2 acre area of the Great Barrier Reef has way more fish species compared to the number of bird species that can be found in whole of North America. This should give you a fairly good idea of the rich biodiversity of the reef system.
2. Why are the coral reefs so important for ocean health? That’s because the coral reefs of not just the Great Barrier Reef but other coral reefs around the world are known for filtering the water by trapping the floating things. This makes the water crystal clear in the coral reef regions.
3. Coral reefs of the Great Barrier Reef has an amorous ambiance. While many species of animals come here for mating, the largest orgy on planet earth is that of the corals themselves. Every year after the full moon of the springtime passes, the moon phase along with water temperature kicks of what is known as the “sex on the reef”. It is the phase of mass spawning where the corals spend an entire week in reproduction. They release huge amounts of eggs and sperm, which go on to carry on the nearly still or motionless legacy of the corals.
4. The question is why does the mass spawning take place only once during a year? That’s because the corals have genes that are capable of detecting the moonlight. Once the correct conditions are detected by the genes, the “sex on the reef” starts. This happens every November.
5. The coral reefs of the Great Barrier Reef are facing a grave threat. They reef system is dying out gradually because of a number of factors like coral bleaching, increase in the population of Crown-of-Thorns Starfish, pollutions, oil spillage and more.
Mind Blowing Great Barrier Reef Facts: 6-10
6. Coral bleaching is the greatest danger. To be more specific, the rise the global temperature is causing the reef system to die out. It has been happening way faster than expected. A paper was published in the journal called Nature, which shows the grim fate of the Great Barrier Reef.
7. According to the paper, 2016 was period of vast coral bleaching that affected the large sections of reef to die out. To be more precise, there is a city in the eastern coast of Australia. It is known as Cairns. To the north of Cairns is a large section of the reef system. A 500-mile section of this segment of the Great Barrier Reef system encountered coral bleaching.
8. Before the paper was submitted in Nature, an extensive survey was conducted where it was found that large sections of the reef were bleached out and is not likely to recover anytime soon or possibly, the corals will never recover and stay dead.
9. But here’s something you should know. The surveys were conducted by Professor Terry Hughes and his team, who were funded by the government. They conducted aerial surveys and found that the corals ghosted out. But the problem with the survey was that it could not really determine whether the bleaching was caused by declining sea levels, low tides, increase in sea level, increase in global warming, storm damage or Crown-of-Thorns Starfish.
10. Hughes’ study lead to headlines like “25 million years old Great Barrier Reef is dead” and more. Fortunately enough, that’s not the case. The Great Barrier Reef is far from being dead with the hardest hit areas ad per the Hughes report have only less than 5% damage as reported by divers who visited the areas given in Hughes reports. Source.