Bleaching: The Great Barrier Reef

Tharushi Fernando

March 25, 2022


Coral bleaching occurs when coral reefs get stressed due to a change in environmental conditions such as temperature, light or nutrients. Bleaching results in the removal of symbiotic algae from the coral tissues. The Great Barrier Reef is recognised as the world’s largest coral reef range spamming over 23 000 kilometres and consisting of 2900 variety of reefs. Therefore, in 1981 it was listed as a World Heritage Site.

Climate pollution has placed a huge burden on the Great Barrier Reef. Previously, mass bleaching events have been reported. Yet again, in this year a huge bleaching incident has taken placed. This is recored to be the fourth time in six years to have a massive bleaching incident. The first mass bleaching event was recorded in 1998. Then observed in 2002, 2016, 2017, 2020 and now in 2022