93 Percent of the Great Barrier Reef Ruined By Climate Change

Congrats, humans.

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Complex Original

Image via Complex Original

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For those who deny the effects of climate change, they should probably head down under and take a gander at the current state of the Great Barrier Reef. Scientists say 93 percent of the world’s largest reef has been "devastated" by extensive coral bleaching, Mashablereports.

The bleaching occurs thanks to extremely warm water caused by El Niño, plus climate change which overheats and boils the reef until its vibrant color is lost. "We’ve never seen anything like this scale of bleaching before. In the northern Great Barrier Reef, it’s like 10 cyclones have come ashore all at once," Terry Hughes, who leads the ARC Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, said.

Dives and aerial checks were performed to examine the state of the 1,430 mile long reef. Researchers have determined that the damage will likely last for decades to come, which does not bode well for the Australian economy. The tourist attraction raises $4.45 billion annual and helps keep about 70,000 employed.  

"We can’t afford to sit by and watch climate change drive all the world’s coral reefs to extinctions by the end of the century," Julia Baum, a reef researcher at the University of Victoria, added.

Maybe it’s time to start listening to people like Bill Nye (who Sarah Palin says is not a Science Guy) before it’s too late. 

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