Scientist witnesses severe coral bleaching—21 March 2016
Researchers from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University have described scenes of widespread damage as coral bleaching extends its reach in the northern Great Barrier Reef. Senior Research Fellow, Dr Jodie Rummer, has just returned from more than a month at the Lizard Island Research Station in the Northern Great Barrier Reef, and witnessed the extent of the bleaching. Dr Rummer has been undertaking research on the island since January 2012, one of the most pristine sites in the entire Great Barrier Reef. She has spent the past five weeks underwater, studying the effects of the extreme heat on the physiology of reef fishes. “The bleaching now is not just restricted to the hard corals. There’s also extensive bleaching in the soft corals, and it is also affecting anemones and giant clams,” said Dr Rummer.

Media issued by the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies.

Image: Bleached staghorn with damselfish.
Image credit: Photo by Jodie Rummer, ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies.

 

Original Published Date: 
Monday, March 21, 2016