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No Time to Recover: Mass Coral Bleaching Plagues Great Barrier Reef for the Second Year in a Row

USA Today Network/Mary Bowerman - March 15, 2017 in Environment, Featured

No Time to Recover: Mass Coral Bleaching Plagues Great Barrier Reef for the Second Year in a Row
Photo: Robert Linsdell/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

An expansive aerial survey found that the Great Barrier Reef has been ravaged by coral bleaching for the second year in a row, marking the first time the reef has not had several years to recover between bleaching events, according to researchers.

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and researchers from the Australian Institute of Marine Science spent six hours flying over the reef between Townsville and Cairns, Australia. The survey found that bleaching is occurring in the central park of the park, which had escaped severe bleaching last year, according to a statement from the Marine Park Authority. 

“How this event unfolds will depend very much on local weather conditions over the next few weeks,” Marine Park Authority Director of Reef Recovery Dr. David Wachenfeld said in a statement.

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