Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

'Bleach Blob' Talk of Paris

Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

'Bleach Blob' Talk of Paris

Article excerpt

Lucy Smith

lucy.smith@dailymercury.com.au

A "BLOB" of warm water is headed for our Great Barrier Reef in a global coral bleaching event, but scientists aren't sure what the impacts will be.

University of Queensland's Global Change Institute Healthy Oceans program manager Dr Tyrone Ridgway said it's only the third time a major global coral bleaching event has occurred.

He said in 1998 the Great Barrier Reef was hit by one, and 5--10% of coral cover was lost.

The Reef dodged a global bleaching event in 2010, but Dr Ridgway said the current "blob" of warm water was headed from Hawaii and likely to hit the Central and Southern areas of the reef hardest.

"This warm water is slowing making its way across the Pacific and it's scheduled to hit the Great Barrier Reef in January," he said.

"It's not possible to say how much of the Great Barrier Reef will be affected."

Dr Ridgway's research colleague Dr Ove Hoegh-Guldberg has been discussing the bleaching event in Paris during global climate talks. …

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