Aerial survey confirms severe damage to Great Barrier Reef from latest coral bleaching

Coral scientist Terry Hughes conducting aerial surveys of Australian reefs. He recorded the various degrees of bleaching suffered by reef-building corals from about 150m above sea level.
A badly bleached reef off Great Keppel Island, Queensland, last month. Coral bleaching is caused by prolonged heat stress.PHOTO: ARC CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE FOR CORAL REEF STUDIES
A badly bleached reef off Great Keppel Island, Queensland, last month. Coral bleaching is caused by prolonged heat stress.
Coral scientist Terry Hughes conducting aerial surveys of Australian reefs. He recorded the various degrees of bleaching suffered by reef-building corals from about 150m above sea level. PHOTO: ARC CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE FOR CORAL REEF STUDIES

The decline in Australia's Great Barrier Reef, the world's largest living structure, is accelerating, exacerbated by record sea temperatures, a leading coral scientist concluded after an extensive aerial survey.

The survey results confirm earlier indications that large parts of the reef had suffered a third mass coral bleaching event in five years.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 07, 2020, with the headline 'Aerial survey confirms severe damage to Great Barrier Reef from latest coral bleaching'. Subscribe