If you’ve ever dreamed of scuba diving the Great Barrier Reef, then you might want to hurry up and go already. This week, marine biologists with the National Coral Bleaching Taskforce reported that 95% of reefs from Cairns to Papua New Guinea are now “severely bleached.”
Water temperatures are too hot thanks to global climate change. This year’s El Niño only made it worse. Now, we’re faced with an unprecedented global coral die-off that will likely last well into 2017. The Great Barrier Reef — once considered irrepressible — is now the poster child for this environmental catastrophe.
In other words: The entire Great Barrier Reef is totally screwed and there’s no fixing it. Once upon a time, biologists contented themselves with the knowledge that the northern reefs were healthy enough to replenish the southern reefs. No more. The whole thing is fucked and we’re only beginning to understand the far-reaching consequences of a dead Great Barrier Reef.