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To Tackle Heart of Great Barrier Reef Troubles – Target Climate Change
Australia has pledged more than $350 million to help protect and preserve the Great Barrier Reef – which is increasingly experiencing “shocking” amounts of coral bleaching. The new funding will be the single largest investment for reef conservation and management in the country’s history.
Linda Ivany, professor of earth sciences at Syracuse University’s College of Arts & Sciences, researches marine paleoecology and paleoclimate. Ivany says funding to research and restore the Great Barrier Reef is critically important – but doesn’t get to the heart of the crisis.
“I applaud the significant investment being made by the Australian government in an effort to combat the many challenges faced by the Great Barrier Reef ecosystem. But while funding for research and restoration is always critically important, the real issue at the heart of Great Barrier Reef troubles is climate change.
“The warmer it gets, the more severe will be the impact of natural variations like El Nino. Heat waves are getting warmer, longer, and more frequent, causing ever-more reef coral to bleach and die. Nearly a third of the Great Barrier Reef ecosystem suffered catastrophic losses in the most recent El Nino. This problem won’t get better unless we can get warming in check.”
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