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According to Scientific American Content (This article and its images were originally posted on Scientific American Content November 21, 2018 at 06:46AM.)
During summer 2017 a large swath of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef—normally a riot of electric oranges, reds and other colors—turned ghostly pale.
Unusually warm water temperatures, partly due to global warming, had caused the corals to expel from their tissues the symbiotic algae that provide them with food and give them their brilliant hues. It was the second mass-bleaching event to hit the reef in as many years. Together, the back-to-back events hit two thirds of the reef.
Now, with the 2019 Australian summer poised to begin, atmospheric scientists are predicting an El Niño—a recurring period marked by warmer temperatures in the tropical Pacific Ocean. This potential for high temperatures again poses a threat to the Great Barrier Reef, one that marine biologist Terry Hughes—a high-profile champion of coral reef protection—will be watching, looking for signs of more damage to the reef as he continues to push for protecting it.
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This article and images were originally posted on [Scientific American Content] November 21, 2018 at 06:46AM. Credit to the original author and Scientific American Content | ESIST.T>G>S Recommended Articles Of The Day.