Australian scientists have issued a sad warning, saying that the Great Barrier Reef could be dead within 20 years.
The unstoppable damage is thanks to climate change which has lead to more frequent and severe coral bleaching.
Scientists from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science said they’d been forced to release their latest research paper early because the reef is in such a dire predicament.
The research states that if greenhouse gases keep rising, then mass coral bleaching events, like the one currently ruining the reef, will happen every two years by the mid-2030s.
Lead author Andrew King said “Our research showed this year’s bleaching event is 175 times more likely today than in a world where humans weren’t emitting greenhouse gases. We have loaded the odds against the survival of one of the world’s greatest natural wonders”.
“Climate change is very likely to make the extreme ocean temperatures underpinning this year’s massive coral bleaching even occur every two years, during March, by 2034”.
The loss of the Great Barrier Reef corals would put thousands of species at risk and imperil 69,000 jobs in the tourism and fishing industries that depend on it.