Great Barrier Reef Obituary Goes Viral, But Scientists Say It’s Not Too Late

"If it was a person, it would be on life support"

The ocean’s main attraction has recently fallen under hard times, sustaining fatal injuries due to climate change.

In a viral article titled, Obituary: Great Barrier Reef (25 Million BC-2016), writer Rowan Jacobsen proclaimed that Earth’s largest living structure: The Great Barrier Reef is dead and gone.

“The Great Barrier Reef of Australia passed away in 2016 after a long illness,” reads the obituary, published Tuesday in Outside Magazine. “It was 25 million years old.”

Home to over 1625 species of fish, 3000 molluscs, and 30 different types of whales and dolphins, the natural world wonder dwells off the coast of Queensland and can be seen from outer space. But pretty soon, it will all be gone.

While there is no denying the fact that the GBR has been in some trouble for a long time, it is not believed the be the end just yet.

In April, specialists from the Australian Research Council’s Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies discovered that the most harsh coral bleaching event on record has impacted 93 percent of the reef. This occurs when the water is too warm for the coral to maintain their symbiotic relationship with protozoa cells. This is a direct correlation to Global Warming.

A Scientist who recently visited the Great Barrier Reef even made the comparison, “if it was a person, it would be on life support”. Yikes.

As bad as the current situation is down under, the reef, as a whole, is not dead. Preliminary research taken from Thursdays Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority survey, shows that only 22 percent of its coral actually died from the bleaching event. This news is bitter sweet, as it means three quarters of the reef is currently fighting for life ― and in desperate need of relief.

The death of the Great Barrier Reef has been a large worry for those in the scientific community for quite some time. In 2009, the chief scientist of the Australian Institute of Marine Science, Charles Veron, held a talk called “Is the Great Barrier Reef on Death Row?”

In Jacobsen’s recent obituary he quoted Veron as saying, “It looks like a war zone. It’s heartbreaking.” How tragic.

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