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The Great Barrier Reef: A Stunning Paradise on the Brink

4 weeks ago
Featured image for the article "The Great Barrier Reef: A Stunning Paradise on the Brink"

Paradise Under Threat

The turquoise waters of Lady Elliot Island, a jewel off Australia's eastern coast, shimmer under the rising sun. Beneath the surface lies a wonderland: the Great Barrier Reef, a vibrant ecosystem teeming with marine life.

But this paradise faces an existential threat. The Great Barrier Reef has just endured its worst summer on record, suffering from a global coral bleaching event – the fourth since the late 1990s.

In-article image for the article "The Great Barrier Reef: A Stunning Paradise on the Brink"

Rising Temperatures, Bleaching Corals

Surging global temperatures, fueled by fossil fuels and El Niño patterns, have pushed ocean temperatures to unprecedented highs. CNN witnessed the devastating effects firsthand: bleached coral stretching across vast swathes of the reef.

"It's like wildfires underwater," says Kate Quigley, a leading scientist. "If warming continues, we may reach a point of no return."

Coral bleaching occurs when stressed corals expel algae living within their tissues, draining their vibrant colors. While they can recover with cooler temperatures, prolonged warmth spells death.


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