Terry Hughes on Great Barrier Reef

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Last quote by Terry Hughes on Great Barrier Reef

I actually see this problem we are now facing – with back-to-back bleaching events on the Great Barrier Reef killing about half the corals – that this is more a governance problem. What's broken is not so much the corals – they don't need fixing – but the legal frameworks, the politics and the institutions. We need to find solutions, but I don't think growing corals is part of that. I think it's about changing people's attitudes and behaviours and getting carbon dioxide emissions down by transitioning away from fossil fuels as quickly as possible. Without that, nothing else really works.feedback
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Sep 27 2017
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All quotes by Terry Hughes on Great Barrier Reef

Last year we lost 67 percent on average of the corals in the northern 700 kilometers (430 miles) of the barrier reef, between March and October. We're likely to see something similar happen now in the middle third this year.feedback

We've had a back-to-back bleaching for the first time. So we redid our aerial surveys again, which was a bit tough. I was hoping to never have to do it again. I showed the results of aerial surveys of #bleaching on the #GreatBarrierReef to my students, And then we wept. That's obviously an enormous loss over two-thirds of the Great Barrier Reef. I wouldn't say the barrier reef is dying. But clearly, we're measuring serious losses here. And the reason it's happening is global warming.feedback

It broke my heart to see so many corals dying on northern reefs on the Great Barrier Reef in 2016. With rising temperatures due to global warming, it's only a matter of time before we see more of these events . A fourth event after only one year would be a major blow to the reef. The severity of the 2016 bleaching was off the chart. In its weakened state, the reef cannot afford the Adani mine.feedback

We're hoping that the next 2-3 weeks will cool off quickly, and this year's bleaching won't be anything like last year. The severity of the 2016 bleaching was off the chart. With rising temperatures due to global warming, it's only a matter of time before we see more of these events. A fourth event after only one year is a major blow to the Reef. I think it's a wake-up call. We've been hoping that local interventions with water quality and fishing would improve the resistance of the corals to bleaching. We found no evidence that that's actually true, at least during a very severe event.feedback

Climate change is not a future threat. On the Great Barrier Reef, it's been happening for 18 years.feedback

This one won't be as bad as 2016, but it could be more comparable to 1998 or 2002. I'm confident that we'll still have coral reefs if we can keep below 2. I don't think we'll keep below 1 degree Celcius. I think we've got a narrowing window of opportunity, to put it optimistically – or to put it pessimistically, we're running out of time.feedback

''We don't have any tools to climate-proof corals,''. ''That's a bit sobering. We can't stop bleaching locally. We actually have to do something about climate change.''.feedback

We didn't expect to see this level of destruction to the Great Barrier Reef for another 30 years. In the north, I saw hundreds of reefs – literally two-thirds of the reefs were dying and are now dead.feedback

Most of the losses in 2016 have occurred in the northern, most-pristine part of the Great Barrier Reef. This region escaped with minor damage in two earlier bleaching events in 1998 and 2002, but this time around it has been badly affected.feedback

Australia argued that the world heritage values were in tact because of the northern region and now of course it has taken a huge hit.feedback

It takes at least a decade for a full recovery of even the fastest growing corals, so mass bleaching events 12 months apart offers zero prospect of recovery for reefs that were damaged in 2016.feedback

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Quotes by Terry Hughes on Great Barrier Reef

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