Australia: the Great Barrier Reef is dying and one scientist has described it as 'terminal.' Global warming appears to be the culprit according to The Nature Journal. In 2016, the results of a study were published that showed severe concentrations of coral bleaching stretching to the north, and this was bad enough, but 2017 has scientists despairing over the state of the Great Barrier Reef. Science Alert reported that scientists, who say Global Warming is killing the reef, pointed out that this year the bleaching has spread 500 km (311 miles) further south.

Great Barrier Reef - four years of bleaching

There have been four big bleaching events on the Great Barrier Reef since 1998, but this is the first time it has happened in two consecutive years. Scientists point out that it takes at least a decade for coral to recover from a bleaching event and James Kerry from James Cook University's ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies said that the second consecutive year of damage is probably going to allow 'zero' chance of recovery in places.

Scientists report that "out of the 2,300 km (1,430 miles) of Great Barrier Reef, 1,500 km (932 miles) is now bleached." While Bleaching does not immediately kill the corals, over time they starve to death, Science Alert explains.

According to findings within the science community coral reef bleaching that the Great Barrier Reef is experiencing is caused by the water warming up. The corals become very stressed when temperatures rise and this causes them to eject the algae that live in their tissues. The beautiful colors that are caused by those colorful algae disappear and the coral turns 'bone white.'

The coral reef is home to hundreds of corals and a stunning array or marine life.

Some experts hold out little hope for reefs

There are proponents of Global Warming and those who simply don't believe in it, but as the Science Alert article points out, it is time to get real.

When an expert in his field like James Cook University water quality expert, Jon Brodie is moved to tears and describes the Great Barrier Reef as 'terminal,' to the Guardian, then disbelievers should know that things are severe. It is possile that ultimately the only way the reefs will survive is if there is a huge reduction in carbon emissions. To cite Science Alert - 'World, if you're waiting for a wake up call, this is it.'

It is not too late but action has to be taken immediately if our grandchildren are going to ever experience this wonder of the world.