Extreme climate events have affected nearly 5,000 miles of Australia’s coast. During the period 2011 to 2017, it faced heatwaves, floods, and drought. These combined to damage nearly 45 percent of the marine ecosystems along the coastal regions. Many of the damages resulted in irreversible changes to marine habitats. Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) conducted the study. It shows the extent to which Climate change is disturbing the Environment and giving rise to largescale change across the marine ecosystems of Australia.

The Guardian says the study involved a compilation of research that scientists carried out on a number of related aspects of climate change. They examined the effects of marine heatwaves apart from heavy rainfall because of tropical storms, and cyclones. Another factor they considered was droughts. The coral, kelp, mangrove, and seagrass communities had to withstand these attacks. A whole lot of them did not survive. The study established that these are destabilizing the ecosystems.

Serious events between 2011 and 2017

The researchers say heatwaves, when added to the effects of global warming, spell disaster for marine organisms.

These did not have sufficient time to adapt to the changes and suffered. Russ Babcock is the lead author of the study. In his words – “it’s not just the Great Barrier Reef that we have to think about. It’s all around the country.” The team examined four major events of the period. These were the marine heatwaves of 2011 in the western parts of the country.

Then came cyclone Yasi followed by the mass bleaching of the GBR. Last major event was the mangrove dieback in 2015-16. This was in the Gulf of Carpentaria.

The Guardian mentioned the findings of the team.

It discovered that kelp canopies in Western Australia had not recovered since the 2011 marine heatwave. Animals that fed off seagrasses felt the effect as did plants, fish and other marine creatures. It will gradually result in loss of habitat for many via disruption of the ecological balance. Coral reef scientist Terry Hughes says – “it’s good to have the big picture and make the point that it’s a huge issue for all coastal areas of Australia.”

Impact of extreme climate events

According to Xinhuanet, large portions of Australia's coastline have felt the impact of extreme climatic disorders in the last decade. The impact has been felt in over 45 percent of the coastal marine ecosystems. This consists of corals, kelp, mangrove, and seagrass and provides a habitat of innumerable marine creatures.

They also contribute to the economy of the coastal population of nearby human settlements. These adversely affect marine food webs and change the ecosystem - changes that will take time to recover from. Some changes could be irreversible.