Great Barrier Reef’s third mass bleaching in five years the most widespread yet

Government’s chief marine scientist says he fears people will lose hope for the future of the reef but it is a clear signal for action

The government’s top Great Barrier Reef scientist says a third mass bleaching event in five years is a clear signal the marine wonder is “calling for urgent help” on climate change.

One quarter of the Great Barrier Reef suffered severe bleaching this summer in the most widespread outbreak ever witnessed, according to analysis of aerial surveys of more than 1,000 individual reefs released on Tuesday.

Related: Rescuing the Great Barrier Reef: how much can be saved, and how can we do it?

The #GreatBarrierReef has experienced the third mass coral bleaching event in five years, explains @ProfTerryHughes@jcu @CoralCoE @MorganPratchett

Related: ‘Probably the worst year in a century’: Australia’s environmental toll of 2019

Related: Great Barrier Reef world heritage values damaged by climate change, government admits

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