The Great Barrier Reef is not only the largest living organism in the world; it is one of the most beautiful.
Along with its breath-taking appearance, the enchanting ecosystem serves many purposes, from protecting coastlines to being the habitat of incredibly important biodiversity. It must be protected at all costs.
There is much disagreement regarding the extent to which climate change is threatening, and even destroying, the treasured under-water system. So, should we be seriously concerned about the welfare of the reef?
Pauline Hanson, One Nation Leader, does not think so. She argues strongly against scientists who claim climate change is to blame for coral bleaching.
Instead, she says it is a natural occurrence, and stresses her belief that scientists are exaggerating the impact climate change is having on the coral.
A recent article suggests a certain type of algae has the ability to defend and adapt against the changing sea temperature. Whilst this research acknowledges the impact of climate change, it takes the responsibility away from human action.
These sources suggest nature will take its course in protecting the Great Barrier Reef. However, these opinions are heavily outweighed by widespread concern that the reef is under all too real a threat.
For instance, at the end of August 2019, the Australian government downgraded the state of the reef to ‘very poor’. According to a government agency: ‘Significant global action to address climate change is critical to slowing deterioration of the Reef’s ecosystem and heritage values and supporting recovery’.
Emphasising the need to act urgently, they added: ‘The window of opportunity to improve the reef’s long-term future is now’.
Support for this view comes from a highly respected source. Sir David Attenborough states ‘The Great Barrier Reef is in grave danger. The twin perils brought by climate change, an increase in the temperature of the ocean and in its acidity, threaten its very existence’.
Despite contrasting views, the high level of concern for the Great Barrier Reef certainly speaks volumes. Arguably, it drowns out any climate change deniers.
So, if you’re convinced that climate change is having a detrimental impact on one of the world’s most magnificent organisms, you can learn how to do your bit here.