Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The Great Barrier Reef has suffered the worst coral die-off on record

Earlier this year, the Great Barrier Reef was devastated by the largest mass bleaching event ever seen — as record-warm ocean temperatures turned large swaths of this vibrant 1,400-mile habitat into a ghastly white boneyard.

Now scientists have finally tallied up the damage. Data released Monday by Australian researchers shows that an unprecedented fraction of the shallow-water coral in the pristine northern part of the reef has died, with average mortality rates of 67 percent.