Corals bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef may cost Australia billions of dollars

Great Barrier ReefThe corals bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef in connection with the climate change and human activities can cost Australian government up to 1 billion AUD (about 760 million) USD, according to the assessment of independent Australian climate council. According to the research if the corals bleaching continues, the tourism zones associated with the reef will decrease, which will lead to a sharp decrease in the tourist flow to the country and, accordingly, a sharp decrease in profits, as well as a reduction in the number of jobs in the tourism sector. The Great Barrier Reef is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but being affected by climate change and human activity.

“The Great Barrier Reef annually brings our economy more than 7 billion AUD and is also a important resource of providing job of about 70,000 people”, – said the chairman of the Australian climate council, Leslie Hughes. “This is not just an environmental problem, the Great Barrier Reef is one of Australia’s strongest economic assets”, she added.

Earlier, Australian scientists reported that the Great Barrier Reef could never recover from the corals bleaching caused by the massive extinction of corals due to global warming. According to their data, the cases of massive bleaching, recorded in 1998, 2002 and 2016, had a disastrous effect on the reef and led to a decrease in its ability to self-repair.

Coral bleaching is the loss of endosymbiotic algae from the coral, either through expulsion or loss of algal pigmentation. Above-average sea water temperatures caused by global warming have been identified as a leading cause for coral bleaching worldwide. The bleached corals continue to live. But as the algae provide the coral with 90% of its energy, after expelling the algae the coral begins to starve.