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In the News

How the Great Barrier Reef is a key focus for global climate change

Joanne Parkinson

26th July 2021

The Great Barrier Reef has already been harmed by three bleaching events in the last five years. 50% of the shallow water coral organisms have been destroyed by these events and scientists predict that the situation for this habitat will get worse. Whilst the focus of climate change is always on the impacts on our oceans, it is crucial that the oceans now become a focus as a solution for climate change.

The UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development is a global focus on sustaining precious ocean habitats. The Great Barrier Reef has created the Foundation’s Reef Recovery 2030 plan, which will increase the resilience of reef ecosystems. This will enable local people to continue to benefit from the habitat, whether that be from food supplies or the local economy benefiting from ecotourism. The reef system will also help to reduce coastal erosion and damage from storm surges as ocean water temperatures increase.

Other key habitats hold the key as carbon sinks. Mangrove, wetlands and seagrass habitats have the capacity to absorb and store huge amounts of atmospheric carbon which will help to mitigate against rising temperatures.

The battle to reduce global warming starts with the need to be carbon neutral, yet this goal will be difficult to achieve as some countries strive to develop and are still reliant on fossil fuels. The need to mitigate by utilising ocean stores is therefore crucial. For more on this story, read the full article on the Guardian website.

Joanne Parkinson

An experienced, outstanding Geography teacher, GCSE examiner and Head of Humanities in a 11-18 school. I'm passionate about all geographical events and am a keen blogger.

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