Australia’s Great Barrier Reef suffers sixth mass bleaching event

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) and Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) said Friday that aerial surveys of around 750 reefs show widespread bleaching across the reef, with the most severe bleaching observed in northern and central areas.

“More than half of the living coral cover that we can see from the air is severely bleached completely white and can have signs of fluorescence in the colors of pink, yellow and blue,” said AIMS coral biologist Neal Cantin.

Coral bleaching events tend to happen when water temperatures are much warmer than normal. But this bleaching event comes despite La Niña, which is characterized by cooler-than-normal temperatures across the equatorial Pacific Ocean.

Australia’s Great Barrier Reef suffers sixth mass bleaching event – CNN