Australia's Great Barrier Reef is one of the major drivers of international visitors.
Australia's Great Barrier Reef is one of the major drivers of international visitors. Darren Jew

Great Barrier Reef about to suffer major bleaching

QUEENSLAND'S Environment Minister has said the state is about to get a taste of the impacts of climate change, with one of the worst ever coral bleaching events predicted for this Christmas.

Speaking from Paris, where he is attending the United Nations Climate Change Conference, Steven Miles said the crucial meeting "at this stage appears to be going quite to plan", with the world's nations inching closer to an agreement which is expected to keep global warming below 2 degrees.

But the world is already halfway there, with scientists warning the global temperature has already increased by 1 degree on pre-industrial levels.  Mr Miles said that jump had already had "a very substantial impact" on the world's reefs, including the Great Barrier Reef, and was in danger of becoming worse.

"It looks like we will be getting a sneak peak over Christmas, early next year, unfortunately, of what climate change will do to the Great Barrier Reef," he said.

"Scientists are predicting a high likelihood of the worst ever coral bleaching, because basically, El Nino is super-charging ocean temperatures.

Brisbane Times



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