Australia's Great Barrier Reef is one of the world's most iconic natural landmarks but unfortunately, it may not be around for much longer and humans are to blame.
The Barrier Reef is back in the headlines after an aerial survey by the Australian Research Council's Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies showed that at least 1,500km has been bleached - that's two-thirds of its length!
The intense bleaching is said to be caused by the rise in temperatures due to global warming and it isn't showing signs of slowing down.
This is the second year in a row that scientists are reporting extreme change in the corals and according to council's director, Terry Hughes, it would take about 10 years for the reef to recover even with the fastest growing coral. Keep in mind, recovery can only take place if there is a gap between bleaching.
It only took 1°C of warming for the corals to start changing colors over a span of 19 years. Bleached corals aren't necessarily dead but they do experience damage that are in some cases irreparable.
“Ultimately, we need to cut carbon emissions, and the window to do so is rapidly closing,” said Hughes.
The council released some images of the areas that have been impacted by the mass bleaching. Take a look below and see the damage for yourself.