New aerial footage showing extensive coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef was published in a paper that claims the reef risks losing tolerance to bleaching events under near-future climate change scenarios. The researchers claimed the reef's coral had been able to survive previous bleaching events because it had been exposed to a pattern of gradually warming waters in the lead up to each episode.
The study examined 27 years' worth of satellite data for sea surface temperatures, previous coral bleaching events, and studied how corals responded to different seawater warming conditions. The study found that reefs on the Great Barrier Reef will lose their protective mechanism under future climate change predictions.
The footage was collected during aerial surveys conducted in March 2016 for a paper published by researchers from ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University and the University of Queensland, in collaboration with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration USA.