The Great Barrier Reef is dying and the Australian government is apparently not doing enough to solve the problem. Experts point out that the government’s REEF 2050 plan does not effectively address the climate change threat.
To ensure a good future for the corals, the government established the REEF 2050 Sustainability Plan. However, the ABC reports that one-third of the targets are at risk of not being met because either they are just starting or severely lacking in funds.
According to the Great Barrier Reef Independent Review Group, they doubt that this is actually a good plan to alleviate the impacts of climate change on the Great Barrier Reef. Experts lament that climate change, which results to coral bleaching like the massive coral bleaching in 2016, has become the new normal.
Di Tarte, the Convenor of the Great Barrier Reef Independent Review Group, stated: “(The 2016 bleaching) was a precursor, it gave us an insight as to what’s going to happen on the Reef if we don’t get ahead of the game. At the moment, there’s a business-as-usual feel … and we aren’t dealing effectively with climate change impacts.”
The Independent Review Group has asked officials in the World Heritage Committee to examine the Reef’s status. The GBRMPA has also said that they are doing underwater surveys on reefs located between Townsville and Cairns.
Another study has shown that coral bleaching could become the new normal by 2050. Experts blame the rising ocean temperatures.
The research team also says that if the current greenhouse gas emissions are not reduced, then high temperatures, which we also experienced last year, will become very common in the coming years. The researchers add that high temperatures like last year have a 70 percent chance of being common in 2030. The temperatures of 2050 would have a 947 percent chance of being as high.
“Beyond that [the 2016 temperatures] become much cooler than average, to the point that by the late 21st century an event like 2016 would actually be remarkably cold,” said lead researcher Andrew King, a climate scientist from the University of Melbourne.
King also said that Australia is not decreasing its greenhouse gas emissions enough. Ensuring that the country follows on what was agreed in Paris also means ensuring the good future of the corals. King also said that Australia must make policies that will help achieve that goal. The researcher suggests using sustainable energy.