New Delhi: Mass coral bleaching on Australia's iconic Great Barrier Reef may cost a whopping USD 1 trillion to the global economy and lead to a catastrophic annual loss of over 1 million visitors to one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the world, scientists warned today.
Scientists this week announced that two-thirds of the Great Barrier Reef has been damaged by back-to-back severe bleaching events caused by record-breaking temperatures, adding that the reefs affected last year have zero prospect of recovery.
Intensifying climate change remains the biggest threat to coral reefs around the world, with rising sea surface temperatures driving widespread bleaching events, according to the latest report by Australia's Climate Council.
The report shows worsening bleaching events are also placing tourism and global economies at risk, with the loss of coral reefs potentially costing an astounding USD 1 trillion.
Extensive and ongoing mass coral bleaching and mortality on the Great Barrier Reef in 2016 and now in 2017 should be a wake up call, said Climate Councillor Professor Lesley Hughes.