From the Guardian - higher sea temperatures have led to the worst bleaching event on record, new study finds, with coral predicted to take up to 15 years to recover
"A new study has found that higher water temperatures have ravaged the Great Barrier Reef, causing the worst coral bleaching recorded by scientists.
In the worst-affected area, 67% of a 700km swath in the north of the reef lost its shallow-water corals over the past eight to nine months, the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies based at James Cook University study found.
“Most of the losses in 2016 have occurred in the northern, most-pristine part of the Great Barrier Reef,” Prof Terry Hughes said. “This region escaped with minor damage in two earlier bleaching events in 1998 and 2002, but this time around it has been badly affected.”
The southern two-thirds of the reef escaped with minor damage, Hughes said. This part was protected from the rising sea temperatures because of cooler water from the Coral Sea."
The full article can be read here.