The Great Barrier Reef suffered through the worst coral die-off in recorded history this year, scientists found, with unusually warm ocean water and record-setting bleaching eventskilling a stunning 90 percent of all coral in the worst-hit area.
Those were the conclusions of a study published Monday by the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies.
“One of the worst-hit areas is around Lizard Island in Far North Queensland, where around 90 percent of the coral has died,” reports the BBC. “Dr. Andrew Hoey, whose team charted the area, said the impact was far worse than feared after an initial survey in April.”
“It’s devastating to get in the water somewhere you’ve been coming for almost 20 years, and it’s just knocked it on its head,” Hoey told the BBC. “There’s very little coral cover left there. It was dominated by the acropora—the branching corals—but we lost most of them.”