Coral bleaching 'is ruining Great Barrier Reef'

Unusually warm weather has taken its toll on the marine park

Coral Bleaching Along Great Barrier Reef Elevated To Highest Response Level

Australia has recently been experiencing higher than usual temperatures and the heat has been taking a toll on one of the country's most famous sights.

The coral in the northern region of the Great Barrier Reef is under severe threat as a direct result of the warmer weather.

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See also: Travel quiz: Guess the natural wonder of the world

Due to massive bleaching events the government has elevated the emergency response level to the highest tier.

Coral can only survive in a very limited temperature range, and excessively warm waters result in the breakdown between the coral and the algae within.

While El Nino is currently part of the cause for the heightened water temperatures, climate change is also deemed to be a threat.

The chairman of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority commented that more investigation into the area and those nearby is needed before the full scope of damage can be understood.

He also noted that being part of a global compact to reduce overall emissions is a key part in reducing future loss.

The Great Barrier Reef has been named as one of the 'seven wonders of the natural world' and the marine park covers more than 3,000km off the eastern coast of Australia.

The reef is between 15 and 150 kilometres off the coastline and in some parts it is a staggering 65km wide, it has been said that the Great Barrier Reef is the only living thing on earth that is visible from space.

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