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Race To Save The Reef Full Documentary: Great Barrier Reef Headed For Massive Death by CNN

Geschreven op 27-8-2018 - Erik van Erne. Geplaatst in Natuur Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

In de documentaire Race to Save the Reef duikt CNN’s Ivan Watson naar de zeebodem om de schadelijke invloed van de klimaatveranderingen op Australië’s Great Barrier Reef nader te onderzoeken- schade die volgens experts kan leiden tot massale uitsterving.

CNN ontmoet Charlie Veron, ‘s werelds meest bekende expert op het gebied van koraalriffen, die 45 jaar van zijn duikersleven heeft doorgebracht in de Great Barrier Reef en persoonlijk 20% van ‘s werelds koraalsoorten heeft ontdekt.

Beschreven door Sir David Attenborough als een moderne Charles Darwin, waarschuwt Veron de wereld al decennialang voor de teloorgang van het rif, waar record temperaturen in slechts 2 jaar tijd meer dan de helft van het koraal in het rif gebleekt en gedood hebben.

Watson reist naar het Australian Institute of Marine Science, waar wetenschappers experimenteren met nieuwe technologieën om het rif te beschermen. Dit varieert van robots tot zonneschermen maar behelst ook onderzoek naar het kweken van temperatuur-resistent koraal dat kan leven in de oceaan.

Zie ook: The Great Barrier Reef Without Climate Action: The Heat is On for the Great Barrier Reef – Vanishing Coral Documentary by Earth Focus – Five Things You Need to Know About NAIF: Save The Great Barrier Reef – 100 Places To Remember: Great Barrier Reef, Australia – CommBank is Australia’s Dirtiest Bank: Five Projects They’re Bankrolling With Your Money – Coral Sea Dreaming: Awaken by David Hannan – Chasing Coral: How Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is Dying on a Massive Scale – Why Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is in danger by DW Documentary

In a dusty, secluded corner of the Australian state of Queensland, a septuagenarian scientist is on an urgent mission to raise the alarm about the future of the planet.

John “Charlie” Veron — widely known as “The Godfather of Coral” — is a renowned reef expert who has personally discovered nearly a quarter of the world’s coral species and has spent the past 45 years diving Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

But after a lifetime trying to make sense of the vast ecosystems that lie beneath the ocean’s surface, the 73-year-old is now becoming a prophet of their extinction. “It’s the beginning of a planetary catastrophe,” he tells CNN. “I was too slow to become vocal about it.”

In 2016 and 2017, marine heat waves caused by climate change resulted in mass bleaching, which killed about half of the corals on the Great Barrier Reef, along with many others around the world.

“Somewhere between a quarter and a third of all marine species everywhere has some part of their life cycle in coral reefs,” he says. “So, you take out coral reefs and a third to a quarter of all marine species gets wiped out. Now that is ecological chaos, it is ecological collapse.”

One of the natural wonders of the world, the Great Barrier Reef is 2,300km long — roughly the length of Italy — and is the only living organism that can be seen from space.

When Veron, a former Chief Scientist at the Australian Institute of Marine Science, first went diving on the vast reef in the early 1960s he felt like “his life started.”

“It was so much packed into a small area, so much life, so much activity, even noisy. It was really a metropolis, it was really humming and buzzing,” he says. “It’s a wilderness, it’s dangerous, it’s exciting.”

At that stage, he had no idea about what was in store for this vibrant underwater habitat.

“I was a climate change skeptic, at first,” he says. He realized that climate change was “serious” in the mid-1980s, and around 1990 he became “alarmed” about its impact on coral reefs.

Veron says the mass bleaching events in the past few years — and the prospect of losing one of nature’s greatest treasures — were a wake-up call for the world in the wider battle against climate change.

“It’s more than an alarm bell,” says Veron. “It’s an air raid siren.” But the die-off came as no surprise to him. Back in the 1990s, he had predicted that climate change would destroy the reef, documented in several books he published, and in a 2009 keynote lecture titled “Is the Great Barrier Reef on Death Row?” at the Royal Society in London, where he was introduced by veteran British naturalist Sir David Attenborough.

Attenborough described Veron as “one of the great authorities in the world on coral” who has “devoted himself to looking after and raising awareness about the dangers facing the reef.” Among the Australian conservation community, Veron’s reputation is also unmatched.

“Charlie is a legendary figure in coral reef circles. There’s no-one else in the world who has seen what Charlie has seen,” says Richard Leck, the Head of Oceans at WWF Australia. “He comes with a level of experience and gravitas that few other people and organizations could match and that’s where his enormous influence comes from.”

After the recent mass bleaching events, Veron dived in multiple areas of the Great Barrier Reef to see the damage for himself. “I was seeing it and feeling it and it was absolutely horrific, there’s no other way to describe it,” he says.

Veron took CNN underwater for a first-hand look. There are still large sections of healthy, thriving parts of reef that are teeming with life. But there are also vast areas of coral graveyards that look like they suffered an underwater forest fire.

In the summer of 2018, experts say no bleaching occurred, which has helped some of the bleached coral to begin the recovery process. But Veron says it takes about 10 years for corals to recover fully, and they simply don’t have that sort of time.

“For most years, say five out of seven years, there will be now mass bleaching on coral reefs around the world,” he says. Veron says he hates to predict the future for the Great Barrier Reef, because it “can’t be anything other than absolute massive death.”

His certainty is partly due to the fact that the oceans are only now seeing the impact of carbon emissions from the late 1990s, so Veron says even if we stop burning fossil fuels now, the oceans will continue warming for at least two more decades.

2 Reacties

  1. Michael Crosson zegt:

    27 augustus 2018 om 20:44 | Permalink

    We must act to save the Great Barrier Reef, which is a sign of all the oceans’ health. If the GBR dies, the oceans die, and soon after, humanity will die amidst catastrophes we can’t even begin to predict.

  2. Erik van Erne zegt:

    27 augustus 2018 om 20:49 | Permalink

    @Michael
    Yep, we should act now

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