The world's largest reef that could be seen from space has officially been declared dead by scientists. According to The Guardian, most of the reef died this year, in 2016, due to prolonged effects of global warming in the region.
This is how it happened.
Global warming has caused a phenomena called bleaching. Bleaching happens when the water's temperature becomes warm and the algae that help keep the corals and marine life alive do not get produced anymore. Bleaching has affected a lot of coastal countries such as Seychelles and Mauritius over the years.
Though some reports suggest that 93% of the reef is dead, this is not true. Only 22% of the reef has been effected by bleaching, however 22% is also a big number.
The images circulating on the internet are very shocking! They show the difference between what the Great Barrier Reef looked like 20 years ago and what it looks like now. The maximum portion of the reef has turned crystal white, and according to Richard Vevers, chief executive at Ocean Agency, the entire belt of the Great Barrier Reef smells like rotten animals! That is how bad it has become.