Despite the natural world appearing to benefit from our absence over the last several months, the Great Barrier Reef continues to suffer from the effects of climate change…
Overpopulation, pollution, fossil fuels, and deforestation are just a few of the negative impact we humans have had upon our earth.
Are now looming concrete jungles suffocated by smog and various other toxic, man-made emissions.
Over the years, animal populations have been dwindling, and many species have become fully extinct or endangered as a result of hunting, poaching, and the destruction of natural habitats.
Years of excessive plastic use have come back to haunt us, with a high percentage our oceans simply teeming with discarded plastic.
Due to the ongoing medical pandemic.
And staying indoors isn’t only saving lives… It is potentially saving our environment and our animals, too.
The empty streets have had a staggering impact on our planet.
Now we are confined to our homes, our streets are sparse, resulting in a sudden drop in toxic emissions such as Co2 and carbon monoxide.
Pollution levels are at an all time low.
Since January, many parts of the world have seen a drastic drop in pollution levels since lockdowns were implemented, including New York City, whose pollution levels have been notoriously high for decades.
Mother Nature is thriving – plants are flourishing, trees are blossoming, and various animals are making appearances in the most unlikely of places.
For example, dolphins have returned to the canals of Venice, which were once swarming and overcrowded with tourists.
It just goes to show the devastating impact we have had upon the wildlife we share our planet with, and the extreme lengths it has taken for our earth to finally start healing.
And this has hugely benefited our marine life in particular.
These beautiful creatures have been impacted massively by plastic and waste pollution in the oceans, with many of them being caught up in large pieces of the debris and, in some devastating cases, being suffocated.
Beaches all over the world remain void of people and pollution, meaning animals like turtles are finally able to nest peacefully – And they’re completely thriving as a result.
“All of the reduced human presence on the beach also means that there will be less garbage and other plastics entering the marine environment,” Godfrey an expert analyst has said. “Ingestion and entanglement in plastic and marine debris also are leading causes of injury…”
Although unfortunately, coral reefs aren’t benefiting from the drop in human publicity.
And the beautiful reefs once brimming with life are being bleached due to climate change.
Study co-author Professor Terry Hughes, of the University of Queensland, Australia, said: “We found the number of small, medium and large corals on the Great Barrier Reef has declined by more than 50 percent since the 1990s.
“The decline occurred in both shallow and deeper water, and across virtually all species – but especially in branching and table-shaped corals.
“These were the worst affected by record-breaking temperatures that triggered mass bleaching in 2016 and 2017.”
He explained: “We measured changes in colony sizes because population studies are important for understanding demography and the corals’ capacity to breed.”
Dr Dietzel continued: “If we want to understand how coral populations are changing and whether or not they can recover between disturbances, we need more detailed demographic data: on recruitment, on reproduction and on colony size structure.”
“We used to think the Great Barrier Reef is protected by its sheer size – but our results show that even the world’s largest and relatively well-protected reef system is increasingly compromised and in decline.”
Let’s hope we have more time to reverse the catastrophic effects.
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