Scientist Calls For Great Barrier Reef Bleaching Report To Be Released Before Federal Election
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An expert is calling for the Great Barrier Reef bleaching report to be released ahead of the federal election after it was delayed for no apparent reason.
In March, new aerial surveys found the reef had suffered its sixth mass bleaching; however, the report has yet to be released, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
Despite the summer 2021-2022 report containing the results of the aerial surveys, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) revealed the research would not be published until after the election.
A spokesperson of the GBRMPA told the Sydney Morning Herald: “The Reef Summer Snapshot 2021-22 was due to be released several weeks ago but has been delayed.
"It’s the official report released annually that summarises how the reef has fared over summer and features the aerial surveys.”
However, James Cook University Professor Terry Hughes, who has gathered findings for the report in previous years, told the Guardian research is usually available within ten days of the report being completed.
“We’re not supposed to live in a secret society,” he said.
“I think they should release it. There’s a strong similarity here to not releasing the State of the Environment report.”
Professor Hughes also said that findings needed to be released to the general public to show that mass coral bleaching has occurred more frequently in the past few years.
The Great Barrier Reef campaign manager at the Australian Marine Conservation Society Lissa Schindler, also demanded the report be published for voter 'transparency’.
She said: “If they are ready, these reports must be released.
“It is vital scientists and Australian voters have up-to-date and transparent information about our environments so they are fully informed heading into an election.”
The Climate Analytics report found that under the Liberal government’s target of reducing carbon emissions by 26-28 per cent by 2030, the earth would still rise to more than 3 degrees celsius.
“Under this level of warming, the Great Barrier Reef and all other tropical reefs would be destroyed," Climate Analytics said.
"At the global level the most extreme heat events could be 5-6 times more frequent than in recent decades and in Australia the highest maximum temperatures about 3C hotter.”
A 10-day UN mission to the reef was also concluded in March, assessing the Federal government's response to protect the reef ahead of a world heritage committee meeting next month.
The mission comes after the Morrison government lobbied against the Great Barrier Reef being included on the endangered list of world heritage sites, conflicting with UN scientific advice.