FRONT PAGES: Australia’s Barrier Reef Erupts With Color As Corals Spawn NBC News

dWeb.News Article from Daniel Webster dWeb.News

CANBERRA (Australia) — Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is spawning as it recovers from coral bleaching.

Scientists recorded Tuesday night the corals fertilizing billions of offspring through the casting of sperm into the Pacific Ocean near Cairns, Queensland.

The spawning event lasts for two or three days.

The network of 2,500 reefs covering 348,000 square kilometers (134,000 square miles) suffered significantly from coral bleaching caused by unusually warm ocean temperatures in 2016, 2017 and last year. Two-thirds of coral was damaged by the bleaching.

Gareth Phillips is a marine scientist at Reef Teach. This tourism and education business studies the spawning process as part of a monitoring project for the health of the reef. Phillips released a statement Wednesday saying that it was gratifying to witness the reef’s birth. “It’s a strong demonstration that its ecological functions are intact and working after being in a recovery phase for more than 18 months.”

“The reef has gone through its own troubles like we all have, but it can still respond — and that gives us hope. Phillips said that we should all be focusing on the victories in the fight against the pandemic.

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