Mild conditions throughout summer provided much of the Great Barrier Reef with some relief from the impacts of climate change, according to the latest published Reef snapshot.
The Reef snapshot: summer 2022–23 was issued by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) and the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS).
Commenting on the snapshot, CSIRO said the Reef experienced relatively mild conditions over much of the 2022-23 summer.
“Compared to previous summers, cumulative impacts were low this summer,” CSIRO said.
“This is expected to have provided an opportunity for further recovery of coral reefs on the Great Barrier Reef.”
It said climate change remained the greatest threat to the Reef, as it influenced weather patterns and the ocean’s temperature, pH level and currents, as well as intensifying the effects of other threats.
CSIRO said the impacts of climate change were escalating and the Reef was already experiencing the consequences of this.
“Unfortunately, the events that cause disturbances on the Reef are becoming more frequent, leaving less time for coral recovery.”
Chief Executive of GBRMPA, Josh Thomas said that while conditions over summer provided some relief for the Reef, this did not mean it was out of the woods.
“It has experienced a variety of disturbances over the past decade, and global action on climate change remains critical,” Mr Thomas said.
The eight-page Reef snapshot: summer 2022–23 can be accessed at this PS News link.