Australia's Great Barrier Reef is one of the major drivers of international visitors.
Australia's Great Barrier Reef is one of the major drivers of international visitors. Darren Jew

Great Barrier Reef about to suffer major bleaching

QUEENSLAND'S Environment Minister has said the state is about to get a taste of the impacts of climate change, with one of the worst ever coral bleaching events predicted for this Christmas.

Speaking from Paris, where he is attending the United Nations Climate Change Conference, Steven Miles said the crucial meeting "at this stage appears to be going quite to plan", with the world's nations inching closer to an agreement which is expected to keep global warming below 2 degrees.

But the world is already halfway there, with scientists warning the global temperature has already increased by 1 degree on pre-industrial levels.  Mr Miles said that jump had already had "a very substantial impact" on the world's reefs, including the Great Barrier Reef, and was in danger of becoming worse.

"It looks like we will be getting a sneak peak over Christmas, early next year, unfortunately, of what climate change will do to the Great Barrier Reef," he said.

"Scientists are predicting a high likelihood of the worst ever coral bleaching, because basically, El Nino is super-charging ocean temperatures.

Brisbane Times



GALLERY: Wandal walks to remember young mum at Relay for Life

GALLERY: Wandal walks to remember young mum at Relay for...

Friends join to fight cancer after sudden loss of Angela Grice

Population swells from 40K to 60K for Queen's Rocky visit

premium_icon Population swells from 40K to 60K for Queen's Rocky visit

We look back at 1954 when royalty visited Rockhampton

CQ's brand new sporting hub 'working in the right direction'

CQ's brand new sporting hub 'working in the right direction'

There were at least five new sign-ups on the first day

Local Partners