Northern Australia is experiencing massive rainfall and, consequently, unimaginable floodwater. Recent floods in northern Australia are poring in the ocean upon the Great Barrier Reef, endangering the corals of the famous reef, as per a new study the scientists released today.
“Parts of northern Queensland are still reeling after nearly two weeks of unprecedented rainfall that turned roads into rivers and inundated hundreds of homes with floodwater. Scientists at James Cook University say the floods swelled a number of rivers along hundreds of kilometers of coastline, spilling sediment onto the reef which has reduced water quality and much-needed sunlight,” reported Digital Journal on the topic.
“Coral reef and seagrass need light to maintain their growth and health,” said researcher Jane Waterhouse from James Cook University. “If that were to stay there then eventually, it would not take that long for some of those systems to die off,” she added.
Floodwater Might Endanger The Great Barrier Reef
As reported, the massive rainfall triggered floods to swell in some rivers across the coastlines of northern Australia. The floodwater is delivering sediment over the corals of the Great Barrier Reef, lowering the quality of the ocean water and the sunlight required by corals to live as usual.
The Great Barrier Reef has already been affected by massive coral bleaching episodes of 2016 and 2017, both due to ocean warming characterized by higher sea temperatures than usual. Now, floodwater affecting Northern Australia might add up to climate change impact on the Great Barrier Reef, causing it to receive less clean ocean water and sunlight.
Besides, the floodwater and the reckless agricultural practices of the past led to the proliferation of crown-of-thorns starfish, a species which feeds on the corals of the Great Barrier Reef. Also, the current floodwater pouring over the Great Barrier Reef corals can cause algae to grow, another threat to corals.