The Australian Youth Climate Coalition

Lights out for the Reef

Lights out for the Reef

The latest AYCC news and media from all across Australia

Lights out for the Reef

Visiting the Great Barrier Reef has always been on my bucket list and something that I share with many Australians. Despite my irrational fear of sharks I wouldn’t give up a chance to scuba dive in one of the world’s most famous underwater paradises.

Visiting the Great Barrier Reef has always been on my bucket list and something that I share with many Australians. Despite my irrational fear of sharks I wouldn’t give up a chance to scuba dive in one of the world’s most famous underwater paradises.

We have all grown up with images of the reefs colourful coral and diverse marine species and the knowledge of how lucky we are to have such a special natural phenomenon. Despite this Australians consistently ignore warnings from nature watch groups, that we are heading quickly towards irreversible damage to the reef. We can’t continue to take for granted this national icon.

Whilst google images and Instagram provide stunning images of the Reef, they hide the reality of the damage the reef is sustaining. In today’s’ increasingly industrialised world the Great Barrier Reef is facing many challenges such as contaminated runoff from land use, invasive species and increased development, to name a few. However the threat which is quickly becoming the most dangerous is climate change.

The huge threat facing these stunning reefs is carbon dioxide from the world’s overconsumption of finite resources. Of the huge volumes of carbon dioxide we release into the air, a large amount is being taken up by the oceans causing the water to acidify.

Climate change has also caused the water temperature to rise resulting in coral bleaching and the subsequent death of coral in huge numbers. It is expected that the reef could not withstand more than a 2˚C increase in water temperature. The world famous colours of the reef are beginning to disappear due to our actions.

Next Saturday on the 29th of March is Earth Hour - and this year, we’re turning Earth Hour on its axis. This year we’ll be working with Earth Hour Australia to build the climate movement, and unite around a single goal: protecting the Great Barrier Reef and our future from climate change.

That’s where you come in. On the 29th of March thousands of Australians are holding Earth Hour events, and screening a specially made documentary featuring some of Australia’s biggest stars. You can join them and host your own gathering for Earth Hour and stand up for the Reef and our climate. 

By: Eleanor Parry, AYCC Intern. 

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