Scientists have described Australia’s Great Barrier Reef as a “slow-motion train wreck” after seeing the worst coral bleaching in recorded history.
Scientists say the extent of bleaching has increased rapidly in severity in comparison to earlier bleaching events in 2002. “This has been the saddest research trip of my life,” said Professor Terry Hughes, the convenor of the National Coral Bleaching Taskforce.
According to Professor Hughes, out of 520 reefs surveyed in recent days, only four appeared unaffected whilst more than 95 per cent of those reefs have been ranked in the top two most severe categories of bleaching. All across the northern stretch of the Great Barrier Reef, the colourful array of coral has been bleached a dull white.
Professor Hughes said he is frustrated about the Australian government’s failure to respond to climate change. “It has been inevitable that this bleaching event would happen, and now it has,” he said.
Coral bleaching occurs when corals become stressed by warming ocean temperatures, a direct result of global warming.
UNSW history syllabus change sparks debate
History students at UNSW are being told to refer to Australia as being invaded, rather than settled, according to their new syllabus. They have also been told it is offensive to suggest James Cook discovered Australia. The changes come following a Diversity Toolkit on Indigenous terminology for UNSW undergraduates which argues that Australian history should be broken up into pre-invasion and post-invasion history. A spokeswoman for UNSW said the guides are commonplace across Australian universities and it is appropriate to have this resource available.
That moment The Tele ~discovered~ the syllabus for HISTORY students at a university. pic.twitter.com/WtQB9YR6nY
— Mark Di Stefano (@MarkDiStef) March 29, 2016
Barangaroo casino at risk, says Crown
James Packer’s Crown Resorts have warned the NSW government that the entire Barangaroo casino project will be at risk if they are forced to shrink the size of the podium. A reduction in the podium footprint of the proposed $1.2 billion tower to give the public better access to the harbour foreshore was a key recommendation given to Crown Resorts. However, doing so would limit the number of gambling tables Crown has planned for the podium. Crown Resorts claimed that it would “have a major impact on the scale, economic and financial viability of the VIP gaming facility within the podium and therefore the future of the project”.
Medical fraternity unites to honour slain nurse
Health workers across Australia have united to honour the memory of South Australian remote nurse Gayle Woodford. Nurses and doctors are wearing white arm bandages and using social media to show support for “Gayle’s Law”, which calls for an end to single-nurse posts in outback, remote communities. More than 100,000 people have signed a Change.org petition calling for greater safety and protection for remote-area nurses. Ms Woodford, 56, was abducted from her home in Fregon, South Australia, and her body was found on Saturday. “This shows how unsafe remote area nurses are and the government needs to take action,” independent senator Nick Xenophon said.
Fines for Wedding Cake Rock fence jumpers
Thrill seekers and tourists will be fined over $100 for jumping the safety fence at Wedding Cake Rock.
The picturesque rock has become a popular spot for those wanting to pose on the edge of the cliff to get the perfect Instagram shot.
— Victoria MarieNorris (@Victoria_mariex) March 26, 2016
However, a geo-technical study conducted by the National Parks and Wildlife Services (NPWS) found that the rock is very unstable, and could collapse at any time. “There is a genuine imminent danger at Wedding Cake Rock, so we’re going to have to step in and take decisive action. My personal hope is that will reverberate through social media networks,” said a NPWS spokesman. – Compiled from web sources by Jessica Staveley
Photo of the Great Barrier Reef from american_rugbier’s Flickr photostream.