New research comes months after Australian government lobbied to keep coral reef off world heritage ‘in danger’ list

Hopes that enough of the Great Barrier Reef could escape global heating long enough for it to recover have been challenged by research finding less than 2% of its coral reefs have escaped bleaching since 1998.

The world’s largest coral reef system has suffered five mass bleaching events in that time – caused by rising ocean temperatures driven by the burning of fossil fuel – which have undermined its survival. The most recent event was the most widespread yet.

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