News at 9: 91% of reefs surveyed on Great Barrier Reef affected by coral bleaching, California’s drought and more

News at 9: 91% of reefs surveyed on Great Barrier Reef affected by coral bleaching, California's drought and more

Great Barrier Reef suffers sixth mass bleaching event with 91% of reefs surveyed affected with worst-affected reefs between Cape Tribulation and Whitsundays, California is facing a water crisis and more in top stories of the day.

91% of reefs surveyed on Great Barrier Reef affected by coral bleaching in 2022

Warming waters from escalating climate change caused coral bleaching in 91% of reefs surveyed along the Great Barrier Reef this year, according to new findings from an Australian government agency. Coral reefs are some of the most vibrant marine ecosystems on earth — between a quarter and one third of all marine species rely on them at some point in their life cycle. But the rapid warming of the planet due to human emissions of heat-trapping gases is causing above average water temperatures, leading to stress events like mass bleaching.

Stressed coral ejects algae from within its tissue, depriving it of a food source. If conditions don’t improve, coral can starve and die, turning white as its carbonate skeleton is exposed.

With water running out, California faces grim summer of dangerous heat, extreme drought

As Southern California braces for unprecedented drought restrictions, long-range forecasts are predicting a summer that will be fraught with record-breaking temperatures, sere landscapes and above-average potential for significant wildfires, particularly in the northern part of the state. High temperatures and the lingering La Niña will have major impacts on urban and agricultural water use across the American West, as well as for California’s increasingly extreme fire season – reports LA Times.

Heat waves, floods and heavy rain: India battling climate change

The spectre of climate change is here to stay and even worsen, say climate scientists as searing winds blow across swathes of north India, including New Delhi where temperatures have crossed 49 degrees Celsius, and flash floods ravage parts of the northeast. With increasing temperatures as a result of global warming in South Asia and the consequent exceeding levels of heat and humidity, it is predicted that we will have more intense, longer and frequent heat waves in India.

The experts added that climate change is not only raising temperatures and making India’s heatwaves hotter, but also changing weather patterns that further drive dangerous weather extremes. The low pressure anomaly caused by the weather event know as La Nina over the Indian subcontinent has been inviting westerly winds and the blast of hot air from the Middle East into India.

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