Unfortunately, and through the whole month of

Unfortunately,
throughout the years this massive marine ecosystem network we call the Great
Barrier Reef of Australia is exposed to many controlled and uncontrolled risk
factors; therefore, management personnel of the reef
every summer conduct surveys of the networks overall health. Summer is key to
these assessments because it is when the Barrier Reef is at most risk whether
it is from severe weather such as cyclones, heat waves and or flooding. These
uncontrolled factors can lead the coral beds to very stressful conditions and subsequently
leads to substantial coral disease. Results of these surveys are what help
management in real time with current conditions of the Reef in order to later
help with the increase of health and resilience of the system. The latest report
contained a range of data starting from December 2016 through April 2017 of the
system, which was exposed to incredible above average heat stress principally coming
from sea surface temperatures.

During cyclone season (November-April), the
Australian shoreline was hit by a devastating (category 4) storm – Debbie.
Cyclone Debbie was recorded to be the most dangerous since 2011 and the
strongest since 2015 to impact the Australian region. The tropical storm hit
Arlie Beach, Queensland and swept across the coastline on March 2017. Aftermath
following Debbie’s unforgiving hit effected the central and southern regions of
the Great Barrier Reef system bringing substantial amounts of rainfall followed
by extensive flooding episodes causing then flood plumes. Flood plumes were
experience at the end of March 2017 after the cyclone and through the whole
month of April meaning the utmost concentration of pollutants were at uttermost
concentrations effecting reefs and other coastal marine ecosystems. Some reefs
suffered a 95% loss of coral cover and it is predicted by Angus Thompson, head
of the inshore reef monitoring program, that a decade must pass before reaching
prior coral cover (Figure 1), (McLeish, 2017). 

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