The research confirms that the increasing sea temperature is threatening the marine life. It has been seventy years since the Britishers gave rise to the nuclear testing. The British atomic trial involved three atom bombs which shattered the marine and the terrestrial wildlife of the Montebello Islands.
Now the focal point of the researchers is the Pilbara coast which is facing a different kind of threat.
Tim Hunt says, “The Montebello Islands had been recognized because of their exceptional marine biodiversity. The coral communities have been identified as key ecological value.” Tim Hunt is the program coordinator of the Parks and Wildlife Service Marine Program.
The current study involves a research team from the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation, and Attractions (DBCA). The team is currently engaged in the research of coral bleaching. It confirms the warm oceans to be the sole contributors of the threatened future of the marine ecology at the Montebello Islands.
How did water temperature rise?
The initial surveys about the coral and fishes were carried out in the year 2006. Later, the studies were regularly scheduled after two years. It helped the researchers to generate an extended data set about the marine ecology.
The sea temperature data is retrieved from about thirty years of the satellite and temperature loggers. The dataset reveals a gradual increase in the temperature of the sea water by an amount of 0.03 percent per annum.
Mr. Hunt says, “The coral cover that we had in the communities was about 30–40 percent and it’s significantly dropped since the mass coral bleaching event of 2012-13.”
In late February, terracotta tiles have been attached on the surface of the long-term monitoring sites. These terracotta tiles are favorite spots for the coral larvae to settle and grow. As a result, the scientist gets a collection of the coral samples for the laboratory testings.
Mr. Hunt concluded “In the summer of 2012–13 in the north-west there was a mass increase in temperature. We had a temperature spike essentially up to 2 degrees more than normal, which stressed the corals and caused them to die,”