Great Barrier Reef: First Bleaching Event during a La Niña Weather Pattern

  • 12 May 2022

Coral bleaching affected 91% of reefs surveyed along the Great Barrier Reef this year, according to a report - Reef snapshot: summer 2021-22 - published by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.

  • This is the fourth mass bleaching event since 2016 and the sixth to occur on the Great Barrier Reef since 1998.
  • It was the first mass bleaching event recorded during a cooler La Niña year which is associated with cooler Pacific Ocean temperatures.

What is Coral Bleaching?

  • Bleaching occurs when the coral becomes stressed from above-average water temperatures. The coral animal expels the photosynthetic algae that lives inside it and provides the coral with food and its colour.