Science | May 30, 2017 3:36 pm

The Great Barrier Reef Can No Longer Be Saved: Scientists

Australian experts have conceded coral reef is in a 'terminal stage' after bleaching.

Experts are warning that the Great Barrier Reef can no longer be saved in its present form, due in major part to human influence on climate, the Independent reported.

Moving forward, an expert panel appointment by the Australian government recommend that the reef’s “ecological function” be maintained.

“There is great concern about the future of the Reef, and the communities and businesses that depend on it, but hope still remains for maintaining ecological function over the coming decades,” the Panel recently said.

“The Panel considers that action to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases must be central to the response. This needs to be coupled with increased efforts to improve the resilience of the coral and other ecosystems that form the Great Barrier Reef.”

These recommendations come after a 2016 study found the “largest die-off of corals ever recorded” with approximately 67 percent of shallow water coral found dead across a 435-mile stretch.

As for what “maintaining ecological function” specifically means, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority reportedly stated: “The concept of ‘maintaining ecological function’ refers to the balance of ecological processes necessary for the reef ecosystem as a whole to persist, but perhaps in a different form, noting the composition and structure may differ from what is currently seen today.”