Australia's Great Barrier Reef 'won't heal on its own'

Sydney, Feb 16 (IANS) Researchers on Thursday revealed that they have discovered more evidence on the degradation of Australia's Great Barrier Reef.

As water temperatures continue to rise, coral bleaching grows as a threat to the Great Barrier Reef, Xinhua news agency reported.

Shallow water reefs are affected more significantly than their deeper water counterparts and hopes that it may be possible to "reseed" areas affected by climate change have been quashed by a study conducted by the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and the University of Queensland's Global Change Institute.

"We argue that this concept of deep coral populations reseeding their shallow-water counterparts may be relevant to some species, but is ultimately unlikely to aid more broadly in the recovery of shallow reefs," author of the study, Pim Bongaerts, said.

The study took place in Bermuda and screened the genomes of more than 200 different coral colonies and found deep and shallow water reefs varied greatly.

The reefs won't "sort themselves out", Bongaerts said "Instead, the responsibility for their future lies with us. If we want to have any chance of preserving these unique and diverse ecosystems, it is crucial that we start curbing our emissions and divest from fossil fuels."