Effects on the Great Barrier Reef
Coral is an integral part of the coral reef system, all of the inhabitants of the reef rely on the reef it acts as a nursery for fish providing protection for their young, it is a habitat, protection and a source of food. The reduction of living and healthy corals has a strong impact not only on the size of the reef but of the populations of other animals living there such as fish and sponges. Bleaching in the past occurred in small events that were on a small scale, giving the coral time to recover before another event. Since 1982 coral bleaching has been observed on the Great Barrier Reef, the periods of bleaching are called events of which there have been two major ones in 1998 and 2002.