The ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies released the statement Two-thirds of Great Barrier Reef hit by back-to-back mass coral bleaching today (graphic here from them).
“The bleaching is caused by record-breaking temperatures driven by global warming. This year, 2017, we are seeing mass bleaching, even without the assistance of El Niño conditions.”
“Clearly the reef is struggling with multiple impacts,” explains Prof. Hughes. “Without a doubt the most pressing of these is global warming. As temperatures continue to rise the corals will experience more and more of these events: 1°C of warming so far has already caused four events in the past 19 years.”
“Ultimately, we need to cut carbon emissions, and the window to do so is rapidly closing.”
The Guardian also has a related article, Great Barrier Reef at ‘terminal stage’: scientists despair at latest coral bleaching data, and in that there are graphs that could be used in classrooms if someone wants to track down the data. There are materials on the ARC Center’s page worth exploring.