September hottest on record, as reef corals decline

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September the hottest on record across the globe and feeling the heat is the Great Barrier Reef.

A new study has found the reef has lost more than half its corals since 1995 because of warmer seas driven by climate change.

"Temperature records continue to be smashed on land and in the sea with dire consequences," said the Climate Council's Head of Research, Dr Martin Rice.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has confirmed September was the warmest on record globally. For Australia, it was the second warmest September on record.

"These record temperatures are having a devastating impact on the reef. We have now seen three mass bleachings in just five years. The longer we delay meaningful climate action the more disastrous the consequences will be," said Dr Rice.

"To protect the reef, we must urgently reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by transitioning away from coal, oil and gas," said Dr Rice.

"The Federal Government must abandon any plans to support new gas developments and get serious about reducing our emissions," he said.

The latest study on the reef was conducted by the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

For interviews please contact Lisa Upton on 0438 972 260

The Climate Council is Australia's leading community-funded climate change communications organisation. We provide authoritative, expert and evidence-based advice on climate change to journalists, policymakers, and the wider Australian community.

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