Between 1979 and the present, there have been 60 major coral bleaching episodes recorded globally.
The first event to hit the Great Barrier Reef occurred in 1980, with subsequent episodes in 1982, 1992, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006, 2016 and 2017.
The worst events were in 1998 and 2016, when 90 per cent of corals were affected and more than 20 per cent killed.
An analysis of coral on the Great Barrier Reef by the National Academy of Sciences found over a 27year period between 1985 and 2012, coral populations declined 50 per cent.
Ten per cent of the decline was attributable to bleaching and 90 per cent to the effects of cyclones and crown of thorns starfish.
“In terms of dealing with the warming per se, that is something that needs to be tackled at that global level.
“What we do, and what we can do is reduce as many of the direct pressures on the Reef to enhance its capacity to bounce back.”