Climate change causing mangrove dieback
THOUSANDS of hectares of mangroves in Australia’s remote north have died, scientists said yesterday, with climate change the likely cause.
Some 7000 hectares or 9 percent of the mangroves in the Gulf of Carpentaria perished in just one month according to researchers from Australia’s James Cook University, the first time such an event has been recorded.
The so-called dieback – where mangroves are either dead or defoliated – was confirmed by aerial and satellite surveys, said Norm Duke, a mangrove ecologist from James Cook University.
“This is what climate change looks like. You see things push the maximums or minimums ... what we are looking at here is an unusually long dry season,” Mr Duke said.
“The reason that there’s dieback now is because of this drought. Droughts are normal, but not so severe, and that’s the difference,” he said. –