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What does the staggering coral bleaching event in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef have to do with New Zealand’s braided river birds?
River birds such as black-fronted terns depend on healthy oceanic ecosystems for winter feeding. The videos show not only the alarming extent of the current bleaching event in Australia, but the grim outlook for waters around New Zealand. While the damage to the Great Barrier Reef is more visible (and visceral) the temperature rises around New Zealand’s waters are remarkable. Around 90% of the global warming to date has been absorbed by the oceans, with devastating impacts on seabirds . The Southern Ocean is warming faster than oceans elsewhere, with New Zealand being ‘ground zero’ for the number of seabirds threatened with extinction.