Table of Contents

Volume 543 Number 7645 pp288-458

16 March 2017

About the cover

The cover shows bleached corals on the northern Great Barrier Reef in 2016. Work by Terry Hughes and colleagues has revealed that the cumulative footprint of multiple bleaching events has expanded to encompass virtually all of the Great Barrier Reef in the past two decades. The bleaching event in 2016 was the most severe, affecting 91% of individual reefs. Hughes and his team used aerial and underwater survey data combined with satellite-derived measurements of sea-surface temperature to assess changes in the geographical footprint of recurrent mass bleaching events. Their results reveal just how badly climate change is affecting the Great Barrier Reef, and they argue that immediate global action is needed to secure a future for coral reefs. Cover image: Edward Roberts, Tethys Images

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