Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is suffering its worst coral bleaching in recorded history with 93 percent of the World Heritage site affected, scientists said Wednesday, as they revealed the phenomenon is also hitting the other side of the country. After extensive aerial and underwater surveys, researchers at James Cook University said only seven percent of the huge reef had escaped the whitening triggered by warmer water temperatures.

“We’ve never seen anything like this scale of bleaching before,” said Terry Hughes, convenor of the National Coral Bleaching Taskforce. The damage ranges from minor in the southern areas — which are expected to recover soon — to very severe in the northern and most pristine reaches of the 2,300 kilometre (1,430 miles) site off the east coast. READ MORE