Reef snapshot: summer 2021-22
To understand, manage and protect the Reef, we need good information on its health and key partnerships with those who study and use it.
The Reef snapshot: summer 2021-22 provides a concise, easy-to-understand summary of how the Reef has fared over the past summer, what this means for coral and the actions being taken to help coral health.
The snapshot is a joint initiative of the Australian government’s lead management and science agencies for the Great Barrier Reef, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) and CSIRO .
The snapshot is based on the latest available science and information at the time of writing. It sets the scene for more comprehensive reports later in the year, such as the mid-year Long-term Monitoring Program reports by AIMS and Marine Monitoring Program reports by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.
The snapshot provides a summary of Reef health monitoring conducted each year.
Despite La Niña conditions, the Great Barrier Reef’s waters warmed early in December 2021, the hottest December on record since 1900, exceeding historical summer maximums that typically occur in the hottest summer months.
Ocean temperatures continued to accumulate heat throughout the summer until early April 2022. This prolonged heat exposure prompted Reef-wide aerial surveys in the second half of March 2022 - specifically to assess the extent of coral bleaching on shallow-water coral communities.
These were conducted by trained observers from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and the Australian Institute of Marine Science. Learn more on the aerial survey results, which complements the high-level summary results provided in the Reef Snapshot: summer 2021-22.