Crown-of-thorns Starfish feeding on coral, Acanthaster planci, Komodo National Park, Indian Ocean, Indonesia
Credit: Reinhard Dirscherl/ullstein bild via Getty Images

We try really hard to be environmentally friendly and to be connected to the earth, so our hearts were broken when we learned that The Great Barrier Reef suffered its most devastating die-off, or coral bleaching, *ever* recorded. How did this happen to The Great Barrier Reef? Or, maybe what we should be asking is how did we let this happen?! Things are going pretty badly, and at a terrifying rate, and it matters because what happens to The Great Barrier Reef is a reflection of how we’ve treated the earth, and things aren’t looking so great.

Why? Scientists say that climate change is hurting The Great Barrier Reef, and in a big, terrifying way.

As Gizmodo reports, a study from the ARC Centre of Excellence For Coral Reef Studies said earlier this year that 35% of the reef was dead or dying.

According to GOOD, ARC scientist Terry Hughes explains,

In case you didn’t know, The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest reef system, and it’s roughly half the size of Texas. It’s a pretty huge deal, literally. But some scientists worry things have gotten so bad that it could be too late for the rest of it. Luckily, though, Hughes notes, a good portion of the reef was only somewhat harmed, and will likely survive.

Still, it’s our responsibility to protect our planet, and we hope to see some large-scale changes made, and soon.