The government agency that manages Australia's Great Barrier Reef on Friday downgraded its outlook for the condition of the coral system from "poor" to "very poor".
A man snorkels in an area called the "Coral Gardens" near Lady Elliot Island, on the Great Barrier Reef, northeast of Bundaberg town in Queensland, Australia, June 11, 2015.
The report from the Marine Park Authority coincides with the Reef Water Quality Report Card 2017 and 2018 which assesses the water that flows in the Marine Park.
UNESCO's World Heritage Committee a year ago called for global action on climate change to protect five large coral reefs, including the Great Barrier Reef. Since the last report, two major coral bleaching events have hit the reef, causing unprecedented coral loss.
"Significant global action to address climate change is critical to slowing deterioration of the Reef's ecosystem and heritage values and supporting recovery", it said.
"Threats to the reef are multiple, cumulative and increasing", the report says.
The new report - which is the third in a series of comprehensive reports on reef health and management over the past decade - found the accumulation of impacts over time is reducing its ability to recover from disturbances.
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The outlook for the Great Barrier Reef has deteriorated from poor to very poor according to an exhaustive government report that warns the window of opportunity to improve the natural wonder's future "is now". Sea temperature extremes cause colorful coral to expel tiny algae, causing coral to appear white and putting it at risk of dying if the ocean temperature don't return to normal.
Warming waters will continue to change the region, with reefs set to become less diverse, while species of fish living in the reef will change.
Agricultural runoff, coastal land clearing and coral-eating crown-of-thorns starfish were also to blame for its woes, the report said.
Sea turtles and dugongs already threatened from past commercial harvesting in the past now face further pressures from climate change.
Environment Minister Sussan Ley said she was not surprised by the downgrade in the reef's condition given the damage done by recent cyclones and latest bleaching events in successive years.
In sounding the alarm, the marine park authority said immediate action was required to help save the reef.
Imogen Zethoven, the Director of Strategy for the Australian Marine Conservation Society, said that the reefs can still be saved, but only if the government takes urgent action.