04/11/2017 08:44 EDT

Great Barrier Reef Severely Damaged By Bleaching

Scientists are calling the event "devastating."

The world's largest coral reef has been severely damaged by bleaching — a phenomenon scientists say is triggered by rising temperatures.

Damage to the Great Barrier Reef spreads across 8,000 kilometres of the Australian shore. Coupled with last year's similar event, two-thirds of the reef are now damaged.

A file photo of the Great Barrier Reef in 2014. (Photo: Reuters handout)

Bleaching has occurred a total of four times in the reef's history, but these "back-to-back" events make recovery unlikely, according to The Guardian.

Scientists have called the deterioration "devastating," and renewed calls for action on climate change. The reef is a UN World Heritage site, and has been called "most biodiverse" place on Earth, according to BBC News.

Watch the video above for a closer look at the damage.

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Photo gallery Coral Bleaching in the Great Barrier Reef See Gallery