great barrier reef tagged posts

How the Great Barrier Reef, victim of climate change, can be a solution

The 2,300-km Great Barrier Reef has lost more than half of its corals as a consequence of rising ocean temperatures due to global warming. The reef also suffered two mass bleaching events in 2016 and 2017. Given the damage, UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee had proposed that the Great Barrier Reef be put under ‘in danger’ category. However, the Australian government, on July 23, managed to avoid a downgrade of the Great Barrier Reef’s World Heritage status after a concerted lobbying effort by Canberra.

Now, the Australian government will have to submit an updated progress report in 2022. It is being said that Australia didn’t want the ‘in danger’ status for the Great Barrier Reef—which draws a huge tourist turnout every year—as it might affect the post-pandemic visitors.

But tha...

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Great Barrier Reef: UNESCO defends ‘in danger’ declaration

Great Barrier Reef

There is “irrefutable and indisputable” scientific evidence that the Great Barrier Reef is deteriorating due to climate change, UNESCO has said, as it pushed back against the Morrison government’s fury over its move to declare the natural wonder endangered. UNESCO oceans specialist Fanny Douvere has also rejected Australia’s claims that it was denied due process or the target of a politically motivated attack, insisting its draft recommendation to list the reef “in danger” was based on an objective assessment of the best available science. 

Dr Douvere’s comments came as the federal government continues to cry foul over the UNESCO World Heritage Committee’s draft ruling, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Wednesday morning lashing the decision-making process as “appalling”


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All coral reefs could suffer bleaching, erosion in few decades.

Bleached coral on Australia's Great Barrier Reef near Port Douglas on Feb. 20, 2017.

The world’s coral reefs could face mass bleaching and erosion within the next few decades, according to an international team of scientists including those from Australia. Their findings, published this week in the scientific journal PNAS, have particular significance for Australia, which oversees the Great Barrier Reef (GBR), the world’s largest coral reef ecosystem and an enormously important drawcard for the nation’s tourism industry.

The scientists, including marine plant ecologist Guillermo Diaz-Pulido from the Griffith University in the Australian state of Queensland, noted in a related article in the Conversation that the GBR contributes about 6.4 billion Australian dollars (about 5 billion U.S. dollars) to the national economy.

Their study, based on the findings from 183 ree...

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Intervention ‘could buy 20 years’ for declining Great Barrier Reef

Using experimental “cloud brightening” technology and introducing heat-tolerant corals could help slow the Great Barrier Reef’s climate change-fuelled decline by up to 20 years, Australian scientists said Thursday. The reef faces “precipitous declines” in coral cover over the next five decades due to “intense pressure” from climate change, a study published in the peer-reviewed journal Royal Society Open Science said.

Climate change is causing marine heatwaves, more intense cyclones and flooding—all of which are damaging the health of the reef.

“Coral reefs are some of the most climate-vulnerable ecosystems on Earth,” lead author Scott Condie told AFP.

“The model projections suggest that coral cover on the Great Barrier Reef could fall below 10 percent within 20 years.”

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Great Barrier Reef has deteriorated to ‘critical’ level due to climate change

A coral reef impacted by a severe bleaching event

The conservation status for Australia’s Great Barrier Reef has declined from “significant concern” to “critical” due to increasing impacts associated with climate change, a new report has found.

The damage to the reef is a result of ocean warming, acidification and extreme weather, which has resulted in coral bleaching, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) 2020 World Heritage Outlook report, which tracks whether the conservation of the world’s 252 natural World Heritage sites is sufficient to protect them in the long term. The process of coral bleaching occurs when water is too warm and the algae the corals expel from their tissues cause them to turn completely white.

The decline of the coral has also resulted in decreasing populations of cert...

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Coral reef taller than the Empire State building found in Australia

Our environment has taken a serious beating over the past few decades, with climate change accelerating at an unprecedented pace. However, in some good news coming from the natural world, scientists have just discovered a massive chunk of coral reef off the Australian coast.

On Oct.20, a vast, detached coral reef was found in the Great Barrier Reef, the first in more than 120 years. 

At more than 1,640 feet (500m) — higher than the Empire State Building — the reef was found by a team on a year-long exploration of the waters surrounding Australia. 

The reef was discovered by Australian research scientists on board the Schmidt Ocean Institute’s research vessel Falkor while mapping the seafloor of the northern Great Barrier Reef. 

The base of the blade-like reef is 1...

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Rowley Shoals: The bleached Australian reef and a Covid challenge

Coral bleaching was detected in a usually healthy reef off Australia’s north-western coast earlier this year.

But due to Covid lockdown rules, the discovery presented scientists with a challenge.

How could they survey the reef without being able to travel there?

Video by Isabelle Rodd

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Can Yoghurt Save the Great Barrier Reef

Science Times reported on April that the Great Barrier Reef underwent its third major bleaching event in the last five years. The reef experienced back-to-back coral bleaching in 2016 and 2017 that killed almost half the reef’s corals. But bleaching does not necessarily mean that it is already dead, according to Terry Hughes director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University. This only means that the coral needs help for it to recover.

Now, the scientists believe that probiotics similar to those found in yoghurt can boost the health of the corals to help it withstand the heat stress.

An international team made the breakthrough of using probiotics to help the Great Barrier Reef soon after it weathered on its third major bleaching in five years.


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Australia’s Great Barrier Reef suffers most extensive coral bleaching

Australia’s Great Barrier Reef suffered its most extensive coral bleaching event in March, with scientists fearing the coral recovers less each time after the third bleaching in five years. February 2020 was the hottest month on record since records began in 1900, Terry Hughes, Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University, told Reuters.

“We saw record-breaking temperatures all along the length of the Great Barrier Reef, there wasn’t a cool portion in the north, or a cool portion in the south this time around,” Hughes said.

“The whole Barrier Reef was hot so the bleaching we have seen this year is the most extensive so far.”

Hughes added that he is now almost certain that the Reef is not going to recover to what it looked like even f...

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Healthy coral reefs need fish mix to survive

A coral reef in the Similan Islands

A new study from The University of Western Australia has revealed clear evidence highlighting the importance of fish biodiversity to the health of tropical coral reef ecosystems. This is the case for reefs that are pristine and also those that have been affected by stresses, such as bleaching events caused by warming oceans.

However, the study published in Nature Ecology and Evolution, showed that even though strong relationships between diversity and a healthy ecosystem persist, human-driven pressures of warming oceans and invasive species still diminish ecosystems in various ways.

A team of researchers from UWA and Lancaster University in the United Kingdom conducted surveys on coral reefs around 10 islands in the remote Chagos Archipelago – the largest uninhabited and unfished coral re...

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