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Latest Environmental threats to the Great Barrier Reef Stories

Marine Pollution Impact On Corals Is Harsh, But They Can Recover
2013-11-26 14:24:00

[ Watch the Video: Protection From Marine Pollution Would Help Coral Reefs Recover ] Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online A new study on coral reefs from a team of Florida and Oregon researchers has found common marine pollution doubled the rate of disease among corals and more than tripled the amount of coral bleaching, an early sign of reef stress. According to the team’s report in Global Change Biology, a three-year, controlled exposure of corals to high levels of...

Coral Recovery In Light Of Cyclone Yasi Shows Promise
2013-06-07 08:52:34

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online The coral reefs on Australia´s Great Barrier Reef were devastated by Cyclone Yasi — a Category 5 Hurricane which made landfall in Queensland, Australia, on February 3, 2011. A new study from the ARC Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (CoECRS) shows that large numbers of coral larvae replenished the reefs within nine months of the cyclone. The findings, published in PLoS ONE, provide fresh hope for the ability of...

Microborers Represent New Threat To Earth’s Coral Reefs
2013-03-18 11:42:49

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Previous studies have shown that warming oceans and ocean acidification threaten to destroy the ocean´s coral reefs. Now, a new study from Australian researchers published in the journal Global Change Biology suggests that yet another threat could decimate these delicate ecosystems. “Our research shows that when seawater is both acidic and warm — which is predicted to happen under future climate scenarios — coral...

2013-02-27 10:48:27

Using a world-first scientific discovery, Australian researchers are developing a stress-test for coral, to measure how coral reefs are being impacted by pressures from climate change and human activity. The scientists have found hemoglobin genes in the microalgae which live symbiotically with coral, which may provide a readout on how stressed a particular coral is — and how likely it is to bleach and die. Coral bleaching occurs when the symbiotic algae abandon the coral due to...

Investigating How Corals Survive In The Hottest Reefs On The Planet
2013-02-01 14:48:45

National Oceanography Centre, Southampton (UK) Coral reefs are predicted to decline under the pressure of global warming. However, a number of coral species can survive at seawater temperatures even higher than predicted for the tropics during the next century. How they survive, while most species cannot, is being investigated by researchers at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton (NOCS) and New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD). We tend to associate coral reefs with tropical...

European Settlement Caused Collapse Of Great Barrier Reef Coral
2012-11-07 10:07:33

Lawrence LeBlond for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Australia´s Great Barrier Reef, the largest coral system in the world, so big that it can be seen from space, is one of the planet´s most remarkable natural wonders. But researchers from University of Queensland have now revealed this precious ecosystem is not faring so well. The problem: European settlement and extensive degradation on mainland Australia. The expansion of European settlement in Australia has been...

Great Barrier Reef Is Shrinking
2012-10-02 07:58:43

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online The Great Barrier Reef in Australia is the world's largest coral reef, and the only living thing on Earth that is visible from space. The Great Barrier Reef is approximately 3000 kilometers long and up to 65 kilometers wide in some places. According to new research from the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS ), the Great Barrier Reef has lost half of its coral cover in the last 27 years. The research team attributes this...

Improving Water Quality May Help Save Coral Reefs
2012-08-20 16:58:26

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online It has been found that an unevenness of nutrients in reef waters can increase the bleaching vulnerability of reef corals according to Research from the University of Southampton and the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton. Numerous polyps jointly forming a layer of living tissue that cover the calcareous skeletons make up the corals. Single-celled algae called zooxanthellae, which live within the coral polyps, is what they...

Thriving Coral Reef In Muddy Waters
2012-08-04 13:43:39

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online The Middle Reef, part of Australia´s Great Barrier Reef, is growing more quickly than reefs in other areas with lower levels of sediment stress, a new study has found. Rapid coral reef growth has been identified in environments with large amounts of sediment, conditions previously thought to be detrimental to reef growth. The study, led by the University of Exeter with an international team of scientists, is published today...

2012-07-12 12:21:09

Scientists have discovered two viruses that appear to infect the single-celled microalgae that reside in corals and are important for coral growth and health, and they say the viruses could play a role in the serious decline of coral ecosystems around the world. These viruses, including an RNA virus never before isolated from a coral, have been shown for the first time to clearly be associated with these microalgae called Symbiodinium. If it's proven that they are infecting those algae and...