Free Newsletters - Space - Defense - Environment - Energy - Solar - Nuclear
..
. Earth Science News .




WATER WORLD
Great Barrier Reef loosing coral
by Staff Writers
Sydney (UPI) Oct 2, 2012


disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

Half of the Great Barrier Reef's coral has been wiped out in the last 27 years, a new study says.

If the mass die-off continues, the study warns, less than 25 percent of the coral cover would exist in 2022.

Published Tuesday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the study was conducted by researchers from the Australian Institute of Marine Science and the University of Wollongong.

The Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest coral reef, stretching more 1,615 miles off Australia.

"Coral cover is the simplest index of reef health and the health of the Great Barrier Reef has gone down dramatically," institute senior scientist Hugh Sweatman told The Sydney Morning Herald.

"The coral provides shelter and food for thousands of organisms so you don't just lose the corals themselves you lose the species that depend on them," Sweatman said.

Two-thirds of the coral loss has occurred since 1998.

The researchers said tropical cyclones were responsible for 48 percent of the coral disappearance and outbreaks of the crown of thorns starfish -- a natural predator of coral -- accounted for 42 percent of the die-off.

"We can't stop the storms but perhaps we can stop the starfish. If we can, then the reef will have more opportunity to adapt to the challenges of rising sea temperatures and ocean acidification," John Gunn, chief executive officer of the institute said in a statement.

Bleaching, which was responsible for 10 percent of the coral loss, is attributed to rising atmospheric greenhouse gases, the authors say.

Flood waters carrying fertilizers and other agricultural runoff are thought to boost the survival of crown of thorns larvae, exacerbating the coral die-off.

"About half of what's put on never makes it to the crop, and if it doesn't make it to the crop, it makes it to the reef," Nick Heath of the World Wildlife Fund told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. "So it's very sad that we're wasting this precious resource that costs farmers a lot of money, but then it goes out to the reef and is turning the reef into rubble as well."

While the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority has a program called Reef Guardian Farmers which recognizes farmers who don't have significant run-off from their farms, Heath says more federal government funding is needed to ramp up conservation efforts.

Noting that 60,000 jobs are "dependent on a healthy reef, it's worth it for us to put more in to save the reef," Heath said.

.


Related Links
Water News - Science, Technology and Politics






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





WATER WORLD
Scaling down: Warming will make fish smaller
Paris (AFP) Sept 30, 2012
A hearty fillet of fish, already a rare treat because of over-trawled oceans, will become even more infrequent in the future when global warming starts to reduce fish size, scientists said on Sunday. Researchers looked at computer models to see how warmer, and thus less oxygenated, seas affected more than 600 species of fish. Compared to 2000, the maximum attainable body weight of these ... read more


WATER WORLD
Hong Kong seeks answers after deadly ferry crash

18 school children buried in China landslide

World facing unprecedented refugee crisis: UNHCR

Twenty-five killed in Hong Kong ferry collision: official

WATER WORLD
HP stock sinks with slow turnaround

Malaysia hearing on Australia rare earths plant postponed

Ancient stinging nettles reveal Bronze Age trade connections

Probing the mysteries of cracks and stresses

WATER WORLD
Now in Science: It's not too late for troubled fisheries

White shark diets vary with age and among individuals

Australia admits neglect of Great Barrier Reef

New clues about ancient water cycles shed light on US deserts

WATER WORLD
Australian tycoon fined for Arctic party cruise

Study: Arctic warming faster than before

Rudolph unfed loathes rain, dear

Melting Arctic ice cap at record low

WATER WORLD
Mother of cultivated rice came from China's Pearl River

Sandia probability maps help sniff out food contamination

An Old Pest Reemerges in Organic Orchards

Bhutan aims to be first 100% organic nation

WATER WORLD
Typhoon Maliksi nearing Japan's northeast

Nigeria seasonal floods kill 148: Red Cross

Powerful typhoon hits Japan mainland

Typhoon Jelawat on course to hit mainland Japan

WATER WORLD
Nigeria seeks to end the curse of unfinished projects

Ivory Coast opens first major trial of soldiers in political crisis

France to facilitate Mali anti-rebel force

One-third of Lesotho faces food crisis: UN food agency

WATER WORLD
Compelling evidence that brain parts evolve independently

Anti-aging pill being developed

Human Brains Develop Wiring Slowly, Differing from Chimpanzees

Breaking up harder to do on Facebook




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement