Reports of Great Barrier Reef death greatly exaggerated

Scientists are disputing claims of the death of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.
By James Carlin | Nov 03, 2016
Scientists are disputing claims of the death of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.

Environmental writer, Rowan Jacobsen, wrote an obituary for the website, Outside Online,

"The Great Barrier Reef of Australia passed away in2016after a long illness. It was 25 million years old," read the obituary from Jacobsen. "For most of its life, the reef was the world's largest living structure, and the only one visible from space. It was 1,400 miles long, with 2,900 individual reefs and 1,050 islands. In total area, it was larger than the United Kingdom, and it contained more biodiversity than all of Europe combined. It harbored 1,625 species of fish, 3,000 species of mollusk, 450 species of coral, 220 species of birds, and 30 species of whales and dolphins. Among its many other achievements, the reef was home to one of the world's largest populations of dugong and the largest breeding ground of green turtles."

Now scientists are refuting the notion that the Great Barrier Reef is dead. For many scientists, the idea that it is too late to save theGBR will unfortunately lead to people not attempting to save it.

"For those of us in the business ofstudying and understanding what coralresilience means, the articlevery much misses the mark," said Kim Cobb, a professor in theGeorgia TechSchool of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. "It's not too late for the Great Barrier Reef, and people who think that have a really profound misconception about what we know and don't know about coral resilience."

 

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