Scientists: Great Barrier Reef in danger

Jan 31, 2006

Australia's ongoing hot summer season is reportedly inflicting great harm to the Great Barrier Reef.

University of Queensland scientists say they are concerned the entire reef may be at risk of destruction from global warming.

Coral reef expert Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. he is praying for two months of cyclonic stormy weather to stir up colder deeper water -- the only thing that will save the coral.

Hoegh-Guldberg is convinced global warming is to blame for placing the reef in danger.

"No one with any credibility in this field is doubting that we're seeing the first signs of a major change in an ecosystem due to climate change," he told the ABC.

"It simply underscores the absolutely critical importance of getting global greenhouse emissions under control because we could end up with a world where we don't have the Great Barrier Reef -- that would be an absolute tragedy."

The Great Barrier Reef, the largest natural feature on Earth, stretches more than 1,400 miles along the northeastern coast of Australia, covering more than 186,000 square miles. The reef is visited by more than 2 million tourists annually.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Full lunar eclipse delights Americas, first of year

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Sydney switches off for Earth Hour

Mar 29, 2014

Sydney's Opera House and Harbour Bridge plunged into darkness Saturday for the Earth Hour environmental campaign, among the first landmarks around the world to dim their lights for the event.

Diving into biodiversity

Mar 27, 2014

Victoria Erb stood in the back of the boat with her classmates and watched three sharks cut through the crystal clear water of Belize's Great Blue Hole.

Time running out for Great Barrier Reef: scientists

Mar 06, 2014

Time is running out for Australia's iconic Great Barrier Reef, with climate change set to wreck irreversible damage by 2030 unless immediate action is taken, marine scientists said Thursday.

Where can coral reefs relocate to escape the heat?

Aug 29, 2013

Fossil fuel emissions are impacting corals through high temperatures which can cause their deaths and ocean acidification which makes it difficult for them to produce their skeletons. In a study published today in Global Ch ...

Recommended for you

Astronomers: 'Tilt-a-worlds' could harbor life

13 hours ago

A fluctuating tilt in a planet's orbit does not preclude the possibility of life, according to new research by astronomers at the University of Washington, Utah's Weber State University and NASA. In fact, ...

Vegetables on Mars within ten years?

19 hours ago

The soil on Mars may be suitable for cultivating food crops – this is the prognosis of a study by plant ecologist Wieger Wamelink of Wageningen UR. This would prove highly practical if we ever decide to ...

NASA Cassini images may reveal birth of a Saturn moon

20 hours ago

(Phys.org) —NASA's Cassini spacecraft has documented the formation of a small icy object within the rings of Saturn that may be a new moon, and may also provide clues to the formation of the planet's known ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Astronomers: 'Tilt-a-worlds' could harbor life

A fluctuating tilt in a planet's orbit does not preclude the possibility of life, according to new research by astronomers at the University of Washington, Utah's Weber State University and NASA. In fact, ...

NASA Cassini images may reveal birth of a Saturn moon

(Phys.org) —NASA's Cassini spacecraft has documented the formation of a small icy object within the rings of Saturn that may be a new moon, and may also provide clues to the formation of the planet's known ...

Vegetables on Mars within ten years?

The soil on Mars may be suitable for cultivating food crops – this is the prognosis of a study by plant ecologist Wieger Wamelink of Wageningen UR. This would prove highly practical if we ever decide to ...

Patent talk: Google sharpens contact lens vision

(Phys.org) —A report from Patent Bolt brings us one step closer to what Google may have in mind in developing smart contact lenses. According to the discussion Google is interested in the concept of contact ...

Tech giants look to skies to spread Internet

The shortest path to the Internet for some remote corners of the world may be through the skies. That is the message from US tech giants seeking to spread the online gospel to hard-to-reach regions.

Wireless industry makes anti-theft commitment

A trade group for wireless providers said Tuesday that the biggest mobile device manufacturers and carriers will soon put anti-theft tools on the gadgets to try to deter rampant smartphone theft.