RAINS HELPS TO COOL GREAT BARRIER REEF

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RAINS HELPS TO COOL GREAT BARRIER REEF

 user 2007-03-13 at 10:38:00 am Views: 72
  • #17394

    Rains helping cool Barrier Reef
    Recent
    torrential rain and monsoons in northern Queensland have provided some
    rare relief for the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.The poor conditions
    have significantly reduced ocean temperatures, making them the coolest
    for up to five years.It has been a blessing for the corals – usually in
    the summer they are at risk of serious scorching and bleaching.The
    Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest living organism, stretching
    over more than 345,000 sq km.It is also the world’s most protected
    marine area and has been under threat from a combination of global
    warming, pollution and over-fishing.

    Cooler water
    Scientists
    had predicted that this summer would be a tough one for the reef. They
    feared that extreme heat would scorch the coral. But recent storms that
    dumped torrential rain across much of Australia’s north-east have
    brought some unexpected good news.

    GREAT BARRIER REEF
    More than 2,000 km long
    Home to 1,500 types of fish
    Only living thing the naked eye can see from space

    The
    region’s normally warm seas have been stirred. Jeff Maynard of the
    Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority says the water has become
    cooler.”This year reef temperatures have shown that temperatures for
    the majority of the Great Barrier Marine Park are below the long-term
    averages we see for this time of year,” he said.”So right now we’re
    considering bleaching risks to be low compared to bleaching years like
    ’98 and 2002.”The future, however, still does not look good.
    Researchers believe as the world’s climate continues to change the
    bleaching of the coral will become increasingly common.Bleaching occurs
    when unusually warm seas cause the organisms that make up the coral to
    die. All that is left is a white limestone skeleton.The Great Barrier
    Reef is home to 1,500 types of fish and at more than 2,000 km long, it
    is the only living thing the naked eye can see from space.