Time after time I read articles in the news that the Great Barrier Reef is ‘doing fine’, or quoting misguided and baseless information, saying that the GBR is in ”bloody brilliant shape”. Myths like this seem to be endlessly perpetuated, in this case, with absolutely no data to support there claims – why let the fact get in the way of a good story? Sadly, the science is hard to argue against:

Figure 1 Degradation of coral reefs. a, Results of a meta-analysis of the literature, showing a decline in coral cover on the Great Barrier Reef. Each point represents the mean cover of up to 241 reefs sampled in each year. b, The recorded number of reefs on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia, substantially damaged over the past 40 yr by outbreaks of crown-of-thorns starfish (COTS) and episodes of coral bleaching

Figure 1 Degradation of coral reefs. a, Results of a meta-analysis of the literature, showing a decline in coral cover on the Great Barrier Reef. Each point represents the mean cover of up to 241 reefs sampled in each year. b, The recorded number of reefs on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia, substantially damaged over the past 40 yr by outbreaks of crown-of-thorns starfish (COTS) and episodes of coral bleaching

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Source: Bellwood et al (2004) Confronting the coral reef crisis. Nature 429 827-833

 

2 Responses to Why the Great Barrier Reef isn't in "bloody brilliant shape" (Part 1)

  1. Hannah says:

    I’m doing a project on Coral Reef bleaching and I just want to say that your right too many ‘important’ people are saying it’s nothing to worry about or it’s just a natural occurrance but it’s not. so thank you for posting this and posting statistics that cant be ignored. cheers and keep up the good work

  2. OveHG says:

    Thanks Hannah. Part of the trouble is that there are a lot of people who have opinions but who have not actually examined the scientific evidence. Great to see that you’re focused on it – good luck with the project. Our lab http://www.coralReefecosystems.org might be a good place to go for information.

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