01 Oct '12, 8pm

Half of Great Barrier Reef lost in past 30 years

Half of Great Barrier Reef lost in past 30 years

The Horseshoe reef in the Great Barrier Reef after the crown-of-thorns invasion. (Photo: AIMS Long-term Monitoring Team) Australia's Great Barrier Reef is a glittering gem — the world's largest coral reef ecosystem — chock-full of diverse marine life. But new research shows it is also in steep decline, with half of the reef vanishing in the past 27 years. Katharina Fabricius, a coral reef ecologist at the Australian Institute of Marine Science and study co-author, told LiveScience that she has been diving and working on the reef since 1988 — and has watched the decline. "I hear of the changes anecdotally, but this is the first long-term look at the overall status of the reef. There are still a lot of fish, and you can see giant clams , but not the same color and diversity as in the past." To get their data, Fabricius and her colleagues surveyed 214 different reefs around t...

Full article: http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/wilderness-resources/sto...

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