Great Barrier Reef Change

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A one-of-a-kind place, the Great Barrier Reef located off the coast of Queensland in northeastern Australia, is the largest living thing on Earth. Stretching over 2300km, this largest marine park reserve covers 348,700 square kilometers. Many breathtaking marine creatures call the Great Barrier Reef home including 600 types of soft and hard corals, more than 100 species of jellyfish, 3000 varieties of mollusks, 500 species of worms, 1625 types of fish, 133 varieties of sharks and rays, and more than 30 species of whales and dolphins. Although most marine reserve parks are set up as strict preservation areas, the Great Barrier Reef is unique because it is a multiple use protected area. Protecting the natural area is most important, but a diverse …show more content…
This means there is not enough carbonate or calcium carbonate which forms shells and skeletons dramatically decreasing the coral’s reproduction (3). This problem began with the start of the industrial revolution when increases in industrial and agricultural activities caused more carbon dioxide to be released into the atmosphere (2). The absorption of carbon dioxide by our oceans is leading to chemical changes to the oceans. The most notable is ocean acidity levels increasing from 8.1 to 8.2 (WHAT) (?). While an increase of .1 might not sound like a big deal, it is because reef development is expected to cease at 7.8 according to David Wachenfeld, director of reef recovery at the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. Ocean acidification is commonly the most significant impact of a changing climate onthe Great Barrier Reef ecosystem (3). The change in ocean acidification is weakening coral reefs around the world, making them more vulnerable to impacts of ocean warming and water pollution (1). The scientists concluded in the paper that their findings, combined with projected ongoing warming, show that even if rates of climate pollution are reigned in, that “may not be sufficient to avoid significant impacts” of acidification on coral reef regeneration. According to Wachenfeld, this latest researchunderlines the fact that the single biggest thing we can do to protect the Reef for the future is to greatly reduce greenhouse gas emissions as …show more content…
However, the future of the group that produced the paper is in question because the Australian government announced that it plans to cut 90 or more jobs from CSIRO’s ocean and atmosphere division, leaving as few as 30 staff remaining. The threatened job cuts make it unclear whether its plans for projecting future conditions at the reefs will move forward. These future models could give scientists the ability tounderstand long-term impact of ocean acidification on the coral reefs and a better understanding of how they might save the beautiful reefs from

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