Great Barrier Reef under huge threat, according to scientists
One of the most beloved natural attractions, the Great Barrier Reef unfortunately is disappearing rapidly. Over half of its beloved coral and marine wildlife have disappeared in the last three decades and researchers are blaming a variety of factors, all of which are influenced and can be prevented by humans.
Crown of Thorns, while are a species of invasive starfish, have drastically cut down about two fifths of the coral in the Reef. Storms, such as tropical cyclones, have cut down almost half of the local coral and bleaching of the sea, which accounted for ten percent of the lost of coral. Experts say that although storms caused the biggest impact on the Reef, Crown of Thorns may be the most preventable threat.
According to The Telegraph, John Gunn, chief executive of the Australian Institute of Marine Science, said: “We can’t stop the storms, but perhaps we can stop the starfish… Our data show that the reefs can regain their coral cover after such disturbances [as Crown of Thorns outbreaks or cyclones], but recovery takes 10-20 years.”
At the rate the Reef is declining, reports say the Reef can lose up to half of its remaining coral in a decade. As Reuters reports, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal researchers say, ”Coral cover on the reef is consistently declining, and without intervention, it will likely fall to 5 to 10 percent within the next 10 years.”