Great Barrier Reef Threatened by Climate Change, Chemicals and Sediment

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From The New York Times:

“SYDNEY, Australia — Climate change and the flow of farm chemicals and coastal sediment into the waters that wash over one of Australia’s most significant nature areas, the Great Barrier Reef, pose the biggest threats to its survival, according to a government report to Unesco released early Friday.

The report was intended to reassure the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization that those risks were well managed and that the reef should not be placed on an “in danger” list. But it paints a grim picture of the scale of protecting the 1,400-mile-long reef, and may severely understate the cost of doing so.

The report also ignores plans by the Queensland State government to allow the development of one of the world’s biggest coal mines about 200 miles from the reef, and it does not acknowledge the damage to the reef that could flow from the mine.

This week, scientists from the ARC Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies reported that the reef had suffered the worst coral bleaching and die-off ever recorded, with stretches of its northern reaches dead after the coral was bathed in warm summer waters.”

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