Articles on Great Barrier Reef

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Some fish fared better than others amid the extreme temperatures of the 2016 heatwave. Rick Stuart-Smith/Reef Life Survey

The 2016 Great Barrier Reef heatwave caused widespread changes to fish populations

The 2016 heatwave that caused mass bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef didn't just kill corals - it also significantly changed the makeup of fish communities that call these reefs home.
Silent Evolution by Jason deCaires Taylor. Taylor makes sculptures and sinks them beneath the sea to create artificial reefs. © Jason deCaires Taylor

The science and art of reef restoration

Not everything humans put in the ocean is garbage. From walls of tyres to sunken sculptures, reef restoration is both a science and an art.
Green sea turtle eating seagrass off Lizard Island. Abbi Scott

Dugong and sea turtle poo sheds new light on the Great Barrier Reef’s seagrass meadows

New research highlights the role of sea turtles and dugong in the dispersal of seeds and maintenance of seagrass meadows, an important marine habitat and the primary food source for both animals.
Staghorn and tabular corals suffered mass die-offs, robbing many individual reefs of their characteristic shapes. ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies/ Mia Hoogenboom

How the 2016 bleaching altered the shape of the northern Great Barrier Reef

The 2016 bleaching event resulted in 30% mortality on the Great Barrier Reef, with many corals dying of the heat before they bleached and the loss of branching corals creating less complex reef structure.
Boat noise can interfere with the underwater communication of fishes and other marine animals. Unsplash

The fishy problem of underwater noise pollution

The noise from motor boats, sonar and other industrial activity interferes with the underwater chatter of fishes.
Pause and reflect on what really makes wilderness valuable. John O'Neill/Wikimedia Commons

The moral value of wilderness

Imagine being one of the last few people alive. Would that make it ok to destroy the natural world? This thought experiment reveals the true value of nature, beyond the benefits to humans.
Endangered green turtles like this one on Raine Island in Queensland’s far north face an uncertain future – one that depends largely on effective conservation measures. AAP

How can we halt the feminisation of sea turtles in the northern Great Barrier Reef?

With 99% of green sea turtles in the northern Great Barrier Reef hatching as females due to changing climate, the future for this species now depends largely on effective global conservation measures.
Corals near Lizard Island on the northern Great Barrier Reef experienced some of the worst bleaching in 2016. XL Catlin Seaview Survey/AAP Photo

It’s official: 2016’s Great Barrier Reef bleaching was unlike anything that went before

The 2016 bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef was the worst on record. Now a new analysis points the finger squarely at human-induced warming, and warns that the entire reef's future is at stake.
How the Great Barrier Reef can be helped to help repair the damaged reef. AIMS/Neal Cantin

The Great Barrier Reef can repair itself, with a little help from science

Corals on the Great Barrier Reef that are tolerant to warmer waters can be used to help repair other parts of the reef damaged by recent coral bleaching events.
Water quality is one of the major issues that threatens the Great Barrier Reef’s health. AAP Image/Dan Peled

The new Great Barrier Reef pollution plan is better, but still not good enough

The updated plan for improving water quality on the Great Barrier Reef still doesn't address the need to curb intensively farmed crops such as sugar cane, and to enforce existing environmental laws.

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