Can geoengineering buy the coral reefs more time?
Oregon State University/Flickr
Climate mitigation efforts are unlikely to be enough to save critical ecosystems like the Great Barrier Reef. We may need to consider more radical environmental engineering.
Some fish fared better than others amid the extreme temperatures of the 2016 heatwave.
Rick Stuart-Smith/Reef Life Survey
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
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.
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.
The new funding is focused on measures that are already in the foreground.
The federal government's new $500 million funding package for the Great Barrier Reef seems predominantly focused on the tactics that are already being tried, without much success.
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
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.
The noise from motor boats, sonar and other industrial activity interferes with the underwater chatter of fishes.
Photo Jorge Alvarez Romero.
New global communities of concerned citizens can help protect iconic places such as the Great Barrier Reef. But the scope of these remote communities must extend beyond mere 'slacktivism'.
Bill Shorten spent a lot of his Tuesday press conference to support Jay Weatherill answering questions about Adani.
Adani is being seen as a test of Bill Shorten's commitment to policy integrity versus his willingness to say and do whatever is politically expedient.
Bill Shorten said he had become increasingly sceptical of Adani in recent months.
Bill Shorten has taken a further step toward opposing the proposed Queensland Adani coal mine.
Politics Podcast: Bill Ferris on Australia’s innovation mission.
CC BY 46.8 MB (download)
Innovation and Science Australia chair Bill Ferris launched a report this week setting out a plan that seeks to put Australia into the top tier of innovation nations by 2030.
Giant triton molluscs are a useful ally in battling the coral-grazing crown-of-thorns starfish.
AAP Image/AIMS, K Goodbun
The federal government's new funding aims to spread the net wide in investigating possible ways to protect the Great Barrier Reef's corals. Winning this battle will require a wide range of weapons.
Pause and reflect on what really makes wilderness valuable.
John O'Neill/Wikimedia Commons
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.
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
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.
Some reefs are strong sources of coral larvae.
A new study identifies dozens of individual reefs on the Great Barrier Reef that are especially important for coral larvae dispersal and which could help the entire ecosystem bounce back.
During mass spawning events coral young rise from their parents to ocean surface.
Australian Institute of Marine Science
Every year buoyant bundles rise from a spawning coral, giving the impression of an upside-down snowstorm.
Would you pay more if you thought it would help?
Is Australia undervaluing its most valuable natural asset by only charging $6.50 a day to visit the Great Barrier Reef? And would it help if tourists were asked to pay more?
How the Great Barrier Reef can be helped to help repair the damaged reef.
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 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.