Children play on a beach in Palau, in the western Pacific Ocean. The country was the first to place a sweeping ban on sunscreen to protect its reefs.
(AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye)
As the mid-winter break draws crowds to beaches, tourists may be wondering if their sunscreen is toxic to coral reefs.
Keep slip slop slapping this summer.
Despite bans around the world, there's no empirical evidence sunscreens cause coral bleaching.
A coral reef in Chagos, British Indian Ocean Territory, experiencing catastrophic bleaching in 2015.
Anderson B. Mayfield
A coral biologist sampled corals from the most remote reaches of the Indo-Pacific and discovered that all of them show signs of stress.
A healthy coral reef on Millennium Atoll, Southern Line Islands.
Field samples, satellite measurements and isotopic data have shed new light on corals' eating habits.
Researching the most resilient corals could help us find ways to better protect reefs in the future.
Building an artificial reef.
Coral reefs are in crisis around the world, and may disappear entirely. 3D printing is a new idea to help them – but it won't be a cure all.
acro_phuket / shutterstock
Scientists have used 'tree rings' in coral to identify centuries of stress.
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.
Ingredients in many sunscreens are bleaching coral and harming marine life.
Scientists have discovered a natural sunscreen – made by microbes – that may be better for humans and the marine critters they are hoping to see.
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.
The increasingly bleached coral at Black Point on the Cobourg Peninsula is a worrying sign of what’s to come for other coral reefs in Australia.
Coral bleaching has struck the Northern Territory, adding urgency to the need for better national management strategies for our warming oceans.
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.
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.
A vanishing world.
It is estimated that 75% of the world's coral reefs are already threatened.
Besides wondrous creatures, new discoveries and spectacular filming, Sir David Attenborough's follow up to The Blue Planet comes with a stark warning about the future
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.
The extent of future coral bleaching is likely to vary from place to place.
AAP Image/Bette Willis
Regional variations in sea temperature can make all the difference between a coral reef suffering major bleaching or surviving as a refuge for corals, new research shows.
Sun cream ingredients have been linked to hormonal changes in fish and coral bleaching.
Parts of the Great Barrier Reef’s outer reefs can form a natural barrier to coastal recession, thus protecting urban centres.
Coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef could lead to increased vulnerability of Queensland coastal cities and towns, and not only through its impacts on the tourism industry.