Oceans

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Gamba Grass is altering fire regimes in the Top End, threatening human life and property, natural assets including Kakadu and Litchfield National Parks, and compromising savanna burning programs. Samantha Setterfield

Setting priorities for environmental research is daunting when the questions are so huge

One of the Australian government's new research priorities is "environmental change". But can be hard to know how to tackle such huge and interlinked issues as climate change and species extinctions.
Too many fish in our seas, like this Pacific bluefin tuna, are being lost to over-fishing – but better management can help. Issei Kato/Reuters

If we want to keep eating tuna, the world needs to learn how to share

Over-fishing is a massive environmental and economic challenge. Fortunately, there are new solutions being trialled – including in a tuna hotspot in the Pacific.
Expect to see more ships on the horizon, as global shipping booms. But how well are we measuring and governing what happens at sea? Chris Phutully/Flickr

The challenge of managing Earth’s new economic frontier: our oceans

As the world's land-based economies struggle with around 2% GDP growth, the global marine economy – often talked about as "the blue economy" – is a bright light on the horizon.
The Great Southern Reef is unique, beautiful and contributes significantly to Australia’s culture and economy. However, few of us realise the magnitude and value of this gem right at our doorstep. T. Wernberg 2002

Australia’s ‘other’ reef is worth more than $10 billion a year - but have you heard of it?

The Great Southern Reef covers 71,000 square km and contributes more than A$10 billion to Australia's economy each year.
Acehnese fishers are among the quarter of the world’s population who live on the coast, and for whom climate-driven changes to the oceans would make life much harder. Hotli Simanjuntak/EPA/AAP Image

New report: the chance to rescue the world’s oceans from climate change is drifting away

Failing to stick to the world's agreed global warming limit of 2C won't just affect the atmosphere - it will play havoc with the oceans too, potentially ruining ecosystems on which much of humanity depends.
Out of sight out of mind? The vast majority of global warming is going into the ocean. peter dondel/Flickr

The climate ‘hiatus’ doesn’t take the heat off global warming

Over the past decade, warming air temperatures at Earth's surface appear to have slowed. But that ignores the vast majority of heat going steadily into the ocean. And, a new paper shows, that makes no difference to the long-term prognosis.
Marine parks are valuable tools to help safeguard species such as seagrasses. AAP Image/James Cook University

Why are Australia’s marine parks being reviewed so soon after they were signed off?

Australia's network of marine parks - a decade in the making and announced in 2012 - haven't been implemented yet, and the Abbott government has already placed the plans under review. Why the hurry?
Despite the high concentration of sharks in Cocos, some species have declined in number – a signal on the effectiveness of marine preserves. Genna Marie Robustelli

Shark-counting divers off Costa Rica reveal limits of marine reserves

Divers at the famed Cocos site off Costa Rica record declines in a number of shark species – a sign that marine preserves are limited protection against illegal fishing.
Kelp covered landscape in Western Australia. Dan Smale

Marine heatwaves threaten the future of underwater forests

Western Australia’s marine environment is unique. Two world heritage areas, the largest fringing coral reef in Australia, and more than a thousand kilometres of underwater forests, supporting incredible…
Turtles are among the species that could be harmed by dredging, even under the government’s new dredge dumping rules. AAP Image/University of QLD

Six ways Australia is selectively reporting to the UN on the Great Barrier Reef

The Australian government’s latest report on the Great Barrier Reef, submitted to the UNESCO World Heritage Centre last Friday, has been carefully crafted and word-smithed, with many of its claims supported…

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