QUT researcher Kerrie Mengersen with hardware used to capture Amazon footage.
Virtual reality is enabling researchers to get first hand experience of remote environments, helping them make better decisions about their conservation.
Professor Morgan Pratchett surveys bleached corals on Australia’s GBR.
Cassy Thompson, ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies
Bleaching has hit a huge swathe of the Great Barrier Reef, with many corals in the reef’s remote northern reaches now expected to die as a result of warm waters linked to this summer’s El Niño.
Pristine coral on the Great Barrier Reef.
Photo copyright Tom Bridge
Banning fishing helps fish, but it also helps reef recover from cyclones, disease, and coral bleaching.
Outbreaks of crown-of-thorns starfish, which eat coral, have been linked to poor water quality.
Starfish image from www.shutterstock.com
To fix pollution on the Great Barrier Reef, some farming practices will have to change.
Bleaching events can leave corals weaker in the face of pollution and other stresses.
AAP Image/University of Queensland/Ove Hoegh-Guldberg
Authorities have moved the Great Barrier Reef onto its highest alert level in response to widespread coral bleaching. Months of monitoring will now be needed to assess the ongoing damage.
A bleached Seriatopora coral.
Right on cue, coral bleaching has struck the Great Barrier Reef, as the world’s third mass bleaching event continues.
Don’t dismiss what science has to say about the fate of coral reefs.
Marine scientists have been accused of being biased towards ‘doom and gloom’. But it’s not bias if the outlook for coral reefs really is gloomy.
Corals grow better in the more alkaline ocean conditions that existed in pre-industrial times.
By artificially going ‘back in time’ to more alkaline ocean conditions, researchers have shown the damage that ocean acidification is already doing to the Great Barrier Reef.
The Great Barrier Reef is made up of thousands of individual reefs.
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center/Flickr
Ocean acidification will hurt some parts of the Great Barrier Reef more than others.
Land clearing rates in Queensland tripled since 2010.
Land clearing in Queensland has tripled in the past five years.
Nutrient runoff is one of the major contributors to crown-of-thorns outbreaks.
Crown-of-thorns image from www.shutterstock.com
Despite 15 years of concerted action by the Australian and Queensland governments the health of the reef is not improving and in fact may be continuing to deteriorate.
Soon the oceans will be too warm to support thriving coral reefs.
USFWS - Pacific Region/Flickr
Corals are experiencing only the third global bleaching event in recorded history, caused by warming seas. But worse is yet to come.
Nitrogen pollution is one of the factors driving outbreaks of crown-of-thorns - giant starfish that devour the reef.
Kenneth Taylor Jr/Flickr
The latest Great Barrier Reef report shows some improvements to water quality over the past five years, but there’s still a lot to do on one particular problem: nitrogen.
Diving in Indonesia’s Raja Ampat Marine Park to see these clownfish will cost you more than before – but for good reason.
Diving in many parts of Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia now costs a little more than it used to – but you might be happy to discover why.
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
The Great Southern Reef covers 71,000 square km and contributes more than A$10 billion to Australia’s economy each year.
The ornamental snake - one of the two species that the federal government failed to account for when approving the Carmichael mine.
The Federal Court has overturned federal environmental approval of the A$16.5 billion Adani’s coal mine project in central Queensland.
The World Heritage Committee’s deliberations involved far more than a simple tick for the Great Barrier Reef.
Australia was spared the ignominy of having the Great Barrier Reef listed as officially in danger. But comments from member countries of the World Heritage Committee show the world is still worried about it.
The government has convened 16 experts to help deliver its plan to save the Great Barrier Reef.
Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, Global Change Institute, University of Queensland
The government’s plan to save the Great Barrier Reef hinges on hitting a series of pollution and conservation targets within just a few years. A new expert panel will advise on how best to get there.
It’s still too early to declare that it’s blue skies for the Great Barrier Reef.
Underwater Earth/Catlin Seaview Survey/Wikimedia Commons
Whether it’s on the official “in danger” list or not, the Great Barrier Reef is clearly under threat. UNESCO has placed its faith in Australia, but without urgent action the problems will not go away.
The Australian government’s commitments to protecting the reef means it avoids the embarrassing classification - for now.