We used to focus just on protection of vital ecosystems like the reef. But as climate change and other threats accelerate, we need to actively help nature get ready for the heat.
In recent years, the Barrier Reef has had a reprieve – and coral has regrown strongly. But now the reprieve looks to be over and the heat is back on
Coral Brunner, Shutterstock
New research has unravelled the mystery of why sea sponges die when the water gets too warm. The cause of death appears to be the sudden loss of microbes that usually act to detoxify sponge tissue.
Coral in the Great Barrier Reef is once again bleaching, with water temperatures up to 3°C higher than normal in some places.
Australian Antarctica Division / AAP
Australia’s ‘blue economy’ needs a strong basis in marine science.
The triple whammy of the moon’s wobble, sea level rise and more intense storms will bring worse tidal floods into coastal communities in the 2030s. This includes in Australia.
Traditional ecological and cultural wisdom was embraced and valued, enhancing Western scientific knowledge of a beautiful, fragile marine area.
La grande barrière de corail en Australie.
Stefano Borghi / Unsplash
Le génie génétique permet de s’intéresser à la biodiversité, et à comment mieux la préserver.
Mikaela Nordborg/Australian Institute of Marine Science
New research involving CRISPR technology has furthered our understanding of corals’ gene functions. Specifically, it has revealed a mechanism underpinning how corals withstand heat stress.
They’re more used to taking visitors to the reefs, but COVID-19 gave tour operators time to help check the condition of the corals. What they found doesn’t bode well.
Restoring the reef represents one of the most significant science and technology challenges in the history of nature conservation.
United States Department of Defense/Wikimedia
The findings will help determine the age of whale sharks, protecting the endangered animals into the future.
Corals at Scott Reef in 2012, and at the same site during the 2016 mass bleaching.
The Western Australian coral reefs may not be as well known as the Great Barrier Reef, but they’re just as large and diverse. And they too have been devastated by cyclones and coral bleaching.
Many Caribbean reefs are now dominated by sponges.
Marine sponges are ancient organisms that have survived mass extinctions. Many are more tolerant of climate change and may dominate over corals in future reef systems.
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.
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.
Mobile phones can be used as human tracking devices.
You can learn a lot about the movement of people and animals if you tap into the tracking data from many of today’s mobile phones.
Scientists assess coral deaths in the worst-affected part of the Reef in November 2016.
Andreas Dietzel, ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies.
Two-thirds of the corals in the northern part of the Great Barrier Reef have died on in the reef’s worst-ever bleaching event, according to the latest underwater surveys.
A researcher taking a photo-identification shot of a whale shark.
(C) Peter Verhoog, Dutch Shark Society
How you tell one whale shark from another? Spots and stripes.
Cartier Island marine reserve is part of a network that covers one-third of Australian waters.
Australian Institute of Marine Science
Marine parks need to cover large swathes of ocean, but they also need to cover the right areas if they are to deliver the best conservation. New research off Australia’s northwest suggests how.