Articles on Coral reefs

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Dozens of reefs around the world have bleached in the past three years, of which the Great Barrier Reef was merely the most high-profile. AAP Image/WWF AUSTRALIA, BIOPIXEL

The UN is slowly warming to the task of protecting World Heritage sites from climate change

Amid fears for the world's coral reefs, the UN World Heritage Committee has issued its most wide-ranging statement so far on protecting heritage sites from climate. But the problem doesn't end there.
The southern Great Barrier Reef escaped both of the recent mass bleaching events. But time is running out. AAP Image/ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, Tory Chase

The world’s coral reefs are in trouble, but don’t give up on them yet

Tropical coral reefs can be saved from climate change and other pressures, but the window of opportunity is closing. And reefs are guaranteed to be markedly different in the future.
Whitespotted surgeonfish (Acanthurus guttatus), found in the Indo-Pacific, crop the upper portion of algae while feeding, preventing macroalgae from becoming established on reefs. Kevin Lino/NOAA

Understanding the conditions that foster coral reefs’ caretaker fishes

Plant-eating fish control the spread of seaweed and algae on coral reefs. New research explaining why populations of these fish vary from site to site could lead to better reef protection strategies.
Microbes living on corals are instrumental in keeping coral reefs healthy. Reuters/David Gray

Healthy microbes make for a resilient Great Barrier Reef

A new study provides insight into coral-dwelling microbial communities and how they react to pollution, overfishing, and climate change. What does it mean for the Great Barrier Reef?
Coral Bleaching at Lizard Island on the Great Barrier Reef. © XL Catlin Seaview Survey

Great Barrier Reef bleaching would be almost impossible without climate change

This summer's record-breaking coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef was made 175 times more likely thanks to climate change.

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