Great Barrier Reef Coral Drops by Half

Could halve again over next decade

Ryan O'Hanlon

Over the last 27 years, coral cover in the Great Barrier Reef has decreased by more than 50 percent due to a combination of beaching, increased storm activity, and a boom in coral-eating starfish. At the current rate, the amount over coral cover will halve again within 10 years, according to a collection of studies published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal. From 1985 to 2012, the amount of coral cover decreased from 28 to 13.8 percent. About two-thirds of the loss has occurred since 1998, with the decline increasing to about 1.45 percent per year from 2006 on. Researchers believe the coral loss can be halted if the starfish population is brought under control and worldwide carbon emissions are cut. 

Via The Guardian