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Posted Tue Oct 2 2012: from FOX News:
Half of Great Barrier Reef has vanished, study finds
Australia's Great Barrier Reef is a glittering gem -- the world's largest coral reef ecosystem -- chock-full of diverse marine life. But new research shows it is also in steep decline, with half of the reef vanishing in the past 27 years. Katharina Fabricius, a coral reef ecologist at the Australian Institute of Marine Science and study co-author, told LiveScience that she has been diving and working on the reef since 1988 -- and has watched the decline. "I hear of the changes anecdotally, but this is the first long-term look at the overall status of the reef. There are still a lot of fish, and you can see giant clams, but not the same color and diversity as in the past."... The biggest factors are smashing from tropical cyclones, crown-of-thorns starfish that eat coral and are boosted by nutrient runoff from agriculture, and coral bleaching from high-temperatures, which are rising due to climate change.
[Read more stories about: coral bleaching, weather extremes, ocean warming, massive die-off]
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'Doc Jim says:
Relax! That reef is still half-full!

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