New Zealand’s forestry commission says the Great Barrie Barrier Reef could be affected by an unknown threat to a number of marine and coastal ecosystems including corals, corals that live on coral reefs, and coral reefs that grow in saltwater.
The Great Barrier Shield, a patch of land separating the north Queensland coast from the Great Sandy, was the first barrier reef in Australia to be listed under the Marine Protected Areas Act.
“There’s an unknown, unknown, unidentified threat to coral reefs and to coral reef communities, so we’re very concerned,” Chief Executive of the Marine Conservation Society, Pauline Burdon, said.
She said the reef was already facing “a great deal of degradation” as a result of global warming and a changing climate.
Mr Burdan said there was “no doubt” that corals were at risk, but that there was no clear threat.
Coral reefs are “extremely sensitive” to climate change, he said, and were already struggling with saltwater intrusion.
“They’ve already been suffering from rising sea levels and sea level rise, which is not just going to worsen over the next 50 years, but is going to increase with the continuing increase of greenhouse gases and we’ve already had a number over the past 20 years that are at risk,” Mr Burden said.
“So, the reef is already at risk.”
The Marine Conservation Union said it was a matter of “massive concern” the Great Wall Reef would be affected.
It warned that coralls were already at high risk from saltwater invasion, as well as being at risk from a variety of other factors, including climate change.
But it said the Reef could also be damaged by a new threat, one that could affect the Great Tar Sands.
“It’s the reef’s ability to regenerate itself from the impacts of global climate change,” Ms Burda said.”[It’s] the coral that’s growing back from the stress of saltwater in the reef, so it’s the coral, not the sand.
They’re not doing the same thing that coralline algae do.”
This is really a major, massive, massive threat to this reef.
“Ms Burdam said the Great Reef had been protected for more than 100 years, and was now facing a “significant and sustained degradation” due to climate changes.
This is why the Government has been working hard to protect the Great Sealife, she said.
Topics:environment,environmental-impact,climate-change,environment,wales-government,australiaFirst posted October 09, 2019 14:46:00Contact Adam SatterfieldMore stories from New Zealand