Great Barrier Reef


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Great Barrier Reef,

largest complex of coral reef in the world, c.1,250 mi (2,000 km) long, in the Coral Sea, forming a natural breakwater for the coast of Queensland, NE Australia. Composed of more than 2,800 individual reefs, the Great Barrier Reef is separated from the mainland by a shallow lagoon from 10 to 100 mi (16–161 km) wide. In some places it is more than 400 ft (122 m) thick. The coral in the reef is threatened, however, by predation by the crown-of-thorns starfish, by damage caused by cyclones (hurricanes), by sedimentation caused by human activities, and by increasing and recurring coral bleaching due to climate change. Although the Australian government declared the reef a marine sanctuary in 1975, a 2012 study estimated that half of the coral had disappeared since 1985, with losses much greater in some areas than others. High water temperatures in the late 2010s damaged large areas, killing about a third of the reef's corals.

A major tourist attraction, the reef has many islets, coral gardens, and unusual marine life. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, more than 130,000 sq mi (340,000 sq km), encompasses most of the reefs and interreefal areas as well as the neighboring lagoon and a large section of the continental shelf. It is the largest UNESCO World Heritage Area. Known to Australian aborigines for thousands of years, the reef was discovered by the Western world when Capt. James CookCook, James,
1728–79, English explorer and navigator. The son of a Yorkshire agricultural laborer, he had little formal education. After an apprenticeship to a firm of shipowners at Whitby, he joined (1755) the royal navy and surveyed the St.
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's ship ran aground there in 1770; it was explored in the 19th cent. by Matthew FlindersFlinders, Matthew,
1774–1814, English naval captain and hydrographer, noted for his charting and coast surveys of Australia and Tasmania. From 1795 to 1799 and again from 1801 to 1803 he made valuable maps and charts of the water and coasts, circumnavigating both Australia
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 and Charles DarwinDarwin, Charles Robert,
1809–82, English naturalist, b. Shrewsbury; grandson of Erasmus Darwin and of Josiah Wedgwood. He firmly established the theory of organic evolution known as Darwinism.
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.

Bibliography

See R. Endean, Australia's Great Barrier Reef (1983); I. McCalman, The Reef: A Passionate History (2014).

Great Barrier Reef

a coral reef in the Coral Sea, off the NE coast of Australia, extending for about 2000 km (1250 miles) from the Torres Strait along the coast of Queensland; the largest coral reef in the world
References in periodicals archive ?
But as the Great Barrier Reef is such a haven for wildlife of all types, we should look after it come what may, whether that's advantageous to us or not.
Instead, the World Heritage Committee noted with "serious concern" coral bleaching along the Great Barrier Reef which is being caused by the acidification of the oceans caused by dissolved atmospheric carbon dioxide byproduct of industrialization and asked for an overall report on the state of conservation by December 2019.
The Great Barrier Reef, which is located at the Coral Sea off the coast of Queensland, Australia, hosts billions of tiny marine organisms and can be seen from outer space.
The post Half Australia's Great Barrier Reef coral 'dead or dying' -- scientists appeared first on Cyprus Mail .
The recovery and disposal was a joint effort that included assets from the US Navy Explosive Ordinance Disposal Unit Five, airlift provided by the US Air Force, search assets from the RAN, and observers from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.
The author and illustrator was inspired by a bright morning star to create her stories of Mrs Twinkle taking a young boy on whirlwind visits around Sydney Harbour, the Great Barrier Reef and Uluru.
The Great Barrier Reef is a stunning sight, but the United Nations is warning about the imminent threat to the reef from industrial development
With natural-gas developers eying new ports near the Great Barrier Reef, UNESCO reminds that world heritage sites require protection
A frozen repository of Great Barrier Reef coral sperm and embryonic cells is being built by researchers at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, Fort Royal, Va.
Australian authorities have said they will question the crew of a Chinese-registered ship that ran aground on the Great Barrier Reef to find out why they were sailing in a restricted area.
It was formed by hard corals, similar to those that built the Great Barrier Reef off the Queensland coast in Australia.
The Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef region offers, quite simply, the best natural experiences in the world.

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