Article #50: The Great Barrier Reef: Conservation of the Largest Organism on Earth

The Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef in the world but the reef has been undergoing major changes for decades that are destroying this all important habitat for many species of fish, sharks, whales and other vital sealife. The bleaching of the coral has been especially bad over the past 20 years.

Global warming brought on by the increasing amounts of greenhouse gases is does not do any favours for the health of coral reefs.

This map of the Great Barrier Reef was produced on February, 27th 2017 using the most accurate scientific data available. It shows the severity of heat stress on different parts of the ocean and the reef itself. Coral reefs are extremely sensitive to hot temperatures, therefore the worst damage generally occurs when the ocean is warmest. (Map Credit: Joshua Stevens via NASA Earth Observatory)
The Gulfstream III is loaded carrying NASA’s PRISM (Portable Remote Imaging SpectroMeter) instrument which is currently being used to help scientists perform the largest study of the coral reef in history. With the ever-growing onset of global warming, potential disaster comes in many forms. (Photo Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/BIOS)
The satellite image shown here of the Great Barrier Reef was taken on August 10th, 2012. The reef is actually made up of about 2900 individual reefs and over 900 islands. (Photo Credit: NASA/GSFC/Jeff Schmaltz/MODIS Land Rapid Response Team via Flickr)