Case Study: The Great Barrier Reef

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The Great Barrier Reef (GBR) is the largest living ecosystem in the world. It is located off the coast of Queensland in north-eastern Australia, 16.4473° S, 145.8173° E, and has a surface area of about 344,400 km². The Great Barrier Reef is named one of the seven natural wonders of the world and named as a world heritage site. It is home to more than 1,500 species of fish, 411 types of hard coral, more than 30 species of marine mammals and six of the seven species of threatened turtles. However, 90% of corals have been bleached in the GBR due to climate change and UNESCO may put The Great Barrier Reef in the ‘endangered’ list. Carbon dioxide and methane gas levels are the highest they have ever been for the past 420 000 years. These two gases, together with water vapour, nitrous oxide and halocarbons, make up the five predominant greenhouse gases. Climate is caused when fossil fuels, like coal, …show more content…

Mangrove and saltmarsh ecosystems are vital to the biological productivity and food webs of coastal waters and provide critical nursery areas for many fish and crustaceans, including commercially and recreationally important species. Land inundation may not have a direct impact on Australians but it will definitely put a strain on the Australian economy since the GBR is a huge tourist attraction and is worth $6.9 billion annually. Although the life of the Great Barrier Reef has major impact on Australians, we are still contributing to climate change by polluting water with oils spills and toxins, dumping waste like plastic bags and bottles on the ground which end up flying to the seas, agriculture because of pesticides and chemicals being brought into the country, outdated fishing methods and resources and coastal

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