The Great Barrier Reef Australia's most prized POSSESSION

About the Reef (Description)

This is one of the Great Barrier Reef's 1,500 types of fish

The Great Barrier Reef is a very popular tourist destination with over two million visitors each year. The Reef is the largest in the world composed of about 2,900 individual reefs. The Great Barrier Reef is larger than the United Kingdom, Holland and Switzerland combined. There are many species that of animals and fish that live in the reef. These include 30 species of whale, dolphin, and porpoise, 6 species of turtles that come to the Great Barrier Reef to breed. Also 215 types of birds, 17 species of sea snakes, 1,500 fish, and 330 types of ascidians

Coral Bleaching (Problem and Solution)

The Climate in Australia is changing causing the water to heat up. This won't just affect the coral in the Great Barrier Reef, it will affect the population and habitat of marine animals. Climate change is also predicted to cause the acidification of oceans, having vast consequences on the Reef. Many parts of the Reef are showing the effects of climate change, such as coral bleaching, which is become increasingly more frequent and severe, and decreased density of coral structures. Also, disease in coral and crown of thorns starfish and cyanobacteria seem to be occurring more with greater impact. This is a problem. Even though there are so many problems with the Great Barrier Reef, there are still many solutions. If we want to keep the Reef alive, we need to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the air to about 400 ppm. Pollution is aso a big threat. Pollution helps some plankton grow, which is perfect for young crown of thorns starfish. The crown of thorns starfish also feed on coral polyps which means they are feeding on the Great Barrier Reef. If we stop pollution, we can help the Reef thrive.

(top left) This is picture shows coral bleaching in the Great Barrier Reef. (top right) This picture shows the life around the Great Barrier Reef. (bottom left) This is a crown of thorns starfish. (bottom right) this is one of many species of trout that live in the Great Barrier Reef.

How the Great Barrier Reef was Formed (Sequence)

All reefs are formed when, first, free swimming coral larvae attach themselves to a hard surface such a rock. Next, many more attach themselves to that same rock to form coral. Finally, the newly formed reef takes on one of three major characteristic structures - fringing, barrier, or atoll. Fringing reefs project seaward directly from the shore, forming borders around the shoreline and surrounding islands. Barrier reefs also border shorelines but at a greater distance. They are separated from their adjacent landmass by a lagoon of open water. Atolls are circular or oval, with a central lagoon. Parts of the reef may emerge alone or on more islands.

How the Great Barrier Reef Stands Out (Compare and Contrast)

Most reefs are fringing reefs, but the Great Barrier Reef is a barrier reef. Not only is the Great Barrier Reef a barrier reef, but it is also the largest reef in the world and is the only living organic collective visible from outer space. The Great Barrier Reef also houses a species of starfish, the crown of thorns starfish, that only lives on the Reef. There are many differences with the Great Barrier Reef to others, but there are also many similarities. All reefs are very colorful and full of life, and most are fringing reefs.

This shows that the oceans are getting warmer causing coral bleaching.

This is a surgeonfish.

These endangered creatures are known as dugongs.

The Impacts of Tourists

Two million tourist come to the Great Barrier Reef a year. With all those people, tourists can have a negative impact on the well-being of the Reef. A reason why the Reef is in danger is because people are breaking off pieces of the coral by walking walking and scuba diving in the Reef. Boats dropping anchors and fuel can cause structure damage and pollution. People swimming in the water can even effect it with run-off sweat and suntan lotions. People can have many negative effects on the Great Barrier Reef.

Credits:

Created with images by xxun0125 - "marine great barrier reef blue" • csharker - "fish coral great barrier reef"

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