Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef, one of Australia’s most amazing natural gifts, is the largest coral reef system in the world, consisting of over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands extending about 2,300 kilometers (1,400 mi) over an area of around 344,400 square kilometers (133,000 sq mi). It is blessed with the stunning elegance of the biggest coral reef in the world. It has been described as the largest building ever constructed by living beings, rather inaccurately. In the Coral Sea, off the coast of Queensland, Australia, the reef is found.

The reef contains a plenitude of marine life and includes more than 3000 individual reef frameworks and coral cays and in a real sense several pleasant tropical islands with a portion of the world’s most excellent sun-splashed, brilliant seashores. The reef currently consists of some 2,100 individual reefs (formed around islands or bordering coastlines) and some 800 fringing reefs. At low tide, many are dry or barely flooded; others have coral sand islands or cays; others border high islands or the coast of the mainland. The Great Barrier Reef can be seen from space and is the world’s greatest single structure made by living creatures. This reef structure is made out of and worked by billions of small life forms, known as coral polyps.

(The Great Barrier Reef)

Despite this diversity, the reefs have a similar origin: each one has been formed from the skeletons and skeletal waste of a mass of living marine organisms over millions of years. The Great Barrier Reef has become one of the world’s most sought after tourist attractions due to its natural beauty. It encourages a large diversity of life and was chosen in 1981 as a World Heritage Site. It was labeled by CNN as one of the world’s seven natural wonders.

The “bricks” in the reef structure are shaped by the calcareous remaining parts of the little animals known as coral polyps and hydro corals, while the “concrete” that ties these remaining parts together is framed in huge part by coralline green growth and bryozoans. An enormous portion of the reef is secured by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, which assists with restricting the effect of human use, for example, fishing and the travel industry. Many activities can be enjoyed by a tourist to the Great Barrier Reef, including snorkeling, scuba diving, airplane or helicopter tours, bare boats (self-sail), glass-bottomed boat viewing, semi-submersibles and educational tours, cruise ship tours, whale watching, and dolphin swimming.

As indicated by an examination distributed in October 2012 by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the reef has lost the greater part of its coral spread since 1985, a finding reaffirmed by a recent report which found over a portion of the reef’s coral spread to have been lost somewhere in the range of 1995 and 2017, with the impacts of a broad 2020 fading function not yet evaluated. It is a network of ecologically unrivaled marine sanctuaries, a place where beauty transcends industry, where nature reigns supreme. It is bigger than the Chinese Great Wall and the only living thing visible from space on earth.

Map of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia

The Great Barrier Reef has long been understood and used by the peoples of the Aboriginal Australian and Torres Strait Islanders and is a significant part of the traditions and spirituality of local communities. In 1770, when the British explorer Captain James Cook was running his ship on it, European exploration of the reef started. During the 19th century, the work of charting channels and passages through the labyrinth of reefs, initiated by Cook, continued. The reef, especially in the Whitsunday Islands and Cairns regions, is a very popular destination for tourists.

The reef has ascended on the shallow rack bordering the Australian mainland; in warm waters that have empowered the corals to prosper (they can’t exist where average temperatures fall under 70 °F (21 °C)). The Reef is profoundly defenseless; in the previous thirty years, it has lost a large portion of its coral spread, contamination has caused fatal starfish episodes, and an Earth-wide temperature boost has created terrible coral blanching. As a big danger, coastal development also looms. The Great Barrier Reef’s water ecosystem is created by the southwestern Pacific Ocean’s surface water layer. The reef waters show little seasonal variation: the temperature of the surface water is high, ranging from 21 to 38 °C (70 to 100 °F). In general, the waters are crystal-clear, with underwater features clearly visible at depths of 30 meters (100 feet).

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act 1975 (section 54) includes an Outlook Report on the health, threats, and future of the reef every five years. The last study was released in the year 2019. Life types include at least 300 hard coral species, as well as anemones, sponges, worms, gastropods, lobsters, crayfish, prawns, crabs, and a wide range of fish and bird species. The crown-of-thorns starfish (Acanthaster planci), which has diminished the color and attractiveness of many of the central reefs by eating most of the living coral, is the most destructive reef species.

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park was made in 1975 through the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act. The Park itself expands south from the tip of North Queensland, in north-eastern Australia, to only north of Bundaberg. It ranges somewhere in the range of 60 and 250 kilometers in width and has a normal profundity of 35 meters in its inshore waters. On the external reefs, mainland slants stretch out to profundities of in excess of 2,000 meters. Reefs can increase by 1 to 3 centimeters (0.39 to 1.18 in) per year in diameter and grow vertically anywhere from 1 to 25 cm (0.39 to 9.84 in) per year; however, due to their need for sunlight, they grow only above 150 meters (490 ft) in-depth and cannot grow above sea level.

The Great Barrier Reef Experiences

Encrusting red green growth Lithothamnion and Porolithon structure the bracing purplish-red algal edge that is one of the Great Barrier Reef’s most trademark highlights, while the green alga Halimeda thrives all over the place. The reef’s substrate may have expected to develop from the residue until its edge was excessively far away for suspended dregs to restrain coral development. Moreover, a particularly warm interglacial phase with higher sea levels and a 4 ° C (7 ° F) change in water temperature occurred about 400,000 years ago. The plant life of the cays above the surface is very small, consisting of only some 30 to 40 species. In the northern cays, some mangrove varieties occur.

The World Heritage area of the Great Barrier Reef has been divided into 70 bioregions, of which 30 are bioregions of the reef. Increasing concern about the protection of its natural heritage has led to increased restrictions on practices such as fracking for petroleum resources that are potentially dangerous. In the northern field, a previously undiscovered reef, 500 meters tall and 1.5 km wide at the base, was found in 2020.

 

Information Sources:

  1. britannica.com
  2. greatbarrierreef.org
  3. wwf.org.au
  4. wikipedia