Bringing science and development together through news and analysis

  • Reef under threat from 'bleaching' outbreak

Coral experts from around the world are meeting on the Great Barrier Reef to hammer out a research strategy in response to coral 'bleaching'.

Mass coral bleaching — estimated to have destroyed about one-sixth of the world’s coral colonies during the last major occurrence in 1998 — is attributed to mild increases in ocean temperature.

Although coral deaths so far this year has been confined to reefs close to the northeast Australian coast, the researchers warn that if conditions don’t improve substantially, severe bleaching and mortality could occur over extensive areas of reef.

The group of experts plan to establish a global network of researchers within six months to investigate further the mysteries that still surround the phenomenon.

Link to full text

Reference: Nature 415, 947 (2002)

Photo credit: Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary
We encourage you to republish this article online and in print, it’s free under our creative commons attribution license, but please follow some simple guidelines:
  1. You have to credit our authors.
  2. You have to credit SciDev.Net — where possible include our logo with a link back to the original article.
  3. You can simply run the first few lines of the article and then add: “Read the full article on SciDev.Net” containing a link back to the original article.
  4. If you want to also take images published in this story you will need to confirm with the original source if you're licensed to use them.
  5. The easiest way to get the article on your site is to embed the code below.
For more information view our media page and republishing guidelines.