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January 31, 2006 08:25PM
http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2006/s1559329.htm

Hot summer hurts Barrier Reef coral

MARK COLVIN: Australia's hot summer has had a devastating effect on the Great Barrier Reef. Scientists say they're stunned by the amount of coral that's already been bleached.

The coral specialists just back from diving around the Keppel Islands are comparing the severity of the damage to the worst case ever recorded. That was in 2002, when 60 per cent of the reef was bleached.

The scientists say the entire reef may now be at risk of destruction from global warming............


No-one with any credibility in this field is doubting that we're seeing the first signs of a major change to an ecosystem due to climate change.

And it just simply underscores the absolutely critical importance of getting greenhouse emissions under control as a global society, because with very little extra warming we could see a world in which we don't have things like the Great Barrier Reef.

Now, for Australia from an iconic point of view, and also from a $5 billion economic support that the reef gives, that would be an absolute tragedy.
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