Slowest Growth in 400 Years

The image you see at the top of the post is a section of Australia's Great Barrier Reef-- the largest coral reef in the world, roughly parallel to the coast of Queensland, Australia, for almost 2,000 km--which began growing approximately 500,000 years ago. The Great Barrier Reef is the Earth's largest biological structure, so large it can be seen from space.
believes that increased ocean acidification due to the absorption of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere is the main culprit.
The team, which published the findings in the journal Science, looked at a total of 328 coral colonies spanning the reef. They found that calcification rates (rate at which coral polyps secrete their limestone skeletons) increased 5.4 per cent between 1900 and 1970, but have dropped 14.2 per cent from 1990 to 2005, mainly due to a slowdown in growth from 1.43 centimetres per year to 1.24 centimetres per year.


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