And, says the Sydney Morning Herald, more than three-quarters of the reef will have vanished within a decade:
A long-term investigation of the reef by scientists at Townsville’s Australian Institute of Marine Science found coral had been wiped out by intense tropical cyclones, a native species of starfish and coral bleaching.
Researchers warned that while the World Heritage listed reef was a dynamic system — with coral cover rising and falling over time — if the mass die-off continued less than 25 per cent would exist in 2022.
At 214 reef sites surveyed, the coral cover halved from 28 to 13.8 per cent between 1985 and 2012.
Two-thirds of the loss occurred since 1998. Only three of the 214 reef sites exhibited no impact.