Australia's coral reef growth is slowest ever
Australia's Great Barrier Reef has experienced the slowest coral growth ever in the past 400 years. This decline of growth rate puts the species that the reef supports in danger of not being able to sustain them anymore.
The scientists who conducted the study looked at massive porites corals, that have been there for several hundred years and results showed that the calcification had declined by 13.3% since 1990. The scientists blame global warming and the increasing acidity of seawater for the decline. Coral reefs are important to the ecosystem of the ocean and as a source of food for thousands of marine species.
Dr Glenn De'ath and colleagues investigated 328 colonies of massive Porites corals, from 69 locations.
The largest corals are centuries old - growing at a rate of just 1.5cm per year.
By looking at the coral skeletons, they determined that calcification - or the deposit of calcium carbonate - has declined by 13.3% throughout the Great Barrier Reef since 1990.
The Great Barrier Reef is the lasrgest in the world, as it contains over 2,900 reefs and 900 islands.