Dirty river run-off greatest threat to Great Barrier Reef: study

Source: Xinhua| 2019-03-12 08:55:40|Editor: Xiaoxia
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SYDNEY, March 12 (Xinhua) -- Dirty river run-off is the single greatest impediment to the recovery of the Great Barrier Reef, an Australian research revealed on Tuesday.

In the near future, the natural wonder's survival will depend on how well it recovers from catastrophic events such as tropical cyclones, disease outbreaks and coral bleaching -- all of which are on the rise.

A joint study analyzing data from 46 locations between 1995 and 2017 found that sections of the reef exposed to dirty river run-off recovered from coral bleaching more slowly and were more susceptible to disease outbreaks.

"Climate change and other pressures are already damaging broad sections of the Great Barrier Reef," the report said.

"The future resilience of this reef will be determined by its ability to resist disturbances and recover from coral loss."

While turbid water created by run-off did make the reef somewhat more resilient to coral bleaching -- due to less light penetrating the water -- overall the reef was less able to recover from disturbances and therefore the impact was a negative one.

A 2018 study by the World Wildlife Fund found that sediment and fertilizer run-off from farms is one of the greatest threats to the Great Barrier Reef with the organization calling for laws which better protect the fragile wonder.