Coral reefs, the great survivors

For at least fifty years, agitated academics have been predicting the end of  Australia's Great Barrier Reef. Now international "experts" are also sprouting coral calamity. But despite the alarms, the reef is still there. An early scare focussed on the Crown of Thorns Starfish which was going through one of its sporadic population booms. Such plagues come and go with the natural cycles of growth and decay. But the reef survived. Then experts got scared in case someone drilled for oil on the Reef - so we had a Royal Commission and banned all that. However marine life seems to flourish around all artificial reefs such as jetties, shipwrecks and drilling platforms. Rigs have to be regularly cleaned of marine growth. Natural hydrocarbons have been part of the wild environment for longer than corals, which may explain why corals are remarkably tolerant of hydrocarbons. Despite natural oil and gas seeps, man-made spills, and hundreds of offshore drilling rigs, corals still thrive. ...(Read Full Post)

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