Researchers fear widespread reef coral bleaching
ABC News 18 Nov 08;
Marine researchers fear the Great Barrier Reef will suffer more coral bleaching than normal over the next 12 months because of rising sea temperatures.
The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority is using data from the weather bureau to formulate its yearly forecast, which indicates there is a high risk the bleaching will be widespread.
The authority's Dr Paul Marshall says global warming is having a significant impact on the ocean.
"So particular species of coral reef fish that depend on coral either for food or for shelter, but those very very hot summers that affect the corals also affect many other sorts of plants and animals as well," he said.
"Seagrasses suffer a great deal from hot temperatures, sea birds and turtles can also suffer, particularly when they're nesting."