The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef system. There are many reasons to love this remarkable ecosystem, including the fact that the Great Barrier Reef not only plays a crucial role in regulating the flow of our oceans, but also produces millions of tonnes of organic and inorganic nutrients, which improve the growth and yield of the reef’s many marine species.
Australia is home to many coral reef systems. Only three of these are considered to be the world’s largest: the Great Barrier Reef, Gough Reef and Crown Reefs.
The Great Barrier Reef is in Australia, about 2,300 kilometers (1,400 mi) south-east of the south-eastern tip of Queensland state. The reef itself measures 1,325 kilometers (1,010 mi) and this is one of the reasons why most tourists return here, although there are numerous other areas also visited by tourists such as Cairns and Townsville.
The Great Barrier Reef is in the northern hemisphere, in the country of Australia, and consists of a large area of nearly 2,000,000 square kilometers (900,000 square miles) of the ocean. It is considered to be the largest living structure on Earth, with an area larger than Texas and Florida combined. On at least nine different occasions, surveys have indicated that the reef has reached new heights, and non-mainstream media outlets have declared the reef to be resilient “if nothing is done soon”. The scientific world has also made great strides toward explaining its incredible longevity and strength.
The Great Barrier Reef holds 2% of Earth’s total biodiversity and almost 5% of all marine life. It attracts 15,000 ships a year and is called one of the most beautiful places on Earth. It is also one of the most important. It is home to more than half of all deep-sea species in the world and provides 90% of the world’s oxygen supply. It is one of only three natural wonder sites on the US list of National Natural Heritage Areas and the only major coral reef system in “World Heritage” Paris.
Coral reefs around the world have been showing signs of degradation due to global warming and pollution. The Great Barrier Reef is one of the world’s most famous coral reefs as it extends for 2,473 kilometers along the northern coast of Australia. The World Heritage Site attracts more than 4 million visitors every year. According to the latest update from the Australian Institute of Marine Science, between 2010 and 2012, reef-related activities experienced a decrease of nearly 39%. The Great Barrier Reef is also a hotspot for environmental groups who are concerned with its future.