Mother Nature Network

05 September 2013

Across the globe, reef-building corals live in symbiosis with algae, which provide the animals with food and their iconic brilliant color. But environmental stress — high temperatures, in particular — can kill corals by causing them to "bleach," a process in which they lose their vital algal friends and turn ghostly white.

Scientists have long thought that faulty algal photosynthesis (the process that uses light to make food) ultimately triggers coral bleaching, but new research now shows that substantial bleaching can also occur when heat-stressed corals are not exposed to light (such as at night). Read more


Brisbane Times

17 October 2013

Dredging to develop major ports will be banned across the majority of Queensland's coast for a decade to help improve the health of the reef.

Deputy Premier and State Development Minister Jeff Seeney says while the state needs to do business, the Great Barrier Reef must not be put at risk. Read more




ABC News

02 September 2013

Health authorities hope a new tuberculosis (TB) screening program in the Torres Strait will help address concerns about the disease spreading from Papua New Guinea.

From this week, the local health service will survey residents on Saibai and Boigu islands to help clinicians identify and treat potential cases. Read more



The Conversation

06 August 2013

Northern futures, northern voices: It seems everyone has ideas about how Australia’s north could be better, but most of those ideas come from the south. In this six-part weekly series, developed by the Northern Research Futures Collaborative Research Network and The Conversation, northern researchers lay out their own plans for a feasible, sustainable future.

Recently, Australia’s north has featured front-and-centre in national debates about the country’s future; the election campaign will likely see more claims about what the north can do for the country. Read more

14 September 2013

NORMANBY ISLAND, Papua New Guinea (AP) — Katharina Fabricius plunged from a dive boat into the Pacific Ocean of tomorrow.

A bleak portrait emerged: Instead of tiered jungles of branching, leafy corals, Fabricius saw mud, stubby spires and squat boulder corals. Snails and clams were mostly gone, as were worms, colorful sea squirts and ornate feather stars. Read more




Blue & Green Tomorrow

27 March 2014

As human activities make the oceans more acidic many marine species are increasingly being put at risk, including populations of fish that people around the world rely on for food, scientists have warned.

Speaking to the BBC, in an investigation for Newsnight by environment analyst Roger Harrabin, experts warn that rising levels of CO2 are a major threat to aquatic ecosystems. Read more



9 News

08 November 2013

Federal MP Clive Palmer says a massive dam storing contaminated water at his Queensland nickel refinery is meeting environmental regulations after claims it is at risk of overflowing.

The Australian newspaper is reporting that a Department of Environment briefing note shows the Queensland Nickel Yabulu Refinery (QNI) near Townsville is operating outside "spill risk" limits due to a failure to increase its capacity. Read more




Brisbane Times

21 August 2013

Judging by the positions taken by all major parties contesting the federal election, everyone wants to save the Great Barrier Reef. Even those unmoved by the beauty of the coral labyrinths and marine life recognise the huge economic benefit the reef brings, which includes $5 billion in cash and 63,000 permanent jobs as a direct result of tourism and research.

Coral cover has shrunk by half since 1985, inshore reefs have declined 34 per cent in the last eight years, and outbreaks of crown-of-thorns starfish are becoming common, fed by farm runoff from the Queensland coast. Read more




Environmental Research Web

05 July 2013

Current pesticide risk assessment falls short of protecting biodiversity.

Washington/Leipzig/Sydney. The pesticides, many of which are currently used in Europe and Australia, are responsible for reducing the regional diversity of invertebrates in streams and rivers by up to 42 percent, researchers report in the Proceedings of the US Academy of Sciences (PNAS). Mikhail A. Beketov and Matthias Liess from the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) in Leipzig, together with Ben Kefford from the University of Technology, Sydney and Ralf B. Schäfer from the Institute for Environmental Sciences Landau, analysed the impact of pesticides, such as insecticides and fungicides, on the regional biodiversity of invertebrates in flowing waters using data from Germany, France and Victoria in Australia. The authors of the now-published study state that this is the first ever study which has investigated the effects of pesticides on regional biodiversity. Read more




ABC News

14 January 2014

A conservation lobby group says it has been overwhelmed by community opposition to a proposed major dredging project in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

The park's authority has until the end of January to decide if it will issue a permit for three million cubic metres of dredge spoil to be dumped into the reef to allow the expansion of the Abbot Point Coal Terminal near Bowen. Read more






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