Australian coral reefs in the news: past, present, future

“Ancient reef found in outback” (Courier News, September 22nd, 2008)

AN ancient underwater reef discovered in Australia’s outback could unlock the secrets of the world’s climate change history, scientists said.

Located in South Australia’s Flinders Ranges, the 650-million-year-old reef existed during a period of tropical climate between two major ice age events, scientist Jonathan Giddings said in a media release today.

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Explorers Find Hundreds Of Undescribed Corals (Science Daily, 19th September, 2008)

Hundreds of new kinds of animal species surprised international researchers systematically exploring waters off two islands on the Great Barrier Reef and a reef off northwestern Australia — waters long familiar to divers.

The expeditions, affiliated with the global Census of Marine Life, help mark the International Year of the Reef and included the first systematic scientific inventory of spectacular soft corals, named octocorals for the eight tentacles that fringe each polyp.

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Distance no barrier to reef care (The Australian, September 23rd, 2008)

THE Australian Institute of Marine Science has begun using one of the world’s first reef-based internet protocol networks to monitor the impact of destructive forces on the Great Barrier Reef.

Using waterproof Next G modems, adaptive sensor equipment and solar-powered buoys to float the devices, AIMS has installed two wireless IP networks that can transmit data in real time up to 100km offshore.

“We’ve been hit by a number of coral-bleaching events over the past 10 years but until now we’ve had no way to monitor the causes unless we’ve been there in person,” Great Barrier Reef Observing System project manager Scott Bainbridge said.

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