The biggest problem for the great barrier reef is the dying coral caused by higher sea temperatures, which add thermal stress to the coral. It’s estimated that 95% of the coral in the great barrier reef could be dead by 2050. Coral bleaching is already happening, and although the great barrier reef is one of the healthiest corals, it is not immune to the effects of global warming.
Another problem the Great Barrier Reef faces is the booming population of the Crown of Thorns Starfish. This starfish mainly consumes coral by removing its stomach and using digestive enzymes to break down coral and eat the resulting “soup”. Though they are natural predators of coral, it seems that in recent times there are more of these starfish than before. The reason is unknown but attributed to pollution and warming that create conditions for large algae bloom, which provide an ideal growth environment for starfish larvae.
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