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Chapter 24: The Great Barrier Reef and climate change: vulnerability and management implications

Title: Chapter 24: The Great Barrier Reef and climate change: vulnerability and management implications
Other Titles: Climate change and the Great Barrier Reef: a vulnerability assessment
Year of publication: 2007
Publisher: Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and the Australian Greenhouse Office
Type of document: Book section or chapter
Abstract: The combination of sensitivity and exposure to climate change render the GBR ecosystem highly vulnerable to climate change. While the components and processes that comprise the ecosystem vary in their vulnerability, the implications of climate change are far-reaching and, in many cases, severe. Overall, the GBR ecosystem has features that will afford it some protection from climate change compared with tropical marine reef ecosystems. These features include its immense size, its location adjacent to a relatively sparsely populated and developed country, and its protection under a management regime that is recognised as the best in the world. However, coral reefs are one of the most vulnerable of all of the earth’s ecosystems to climate change, and the GBR will continue to be affected. Even under the most optimistic climate change scenarios, the GBR is destined for significant change over this century; under pessimistic scenarios, catastrophic impacts are possible. In this section, we provide an overview of the exposure of the GBR to climate factors, including a summary of predicted changes to the GBR climate, followed by a review of the reasons for the sensitivity of the GBR to climate change. We then provide a synopsis of current and emerging knowledge about the vulnerability of GBR species groups and habitats to climate change.
ISBN: 9781876945619
Connection to GBRMPA: GBRMPA published this item
Rights: Copyright Commonwealth of Australia. Reproduction of this publication for educational or other non-commercial purposes is authorised without prior written permission from the copyright holder provided the source is fully acknowledged. Reproduction of this publication for resale or other commercial purposes is prohibited without prior written permission of the copyright holder. Individual chapters are copyright to the authors or their affiliate organisations. Unless otherwise noted, photographs are copyright GBRMPA.
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