Published January 2, 2009 08:17 AM

Barrier Reef coral growth 'will stop'

Scientists fear the already declining growth rate of the Great Barrier Reef's corals will stop completely by 2050, killing off the reef and making way for algae.

A new report shows the most robust corals on the reef have slowed in growth by more than 14 per cent since the "tipping point" in 1990.


The paper, published in the international journal Science and written by scientists Dr Glenn De'ath, Dr Janice Lough and Dr Katharina Fabricius, shows evidence of a decline in the calcification rates in the Great Barrier Reef corals.

The Australian Institute of Science paper claims the decline has been caused by a combination of rising sea surface temperatures and ocean acidification.

Calcification refers to how much skeleton the coral forms each year.

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