Great Barrier Reef Rebounds From Crisis

Scientists credit luck for natural wonder's 'spectacular' healing
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted Apr 22, 2009 1:52 PM CDT
Damaged coral in the Great Barrier Reef is pictured in this undated photo. Coral reef damaged three years ago by warming waters has made a "spectacular" recovery, a new study shows.   (AP Photo/Australian Institute of Marine Science, File)
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(Newser) – Parts of the Great Barrier Reef bleached by warming waters 3 years ago have made a speedy recovery because of a few lucky breaks, the Guardian reports. Reefs typically take at least a decade to overcome human-created crises, but a combination of biological factors helped the reef's speedy healing, Australian scientists conclude in a new study.

"We know that reefs can recover—given the chance," said one scientist, citing the aftermath of the die-off created by El Niño in 1998. "Unfortunately, impacts on the scale of 1998 will reoccur in the near future, and there's no time to lose if we want to give reefs and people a chance to suffer as little as possible."