Though scientists are worried about Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, a major new study shows that the reef was able to come back from a series of "death events" over the last 30,000 years, NBC News reported.
The reef is suffering from water pollution, overfishing and warmer seawater brought on by climate change, but the new finding suggests that the reef may be more resilient than previously thought. A member of the team that conducted the study said that the reef can regenerate if conditions improve, but it takes time to come back. But she added that there are limits to what the reef can handle.
"Our research tells us that the reef develops in response to major changes in climate and the environment, but there are limits," Helen V. McGregor, a geologist and member of the international team of scientists that conducted the study said. "The reef can regenerate if conditions improve, but there's a catch — the reef takes time to come back."
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The leader of the team, Jody M. Webster, said he has "grave concerns" about the reef’s ability to survive in its current form. Whether the reef is resilient enough to survive for the long term remains an open question, he said.