Friday, April 20, 2018 | Updated at 8:30 AM ET


The Great Barrier Reef Once Used To Be Above Sea Level 125000 Years Ago

First Posted: Jan 10, 2017 11:34 AM EST
Scenes Of The Cairns Region

Photo : gettyimages/ Mark Kolbe / Staff

The great barrier reef of Australia is well known for its beauty and the wide range of corals. Now, researchers are found that the sea paradise was not there, where it currently is. A recent study on coral reefs reveals that more than 125,000 years ago this place was above sea level. During the last interglacial period, the Great Barrier Reef went totally submerged into the water due to global climate change and rising of sea level.

A research team from the Geocoastal Research Group in the School of Geosciences started exploration on the reefs of Australia. Ph.D. student Dr. Belinda Dechnikwas the main leader of this exploration. Her research was to find out the reason behind the sea level rising which is one of the survival threat for Sea reef.

Her research also includes the analysis of unexposed reef now up to 40 meters below sea-level. The total research report was first published in the Journal of Global and Planetary Change. Rapidly rising seas resulting from global warming, pollution, pesticide run-off, dredging from mining operations which boost up the sea temperature.

Dr. Dechnikwas said in a statement,"This provides the first snapshot of this paleo-reef against a background of rapid environmental change, including possible mass ice-sheet collapse". According to ScienceDaily, she took a specimen from the Geosciences Australia in Canberra which was kept there from the 1970s. Later in 2015, she collected live samples directly from the sea to conduct her studies.

With the help of Australian Research Council, she identified the actual age of the fossil reef. It was about 129,000-121,000 years old according to her research. She also explained that the modern reefs are just the last layer, the whole Great Barrier Reef is like a sponge Cake.

However, the last interglacial period made the certain climate changes and transformations, that time the climate was hotter than today. Researchers also added that if the history repeats, the sea level could get as high as six meters. That would be the same or higher than the incident of last interglacial period. It’s all depending on the melting rate of glaciers & polar ice sheets.

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