Climate change greatest threat to Great Barrier Reef, report says

Climate change poses the gravest threat to Australia's Great Barrier Reef, according to a new government report.

The 2014 report released by Australia's government on Tuesday states that the overall outlook for the reef is poor, and that it is expected to further deteriorate.

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"Climate change remains the most serious threat to the Great Barrier Reef," the report states. "It is already affecting the Reef and is likely to have far-reaching consequences in the decades to come."

Increasingly higher sea temperatures lead to mass coral bleaching, the report warns, and gradual ocean acidification will restrict coral growth and survival.

On top of climate change, poor water qualify from land-based run-off, coastal development and fishing further harm the reef.

The Great Barrier Reef stretches 1,430 miles along Australia's east coast. It is home to the world's largest collection of coral reefs. It contains 400 types of coral, 1,500 species of fish, 4,000 types of mollusk, and many endangered species like the large green turtle.

"Key habitats, species and ecosystems in the central and southern inshore areas continued to deteriorate," the report states.

It also noted that the number of humpback whales, crocodiles and loggerhead turtles have increased.

The update on the reef comes on the heels of Australia repealing its carbon pollution tax on industrial sources. Prime Minister Tony Abbott led the charge against it.

Australian and Queensland government agencies prepared the report with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.

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