Those critical of modern agricultural practices and supportive of the theory of global warming often point to Australia’s Great Barrier reef as a canary in a coal mine to evidence the devastation wrought by man’s activities. But according to prominent Australian scientist Dr. Peter Ridd of James Cook University, any threat caused by increases in sediment due to agriculture is trivial compared to what nature throws at it day in and day out. And because the reef is well-flushed with huge amounts of water in tides, there seems to be a natural means to cleanse out pollution. With new studies showing that coral bleaching, often credited to global warming, is not as serious as once thought, this is indeed a Great Barrier of, dare we say, reef-lief to many.

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