The Great Barrier Reef – level 3
The Great Barrier Reef is the network of 2,500 reefs covering 248,000 square kilometers off Australia´s northeast coast. It´s an awe-inspiring natural habitat that´s home to many of sea life, and it´s been World Heritage-listed since 1981.
However, the reef´s health is under increasing threat from climate change and rising ocean temperatures. A report said that there was no doubt that the network of colorful corals suffered significantly from bleaching that was caused by unusually warm ocean temperatures in 2016, 2017, and last year. The report came from the U.N. World Heritage Committee released last week. The report recommends that the ecosystem be added to UNESCO´s List of World Heritage in Danger.
Australia government officials have voiced anger at the report, saying that any downgrade of the reef´s status could reduce tourism revenue for the country because fewer people would be attracted to an unhealthy environment and dead coral. Besides that, it would likely include tougher action to reduce Australia´s greenhouse gas emissions.
Difficult words: awe-inspiring (causing admiration or respect), downgrade (to reduce to a lower grade, rank or level of importance), revenue (income).
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