Application Exercise 9a: Great Barrier Reef
- The Great Barrier Reef (GBR) has brought foreign tourists to Australia that spend money on accommodation, food and domestic travel. This is an injection of funds based on the five-sector circular flow, included in export earnings. The GBR has provided a place for Australians to holiday and has thereby reduced leakages to the economy from spending overseas, classified as imports. The GBR has created employment opportunities in roles that maintain and care for the GBR and also in tourism and hospitality, to look after those that travel to the GBR. Some of the fish and other animals that grow on the GBR can be captured and sold as a food source. Where these can be exported it creates export earnings for Australia, an injection into the economy.
- Coral bleaching refers to a process by which the coral loses colour pigment due to stress. When temperatures rise due to global warming, oceans become warmer and this causes stress to the coral.
- Ocean acidification is caused by the level of pH in the water becoming lower. Changes in pH are occurring due to higher levels of carbon dioxide in the air, which is caused by burning of fossil fuels such as coal and oil.
- When water areas close to Australia and the equator become warner, marine wildlife migrate further south to cooler areas. This results in less marine life being around Australia’s coastal regions.
- When marine life moves away from Australia’s coastal areas there are less fish and other animals to capture in this area and as a result less food sources for humans that would otherwise eat the fish and other marine life.
- As the GBR becomes more damaged, it reduces in beauty and size and becomes less appealing for tourists. This means that fewer people will travel to Australia and the Australian tourism industry is negatively impacted. Additionally, Australians may look to other holiday destinations and travel overseas, causing outflows of funds from the Australian economy.