Editor's note

When the managers of the Great Barrier Reef recently rated its outlook as very poor, a few well known threats dominated the headlines. But delve deeper into the report and you’ll find that this global icon is threatened by a whopping 45 risks.

The most publicised threats relate to climate change and poor water quality, and are unquestionably the most damaging.

However, as Jon C. Day and Scott Heron write, many of the 45 threats are not well known or understood. All but two are happening now – and most are steadily getting worse. Collectively, it means the Great Barrier Reef is heading for a “death by a thousand cuts”.

Nicole Hasham

Section Editor: Energy + Environment

Top stories

A helicopter view of Bait Reef in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. Justin Blank/AAP

The Great Barrier Reef is in trouble. There are a whopping 45 reasons why

Jon C. Day, James Cook University; Scott Heron, James Cook University

We all know that climate change is hurting the Great Barrier Reef. But scores of other less-publicised threats also threaten the future of the natural wonder.

Liu denies having ties to the Chinese Communist Party, but she is closely connected with a number of United Front organisations in Australia. Lukas Coch/AAP

Why Gladys Liu must answer to parliament about alleged links to the Chinese government

Clive Hamilton, Charles Sturt University

With serious questions being raised about Liu's possible links to United Front organisations in Australia, a dark cloud could continue to hang over both her and the Liberal Party.

Simosthenurus occidentalis had a body like a kangaroo, a face like a koala, and a bite like a panda. N. Tamura

This extinct kangaroo had a branch-crunching bite to rival today’s giant pandas

D. Rex Mitchell, University of Arkansas

A new analysis of an extinct giant kangaroo skull suggests it was adapted to eat tough, woody material - a feeding style not found in any modern marsupials.

Helen Haines (centre-right) made history at the election as the first federal independent to succeed another independent. Mick Tsikas/AAP

Politics with Michelle Grattan: Independent MP Helen Haines on using ‘soft power’

Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra

Helen Haines, who does not have the real legislative power her predecessor, Cathy McGowan shared after the Coalition fell into minority government, says "building relationships is key to getting things done".

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    Michael J. I. Brown, Monash University

    Why do astronomers believe there's dark matter when it cannot be directly detected? Lets look at the evidence, and see what dark matter's presence means for our universe.


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