The Great Barrier Reef

by Charlotte McGlone

Chapel Hill, NC, United States

Math Questions

  1. If the width of the GBR is 15 miles at its north end, and 150 miles at its southern end, what is the average width of the GBR? If the GBR is 1,300 miles long, how many square miles does it cover? How many football fields would that be?
  2. How long would it take a great white shark to travel from one end of the reef to the other if it traveled at 10 mph?
  3. If in 2014, we know it took 27 years for 50 percent of the GBR to vanish, what year will it be when the whole reef is gone?
  4. How many million tons of pesticide, fertilizer, etc. did farmers use 50 years ago if the current average use is 17 million which is 7 times the amount it was?

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Extension Questions

  1. What is one thing you could do to help save the Great Barrier Reef?
  2. What responsibility do the farmers who use pesticides have in maintaining the Great Barrier Reef?

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  1. Wikipedia page for the Great Barrier Reef
  2. Google Street View underwater camera view of the GBR
  3. Three-minute video explaining the state of the GBR in 2016
  4. New York Times article on deterioration found in 2017

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