Endangered coral reef in Australia

Grade level:  5th – 6th grades

Skills: Measurement (unit conversion) 

Related environmental issues: Biodiversity

The Great Barrier Reef in Australia–the  biggest coral reef system in the world– is home to about 400 types of coral and 1,500 fish species.  However, the corals there have been killed by overheated seawater resulting from recent climate change. Terry P. Hughes, a researcher of coral reef, reported that 67 percent of the corals had died in the north of the Great Barrier Reef.

GreatBarrierReefLandslides

healthy coral (National Geographic)

7484522-3x2-940x627

dying (left) and dead (right) coral    (abc.net.au)

Convert into given unit of measurement.

  1. The Great Barrier Reef stretches more than 1,600 miles.  1,600 miles = ________ km
  2. The Great Barrier Reef stretches more than 1,600 miles.  1,600 miles = ________ feet
  3. About 13,000 years ago, the sea level of Australia was 200 feet lower than the current level.    200 feet = ______ inches
  4. The observations suggested that 20% of coral in the central area of the 344,000 sq km reef is dead.     344,000 sq km = _______ sq miles

1 mile =  1.61 km

1 mile = 5,280 feet

1 foot = 12 inches

1 sq km = 0.39 sq miles

 

Sources: NY Times, March 15, 2017, Life Science & News.com.au

 

Answer keys

  1. 1,600 x 1.61 = 2,576  (km)
  2. 1,600 x 5,280 = 8,448,000 (feet)
  3. 200 x 12 =2,400 (inches)
  4. 344,000 x 0.39 = 134,160 (sq miles)

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