Experts support Obama on reef worry

WORLD-LEADING scientists say the Great Barrier Reef will be "slaughtered" this century as seas warm and become more acidic, dismissing comments by Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop that Australia's natural icon was not at risk.

Ms Bishop said yesterday her office sent the White House a briefing outlining Australia's efforts to preserve the reef after US President Barack Obama's warning in Brisbane last weekend that its "incredible natural glory" was threatened by climate change.

"Of course, the Great Barrier Reef will be conserved for generations to come. And we do not believe that it is in danger," Ms Bishop said.

Mr Obama told the University of Queensland audience, on the sidelines of the G20 meeting, he wanted the reef to still exist "50 years from now" so his grandchildren could visit.

While Ms Bishop and other Coalition leaders have criticised the US President's intervention, leading scientists came to his support.

Mr Obama was "right on the money", Global Change Institute director Ove Hoegh-Guldberg said.