The man known as the "Godfather of Coral" has called on the Turnbull Government to revoke its environmental approval for Adani's controversial $16-billion Carmichael coal mine proposal.
A former chief scientist of the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS), Charlie Veron is credited with discovering 20 per cent of the world's coral species.
"Coal mining is the number one danger to coral reefs now in the whole world," Dr Veron said.
"Somewhere between a quarter and a third of all marine species have some part of their lifecycle in a coral reef.
"So if we wipe out coral reefs, we are going to crash the ecologies of the oceans. It is that serious."
Acting for Dr Veron, the legal group Environmental Justice Australia wrote to federal Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg this month urging him to use his powers under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act to revoke approval for the Carmichael mine.
Dr Veron's legal letter states that since the mine was approved in 2015 by Mr Frydenberg's predecessor, Greg Hunt, the Great Barrier Reef had suffered its two worst coral bleaching events.
"It is clear that these events constitute very important information about the reef that was not before Minister Hunt when he made the decision to approve the Adani mine," the letter reads.
Environmental Justice Australia chief executive Brendan Sydes, who wrote the letter on behalf of Dr Veron, said the argument was not that the Adani mine had caused bleaching: "Clearly it didn't. It isn't even operating yet.
"But the argument is that this new information about the very perilous state of the reef is highly relevant to deciding whether the mine should proceed or not."
Scientists blame ocean warming for the death of about a third of the corals in the northern and central Great Barrier Reef in 2016.
A second mass bleaching event was confirmed this year.
"The combined impact of these consecutive mass coral bleachings stretches for 1,500 kilometres, removing the chance for corals within this stretch of the Great Barrier Reef to recover from the previous year's bleaching," the letter to Mr Frydenberg states.
Speaking to the ABC, Dr Veron said the bleaching events had "severely decimated" the reef.
"They've taken out something like half of all the corals, half the coral colonies of the Great Barrier Reef," he said.
In a statement to the ABC, the minister's office said Dr Veron's request had been referred to the Environment Department for consideration.
"The department is considering the detailed request and will respond once that consideration is complete," a spokesman said.
Dr Veron welcomed the department's consideration of his request.
"It could be just a fob-off but it could be a genuine thing, and if it's a genuine thing it's much to the minister's credit," he said.
Pre-construction works for Adani's Carmichael coal mine, in Queensland's Galilee Basin, will start in the September quarter of 2017.