Tuesday, June 13, 2017



‘Super Corals’ Are Resilient To Climate Change, Scientists Discover

Scientists have discovered a population of “super corals” that appear to have become resistant to extreme environmental conditions — being able to survive and thrive in hot, acidic and low-oxygen waters. And they now plan to search for more climate-adaptable coral populations within the Great Barrier Reef.

An international team of researchers first found the super corals during an expedition to a remote lagoon in New Caledonia in 2016. Their “surprising results” showed the lagoon had a diverse community of reef-building corals that had adapted to live in extreme these conditions.

Publishing their findings in the journal Scientific Reports, the team was investigating coral reef health in relating to climate change. As oceans get warmer and more acidic, vast swathes of coral species suffer. This has been documented globally, with a recent report from the Australian Research Council showing two thirds of the Great Barrier Reef had been affected so far this year.

Coral bleaching occurs when waters are too warm. These conditions make the corals expel the algae living in their tissues—causing them to lose their color. Algae provides coral with 90 percent of its energy, so while this process does not kill it, it places the coral under far greater stress and puts it at greater risk of death.

As global temperatures increase, scientists are increasingly concerned about how coral reefs—which form barriers protecting shorelines from waves and storms, and provide ecosystems for a vast number of species—will fare.

The latest findings provide some relief. Emma Camp, from the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), Australia, and colleagues found water in the semi-enclosed lagoon system was hot, acidic and lacking in oxygen when compared to neighboring reefs. Yet its coral communities was surprisingly rich—there were 20 species covering up to 35 percent of the lagoon site.

“Enhanced coral respiration, alongside high particulate organic content of the lagoon sediment, suggests acclimatisation to this trio of temperature, oxygen and pH changes through heterotrophic plasticity.” Heterotrophic refers to organisms that depend on organic substances for nutrients because they cannot make their own food.

In a statement, Camp said: “The existence of corals living under this usually deadly trio of conditions, comparable and even exceeding what is predicted under climate change, gives us new hope that some corals will be able to persist into the future. These could indeed be the super corals of the future that will help support proactive management options attempting to upgrade reef resilience.”

Concluding, the team wrote: “Evidence here, and from other similar habitats increasingly highlight that reef neighboring systems could act as local reservoirs of coral populations highly resistant to extreme environmental conditions.”

The next step in their research is to search for similar systems in the Great Barrier Reef. The expedition, funded by the National Geographic Society Waitt Foundation, will allow the team to explore mangrove systems—which have similar, extreme conditions to those seen in New Caledonia—and how corals there may have adapted.

“As a result of the expedition we will be able to collect invaluable baseline physical and molecular data to discover how corals within the Great Barrier Reef have already adapted and how they might cope in the future,” Camp said. “I’m excited at the prospect of being able to transfer our discoveries from other sites to our own home reefs.”

David Suggett, who will accompany Camp on the expedition, said: “By exploring the very margins—such as reef-neighbouring mangroves that are often ignored by coral surveys—we’re continually finding populations of super coral that are resistant to hot, acidic and hypoxic conditions predicted under climate change. This is a game changer for how we consider coral reef resilience into the future for the Great Barrier Reef.

SOURCE

Tuesday, May 23, 2017



A new future for corals

Are coral reefs condemned to disappear? During the first decade of the 21st century, the intensification of cyclones, the phenomenon of coral bleaching due to ocean warming, outbreaks of a coral-eating starfish and coral diseases left us with this fear. But today, scientists are revising their pessimistic forecasts from the previous decade. In fact, recent research works show that, while numerous coral species have indeed been declining for more than 30 years, other are holding firm or even increasing in abundance. Consequently, some reefs have recently managed to recover. 

Expanding coral genera

During a vast international study over fifteen years, IRD researchers and their partners observed the ecological development of seven coral reefs throughout the world: two in the Caribbean, in Belize and in the American Virgin Islands, and five throughout the Indo-Pacific Ocean in Kenya, Taiwan, Hawaii, Moorea and the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Consequently, the scientists have shown the increase of certain genera, like the Porites reef corals, real reef builders that can resist temperature rises well.

They have also put these recent changes into perspective with regard to past events recorded in fossil reefs, showing that the abundance and structure of coral populations have already varied greatly over the course of past millennia.

Towards new underwater landscapes

These new data have enabled them to refine their mathematical models and to revise their forecasts for the coming decades. As ocean temperatures continue to rise, a subset of “winning” species will thrive: those that have the greatest heat tolerance, the best population growth rates or the greatest longevity. These species should progressively populate the planet’s reefs, until they dominate them entirely.

Consequently, the underwater landscapes of the future will be very different to the ones that have been known for millennia. However, much remains to be discovered regarding this new coral fauna and its features. One question in particular remains: will these new eco-systems continue to meet the needs of the populations who depend on them?

SOURCE


Sunday, May 21, 2017


Coral bleaching not a response to temperature changes

Regional coral responses to climate disturbances and warming is predicted by multivariate stress model and not temperature threshold metrics

Timothy R. McClanahan et al.

Abstract

Oceanic environmental variables derived from satellites are increasingly being used to predict ecosystem states and climate impacts. Despite the concerted efforts to develop metrics and the urgency to inform policy, management plans, and actions, few metrics have been empirically tested with field data for testing their predictive ability, refinement, and eventual implementation as predictive tools. In this study, the abilities of three variations of a thermal threshold index and a multivariate stress model (MSM) were used to predict coral cover and community susceptibility to bleaching based on a compilation of field data from Indian Ocean reefs across the strong thermal anomaly of 1998. Field data included the relative abundance of coral taxa 10 years before the large-scale temperature anomaly, 2 years after (1999–2000), and during the post-bleaching recovery period (2001–2005) were tested against 1) a multivariate model based on 11 environmental variables used to predict stress or environmental exposure (MSM), 2) estimates of the time until the current mean maximum temperature becomes the mean summer condition (TtT), 3) the Cumulative Thermal Stress (CTS) for the full satellite record, and 4) the 1998 Annual Thermal Stress (1998 ATS). The MSM showed significant fit with the post-1998 cover and susceptibility of the coral community taxa (r2 = 0.50 and 0.31, respectively). Temperature threshold indices were highly variable and had relatively weak or no significant relationships with coral cover and susceptibility. The ecosystem response of coral reefs to climatic and other disturbances is more complex than predicted by models based largely on temperature anomalies and thresholds only. This implies heterogeneous environmental causes and responses to climate disturbances and warming and predictive models should consider a more comprehensive multiple parameter approach.

McClanahan, T.R., Maina, J. & Ateweberhan, M. Climatic Change (2015) 131: 607. doi:10.1007/s10584-015-1399-x


Monday, May 1, 2017






Another stupid Greenie prophecy:  "The Reef will never be the same again"

This is just straight Greenie propaganda, with no regard to all the facts.  The GBR has had some bleaching events lately but it is nothing compared to Bikini Atoll, which had a thermonuclear device exploded above it.  And Bikini coral is thriving again.  If coral on Bikini can survive that, why should not the GBR survive infinitely lesser stressors?

And attributing the isolated bleaching to global warming is just assertion.  They offer no evidence for it.  The best evidence is that it is due to sea-level changes, not ocean warming.

It does seem that the 2015/2016 summer bleaching was repeated in summer this year (2016/2017).  Since water levels change only slowly, that is to be expected. 

And note that while they are busily attributing the bleaching to global warming -- they give not a single number for either the global water temperature or the North Queensland water temperature. 

So let me supply some numbers: NASA/GISS Tell us that the global December 2016 temperature (mid-summer) was .77, which was DOWN on December 2015 (1.10)and even slightly down on 2014 (.79).  So in the period at issue, there was NO global warming.  So the guys below are lying through their teeth.  They say that the bleaching was caused by global warming but there WAS no global warming in the period concerned.

And they also don't give numbers for sea levels in the area.  They are zealously hiding the real cause of the bleaching



THE biggest jewel in Australia’s tourism crown will never look the same again — and to fix it, Australia needs a worldwide hand.

Made up of 3000 individual reef systems, the Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest living organism. It is home to 300 species of coral and a vast array of fish, molluscs, starfish and other marine life.

The Reef also supports a $6 billion tourism industry that provides employment for 69,000 people — all of which is in strife if environmental degradation causes significant, widespread harm.

Already back-to-back coral bleaching episodes have taken their toll, wiping out nearly 600km of coral mostly in the far north.

Caused by rising ocean temperatures that kill food-generating algal organisms inside the coral, no one can say with any confidence that bleaching will not become an annual event.

Even more worrying, scientific data suggests a further two-degree increase in ocean temperatures would wipe-out most of the hard corals.

The man in charge of the Reef Recovery program at the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Dr Mark Read, concedes it will never look the same again.

Although some corals will build up a resilience to warmer temperatures, a number of species are facing extinction.

"I think it’s going to end being a real mosaic," said Dr Read.

"Some parts of the Reef are going to look more classic — hard coral-dominated — that we’re familiar with while other parts will be less dominated by hard coral and more dominated by soft coral and algae."

While natural habitats are destined to change over time, Dr Read says in the Reef’s case, mankind has contributed to the "current accelerated period of heating" causing coral bleaching.

"We are talking about a global phenomenon," Dr Read said.

"(Coral bleaching) is happening all around the world where you have hard coral. The Great Barrier Reef has been hit particularly hard, so it’s front of mind."

Among the strategies being used by his team to aid in the Reef’s recovery, are ensuring activities in the area do not adversely impact the delicate marine environment; tackling the insidious Crown of Thorns starfish; improving water quality and reducing the volume of debris that finds its way into the massive water park.

Together those initiatives will make a difference but Dr Read admits they won’t prevent more episodes of coral bleaching.

"In terms of dealing with the warming per se, that is something that needs to be tackled at that global level," he said.

"What we do, and what we can do is reduce as many of the direct pressures on the Reef to enhance its capacity to bounce back."

Those who make a living from the Reef are watching the situation with some trepidation.

Despite chalking up their best tourism season since 1997 in 2016, long-term operators know the back-to-back coral bleaching events that have received global coverage will eventually take their toll.

SOURCE


Wednesday, April 12, 2017



And the fraud goes on: 2016/2017 bleaching on GBR

It seems that the 2015/2016 summer bleaching was repeated in summer this year (2016/2017).  Since water levels change only slowly, that is to be expected. 

But note the dishonesty below.  They are still attributing the bleaching to global warming -- while giving not a single number for either the global water temperature or the North Queensland water temperature. 

So let me supply some numbers: NASA/GISS Tell us that the global December 2016 temperature (mid-summer) was .77, which was DOWN on December 2015 (1.10)and even slightly down on 2014 (.79).  So in the period at issue, there was NO global warming.  So the guys below are lying through their teeth.  They say that the bleaching was caused by global warming but there WAS no global warming in the period concerned.

And they also don't give numbers for sea levels in the area.  They are zealously hiding the real cause of the bleaching



BACK-to-back bleaching is killing huge tracts of the Great Barrier Reef, with almost none of the coral effected in 2016 expected to recover.

Recent aerial surveys by the Australian Research Council’s Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies have revealed only the southern third of the reef is unscathed from the bleaching events.

Researcher Terry Hughes said mass bleaching happened in 2017 even without the assistance of El Nino, which normally brings warmer sea surface temperatures.

"The bleaching is caused by record-breaking temperatures driven by global warming," Professor Hughes said.

"Ultimately, we need to cut carbon emissions, and the window to do so is rapidly closing." Warmer water temperatures cause coral to expel their algae, turning them bright fluorescent colours and eventually bone white.

Marine biologist James Kerry said bleached corals were not necessarily dead but it was anticipated high levels of coral would be lost in the central region of the reef, which experienced the most intense bleaching this year.

"It takes at least a decade for a full recovery of even the fastest growing corals, so mass bleaching events 12 months apart offers zero prospect of recovery for reefs that were damaged in 2016," Dr Kelly said.

Tropical Cyclone Debbie also destroyed parts of the reef around the Whitsundays, a popular tourist destination that had largely escaped the worst of the bleaching so far.

While cyclones normally cause the water temperature to drop, Prof Hughes said any cooling effects were likely to be negligible in relation to the damage caused by the slow-moving Category 4 system.

"Clearly the reef is struggling with multiple impacts," he said. The Great Barrier Reef is known to have experienced four bleaching events in 1998, 2002, 2016 and 2017.

SOURCE




Falling Sea Level was the Critical Factor in 2015/2016 Great Barrier Reef Coral Bleaching!

That sea levels could fall is of course be unthinkable to a Warmist. In their religion sea levels only rise.  In fact sea levels both rise and fall all over the place worldwide.  There has even been a fall in recent decades in Moreton Bay, near where I live. 

And are we allowed to mention the remarkable sea-level testimony of Tasmania's Isle of the Dead?  Read the late John Daly on the matter.  He knew where all the skeletons are buried.  There's a whole graveyard of them. 

It is only highly theoretical isostatic "rebound" adjustments to the raw tide gauge data that enable  Warmists to produce any picture of global sea level rise. 

Sad below that it took Indonesian scientists to face what was actually going on





It is puzzling why the recent 2017 publication in Nature, Global Warming And Recurrent Mass Bleaching Of Corals by Hughes et al. ignored the most critical factor affecting the 2016 severe bleaching along the northern Great Barrier Reef – the regional fall in sea level amplified by El Niño. Instead Hughes 2017 suggested the extensive bleaching was due to increased water temperatures induced by CO2 warming.

In contrast in Coral Mortality Induced by the 2015–2016 El-Nino in Indonesia: The Effect Of Rapid Sea Level Fall by Ampou 2017, Indonesian biologists had reported that a drop in sea level had bleached the upper 15 cm of the reefs before temperatures had reached NOAA’s Coral Reef Watch bleaching thresholds.

As discussed by Ampou 2017, the drop in sea level had likely been experienced throughout much of the Coral Triangle including the northern Great Barrier Reef (GBR), and then accelerated during the El Niño. They speculated sea level fall also contributed to the bleaching during the 1998 El Niño.

Consistent with the effects of sea level fall, other researchers reported bleaching in the GBR was greatest near the surface then declined rapidly with depth. Indeed if falling sea level was the main driver in 2016’s reef mortalities, and this can be tested, then most catastrophic assertions made by Hughes 2017 would be invalid.

Indeed the Great Barrier Reef had also experienced falling sea levels similar to those experienced by Indonesian reefs.  Visitors to Lizard Island had reported more extreme low tides and more exposed reefs as revealed in the photograph above, which is consistent with the extremely high mortality in the Lizard Island region during the 2016 El Niño.

Of course reefs are often exposed to the air at low tide, but manage to survive if the exposure is short or during the night. However as seen in tide gauge data from Cairns just south of Lizard Island, since 2010 the average low tide had dropped by ~10 to 15 cm.  After previous decades of increasing sea level had permitted vertical coral growth and colonization of newly submerged coastline, that new growth was now being left high and dry during low tide. As a result shallow coral were increasingly vulnerable to deadly desiccation during more extreme sea level drops when warm waters slosh toward the Americas during an El Niño.

Furthermore, an El Niño in the Coral Triangle not only causes a sudden sea level fall, but it also generates a drier high-pressure system with clear skies, so that this region is exposed to more intense solar irradiance. In addition, El Niño conditions reduce regional winds that drive reef-flushing currents and produce greater wave washing that could minimize desiccation during extreme low tides. And as one would predict, these conditions were exactly what were observed during El Niño 2016 around Lizard Island and throughout the northern GBR.

Aerial surveys, on which Hughes 2017 based their analyses, cannot discriminate between the various causes of bleaching. To determine the cause of coral mortality, careful examination of bleached coral by divers is required to distinguish whether bleached coral were the result of storms, crown-of-thorns attacks, disease, aerial exposure during low tides, or anomalously warmer ocean waters. Crown-of-thorns leave diagnostic gnawing marks, while storms produce anomalous rubble.

Furthermore aerial surveys only measure the areal extent of bleaching, but cannot determine the depth to which most bleaching was restricted due to sea level fall. To distinguish bleaching and mortality caused by low tide exposure, divers must measure the extent of tissue mortality and compare it with changes in sea level. For example, the Indonesian researchers found the extent of dead coral tissue was mostly relegated to the upper 15 cm of coral, which correlated with the degree of increased aerial exposure by recent low tides.

Unfortunately Hughes et al never carried out, or never reported, such critical measurements.

However a before-and-after photograph presented in Hughes 2017 suggested the severe GBR bleaching they attributed to global warming primarily happened between February and late April. Their aerial surveys occurred between March 22 and April 17, 2016. And consistent with low tide bleaching, that is exactly the time frame that tide tables reveal reefs experienced two bouts of extreme low tides coinciding with the heat of the afternoon (March 7-11 & April 5-10). And such a combination of sun and low tide are known to be deadly.

A study of a September 2005 bleaching event on Pelorous and Orpheus Islands in the central GBR by Anthony 2007, Coral Mortality Following Extreme Low Tides And High Solar Radiation, had reported extreme deadly effects when extreme low tides coincided with high solar irradiance periods around midday. As in Indonesia, they also reported bleaching and mortality had occurred despite water temperatures that were "significantly lower than the threshold temperature for coral bleaching in this region (Berkelmans 2002), and therefore unlikely to represent a significant stress factor." Along the reef crests and flats, "40 and 75% of colonies in the major coral taxa were either bleached or suffered partial mortality.

In contrast, corals at wave exposed sites were largely unaffected (<1 1="" a="" along="" any="" as="" bleached="" br="" by="" confined="" coral="" corals="" depth="" desiccation.="" exposed="" gradient="" high="" indicated="" m="" mortality="" of="" periodic="" prevented="" surveys="" that="" the="" tidal="" to="" was="" washing="" waves="" were="" zone.="">
The fortuitous timing of Ampou’s coral habitat mapping from 2014 to 2016 in Bunaken National Park (located at the northwest tip of Sulawesi, Indonesia) allowed researchers to estimate the time of coral mortality relative to sea level and temperature changes. Ampou reported that in "September 2015, altimetry data show that sea level was at its lowest in the past 12 years, affecting corals living in the bathymetric range exposed to unusual emersion. By March 2016, Bunaken Island (North Sulawesi) displayed up to 85% mortality on reef flats" and that almost "all reef flats showed evidence of mortality, representing 30% of Bunaken reefs." Based on the timing of reef deaths and changes in temperature they concluded, "the wide mortality we observed can not be simply explained by ocean warming due to El Niño."  They concluded, "The clear link between mortality and sea level fall, also calls for a refinement of the hierarchy of El Niño impacts and their consequences on coral reefs."

SOURCE

Sunday, April 9, 2017



Cyclone Debbie snookers reef panic merchants

There had been daily predictions of doom for the GBR from the usual suspects.  It turns out that the cyclone was actually GOOD  for the reef. But false prophecies are a dime a dozen from the Green/Left so that is just a minor thing.  Far more interesting is what current tourist divers on the reef are saying.  It turns out that the Greenies declare a stretch of reef as bleached even if the bleaching is confined to a few small patches.  When have you ever heard mention of patchwork bleaching from Greenies? And what is left once you stop obsessing about those patches is still magnificent: "A million times better than the Mediterranean."


CYCLONE Debbie has been a breath of fresh air for coral bleaching on the hardest-hit parts of the Great Barrier Reef.

As the category-four storm wreaked havoc on Australia’s east coast, it also brought blessed relief to a mass coral die-off on prime tourist dive sites in the Coral Sea.

Surveys of the Ribbon reefs off Lizard Island this week show a dramatic drop of up to 3C in coral-killing sea surface temperatures off the state’s ­remote far-north.

"Cyclone Debbie looks like the turning point to allow the Reef to bounce back from this mass coral bleaching event," marine biologist Jess Walker said. "With water temperatures down to about 28C, there will be less stress on the coral, less chance of bleaching, and less chance of coral mortality."

Free-diver Audrey Buchholzer, of France, on a three-day dive expedition aboard the Spirit of Freedom in the Coral Sea, said she was stunned by the "flashy" colours and ­kaleidoscope of marine life on the outer reef.

"I had to see it with my own eyes," the 24-year-old said. "I’d heard negative reports the Reef was dead. That’s not true. There are patches of dead and bleached coral, but so much of it is alive and thriving. "It is an underwater wonderland," she said.

Fellow diver Jennifer Petrie 31, of London, was disappointed to see the Great Barrier Reef is not like it was depicted in Finding Nemo.

"There was lots of dead bits, but still a lot of beauty," she said. "It’s a million times better than the Mediterranean."

SOURCE

Thursday, April 6, 2017



The ‘longest war’ that Australia is not prepared for

It might more aptly be described as the "phoniest" war. The blurb below is inspired by a visit to Australia by a prominent  American Warmist and elitist schmoozer.  Her claims are at least mostly reported cautiously below.  It is all "is believed to have been" and "is thought to have created".  One is of course equally at liberty to believe and think the opposite.

It is true that poor cropping conditions in the Middle East led to food shortages but that was  not because of global warming.  Why?  Because there was no global warming during the period concerned.  The drought (roughly from 2005 to 2011) behind the crop failures occurred in the middle of the 21st century warming "hiatus". So nothing at that time CAN be attributed to warming.  Neither droughts in the Middle East nor anything else can be caused by something that does not exist.

And so it goes.  It is all false attribution below.  She predictably blames recent Barrier Reef bleaching on global warming.  And it may be true that waters in Northeastern Australia are warmer than usual at the moment, but that is NOT any part of anthropogenic global warming.

Why?  Because anthropogenic global warming is said to be caused by increasing concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere.  But there have been NO increases in CO2 in the atmosphere recently. Cape Grim tells us that CO2 levels have been plateaued on 401ppm since last July (midwinter)  So anything -- including coral bleaching -- that happened in the recent summer is NOT due to a rise in CO2. 

It's all just BS unfounded assertions below



CLIMATE change is already acknowledged as a national security risk in the US but Australia seems unprepared for what some experts are calling "the longest war".

Sherri Goodman, a former Pentagon and US Department of Defence official, has helped to develop groundbreaking reports on the links between climate change and national security.

While Australians may not yet recognise the risks, Ms Goodman told news.com.au that in the US, the link was widely accepted within the military and national security leadership.

Even Donald Trump’s new Secretary of Defence James Mattis told the Senate Armed Services Committee last month that climate change was a threat to the country’s troops.

"Climate change is impacting stability in areas of the world where our troops are operating today," Mattis reportedly confirmed in a statement.

Ms Goodman, who coined the term "threat multiplier" to describe the climate change risk, said Australia is not immune to its potentially devastating impacts.

So far, climate change is believed to have been a factor in conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Egypt.

Ms Goodman said climate change would create prolonged instability and cause underlying tensions to seep out through a variety of conflicts.

Extreme drought is thought to have created conditions in Syria and Iraq for the rise of Islamic State, as well as the Arab Spring in Egypt.

"The food crisis was the spark that lit the match for the Arab Spring because there were wheat shortages in Russia and Ukraine, and Russia stopped exporting wheat after a prolonged drought," Ms Goodman said.

"That led to a food shortage in Egypt and in other Arab Spring nations."

Ms Goodman said Australia needed to better understand these types of connections so it could prepare and take steps, not just to respond when people’s lives were at risk during a natural disaster.

"We need to understand where droughts and water scarcity and extreme weather events are becoming forcing factors in conflicts," she said.

"The climate is continuing to change because of the carbon that we’ve put into the system and so we need to understand these changes and then we need to be able to respond to them."

She said Australia was not well prepared for this "longest war", particularly as many political leaders did not accept climate change posed any problem to future prosperity.

Ms Goodman said she hoped recent extreme weather events like Cyclone Debbie, heatwaves and bushfires would be a "wake up call".

"You have the capability, you have the power within in Australia to make the country more resilient," she said.

"You’re already sort of a resource power house, but you want to be one that’s sustainable and continues its economic vitality for the rest of this century, and the way to do that is to appreciate the full range of both risks and opportunities."

HOW IT COULD IMPACT US

Australia has already been given a recent taste of the havoc that extreme weather can bring, with homeowners complaining of looting in the aftermath of flooding and wild weather created by Cyclone Debbie.

But while Australia is a robust economy and has a stable political regime, many of our neighbours are not so lucky.

"The Asia Pacific region is ‘disaster alley’ for extreme weather events and natural disasters," Ms Goodman said.

"The intensity of these events have been increasing in recent years, most likely fuelled by higher Pacific Ocean temperatures," she said.

As one example Ms Goodman highlighted the situation in the Philippines, which was one of the countries most at risk of climate change due to sea level rise and storm surges.

Importantly, it was also politically unstable, where insurgents are creating problems for an authoritarian government.

"It wouldn’t take that much to push that country over the edge and these are countries right in your region," she said.

Climate change has also been established as the biggest threat to the Great Barrier Reef, which supports 70,000 jobs within the region.

"I had the great privilege 20 years ago ... to dive in the Great Barrier Reef and it’s one of the most beautiful sites I’ve ever seen in my life," Ms Goodman said.

"Now that I know that the bleaching has changed the corals, I don’t know that I’d come back here right now. And I’m sure I’m not alone in my thinking."

While Australia’s economy may be able to survive the loss of tourism if the Great Barrier Reef was to die, Ms Goodman said other countries like Indonesia and Malaysia, may not.

"Australia is a robust economy and a resilient society but you are here as part of the coral triangle," she said.

"Can their economies withstand long-term and perhaps, permanent bleaching? I don’t know. But I think we should be all very concerned about that."

Australia is also surrounded by low lying Pacific Islands where whole populations are at risk of being flooded and losing their sovereignty within our lifetimes.

"People get desperate when they lose their homes, their food, their shelter, their water," Ms Goodman said.

"Climate change acts as an accelerant of instability," she said.

While it may not be the only cause acting to create this, climate change can aggravate existing threats like terrorism, the development of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, corruption and political instability.

"So climate becomes a threat multiplier on all of these existing threats," she said.

SOURCE

Monday, March 27, 2017


Greenie writer for hire is full of vitriol but neglects the underlying facts

Graham Readfearn is a "freelance" writer who earns his keep by writing scary stories for Left-leaning publications.  And he gets a lot of gravy from "The Guardian".  The article below is just one of his typical hit-pieces that treat as gospel all that Warmists have said and sedulously avoids real critical thinking.  He criticies James Delingpole only.  He shows no signs of critical thinking about what Warmists say.  He protects his funding. 

So it's all rather a riot below.  It sounds great if you don't know what he leaves out.  Green/Leftists always leave things out. It is their modus operandi.  They take the facts and utterances that seem to support their conclusions and ignore the rest.  They would have no case if they considered all the facts.  So let me give an example of that.  Comrade Readfearn says:

"The Great Barrier Reef has suffered mass coral bleaching three times – in 1998, 2002 and 2016"

That's true as far as it goes but it creates the false impression that those were the ONLY bleaching events.  The fact of the matter is that there have ALWAYS been bleaching events on the reef.  I grew up in and near Cairns, the main access point to the reef, and for 60 years I have been hearing that the reef  is damaged and in danger.  Yet the tourist operators are still having no difficulty taking people out to see coral in all its glory. Comrade Readfearn lies by omission. Reef tourism is in fact booming in Cairns.

And here's something else you would never guess from comrade Readfearn's report.  It is from a recent report by three prominent reef scientists:

"The bleaching, and subsequent loss of corals, is very patchy."

If the bleaching events were due to global warming you would think that the bleaching would be uniform.  Or is global warming sometimes not global?

Such cynicism is in fact well justified.  Here are some VERY awkward facts for comrade Readfearn:

Cape Grim tells us that CO2 levels have been plateaued on 401ppm since last July (midwinter)  So anything that has happened in the recent summer is NOT due to a rise in CO2. 

And NASA/GISS tell us that the December global temperature anomaly is back to .79 -- exactly where it was in 2014 before the recent El Nino event that covered the second half of 2015 and most of 2016.  So there has been no global warming in the recent Southern summer and there was no CO2 rise to cause anything anywhere anyway. 

The claim that this summer's bleaching was an effect of global warming is a complete crock for both reasons.  The data could not be clearer on that.  The seas around Northeast Australia may or may not be unusually warm at the moment but if they are it is some local effect of air and ocean currents etc. The warming in NOT a part of global warming

So that takes all the excitement away for comrade Readfearn.  He has told us at great length what a bad state the reef is in -- and a few parts ARE apparently stressed -- but his only  explanation for it is false



Breitbart's James Delingpole says reef bleaching is 'fake news', hits peak denial

A claim like this takes lashings of chutzpah, blinkers the size of Trump’s hairspray bill and more hubris than you can shake a branch of dead coral at

It takes a very special person to label the photographed, documented, filmed and studied phenomenon of mass coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef “fake news”.

You need lashings of chutzpah, blinkers the size of Donald Trump’s hairspray bill and more hubris than you can shake a branch of dead coral at.

It also helps if you can hide inside the bubble of the hyper-partisan Breitbart media outlet, whose former boss is the US president’s chief strategist.

So our special person is the British journalist James Delingpole who, when he’s not denying the impacts of coral bleaching, is denying the science of human-caused climate change, which he says is “the biggest scam in the history of the world”.

Delingpole was offended this week by an editorial in the Washington Post that read: “Humans are killing the Great Barrier Reef, one of the world’s greatest natural wonders, and there’s nothing Australians on their own can do about it. We are all responsible.”

Delingpole wrote:

Like the thriving polar bear, like the recovering ice caps, like the doing-just-fine Pacific islands, the Great Barrier Reef has become a totem for the liberal-left not because it’s in any kind of danger but because it’s big and famous and photogenic and lots and lots of people would be really sad if it disappeared. But it’s not going to disappear. That’s just a #fakenews lie designed to promote the climate alarmist agenda.

Now before we go on, let’s deal with some language here.

When we talk about the reef dying, what we are talking about are the corals that form the reef’s structure – the things that when in a good state of health can be splendorous enough to support about 69,000 jobs in Queensland and add about $6bn to Australia’s economy every year.

The Great Barrier Reef has suffered mass coral bleaching three times – in 1998, 2002 and 2016 – with a fourth episode now unfolding. The cause is increasing ocean temperatures.

“Is the Great Barrier Reef dying due to climate change caused by man’s selfishness and greed?” asks Delingpole, before giving a long list of people and groups who he thinks will answer yes, including “the Guardian” and “any marine biologist”.

“Have they been out there personally – as I have – to check. No of course not,” says Delingpole.

Yes. James Delingpole has been out there “personally” to check, but all those other people haven’t. He doesn’t say when he went but he has written about one trip before. It was back in late April 2012. Everything was fine, he said, based on that one visit. I can’t find any times when he has mentioned another trip since.

So here’s the rhetorical question – one that I can barely believe I’m asking, even rhetorically.

Why should there not be equivalence between Delingpole’s single trip to the reef (apparently taken 10 years after a previous severe case of bleaching and four years before the one that followed) at one spot on a reef system that spans the size of Italy [takes breath] and the observations of scientists from multiple institutions diving at 150 different locations to verify observations taken by even more scientists in low-flying aircraft traversing the entire length of the reef?

I mean, come on? Why can those two things – Delingpole making a boat trip with mates and a coordinated and exhaustive scientific monitoring and data-gathering exercise – not be the same?

So it seems we are now at a stage where absolutely nothing is real unless you have seen it for yourself, so you can dismiss all of the photographs and video footage of bleached and dead coral, the testimony of countless marine biologists (who, we apparently also have to point out, have been to the reef ) and the observations made by the government agency that manages the reef.

Senator Pauline Hanson and her One Nation climate science-denying colleagues tried to pull a similar stunt last year by taking a dive on a part of the reef that had escaped bleaching and then claiming this as proof that everything was OK everywhere else.

This is like trying to disprove to a doctor that you have two broken legs by showing him an MRI scan of your head (which may or not reveal the presence of a brain), and then being annoyed when he doesn’t accept your evidence.

It’s as though we’ve reached peak denial.

Last year’s bleaching on the reef was the worst episode recorded to date. The current fourth mass bleaching has scientists again taking to the field.

This month a study published in Nature, and co-authored by 46 scientists, found these three episodes had impacted reefs “across almost the entire Great Barrier Reef marine park”. Only southern offshore reefs had escaped.

Corals bleach when they are exposed to abnormally high ocean temperatures for too long. Under stress, the corals expel the algae that give them their colour and more of their nutrients.

Corals can recover but, as the study explains, even the fastest growing and most vigorous colonisers in the coral family need between 10 and 15 years to recover.

After the 2016 bleaching, a quarter of all corals on the reef, mostly located in the once “pristine” northern section, died before there was a chance for recovery.

In a further blow, the study looked at factors such as improving water quality or reducing fishing pressure and asked if these had helped corals to resist bleaching. In each case, they found they did not (although they do give reefs that survive a better chance to recover).

Essentially, the study found the only measure that would give corals on the reef a fighting chance was to rapidly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The lead author of the study, Prof Terry Hughes of James Cook University (who is this week carrying out aerial surveys of the current bleaching episode), told my Positive Feedback podcast:

We can’t climate-proof reefs. Sure, there’s stuff we need to do be doing locally around water quality and fisheries management, but doing these two things alone is not going to protect the reefs in the long term. The elephant in the room here is climate change.

Some commentators have suggested a key cause of the 2016 bleaching was the El Niño weather pattern that tends to deliver warmer global temperatures.

But Hughes says that before 1998, the Great Barrier Reef went through countless El Niños without suffering the extensive mass bleaching episodes that are being seen, photographed, filmed and documented now.

Dr Mark Eakin, head of Coral Reef Watch at the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said the cause of the modern-day mass bleaching episodes on reefs across the world was the rise in ocean temperatures.

This, says Eakin, is “being driven largely by humans and our burning of fossil fuels”.

SOURCE

Saturday, March 18, 2017



The only way to save coral reefs: A war on global warming (?)

This utter BS first came out in Australian newspapers and I commented on it then.  I found the article below in the Boston Globe, however, so the nonsense has spread.  In the circumstances, I think I should repeat and amplify my earlier comments. 

Cape Grim tells us that CO2 levels have been plateaued on 401ppm since last July (midwinter)  So anything that has happened in the recent summer is NOT due to a rise in CO2. 

And NASA/GISS tell us that the December global temperature anomaly is back to .79 -- exactly where it was in 2014 before the recent El Nino event that covered the second half of 2015 and most of 2016.  So there has been no global warming in the recent Southern summer and there was no CO2 rise to cause anything anywhere anyway. 

The claim that this summer's bleaching was an effect of global warming is a complete crock for both reasons.  The data could not be clearer on that.  The seas around Northeast Australia may or may not be unusually warm at the moment but if they are it is some local effect of air and ocean currents etc. The warming in NOT a part of global warming



Reducing pollution and curbing overfishing won't prevent the severe bleaching that is killing coral at catastrophic rates, according to a study of Australia's Great Barrier Reef. In the end, researchers say, the only way to save the world's coral from heat-induced bleaching is with a war on global warming.

Scientists are quick to note that local protection of reefs can help damaged coral recover from the stress of rising ocean temperatures. But the new research shows that such efforts are ultimately futile when it comes to stopping bleaching in the first place.

"We don't have any tools to climate-proof corals," said Terry Hughes, director of the ARC Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies in Australia and lead author of the study being published on Thursday in the journal Nature. "That's a bit sobering. We can't stop bleaching locally. We actually have to do something about climate change."

Across the world, scores of brilliantly colored coral reefs once teeming with life have in recent years become desolate, white graveyards. Their deaths due to coral bleaching have grown more frequent as ocean temperatures rise, mainly due to increasing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The hot water stresses corals, forcing them to expel the colorful algae living inside them, which leaves the corals vulnerable to disease and death. Given enough time, bleached coral can recover if the water cools, but if the temperature stays too high for too long, the coral will die.

Preserving coral reefs is crucial, given we depend on them for everything from food to medical research to protection from damaging coastal storms. Scientists and policymakers have thus been scrambling to find ways to prevent bleaching. Last year, for example, Hawaiian officials proposed several measures they hoped would fight bleaching on the state's reefs, such as limiting fishing, establishing new marine protected areas, and controlling polluted runoff from land. The question was whether such efforts could provide the corals any resistance to bleaching, or just help them recover.

The researchers conducted aerial and underwater surveys of the Great Barrier Reef, which has experienced three major bleaching events, the worst of which occurred last year. The scientists found that the severity of bleaching was tightly linked to how warm the water was. In the north, which experienced the hottest temperatures, hundreds of individual reefs suffered severe bleaching in 2016, regardless of whether the water quality was good or bad, or whether fishing had been banned. That means even the most pristine parts of the reef are just as prone to heat stress as those that are less protected.

Prior exposure to bleaching also did not appear to provide any protective benefit to the coral. The scientists found that the reefs that were highly bleached during the first two events, in 1998 and 2002, did not experience less severe bleaching last year.

Ultimately, the study concluded, saving reefs from the ravages of bleaching requires urgent action to reduce global warming.

"I think it's a wake-up call," Hughes said. "We've been hoping that local interventions with water quality and fishing would improve the resistance of the corals to bleaching. We found no evidence that that's actually true, at least during a very severe event."

The study shows that older ways of thinking about reef management, such as reducing river runoff, are now moot points when it comes to preventing bleaching, said Kim Cobb, a climate scientist and coral researcher at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta.

"It all seems so quaint now, really," said Cobb, who wasn't part of the study. "A future that we thought was decades coming is basically here."

The research also illustrated the gravity of the situation facing the 1,400-mile Great Barrier Reef. The team found 91 percent of the reef has been bleached at least once during the three bleaching events. Even more alarming, Hughes said, is that a fourth bleaching event is already underway. Corals need years to recover from bleaching, so back-to-back events increase the possibility that the bleached coral will die.

The study shows that very intense coral bleaching events are no longer isolated and are happening more regularly, said coral reef scientist Julia Baum of Canada's University of Victoria. That assertion has been further bolstered by the Great Barrier Reef's latest bleaching event, which began a few weeks ago and which Baum says has stunned scientists.

"None of us were expecting the water to be heating up again right now," Baum said. "I think it's beyond what any of us could have imagined. It's our worst nightmare."

SOURCE