web analytics
≡ Menu

 Is the Great Barrier Reef really stuffed?

  Two tales of one reef

16.04.19. In September 2015 scientists discovered a never-before-seen coral reef off the southern coast of Australia, and they claim that its diversity of colourful coral, sponges, and abundant fish species could rival the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef.
Reported in the Guardian December 7 2018: A team of researchers says it has discovered the most diverse coral site ever recorded on the Great Barrier Reef.
Great Barrier Reef Legacy, a non-profit organisation and scientist Charlie Veron, known as the godfather of coral, have identified the site on the outer reef.
In a space no longer than 500 metres, the researchers say they recorded at least 195 different species of corals on a research expedition last month.
“I’ve spent eight years working on the Great Barrier Reef in just about every nook and cranny,” Veron said. “I thought there would be nothing new for me on the Great Barrier Reef.”Veron said the reef was located in a general area that had been affected by widespread coral bleaching and coral mortality.It also appeared to have been unaffected by cyclones and other factors such as crown of thorns that threaten coral health.
Source: Fairfax Media

Radical climate action ‘critical’ to Great Barrier Reef’s survival, government body says
Australia’s top Great Barrier Reef officials warn the natural wonder will virtually collapse if the planet becomes 1.5 degrees hotter – a threshold that scientists say requires shutting down coal within three decades.
This federal election campaign is a potential tipping point for Australia’s direction on climate action, as the major parties pledge distinctly different ambitions for cutting greenhouse gas emissions.
However neither party has rejected the proposed Adani mine outright or promised to phase out coal, an export on which Australia is heavily reliant.
The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority says limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees is “critical”.
Climate change has already wrought devastating effects on the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef, including two consecutive years of mass coral bleaching in 2016 and 2017.
In response to the threat, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority – the federal government’s lead agency for managing the reef – has prepared a climate change position statement.
The document, obtained by the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age under freedom of information laws, has not been released to the general public despite being in development for the past 15 months.
It states that limiting the average global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees or below since industrial times began – the higher end of the Paris agreement target – “is critical to maintain the ecological function of the Great Barrier Reef”. The world has already warmed by 1 degree.
Ecological function refers to roles performed by the reef’s plants, animals and habitats, including providing a tourist experience. The authority has said these processes are necessary for the reef to exist.
The document cites scientific evidence that the reef could experience temperature-induced bleaching events twice per decade by about 2020 and annually by 2050 under high-emissions scenarios.
The IPCC says the global coal industry must virtually shut down by 2030 to prevent catastrophic climate change.
The authority has long said climate change is the greatest threat facing the reef. However climate action advocates say to date, it has not sufficiently emphasised the repercussions of exceeding a 1.5-degree temperature rise.
A report prepared by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in October last year said it was possible to keep warming below 1.5 degrees, but only with “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society”.
This included phasing out coal-generated electricity globally by 2050, unless unproven technology to capture carbon dioxide from coal plants was deployed.
The Morrison government has pledged to cut Australia’s emissions by 26 per cent by 2030, based on 2005 levels. Experts say the target is not in line with keeping global warming below even 2 degrees.
The government has been plagued by internal divisions over emissions and insists coal has a strong future in Australia.
It has backed the controversial Adani mine and is considering underwriting new coal-fired generation projects in a bid to boost energy reliability and affordability.
By 2030, Labor wants half of Australia’s electricity needs met from renewable sources and a 45 per cent cut to national emissions. It says a transition away from coal is inevitable, but has no plans to shut down the industry. It has expressed scepticism about the Adani mine’s future but has not pledged to stop it if Labor wins government.
The Greens say that by 2030, thermal coal exports and coal burning in Australia should cease.
WWF-Australia head of oceans Richard Leck said the reef authority’s explicit recognition of the need to stay below 1.5 degrees of warming was a “long time coming”.
“Now [a government agency] has made it absolutely clear that we need a climate policy that is consistent with 1.5 degrees or lower. We absolutely need to see that backed up by substance,” he said.
University of Queensland marine scientist Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, a lead author on IPCC reports, said the Morrison government was displaying “cognitive dissonance” by signing the Paris treaty but not taking strong climate action.
“You can’t have the Great Barrier Reef and the Adani mine, and what that [mine] represents in terms of future resource extraction. It is simply a big contradiction.”
Professor Hoegh-Guldberg said Labor’s 45 per cent target aligned “with the very best science coming from the international community”.
Labor’s climate change and energy spokesman, Mark Butler, said the party “agrees that climate change poses a severe risk to the Great Barrier Reef and real action is long overdue”.
A spokesman for Environment Minister Melissa Price said limiting climate change was important for the reef but it was “a global problem requiring a global solution, and Australia is playing its part”.
He cited the Coalition’s $3.5 billion carbon solutions package and commitment to the Paris treaty and the $443.3 million grant to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation to improve the reef’s health.

{ 9 comments… add one }
  • Graham Richards 16/04/2019, 6:57 am

    The biggest & most effective weapon of the green terrorists……Project Fear.
    The population are that brainwashed they actually fall for the BS..

    Same tactics that have been used by the left over the Brexit threat!!

  • Botswana O'Hooligan 16/04/2019, 7:23 am

    They are bludgers of the system and completely and utterly full of crap. One told me that it was imperative that we stop Chinese oil tankers traversing the reef completely ignorant of the fact that no Chinese oil tankers come within a bulls roar of the reef and in any case the waters contained by the reef are too bloody shallow.

  • Aktosplatz 16/04/2019, 7:54 am

    Nothing wrong with the GB Reef, this is the whole point of Prof. Peter Ridd’s sacking from JCU. He explained very clearly the reasons for the colour changes (which are reversible), the so-called bleaching. Has absolutely nothing to do with CO2 gas emissions.

    We are being lied to and conned.

    • Pensioner Pete 16/04/2019, 8:36 am

      Akto: You are absolutely correct. I recollect the first ‘The Great Barrier Reef is dying” scare about thirty or forty years ago, the Crown of Thorns starfish were marching down the reef destroying everything in their path. According to the ‘scientific’ studies of the day, the reef should no longer be in existence, yet the Great Barrier Reef prevails.

      These false cries of destruction are achieving the real destruction of a once thriving tourist industry in Northern Queensland along with the economic benefits which flow therefrom.

  • DT 16/04/2019, 7:54 am

    Remember the story about the little boy who cried Wolf?

  • Penguinite 16/04/2019, 9:05 am

    The GBR has been around for millennia and will be around long after we humans have out lived the human induced global warming lie! Wonder how James Cook University: Predatory behavior and staff harassment against an Academic who attempted to call them out, court deliberations are going?

    • Penguinite 16/04/2019, 9:25 pm

      News flash! Peter Ridd wins! JCU penalty pending.

  • crankykoala 16/04/2019, 9:36 am

    Alarmist Bullshit! The Great Barrier Reef extends from north of the tip of Cape York to somewhere down off Gladstone —- some 2300 Klms and one can just imagine the temperature fluctuations from north to south ( I would hazard a guess of a variation far in excess of 1.5 degrees). The reef covers 344,400 square Klms —- so just how much is bleached? Prof. Peter Ridd is the true expert.

    • Graham Richards 17/04/2019, 10:20 am

      The GBR extends all the way to Brisbane. It is however +- 300 Km off shore at this Southern extremity.

Leave a Comment