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Prof Peter Ridd, bleaching is not new, like coral spawning, we just discovered it the 1980s

Coral Spawning, Great Barrier Reef, Aerial Shot.

Coral spawning is visible from the air  | Vimeo Biopixel

From the Bolt Report, Professor Peter Ridd points out how little we know about the history of bleaching of corals. Corals have been around for 200 million years, but we only discovered coral bleaching and coral spawning in the 1980s, even though the synchronized slicks are so vast they are visible in satellite shots. When discussing whether the Great Barrier Reef going to die he says “everything that I look at says the opposite”.

Professor Peter Ridd (James Cook Uni)

“Terry Hughes is on record as saying Bleaching is a new phenomena — it never happened before the 1980s. It is an absurdity   –we just discovered it to science in the 1980s.

There is another thing the reef does that is equally spectacular — and that’s coral spawning  — three days after the full moon  in November every year the whole barrier reef, every coral virtually, releases egg bundles that float to the surface and from the air we can see these massive slicks of coral spawn on the surface. It’s incredible. we only discovered that in 1982.

Are we really suggesting that “it never happened before” that corals only discovered sex in 1982?

Of course, it’s been going on for 200 million years.

Yet, when we discovered coral bleaching in the 1980s that its anthropogenic, it’s bad, it’s us…

For background, coral spawning happens at night, the timing is tied to full moons, though happens in different months on different reefs around the world and can be confused with algal blooms.

See Peter Ridd speak on The Bolt Report

Peter Ridd is a geophysicist working at the Centre for Tropical Water and Aquatic Ecosystem Research.

h/t Marvin W

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91 comments to Prof Peter Ridd, bleaching is not new, like coral spawning, we just discovered it the 1980s

  • #
    David Maddison

    The ignorance of the Left about science is bringing about our downfall.

    324

  • #
    Mark M

    Via Sen. Malcolm Roberts, twitter:
    The Bolt Report – Rowan Dean predicts 2017 will be the year ‘the climate con comes to a halt’
    . . .
    Meh? Possibly a bit enthusiastic, but, stranger things have happened …

    312

  • #
    Rod Stuart

    There must be some lively debates at James Cook. That’s where alarmist Jose Goldberg is as well.

    211

  • #
    observa

    Peter Ridd is a geophysicist working at the Centre for Tropical Water and Aquatic Ecosystem Research.

    Well that settles it then. Clearly he’s not a climastrologist and doesn’t have access to the data and computer climate models. Just another three percenter. Nothing to see here compassionate folks. Move along.

    324

  • #
    David Maddison

    Oh, look, comments 1, 2, 3 and 4 above have all be Red Thumbed…by the very kind of anti-science activist that bought about the problem in the first place.

    334

    • #
      Another Ian

      Reading speed check –

      Mine at 1.1 ought to give a check on red thumb reading and reaction time

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      • #
        Graeme No.3

        Well, @5.44 pm. you haven’t been troll marked yet, but then the red thumbers are short handed and (frankly) not too bright.

        72

  • #
    gnome

    Say it isn’t so. 97% of climate scientists say corals don’t live in warm water.

    292

  • #
    Robert Rosicka

    Not only the warm water but more acidic as well , I predict using James cook data and models that there will be no more coral left unbleached in two years unless you send me huge amounts of money .

    272

  • #

    Er, how do you stop coral forming? A few years back divers visited the crater blasted out by the Yanks’ (largest ever) nuclear blast on Bikini Atoll and…you have to guess what was flourishing there. Go on, warmies. Guess.

    Want to kill coral on a broad scale rather than in the damage-prone fetish spots? Have an ice age. You might slow it down…but that stuff is like the lantana.

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    • #
      jorgekafkazar

      you have to guess what was flourishing there

      Man-eating plankton?

      91

      • #
        ROM

        Science Daily; April 16 2008

        Bikini Corals Recover From Atomic Blast, Although Some Species Missing

        Source:
        ARC Centre of Excellence in Coral Reef Studies
        Summary:
        Half a century after the last earth-shattering atomic blast shook the Pacific atoll of Bikini, the corals are flourishing again. Some coral species, however, appear to be locally extinct. One of the most interesting aspects is that the team dived into the vast Bravo Crater left in 1954 by the most powerful American atom bomb ever exploded (15 megatons – a thousand times more powerful than the Hiroshima bomb). The Bravo bomb vaporised three islands, raised water temperatures to 55,000 degrees, shook islands 200 kilometers away and left a crater 2km wide and 73m deep.
        &
        One of the most interesting aspects is that the team dived into the vast Bravo Crater left in 1954 by the most powerful American atom bomb ever exploded (15 megatonnes – a thousand times more powerful than the Hiroshima bomb). The Bravo bomb vapourised three islands, raised water temperatures to 55,000 degrees, shook islands 200 kilometers away and left a crater 2km wide and 73m deep.

        After diving into the crater, Zoe Richards of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and James Cook University says, “I didn’t know what to expect – some kind of moonscape perhaps. But it was incredible, huge matrices of branching Porites coral (up to 8 meters high) had established, creating thriving coral reef habitat. Throughout other parts of the lagoon it was awesome to see coral cover as high as 80 per cent and large tree-like branching coral formations with trunks 30cm thick. It was fascinating – I’ve never seen corals growing like trees outside of the Marshall Islands.

        “The healthy condition of the coral at Bikini atoll today is proof of their resilience and ability to bounce back from massive disturbances, that is, if the reef is left undisturbed and there are healthy nearby reefs to source the recovery.”

        However the research has also revealed a disturbingly high level of loss of coral species from the atoll. Compared with a famous study made before the atomic tests were carried out, the team established that 42 species were missing compared to the early 1950s. At least 28 of these species losses appear to be genuine local extinctions probably due to the 23 bombs that were exploded there from 1946-58, or the resulting radioactivity, increased nutrient levels and smothering from fine sediments.

        “The missing corals are fragile lagoonal specialists – slender branching or leafy forms that you only find in the sheltered waters of a lagoon,” Zoe explains. While corals in general have shown resilience, Zoe adds that the coral biodiversity at Bikini Atoll has proven only partially resilient to the disturbances that have occurred there.

        ————–

        Brookings Institute; Castle Bravo thermo nuclear Test; March 1st 1954.

        Whereas Ivy Mike was a “wet” thermonuclear device (meaning that the hydrogen isotope used in the device was liquid), Castle Bravo was a “dry” device, which greatly reduced its weight and size. Castle Bravo was the first deliverable thermonuclear device, and the test aimed to pave the way for the creation of more effective weapons, including weapons that could be deliverable by aircraft.

        The designers of Castle Bravo seriously miscalculated the yield of the device, resulting in critical radiation contamination. They predicted that the yield of the device would be roughly five to six megatons (a megaton is the equivalent of one million tons of TNT). Scientists were shocked when Castle Bravo produced an astounding 15 megaton yield, making it 1,000 times as powerful as the U.S. nuclear weapons used on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. The miscalculation occurred because scientists did not realize that the “dry” source of fusion fuel, lithium deuteride with 40 percent content of lithium-6 isotope, would contribute so greatly to the overall yield of the detonation.

        The Castle Bravo device weighed approximately 23,500 pounds. The mushroom cloud formed after the detonation grew to nearly four-and-a-half miles wide and reached a height of 130,000 feet six minutes after the detonation. The crater left behind has a diameter of 6,510 feet and a depth of 250 feet. Despite its immense power, the Castle Bravo test is only the fifth largest test in history. With a yield of 50 megatons, the Tsar Bomba, tested by the Soviet Union in October 1961, holds the record for the largest nuclear test.

        92

        • #
          ROM

          Nature Middle East.

          Deep-sea corals in the Red Sea: reservoirs of hope

          The very existence of deep-sea corals in their extreme Red sea environments opens new horizons for research.

          For 250 years, marine biologists concurred that deep-sea corals could only live in cold-water habitats. The recent discovery of these organisms in the Red Sea has brought a new understanding of how these corals respond to Earth’s changing climate.
          Despite a sighting of coral skeletons by Austrian zoologist Eric Marenzeller more than a century ago, the warmer, saltier waters of the Red Sea have generally been considered inhospitable to corals. But marine biologist Christian Voolstra at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) offers a different perspective.

          In December 2011, Voolstra’s team followed up on Marenzeller’s observation, with the benefit of technological developments improving access to deep-water sites. Using a remotely operated vehicle and a submarine to sample depths of 200-800m, they found six deep-sea coral species at four sites in the Red Sea, including two new species and one known to exist in cold waters elsewhere. The other three species were observed but not collected for analysis.

          “The Red Sea is a very warm environment without a lot of the processes that deep-sea organisms rely upon,” explains Voolstra. “People pretty much assumed they couldn’t exist.”

          Marine researchers have reported that his findings overturned their assumptions about how deep-sea corals work and have since accumulated increasing evidence about the surprising physiological flexibility which enables deep-sea and shallow-water corals to tolerate the higher temperatures and salinities found across the Red Sea water basin.

          For example, a recent study investigated the cosmopolitan shallow-water coral species Pocillopora verrucosa, which grows in a range of temperatures along latitudes from the north to the south of the Red Sea1. In another study, a globally distributed deep-sea coral species from the Red Sea, Eguchipsammia fistula, was shown to tolerate a range of physiological conditions, which may partially explain its widespread presence.
          &
          Corals have a longstanding reputation as static organisms with poor prospects in the face of climate change, but Voolstra’s work has helped reverse this misconception. “Corals are very successful evolutionarily. They’ve been here for the last 250 million years,” he explains. “Many other animals and plants died out in that time, so they must have found a way to adapt.”

          Ecosystems are capable of adjusting, but you need enough genetic variation to select from.
          One of the underlying factors to their adaptability may be the symbiotic relationship corals have with the algae within their cells. Shallow-water corals get the bulk of their energy from these photosynthetic algae and together they constitute a ‘metaorganism’. The KAUST team discovered that different algae were associated with coral species in different environments, though they have yet to clearly demonstrate a functional link between the symbiont and the corals’ plasticity.

          The importance of symbiotic microorganisms has become increasingly clear in the past decade. Biologists have discovered that symbiotic bacteria, fungi, and protists living with or within plants and animals, known as the microbiome, are intimately involved in a variety of processes, from metabolism to immunity. The microbiome extends the host’s capabilities until the line between the symbiotic partners blurs.

          Like other animals, corals are hosts to a microbiome, which Voolstra’s team found is less structured and more diverse in corals from poorer habitats than those in more favourable environments3.

          Together, the coral, the photosynthetic algae, and the microbiome form a symbiotic triumvirate called the coral holobiont.

          This may explain how corals can quickly adapt to change despite their long generation time. Rather than relying on a beneficial mutation to spread by selection, coral populations might rapidly adjust by changing their associated microorganisms to alter the holobiont’s physiological capacity.

          In addition, the shorter lifespans of algae and bacteria mean beneficial mutations can spread in days rather than decades. As a result, the coral metaorganism adapts and evolves much more rapidly than the coral animal partner would by itself.

          ———————-

          Nature; 2013

          First biological measurements of deep-sea corals from the Red Sea

          Abstract
          It is usually assumed that metabolic constraints restrict deep-sea corals to cold-water habitats, with ‘deep-sea’ and ‘cold-water’ corals often used as synonymous. Here we report on the first measurements of biological characters of deep-sea corals from the central Red Sea, where they occur at temperatures exceeding 20°C in highly oligotrophic and oxygen-limited waters.
          Low respiration rates, low calcification rates, and minimized tissue cover indicate that a reduced metabolism is one of the key adaptations to prevailing environmental conditions.
          We investigated four sites and encountered six species of which at least two appear to be undescribed.
          One species is previously reported from the Red Sea but occurs in deep cold waters outside the Red Sea raising interesting questions about presumed environmental constraints for other deep-sea corals.
          Our findings suggest that the present understanding of deep-sea coral persistence and resilience needs to be revisited.

          62

      • #
        RAH

        Oh come on guys! From the time I was a tyke I learned from the movies that super species result from nuclear radiation. From Godzilla to Horror of Party Beach and at least 25 other films! Where the heck have you guys been? ;-)

        30

      • #
        mike restin

        No silly, Godzilla!

        20

  • #
    TdeF

    Now that’s a physicist speaking. Gravity did not exist because of Newton. Radioactivity was not started by Madame Curie. Cricks and Watson did not invent the double helix DNA. However Xerox did invent the mouse.

    In the last century mankind has invented a great number of things like jet engines and the internet, but we did not invent coral, nor care much about it until James Cook ran into it and he wouldn’t have been thrilled by the lovely colours. You have to assume that Kangaroos, coral and gravity and the planet can exist quite happily without us. Who would think coral had a sex life? Maybe it is just pining for the Fjords?

    As for CO2 making the planet disastrously warmer, that isn’t true, isn’t likely and simply a wild theory but somehow it controls the behaviour of coral? I know crazy religions which make more sense. More Climate Scientology.

    242

    • #
      TdeF

      Or at least the integrated screen and mouse windows like system as invented by Xerox Palo Alto laboratories where Steve Jobs first saw it.

      81

      • #
        sophocles

        And the Antarctic Ozone Hole was “discovered” in 1984.

        In the 1950s, until it’s “discovery,” it was known as the Antarctic Ozone Anomaly or just the Antarctic Anomaly.

        CFC prodution didn’t ramp up to any real quantities until the late 1970s. But Mt Erebus started its present on-going eruption in 1972, emitting 1000tons of Chlorine per day.

        172

        • #
          theRealUniverse

          One of the worlds top ionospheric scientist told me personally that ozone holes are quite normal and been around for as long as theres been an ionosphere. That was about in 1986 when i was a research assistant. Thats about when the panic started and a really good refrigerant was banned for another scientific fraud, the CFC scare. Wasnt long after that they dreamed up how to ramp up the attack on hydrocarbon fuels…and here we are.

          131

        • #
          TdeF

          That ozone hole explanation does not make sense. If CFC’s were the problem, why is the ozone hole in the Southern Hemisphere?
          Only 2% of people live South of the Tropic of Capricorn. Australia, NZ, South Africa, Chile and Argentina and little else. The rest live largely in the Northern Hemisphere but they don’t have a hole in their Ozone layer? So it is now cheaper to buy a new Chinese refrigerator or airconditioner and let all the CFCs into the air than pay $1K per kg for new gas. Once again Western democracies pay and China benefits.

          Why do the Greens love communism? They were supposed to love the environment, but as Tony Abbott said, it was just socialism masquerading as environmentalism.

          152

          • #
            theRealUniverse

            So true..I thought that at the time.

            20

          • #
            sophocles

            TdeF said:

            If CFC’s were the problem, why is the ozone hole in the Southern Hemisphere?

            Maybe it’s because the Arctic has special ozone? :-)

            You’re right, it doesn’t make sense. Neither does the CFC to Free Chlorine to ozone depletion make much sense.
            There’s a lot more ozone up there from other sources.

            The Arctic gets ozone holes. The last one was March 2011 (?). It seems to be connected to very low air temperatures around -50oC. That’s a normal springtime temperature at the South Pole so the Anarctic Hole is also “normal.” The Arctic air dropped to around -50oC in the middle of March 2011 (a pretty cold winter in the NH) and there it was.

            Only 2% of people live South of the Tropic of Capricorn.

            The Antarctic is a desert. Only mad scientists winter over and that could be less than 100 people. So it’s not only a desert but effectively an unpopulated desert.

            The Ozone Hole appears to be fully contained in the Auroral circle at each pole (scroll down the page linked … it’s on the LHS). The size of the auroral circle seems to depend on the solar wind speed/strength. Considering the energy being dumped into that column of atmosphere from the SW, there doesn’t seem to be any impediment to the ozone level in that column varying.

            Looking at NASA’s Ozone-Watch pages the variation in area of the ozone hole is not particularly large. (To NH Arctic page. Nor is the variation of ozone quantity. Business as usual.

            What makes the “science” about ozone holes suspicious is the poor prediction. A large hole was projected ) for the Arctic in the NH spring for this year. It didn’t eventuate.
            A few years ago, a lot of volcanic released chlorine and other “ozone depleting” chemicals in a large plume was heading for the Arctic. NASA issued a warning about a possible Arctic ozone hole. They were wrong. It didn’t happen.
            Shades of climate model predictions …ah projections since 1990 … :-(
            It translates into erroneous articles such as this one.

            But Wait! There’s More. According to modellers, the ozone hole is “is showing signs of healing.” The graphs at ozonewatch don’t show that so much. The downturn could just be the current (low) solar activity.

            But Wait! There’s still more! The Montreal Protocol was created in 1989, close to when the CFC patents were about to (or had) run out. Earlier this year — 25 or so years later, CHCs, the replacement refrigerant, have been added to the Montreal Protocol. Perhaps their patents are about to expire.

            30

            • #
              sophocles

              Errata:
              there’s a lot more ozone up there from other sources

              should be

              there’s a lot more Chlorine up there from other sources.
              (325,000 tonnes from Mount Erebus,
              600,000,000 tonnes from sea spray from the Southern Ocean. )

              ‘Pologies.
              (this keyboard still makes mistakes…)

              20

      • #
        Raven

        Yes, Xerox PARC didn’t really have an plans for their mouse/windows/icons invention and it was more or less languishing in their labs.
        It took a visionary like Steve Jobs to see the potential for making a few bob.

        This is not unlike CO2.
        It was languishing around in the atmosphere with no real plan until Maurice Strong came along.
        Just like Jobs, Maurice Strong saw a way to make money out of an innocent and minuscule amount of a natural gas.

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  • #
    TdeF

    Also there are corals in much hotter water, but warmists are always looking to explain why they are wrong

    “In Eritrea the coral is not only surviving these warm temperatures but is thriving. It is thought that there might be a heat resistant algae that exists in coral in the Red Sea. If this algae can be extracted, scientists believe there may be a way of saving coral around the world from bleaching.”

    They just refuse to accept that after millions of years animals can adapt and have done so through 200 million years. Humans can but apparently coral polyps are just not smart enough, according to much smarter scientists who really need research funds to survive. Given that homosapiens are only 100,000 years old, I would back the polyps to be around much longer and they did survive the dinosaurs, mass extinctions and the movement of the continents. We have yet to get through the 21st century. I wonder if coral polyps worry about us?

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    • #

      Are you aware that there are different species living in different places?

      21

    • #

      and another thing… how long have these polyp species been around? Lots of phylogenetic studies about that suggest some are of the same order of Magnitude as humans and some extremely recent. Although it does not surprise me, you are not comparing alike taxa. Instead of humans you might need to consider primates and even, arguably, vertebrates vs polyp.

      Alternatively, admit that you don’t understand evolution and do some reading rather than assuming that your top of the head thoughts are correct.

      21

  • #
    Rereke Whakaaro

    … coral spawning happens at night, the timing is tied to full moons …

    From what I remember of my youth, night time spawning, in the light of a full moon, is not a phenomina restricted to coral.

    243

  • #

    People say I’m a typical St George supporter, remembering youth, living in the past. They wouldn’t have dared say that to my face in 1956.

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  • #
    Brad

    I grew up with a grandfather who taught geology at UNM in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA. My global history was taught in millions and billions of years, so thinking about changes in 10s of years simply makes no sense.

    182

  • #
    David Maddison

    O/T
    Watching the Left-Green war against Western industrial society and the destruction of our power grids built over the last century or so leaves me nostalgic for the history of the Industrial Revolution that made our Civilisation.

    I am watching on TV now the following program. You might want to check it out.

    I just discovered the episodes are available on YouTube! Search “How Britain Worked”.

    TITLE How Britain Worked
    “Guy Martin celebrates the workers of the Industrial Revolution by helping to restore some of the 19th century’s most impressive engineering achievements.”

    80

  • #
    TinyCO2

    The way I always thought coral worked, was that it was a thin skin of living corel stood on the dead structures of earlier corels. The ocean is full of creatures and plants looking for a home. Thus a ship that sinks at the right spot, quickly gets colonised. A bleached reef might be temporarily unsuitable but would quickly look like prime corel real estate.

    60

    • #
      TdeF

      Yes, but it is the Armageddon scenario the Greens want. Cities drowning. Polar bears drowning. Coral Polyps getting slightly warmer and not able to cope? Tragedy and all the fault of the motor car and the consumer society and democracy.

      We must not forget the original Global Warming scenario, 0.5C in ten years so by Green arithmetic, +5C in 100 years and the end of the world. Now that 30 years have passed, we are being told that this year is the warmest ever, they hope. I thought we were supposed to be +2.0C warmer by now?

      However to keep this going, the warmists have to prevent any year being colder than the previous. That must take some serious homogenizing by the usual suspects. If the world gets colder, even by 0.01C, no one will believe Global Warming. So fearing the worst, we now have Climate Change, except no one understands what that is, which is the idea. It seems a catch all for every change, even coral bleaching which obviously is someone’s fault. It can’t be natural. Can it?

      121

  • #
    ROM

    TdeF @ #15

    But did you see The Oz this morning and the long articles on how the progressives hard left greens and academics in Sydney and elsewhere are bypassing schools just down the street because they are full of the ethnic dark skinned kids of recent immigrants and are taking their precious little white skinned bundles across town to nice expensive schools that are populated by mostly white skinned pupils from well endowed white skinned parents.

    The same progressive left green high income inner city latte sippers and academic types who are demanding that the government let in any riff raff from anywhere into Australia otherwise if we don’t, the “World will see”that we are a racist nation devoid of compassion.

    Just another out of an endless litany of outright hypocrisy and hubris from the progressive left of “Do as I say, Not as I do” and as for those immigrants, sending our kids to a school where our little dears might be contaminated by them , No way! “Not in my backyard”.

    My utter contempt for these hypocritical arrogant leftist inner city greens and progressives just keeps on growing day by day.

    200

  • #
    Carbon500

    I wonder what the ‘red thumber’ is hoping to achieve? I’m using the singular for convenience. Clearly whoever it is hasn’t got the knowledge or courage to enter into a discussion.
    Perhaps it’s a feeble attempt to discredit the website, by trying to convince visitors that someone very knowledgeable has read what has been posted, and considers that the posting is nonsense?
    Let me guess. Young, didn’t do too much science at school, believes what the media, Al Gore and the rabble at the ‘Skeptical Science’ website say, and isn’t inclined to question or think for himself (I doubt it’s a woman) or consider alternative arguments or data.

    80

  • #
    Raven

    Over this last year or so, the GBR propaganda has been quite relentless from their ABC and friends.
    I wonder how much tourism income has been lost as a result.

    The point being, of course, that if you’re operating a reef snorkelling boat for foreign visitors, you’re going to take them to the nice places on the reef in any case.
    Even if there are bleached patches close to your base, of course you aren’t going to take them there.

    People go to Pompeii to see the ruins etc.
    No one ever worries about the other probably 95% of Pompeii that no longer exists at all.

    50

  • #
    • #
      TdeF

      An ‘evolutionary biologist’ who does not believe in survival of the fittest and evolution? That is from a change so small that it is hardly detectable except with modern instruments? Already deadly climate change and widespread extinctions of 50% of species from an alleged change of 0.8C in an average over 100 years? Absolute nonsense. I cannot believe the author has any qualifications in this field.

      70

    • #
      Uncle Gus

      He is, quite simply, a liar.

      It’s a lie that only non-scientists and the extremely unobservant will believe, but the intent to deceive is plain. “Local extinction” is not the same as species extinction, not even nearly!

      I shouldn’t be shocked when I see a respected scientist do this, after all this time, but somehow I still am.

      70

  • #
    Harry Twinotter

    The Bolt Report? Classy.

    A good chunk of the GBR died during the 2016 Great El Nino. Oceans are warming so another chunk will die during the next Great El Nino. It all depends on how well the reef recovers between the El Ninos.

    311

    • #
      Rereke Whakaaro

      Warning: Brain-storm of questions:

      For how long, have El Nino’s been occurring? What is their frequency? How long does an average El Nino last? At what water temperature does bleaching occur? What is the optimum temperature range for coral to thrive? What is the recovery rate, after bleaching occurs? What free-swiming preditors does living coral have? How do populations of preditors vary, in relation to in the reef? What part of the frequency spectrum causes bleaching? What part of the frequency spectrum encourages coral growth? What other potential causes of bleaching were considered and researched in relation to the 2016 bleaching. Can bleaching be reproduced in the laboratory, and under what circumstances?

      I may have more questions, after my next coffee.

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      • #

        ENSO and the climate as we know it began around 1980, along with GOES-4 sat, polar vortices, lake effect, supercells, superstorms and Do That To Me One More Time by The Captain & Tennille.

        Before that we had…stuff happening. Like the globe-wrapping heat/drought of the 1870s, the cooling/drought of the late 1630s that broke the Ming, the East Indian drought that nearly killed Sydney in its infancy; the serial monsoon failures of 1756-1768 that brought down several kingdoms in Asia while killing tens of millions…

        You know. Stuff. Apparently it was volcanoes. Or something.

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      • #
        Harry Twinotter

        Rereke Whakaaro.

        I do not know. You can go look these things up if you like.

        23

    • #
      tom0mason

      Harry Twinotter,

      Just two things,

      1. If the corals are dead(?) by what mechanism do they recover? (Resurrection?)
      2. How many times in this coral reef’s time on earth has this happened before?

      Given that we’re very ignorant of coral reefs complete life cycle, there is nothing to say that coral bleaching is not a natural cyclic event in the life of the coral.

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      • #
        Rereke Whakaaro

        I find it hard to take the vapourous hand-wringers seriously.

        The thought processes seem to be:

        “OMG! there is an effect that I haven’t noticed before. So it must be something new, and the result of a chanage!

        What has changed recently?

        I know! There were three more skiboats over the reef this year, compared to last year, so the change must have been due to them!

        We need to ban all skiboats from near the reef.

        Better still, and since boats and ships burn fossil fuels, and polute the reef, we need to put a hefty tax on all fuels used for maritime activities!

        Having a tax on maritime fuels should save the coral.

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      • #
        Harry Twinotter

        tomomason.

        “1. If the corals are dead(?) by what mechanism do they recover? (Resurrection?)”

        The dead coral gets recolonized by new coral.

        “How many times in this coral reef’s time on earth has this happened before?”

        No idea. What is the point of your question? The GBR is not one gigantic organism, it is a community of separate organisms.

        24

    • #
      Glen Michel

      Did you wet the bed again Harry?

      62

  • #
    Roy Hogue

    we just discovered it the 1980s

    Every kid growing up discovers sex at some point. And for a while some of them do act as if they’re the first in the world to make that discovery. But then reality finally takes hold and they realize they aren’t the first to know about it. I wonder why the science world always thinks that just discovering something means it just started. The list seems long: warming and cooling of the Earth; melting and refreezing of Arctic ice; the “ozone hole”; bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef… …and… …so-on.

    I wonder when they will wake up.

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    • #
      Rereke Whakaaro

      … the science world always thinks that just discovering something means it just started.

      That’s a good observation, Roy.

      In my part of the world, schools have tended to rebrand “history” as “social studies”. This makes it more relevent to to becoming a citizen, but has the side effect of shortening the time-span of history that is addressed by the curriculum.

      So I am working with very bright people, who know how to get business done in the real world; but have little understanding of what has worked in the past, and what has proven to be disasterous.

      They get annoyed when I start asking “what-if” questions. And then they get even more annoyed when they realise, that they don’t have the answers.

      “Those who do not understand history, are doomed to repeat it.” Variously, Edmund Burke or George Santayana.

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        Roy Hogue

        I could postulate a reason for the mindset that says I just discovered it, thus it just started. It may be worthless or it may explain something about humans. The ever present need for recognition tends to demand that you get widespread attention for your discovery and usually the only way you can get that kind of attention is if you can tell everyone they have a serious problem and the worse the problem the better. There is probably a built-in bias in this direction something like confirmation bias.

        Now, which is the easier scenario to sell, it’s been there possibly for hundreds or thousands of years but it’s still a problem or, it’s brand new thus it really represents trouble that we need to address immediately?

        I think that question answers itself.

        And if that’s not it then I don’t know why it happens but as you point out, it is rather easy to see when it pops up.

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    John Fleming

    I remember being on the Great Barrier Reef in the early ’80′s….
    I sincerely hope it wasn’t anything that I did….

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      Rereke Whakaaro

      It doesn’t matter, John.

      Whether it was something you did or not, the thirty-something’s will blame you for it.

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    Rosco

    What truly amazes me is that an animal that lives almost exclusively in the tropics – certainly the case for reefs near sea level – is so vulnerable to luke warm water ??

    I think there mus be some other explanation – after all some corals are exposed to the sun at low tide and somehow survive.

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    Svend Ferdinandsen

    ” I wonder why the science world always thinks that just discovering something means it just started.”
    It is most common in climate. When a climateer sees an iceberg calve from a glacier, it is the end of world, because he has never been there before to see it.
    If the snow slides off his roof he should be happy. If it was not sliding off he might experience a real collapse.

    The GBR is used as a poster child for GW as the sea ice and glaciers, but it can turn around very fast. Antactic sea ice was not mentioned untill it this year reduced more than normal.
    By the way, is there any more corals to die, haven’t they died several times in the latest 20 years. Amazing there are some left that can still die.

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    Ruairi

    True science is way out of reach,
    For alarmists who prattle and preach,
    That ’82 was the year,
    Which confirmed their worst fear,
    That man caused the corals to bleach.

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    Hasbeen

    In 1972 I did my first cruise of the reef in my yacht. I left Sydney in April, & started heading back when the northerlies started in October.

    I was talking to an outer reef line fisherman I’d got to know at Middle Percy Island, & complaining about the brown & yellow scum on the water in huge areas. The yellow was not too bad, but the brown stained the paint anywhere it was allowed to dry.

    This bloke from Mackay was about 45 years old, had been fishing the outer reef since he was 14, so did not have much science education.

    However he told me it was coral spore, & explained how coral all released their sperm over 2 nights.

    Isn’t it interesting that this was a well known phenomena to the lowly educated fisherman, but academics had never heard of it.

    Just an example of how insular, & poorly informed on most things they are. Obviously to them the lifetime knowledge of a bright, but not well educated fisherman would never be of use or interest to them. Perhaps they would be better informed if they got out more.

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      Rereke Whakaaro

      An academic friend of mine defines Academic Specialisation as; the manifestation of people, trying to learn more, and more, about less, and less.

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      Isn’t it interesting that this was a well known phenomena to the lowly educated fisherman, but academics had never heard of it.

      nice story but wrong. What you are saying is that you don’t know what the scientists knew.

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        thought I’d trace it a bit

        try here
        The breeding of reef animals. Part 1. The corals.
        By: Marshall, S. M.; Stephenson, T. A.
        Scientific Reports Great Barrier Reef Expedition Volume: 3 Pages: pp. 219-246 Published: 1933

        or a routine description like here

        MODE AND TIMING OF REPRODUCTION IN SOME COMMON HERMATYPIC CORALS OF HAWAII AND ENEWETAK
        By: STIMSON, JS
        MARINE BIOLOGY Volume: 48 Issue: 2 Pages: 173-184 Published: 1978

        and old review like this with very old citations

        Population ecology of reef-building corals
        By: Connell, J.H.
        Edited by: Jones, O.A.; Endean, R.
        Biology and geology of coral reefs Volume: 2 Pages: 205-245 Published: 1973
        Publisher: Academic Press, New York

        Can I suggest that the aboriginal people knew about this many thousands of years ago.

        What the fishermen and earlier people didn’t do was systematically measure the timing, water chemistry, cellular metabolites, genes etc that scientists do to try to understand how the whole system works. Maybe Hasbeen hears media reports of scientists studying these things and finding out new stuff and misconstrues this to mean that they “had never heard of it” prior to their study?

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          moderation for mentioning a racio/ethnic goroup?

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          Hasbeen

          Gee Aye, I ran a fleet of tourist boats in the Whitsundays. I had considerable dealings with the Marine Park people, AIMS & James Cook. I know damn well how poorly informed most of them are, & how little they ever actually do on the reef.

          Playing with synthetic environments in tanks on the mainland, like computer models of water, is more their speed.

          I took the entire board, & a number of researchers of the marine park out to Hardy reef before it was gazetted. I had one fool “scientists” telling me we didn’t have long before the crown of thorns put us out of business.

          When I told him that I & my staff had only found 2 of them in the area in the last 6 months, he told me we must not know what they looked like.

          My offer of transport to & accommodation on the reef, so he could look himself was rejected.

          Useless garbage, wasting taxpayer funds.

          We had a number of PhD students we gave transport & accommodation to, who made sense, it must have only after they graduated they became such dick heads.

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            Hasbeen

            One other thought. Don’t you remember the big announcement when the Townsville lot told us of their momentous discovery of this spawning event? If not you must have been sleeping under a log, it went on for days.

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    Egor TheOne

    Save the Corals? Its always save something with the usual crowd of scientific illiterates!

    Why is it that so many things now need saving, but even when ignored, seem to thrive.

    And all this is over how many degrees of warming?…. 0.7c in about 130 years, most of which is natural.

    And if not, then the hysterical activists should then hold their breaths as to not increase thy problem they claim exists, along with their CAGW high priests jet setting around the globe to attend all their climate junkets!

    Or are the rules different for the true b’lver brethren, especially the pontificators of this CAGW ratbagism?

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    Harry Twinotter

    “Bleaching is a new phenomena — it never happened before the 1980s.” – Terry Hughes.

    No reference to this quote is provided. So it could be a misquote.

    I did find some quotes that imply MASS coral bleaching was virtually unknown before the 1980s.

    http://www.globalcoralbleaching.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Infographic2.jpg

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    Alan

    Apologies if someone has already corrected this but corals have been around a lot longer than 200 million yrs. In fact corals were abundant throughout the Palaeozoic Era, between 545 and 251 million years ago. A great example are the Devonian Reef Complexes in the Canning Basin WA. Rugose and tabulate corals became extinct at the end of the Palaeozoic (251 mya), after which the modern reef-building corals, or scleractinians, arose early in the Mesozoic Era.

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        Alan

        Oh sorry just trying to provided you with factual information, but then reading your comments elsewhere what more could I expect from a total knob/nob (take your pick on the spelling variation)

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          OK… does your information mean anything in the context of this discussion. Please let us know.

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            Alan

            Would have thought that was pretty obvious really, but then …
            1) Correct the information on how long corals have existed on this planet ie. twice as long as Peter Ridd had stated. I think it was Mark Twain who said “Get your facts first; then you can distort them as you please”
            2) Gee Aye boy they have survived a few worrying times in their long history so I don’t think a small shift in water temperature is going to have much impact in geological terms.

            Now you can go and do a little research of your own and see what a broad range of conditions corals can and have survived in – your end of term assignment or is your special school done for the year?

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