JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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Busted: Reef fish aren’t bothered by “acidification” and James Cook Uni isn’t bothered by potential fraud.

“Clark et al. (2020) found 100% replication failure. None of the findings of the original eight studies were found to be correct.”

Scientists tried to repeat eight experiments that showed “acidification” would make reef fish get hyper, act like their predators smell nice, and generally swim in the wrong circles, behave weirdly and need therapy sessions. Turns out the fish will be OK, but James Cook Uni’s reputation may never recover. The original junk experiments and press releases came out of the coral reef centre at JCU.

This is the “replication crisis” Peter Ridd warned us about. He was fired from  JCU in 2018 after stating that work from JCU’s coral reef centre (ARCCoE)  was not trustworthy. He also helped expose manipulated photos of reef fish. Obviously this latest reef research shows he  was right to be concerned about quality assurance at JCU. One JCU researcher, Oona Lönnstedt, had already been caught fabricating data in Sweden, and yet JCU “investigated” and sacked Ridd faster than it investigated her suspicious lionfish shots. Indeed, two years on, JCU has not even officially appointed the committee to investigate her potentially fraudulent work. It seems JCU would rather employ untrustworthy scientists than honest ones.

[...]

Global Mystery: Barrier Reef dying, total panic, but no one cares enough to measure growth for last 15 years?

Fifteen years of missing data tells us everything we need to know

Peter Ridd and Jennifer Marohasy are continuing to follow up on the death of the Great Barrier Reef. Strangely, while everyone professes to care, and cry, and Malcolm Turnbull casually tossed half a billion at it, we see the extremely radioactive oddity that no one is worried enough to bother measuring the actual supposed decline of the seventh wonder of the modern world. Fifteen years is a long time to overlook that. Many panicked press releases have gone under the bridge yet apparently AIMS (and all the others) just want to keep quoting the shrinking growth rates, but not keep track of them.

On top of that, Peter Ridd and Jennifer Marohasy have spotted a pretty major flaw in the methodology for that much quoted study that claims growth on the reef has slowed by 15% from 1990 to 2005. If that number is right, the reef will have ground down to a 30% decline by now [in growth rate]. Disaster, disaster. Worthy of a hundred press releases and a thousand grants. So either it just hasn’t occurred to AIMS et al to keep studying the reef they [...]

Great Barrier Reef lives, misrepresents The Guardian and Expert who said corals were dead

Stone Island is the reef that put Peter Ridd’s career on the road to the high court. Last week Jennifer Marohasy released a mini documentary showing corals around Stone Island that weren’t supposed to be there. It was a bad look for Dr Tara Clark, the expert who had said the corals were gone.

This week Graham Readfearn hit back with “Scientists say rightwing think tank misrepresented her Great Barrier Reef study”. Apparently Marohasy must have used a right wing camera or something.  (Those corals you saw are not really corals). If only Readfearn had not used a left wing keyboard, where the only truths it could tell were projections of his own flaws onto everything else.

Dr Clark apparently now denies she said the corals were all dead. Saying “We never claimed that there were no Acropora corals present in 2012.” Poor Guardian readers, as usual, get spoon-fed thin slices of technicalities and weasel words, never the whole truth.

This picture was taken with Jen Marohasy’s drone, Skido, looking south east towards the edge of Pink Plate Reefon 26th August 2019.

Are you now or have you ever been an Acropora coral?

In reply Jennifer Marohasy just quotes the [...]

According to Nature these corals do not exist

Jennifer Marohasy dives on Beige Reef near Stone Island with Walter Stark, and Emmy Award winning cinematographer Clint Hempsall.

The aim was just to record what was there… don’t believe your lying eyes.

Fortunately, this science is not peer reviewed.

Jennifer’s blog and the IPA.

 

Coral reef totally recovers (for 400th time) and researchers surprised

If only coral researchers read skeptic blogs, they’d know that corals have been getting bleached and wrecked by cyclones for millions of years. They have adaptable genes, honed by 500 million years of natural selection, plus epigenetic tricks, and with safe zones to seed recovery. The Great Barrier Reef spans 2,000 kilometers and five degrees Celsius from 27 to 32°C and we’re still finding reefs we didn’t even know about. The pH swings on a daily basis, and fish do better when it does. One coral has adapted to ocean “acidification” in 6 months. Other fish remarkably adapted from salt to freshwater in just fifty years. As Peter Ridd says: Of all the ecosystems in the world, the reef is one that’s best at adapting to climate change.

So once again, corals have recovered — and yet the “experts” who wear their dogma covered glasses didn’t see it coming.

‘Teeming with life’: New hope for the Great Barrier Reef as island shows remarkable coral growth

By Melissa Martin and Erin Semmler, ABC

One Tree Island was lashed by Cyclone Hamish in 2009, destroying much of the island’s coral.

In the five years following the cyclone, no [...]

Peter Ridd’s Court Case — Free Speech versus James Cook Uni

The court case is on Day Two of a three day process.

For the latest see GideonRozner on twitter

Also discussing JCU’s search of Peter’s email account.

Judge: ‘Isn’t JCU going through Professor Ridd’s emails itself a breach of confidentiality that is meant to apply in the disciplinary process? This is totally contrary to the spirit of the EBA.’

— Gideon Rozner (@GideonCRozner) March 27, 2019

 

Peter Ridd Challenges James Cook Uni Sacking

Charlie Pell in The Australian, 2016

The first alleged breach of the code occurred in April 2016, when Professor Ridd emailed a journalist to allege that images given to the media by the Australian Institute of Marine Science and Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority were misleading.

Professor Ridd said the images of bleached coral reefs near Stone Island, off the coast of Bowen in north Queensland, were misleading because they showed poorly affected corals, which were selected over nearby healthy coral and used to show “broad scale decline” of reef health.

Field technicians working for Professor Ridd took photos in the same vicinity as the bleaching pictures supplied by the university and GBRMPA which showed [...]

IPCC Coral-apocalypse: 243,000 km² of Great Barrier Reef corals to die in only 20 years

Wise Hok Wai Lum: Flynn Reef 2014.

That’s it for corals.

The IPCC have gone full apocalyptic: “Coral reefs would decline by 70 to 90 per cent with warming of 1.5°C…” And this catastrophic prophesy will unfold sometime around 2040. (See the graph).

The IPCC are practically holding the Great Barrier Reef Hostage. Things are so dire, the Financial Review has just declared that the next election is the Great Barrier Reef election.

In the game of fine-tuning the carrot and stick, it’s all bad, but there is hope.

Right now the reef covers 348,700 km². And if we are good boys and girls we might only lose 243,000 km²:

Scientists say Australia has a chance to save 30 per cent of the Great Barrier Reef if immediate global changes are made to stop temperature rises.

This news will come as a shock to corals on the Great Barrier Reef which are obliviously living across a range of 2,000 kilometers and a span of five degrees Celsius from 27 to 32°C. But these are magic numbers apparently, and half a degree hotter (which is all we are talking about) it will be 27.5 to 32.5°C which is numerology hell [...]

Corals use epigenetic tricks to adapt to warmer and “more acidic” water

After half a billion million years of climate change, I’m shocked, shocked I tell you, that life on Earth (and specifically corals) have so many ways to cope with the climate changing. After all, it’s natural (if you are trained by Greenpeace) to assume that corals can only survive in a world with one constant stable temperature just like they never had.

One more tool in the coral-reef-workshop

Corals don’t just have a tool-box, they have a Home Depot Warehouse. h/t to GWPF

We already knew corals chuck out the symbionts that don’t work so well and pick up better partners. Plus, evolution  left a stack of genes lying around that were honed  in a world that was warmer, and natural selection has a way of amplifying better combinations as conditions shift. Then there is the way corals can be reseeded from safe sites, far away. Now we find out that corals can use epigenetics too.

Epigenetics is that kind of spooky effect where people can inherit the exact same DNA code yet it works or doesn’t work depending on whether it was Dad’s copy, or Mum’s, or whether parents were starved, fearful or stressed. It’s weird, see more [...]

Corals already have the genes to survive another 250 years of climate change

A new paper finds that there is already enough genetic variety spread across the Great Barrier Reef to adapt to the imagined “unprecedented” warming coming in the next two centuries. We don’t need to rely on random mutations or consider fantasy solutions of man-made oceanic sunscreens, mass sunshades, or giant reef fans. Corals already have a major immigration program running pretty effectively to juggle 200 million years of genetic material and then spread the successes far and wide. Meddling humans can help things (maybe) by moving a few bits of coral around. That’s it. Cancel the scare please.

Skeptics have been saying this for years — who needs a computer model to predict that the Barrier Reef will adapt? How bad could global warming be? The global oceans span a 32C range and corals prefer the hottest five degrees of that. Indeed, there is a five degree temperature range from one end of the Great Barrier Reef to the other, and corals are clearly, obviously pretty happy about it. Meanwhile, the atmosphere is warming at a mere tenth of a degree per decade. Then there is the well known phenomenon that corals spawn in vast clouds that are [...]

Giant Fans will cool Great Barrier Reef to stop bleaching

 ”Air-conditioning” of The Great Barrier Reef begins soon

To calm a few panicking people, the Australian Government will pay for large fans to circulate water on a minuscule portion of the 2,300 kilometer long Great Barrier Reef. The reef creatures, which have been coping with higher temperatures and bleaching for two hundred million years, will hopefully avoid the moving parts. Marine life adapts to heatwaves by chucking out the symbionts that don’t thrive in higher temperatures and replacing them up new inhabitants that do. If the fans achieve anything, it may stop this natural process (called Symbiont Shuffling) thus possibly making small sections of the reef more vulnerable to future heatwaves and El Ninos. Who knows?

Fans like this are used in the United States to circulate water.

Mark this one up as a pagan symbolic idol that symbolizes our grandiose delusions of weather-control.

Federal Government spending $2.2m on giant ocean fans in bid to protect Great Barrier Reef

Eight huge reef mixer fans are planned for the Great Barrier Reef in far north Queensland, in a trial project that hopes to reduce the damage caused by coral bleaching events.

The Federal Government has announced [...]

*Surprise* Great Barrier Reef has 112 tough spots that survive and replenish the rest

After lasting for thousands of years through wild swings of temperature, scientists could never have guessed that the Great Barrier Reef has evolved to cope with climate change.

The reef spans  2,300km and has spawning events so large that they can be viewed from space, but who knew that some parts of the reef appear to be safer and more resilient, and would repopulate the rest of the reef? (Apparently, not most of the scientists who have been selling the message of doom). Instead it made sense that 100% of the reef was at the same risk from predatory starfish and hot months, and that any day now, the reef might be polished off for good.

Perhaps some scientists had an idea, but when newspaper headlines declared the reef was on the brink of extinction, or doomed, where were they? (Possibly in hiding — afterall, Peter Ridd is one of the only ones to speak out, and he’s now fighting to save his job).

Crikey! It restores how much?

From the abstract:

The great replenishment potential of these ‘robust source reefs’, which may supply 47% of the ecosystem in a single dispersal event, emerges from the [...]

Scientists surprised that reef that survived the hotter holocene is already recovering from 2016 bleaching

Coral which has produced eggs near Fitzroy Island. Photo AIMS, Neal Cantin.

The ABC reports today that the Great Barrier Reef is recovering “surprisingly” fast.

Optimism is rising among scientists that parts of the Great Barrier Reef that were severely bleached over the past two years are making a recovery.

Scientists from the Australian Institute of Marine Science this month surveyed 14 coral reefs between Cairns and Townsville to see how they fared after being bleached.

The institute’s Neil Cantin said they were surprised to find the coral had already started to reproduce.

Who would have thought that after 5,000 years of climate change, sea level change, temperature change and super-storms every 200 years — that the Great Barrier Reef would have something left up its sleeve?

Much of the ABC reporting on the Great Barrier Reef damage uses vague terms. If I was feeling cruel, I might call them “weasel words”:

Nearly two thirds of the Great Barrier Reef was affected by bleaching in 2016 and 2017, killing up to 50 per cent of coral in those parts.

So which parts are “those parts”? Did 50% of the corals die [...]

Scientists “thrilled”: fish cope with acidification if tanks mimic normal large daily CO2 swings

The real story here is that past scares claiming that ocean acidification would create reckless fish were most likely an artefact of an inadequate experiment. There are big swings of CO2 and pH in shallow water environments, and the normal day-night cycle turns out to be good for fish. Putting them in a laboratory tank without these daily changes may create fish that behave badly. So ocean acidification is not only natural, but a good and necessary thing.

New hope for reef fish living in a high CO2 world

Chemical changes in the ocean, as a result of climate change, are leading to a more acidic environment, referred to as ‘ocean acidification’ (OA). In a laboratory setting, these changes have been shown to lead to a range of risky behaviours in the affected fish, with some fish unable to flee from their finned foes effectively.

But, when researchers recalibrated experiments to adjust for natural daily changes in concentrations of dissolved carbon dioxide (CO2), the primary chemical driver of OA, they found that the fish were less affected than previously thought.

“Shallow water habitats where reef fish live can experience substantial natural fluctuations [...]

Great Barrier Reef: 5% bleached, not 93% says new report “discrepancy phenomenal”

In a nutshell: a government funded group finds some bleached coral on the Great Barrier Reef, and repackages the stats to come up with the apocalyptic statistic that only 7% of the reef is not bleached!  The SMH reported that “93% of the corals” are damaged. The reef is 2,000 kilometers long. Did anyone really think about these headlines?

Then in a development that “no one” could see coming, local tourism is damaged, potentially costing a lot of jobs.

“And the loss of these tourists could cost our tourism industry a whopping $1 billion a year, a report out today by The Australia Institute warned.”

This inspires local dive operators (who possibly know what the reef looks like) to pay for a two week expedition to survey 28 sites. They find about 5% damage and describe the difference as phenomenal. Indeed, they say the reef is pretty much just like it was 20 years ago when they last did a survey.

We know that both sides have an interest finding a healthy or unhealthy reef. The problem starts with self-serving taxpayer funded scientists who are paid to find a crisis. But they would not get away with it [...]

Great Barrier Reef scare: exaggerated threats says head of GBR Authority

The ABC uses photos of reef bleaching on Flowerpot Rock in American Samoa in stories about the Great Barrier Reef.

The chairman of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Russell Reichelt says that activist groups are distorting surveys, maps and data to exaggerate the coral bleaching on the reef. The bleaching affects 22% of the reef and is mostly localized to the far northern section, which has good prospects of recovery.

Two reef groups are in conflict. One is Reichelt’s GBR Authority, and the other is a special “National Coral Bleaching Taskforce” run by a guy called Terry Hughes.  The Australian media was overrun with stories last week about how a report was censored to hide the damage. What was under-reported was the conflict and the propaganda.

The real problem appears to be that yet another agency was set up to find a crisis, and their existence depends on finding one. The Taskforce was set up in October last year.

ABC repeats all the Taskforce’s claims without question:  “Great Barrier Reef: Only 7 per cent not bleached, survey finds”.

The Taskforce’s report was so bad the GBR authority had to withdraw from it:

Great Barrier Reef: scientists [...]