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

ABC, coral reef bleaching, fake photo, Samoa, Great Barrier Reef.

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 ‘exaggerated’ coral bleaching

Dr Reichelt said the authority had withdrawn from a joint ­announcement on coral bleaching with Professor Hughes this week “because we didn’t think it told the whole story”. The taskforce said mass bleaching had killed 35 per cent of corals on the northern and central Great Barrier Reef.

Dr Reichelt said maps accompanying the research had been misleading, exaggerating the ­impact. “I don’t know whether it was a deliberate sleight of hand or lack of geographic knowledge but it certainly suits the purpose of the people who sent it out,” he said.

“This is a frightening enough story with the facts, you don’t need to dress them up. We don’t want to be seen as saying there is no ­problem out there but we do want people to understand there is a lot of the reef that is unscathed.”

Dr Reichelt said there had been widespread misinterpretation of how much of the reef had died.

“We’ve seen headlines stating that 93 per cent of the reef is prac­tic­ally dead,” he said.

“We’ve also seen reports that 35 per cent, or even 50 per cent, of the entire reef is now gone.

–Graham Lloyd, The Australian

 The censored report apparently also said good things about Turnbull’s reef plan. Hard to believe the government would be in a rush to censor that.

How bad is the propaganda? So bad the ABC and Greenpeace use photos of coral in Samoa

We have the largest coral reef structure in the world, but sometimes the ABC can’t find a picture of bleaching from it, instead using an image from Samoa (top right). Greenpeace used the same trick. The Courier Mail reported that the ABC and Greenpeace were caught, the ABC apologized, and replaced the photo on one of their many pages, but 7 months later, the unlabelled Samoan image still appears on stories about Barrier Reef bleaching and on stories of mass coral bleaching.  Looks like a billion dollars isn’t enough to pay for someone to do a 2 minute search at the ABC. Fact checking? Who cares?

Reefs do recover

The world was hotter during the Holocene optimum, yet somehow the Great Barrier Reef survived.

Veteran reef divers have seen corals recover from bleaching before:

Bob Halstead, a veteran Coral Sea diver and member of the international scuba hall of fame alongside Jacques Cousteau and Sylvia Earle, says up to 90 per cent of corals on the iconic Ribbon Reefs show signs of stress.

But he is still confident of a quick recovery. “This may be the worst bleaching in Great Barrier Reef history, but I have seen far worse in PNG, and recovery in a few years,” he says. “So this is rather like the fires that ‘devastate’ and ‘destroy’ forests which then happily regenerate and no more is heard about it,” Halstead says.

“If someone has not seen these effects before, the ‘bleaching’ is very dramatic, however I have seen this before, and I am not nearly as alarmed as I used to be.

“The problem with all the ‘disaster’ hyperbole is that yet again the Great Barrier Reef will get world publicity reinforcing the idea that it is dead and not worth visiting.

“I have asked many potential diving visitor friends of mine why they do not dive the Great Barrier Reef and they tell me it is because they have heard it is ‘dead’. — Graham Lloyd, The Australian

Prof Peter Ridd reports that there is a heavy price to speaking out about reef politics

From comments on The Australian.

I find it interesting that The Head of GBRMPA has said that Prof Terry Hughes organisation was “misleading” the public.

I recently made a similar comment of Prof Hughes organisation (COE Coral Reef Studies at JCU) about a related issue – they stated that there was no coral on a particular reef and I furnished photographic evidence that this was incorrect. I stated that the information from Hughes organisation was “misleading” among other things including that there is clearly a need for some better quality assurance of the science.

For my sins,  I was hit with an academic misconduct charge from JCU, found guilty, and duly threatened with dismissal if I transgressed again. I am still bewildered by what happened.

And this is only the tip of the iceberg as far as exaggeration of threats to the GBR is concerned.

Prof Peter Ridd

Marine Geophysics Laboratory

James Cook University

h/t Tom Quirk.





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

  • #

    The taxpayer owned ABC deceives its owners, the BoM climate change division is another example of taxpayer funded bureaucrats deceiving the owners/taxpayers. Just two examples of misleading Australians, and apparently being permitted to do so by the politicians we vote for to represent our best interests?

    Global warming, climate change, the list of deceptive propaganda is long.


    • #

      You must admit, all of this (ie climate change) is one of the most lucrative industries in recorded history. If you can get into it, you are set for life.


    • #
      Ted O'Brien.

      Not permitted by the politicians, driven by the politicians.


    • #
      Lord Jim

      Just two examples of misleading Australians,

      And misleading conduct in relation to the status of the reef causes financial losses (lost tourism).

      Why is anyone engaging in such conduct not hauled before a regulator or a court and made to pay compensation/damages?


      • #

        Yet it is only Peter Ridd who has been castigated, just as the great Bob Carter was before him by these bullies and ideologues.


  • #
    Robert R

    Its funny how those who live in Queensland on or near the Great Barrier Reef have not noticed any general ‘deterioration’ of the reef. It is all the minds of those who have mostly never ever been to the reef but have other motives for depicting the reef in trouble. Bleaching is not a problem and yes, it occurs from time to time on all reefs.
    If you look hard enough on the GBR you will find it but it is only localised. It has been around over the entire history of the reef and the reef corals have evolved to be able to overcome it and deal with it themselves. Years ago the Crown of Thorns star fish caused a bit of trouble but the reef is in excellent condition these days compared to then.
    When can we get some honesty from the politically correct brigade?


    • #

      “When can we get some honesty from the politically correct brigade?”

      NEVER !!


      • #
        Robert R

        They must have used the photos of American Samoan reefs because they couldn’t find any bleached coral to photograph where the were looking in the Great Barrier Reef. How desperate….


      • #
        Graeme No.3

        You beat me to it. It is the usual approach,
        “we want more money”.
        “The Government has a big bag of endless money”
        “so there is a problem and it is worse than we thought”
        “send out a press release”
        “the media never check the press release (why spoil a good story with facts?)”
        “politicians send more money in plain brown paper bags to” etc.

        It works! And has worked for 50 years, so who is going to change a winning formula?


        • #
          mike restin

          That formula is good but, here in the USA we have a better one.
          It’s called sue and settle.
          NGOs sue the EPA but rather than go to court the EPA just agrees the NGO is correct and pays a large settlement plus agrees to pay the NGO for costs and attorney fees.
          Everybody makes money!
          It’s a win win.
          “What a country!”


      • #

        What the hell is an ‘academic misconduct charge’?

        Sorry to sound blunt but this stands out as humorous to a layman, a bit like time out in the naughty corner, or they have simply never left school?


        • #
          mike restin

          I think it’s when you squeal on another teacher for doing something wrong you get punished. You know that no good deed goes unpunished, right?
          The uni doesn’t care if the rascal is a cheater, liar, thief, goldbricker or even if he committed whatever specific charge you’ve made against him.
          The important part is that the teacher you report on is bringing in any grant money, he’s progressive, did not get caught having sex with a student of the opposite sex, hit a trigger or call a student a name.
          Cause if you do you’re dead meat.


        • #
          Ted O'Brien.

          It’s a threat of dismissal.


  • #
    Rereke Whakaaro

    I made a comment on a previous thread, that I will repeat here.

    A lot of coral bleaching is caused by anti-fouling paint used on pleasure craft.

    A little is good, because it keeps the hull clean. Putting on too much, does not keep the hull even cleaner, it just leeches away, and and that can affect the coral.

    It is not just pleasure boaties, although they are the main cause. Commercial fishermen are also prone to doing the same thing. You would expect them to know better.


  • #

    ignore the facts & stick to the CAGW agenda:

    6 Jun: Cairns Post: Janessa Ekert: Researchers observe extensive bleaching in northern part of the Coral Sea
    AN Australian researcher claims climate change should be the main focus to tackle coral bleaching rather than ­debating what percentage of the Reef has been impacted.
    “The issue is not how much of the reef is dead or how much coral has been affected,” Dr Hugo Harrison, of the Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, said.
    “The issue is we have a ­serious environmental disaster on our doorsteps and the real issue here is what’s affecting it, or what’s caused it.”…
    The Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) Fellow, and colleague Chancey MacDonald, have just ­returned from a month-long trip to the Coral Sea, which is adjacent to the Great Barrier Reef, where he was tasked to survey coral bleaching at 21 sites across seven reefs.
    “What we’ve observed in the north is just disastrous,” Dr Harrison said…
    However, at Holmes Reef, about 240km from Cairns and the most northern of the reefs surveyed, nearly 80 per cent of corals showed some sign of bleaching and of those, 40 per cent were fully bleached and 25 per cent dead.
    This reef was about 200km east of some of the worst affected areas of the Great Barrier Reef.
    ***“There’s very little direct human disturbance on some of these reefs and still we see quite a lot of bleaching,” Dr Harrison said.
    “What we really should be tackling are the big issues of climate change.”

    6 Jun: Matthew Dunn: A video campaign is asking people to vote for Great Barrier Reef at the polls on July 2
    Fight for the Reef — a partnership between WWF-Australia and the Australian Marine Conservation Society — hopes to raise awareness to the threats impacting the 69,000 jobs and $6 billion tourism industry relying on the Great Barrier Reef…
    Great Barrier Reef Campaign Director Imogen Zethoven said the video would act as a timely reminder for people deciding who they vote for at the July 2 election…
    “We cannot have a healthy Great Barrier Reef and coal industry, so we need to push for a form of renewable energy,” she said.
    “We also need to stop coral bleaching and repair catchments to stop the pollution…


  • #
    Peter C

    Correlation not necessarily causation

    Professor Terry Hughes seems determined to present Global Warming as the cause of coral bleaching. This seems to be his evidence.

    “North of Port Douglas, we’re already measuring an average of close to 50 per cent mortality of bleached corals.”

    Meanwhile, Australia’s southern waters are experiencing an extended warm period that scientists say offers a glimpse into Tasmania’s climate future.

    Water’s off the state’s east coast have been up to four degrees warmer than average for more than 100 days.

    Not only is coral bleaching so extreme on the GBR that the ABC can’t even find a photograph of it but Prof Terry Hughes does quote any laboratory evidence of his claim. What are all the facilities of James Cook University for if they haven’t tested that hypothesis already!

    I find the argument that increased water temperatures cause coral bleaching unpersuasive. If they have lab evidence I would give it a bit more credence.


  • #
    el gordo

    They downplay massive coral bleaching caused by cold water.

    ‘In January 2010, coral reefs of Florida, United States, were impacted by an extreme cold-water anomaly that exposed corals to temperatures well below their reported thresholds (16°C), causing rapid coral mortality unprecedented in spatial extent and severity.’



    • #
      King Geo

      Bingo – just wait and see what happens when

      1.The Imminent LIA – “extreme cold-water anomaly that exposed corals to temperatures well below their reported thresholds (16°C), causing rapid coral mortality unprecedented in spatial extent and severity.” – quoting el Gordo.

      2.The Next IA – Earth’s coral reefs will disappear because as the SL falls rapidly the coral reef “back-stepping” will not be able to keep up and the corals will die in any case from the conditions described above (cold water) and also clastic input from the mainland will also kill off all the coral polyps.

      3. As for “coral bleaching” – a short term phenomenon resulting from Pacific El Nino events. And the corals recover as the oceanic temp falls again and new polyps grow over the bleached coral – very basic stuff but to Terry Hughes’s NCBT not so – he is as thick as a brick (or maybe a reef – apologies to Earth’s coral reefs and lets hope the “Holocene Interglacial” persists for a long period and ensures your survival).


  • #

    The reef in its present form has been there for at least 600,000 years including 400,000 years ago when “… a particularly warm interglacial period with higher sea levels and a 4 °C (7 °F) water temperature change …” (Wiki) so it would be reasonable to infer that the occasional bleaching event is an entirely natural cyclical occurrence.
    Of course the ABC expects its audience to derive the absurd non sequitur that the solution to the nonexistent problem is to build more windmills.


    • #
      King Geo

      During IA’s and the associated significant SL drop of ~ 130m the coral reef platform becomes emergent – the corals and associated reefoid & offreef organisms die but the reef platform remains with fresh water and recrystallization processes kicking in. This is the time we see “dolomitization” & the development of a “karst topography”. The only reefs likely to survive are pinnacle reefs which are located on seamounts further out to sea. If these seamounts are located in an outer shelfal or deeper setting (130m +) then the pinnacle reef will survive and may well back-step as well. I would like to see Terry Hughes of NCBT comment on what is likely to happen to the GBR in the next IA and not be so obsessed with short term “coral bleaching” events. I don’t know of any reef carbonates being adversely affected by “warming events” in the geological record. What reefoid carbonates don’t like are “cooling events” associated with eustatic SL fall. Prof Terry Hughes of James Cook Uni is an expert on modern day reefs but appears to have little geological expertise, ie much knowledge of “older reef systems” such as those that formed in the Early & Middle Miocene e.g. on our Northwest Shelf and all through S.E. Asia.


    • #

      More importantly coral barrier reef was dead 20,000 years ago during the last glacial period. This happened repeatedly with every sea level fall (KIng Geo referred to this above) in the last 600 000 years.
      And every time the reef recovered. My house is positioned on top of the dead pinnacle reef, but don,t say this to any greenies as they might accuse me of changing climate with my weekend garden activities.


      • #
        John of Cloverdale, WA, Australia.

        I don’t think any greenies have studied the geological record, even though it is all around them in outcrops, road cuts and the drowned river system that is Sydney Harbour. Right before their eyes is the evidence of a climate changing process that is billions of years old. But they think the climate is static except for human emissions.


  • #

    I recall when this issue arose, the Liberal government was attacked for keeping details about it out of a UN report.

    I take it, then, the reason the Libs wanted to keep those details out of the UN report was because they were wrong?


  • #
    Ken G

    It’s clear that James Cook University is an organisation with an agenda and cannot be trusted. If their own professors like Peter Ridd are not allowed to express an opinion, they show themselves to be an institution that deserves to have all public funding withdrawn.


  • #
    Robert R

    Professor Terry Hughes seems determined to present Global Warming as the cause of coral bleaching.

    Don’t these characters realise that corals only grow in warmer waters and therefore any increase in temperature (fictional at the present) is more likely to help corals not kill them?


  • #

    Carbon dioxide caused the 2000 drought through much of Australia. It caused the Federation drought 130 years ago. Carbon dioxide is responsible for most hurricanes, bush fires, storms, floods and will likely drown much of Australia’s coastline, putting Sydney 100 metres under the waves by 2100. There will be no water in northern India by 2035, killing 400 million, according to the IPCC. Now Carbon Dioxide has caused the destruction of the Great Barrier Reef and will end civilization as we know it. The only solution is a Carbon Trading System where we alone pay cash to the EU via the UN, an abrogation of our sovereign rights. Only then we and the rest of the planet will be saved, by the bureaucrats at the EU/UN.

    Having experienced thirty years of letters, faxes and emails from Nigeria, you can always be surprised that anyone believes such unlikely, irrational and absurd nonsense, but the promoters of Carbon Credits really want the cash and a system of external taxation by the EU/UN. What is surprising is the number of self promoting Australians who think this is a good result. It makes you question their motives.


    • #

      It makes you question their motives.

      No question at all – the motives have always been obvious.

      Never underestimate the strength of the lure in noble cause corruption. Vanity conquers all.


    • #

      TdeF @ # 10

      It makes you question their motives shoe sized matching IQ.


  • #

    The Green and Alarmist science Trougher’s credo;

    The whole aim of practical politics and lucrative grant troughing is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

    With apologies to H.L.Mencken


  • #

    In reference to the disgusting and completely unethical behavior of the James Cook University towards Proff. Peter Ridd.

    To misquote a very well known, high profile politician of a few years back.

    Never stand between a Green alarmist ethics free Trougher and a bucket of money.

    PS ; why do so many disgustingly unethical examples of spiteful and hateful academic behaviour seem to involve a “Cook” somewhere in the mix?


    • #
      mike restin

      In reference to the constant disgusting and completely unethical behavior of the James Cook University faculty towards Proff. Peter Ridd. science…

      There, that’s more truthful.


  • #

    I had an online discussion with my niece regarding her crying for the death of the reef.Her information was gleaned from a report in/on the conversation.My niece is 40 something years of age.Aparently it featured Flannery wet suited up and pleading for the reef to be saved!No surprises there.Seems the only salvation for the reef is the Greens.Yep they can save it!When I pointed out that it’s estimated that the reef is some 20,000,000 years old and that during that period sea levels have been higher,lower,more acidic,more alkaline,warmer and cooler and that the now collapsing El Niño was driving the bleaching and that El Niños are not the result of co2 levels and that I was confident that it will recover as it always does and that if Flannery predicts its imminent demise it will certainly recover her response was she was confident that mankind is capable of destroying it..


    • #

      She must have supreme over confidence in mankind’s powers and abilities, if so ask her why mankind dies on a daily basis due to basic acts of nature?

      Surely with such powers we could control the elements with the wave of a hand, or maybe the forces of solar, gravity, magnetism, heating , cooling are a bit greater than our fantastic imagination which only lasts as long as we’re around to remember it.


    • #

      What about that American newly wed couple holidaying on the GBR a few years ago where the bride died and husband was suspected?

      If the husband didn’t do it then the GBR is already ahead of humans on points alone . . . 😉


    • #
      M Conroy

      Sigh. Yes, mankind is capable of destroying many things – but the current truth is, we aren’t the cause of this warming, or the cooling, or the CO2 levels, or the sea level, or….

      There is a lot we are doing that could be done differently, but nothing that would make a difference in the -climate- – maybe a local peak or trough could be altered for a short while, but nothing long-term, nothing global.

      Let’s get the “third world” proper plumbing, trash pick-up, electrical power, sewers. Teach the locals to maintain the infrastructure. Stop rewarding the nutcases with money and “free” stuff – food, army jeeps, arms.

      Can’t solve all the woes on one, or even 2 or 3 throws, but we can stop the insane burning of money on non-threats.


  • #

    Corals and coral reefs have been around for quite a long time and will most likely still be around long after the species “Homo sapiens” has gone the way of about 98% of all the species that have previously existed on this planet.

    Ancient Coral Reefs

    [ quoted variously ]

    Corals are carnivorous marine organisms with stinging cells and tentacles.
    They are related to jellyfish and sea anemones.
    The term coral is also applied to their skeletons, which can be organic (soft) or composed of minerals (hard).

    In species with a stony exterior, the outer body wall secretes calcium carbonate (lime).
    The skeleton forms in intricate patterns as the coral animal grows.
    The skeleton persists after its organism dies.

    Corals live in colonies or are solitary, depending on the species. (Some species live either way).
    Skeletons of colonial corals, in particular, can accumulate and form massive structures, such as reefs.

    More than 2300 species of coral live today.

    Corals appeared about 500 million years ago or more, at the same time that many other kinds of marine organisms were evolving.
    Thirty million years later, reef-like structures dominated by coralline skeletons were widespread.

    One fossil reef has been particularly well studied on Manitoulin Island, Ontario.
    There, several kilometres from an ancient shoreline, many kinds of corals grew in warm water about 1 m (3 ft.) below the level of low tide.
    Some of the coral colonies were overturned and broken, which indicates the repeated passage of storms.

    At that time (about 425 million years ago, during what is known as the Silurian Period) the area was in the tropics, south of the equator.
    The continent was oriented so that the equator passed through what is now Canada, from Baffin Island through southern British Columbia.
    Most of North America was covered by a warm, shallow sea.

    The kinds of coral that formed the Manitoulin Island reef are now extinct.
    The corals that form reefs in tropical waters today first appeared in the Middle Triassic Period, about 240 million years ago.

    Paleozoic coral reefs are known from North America, northern South America (Venezuela, Colombia), Europe (Britain, northern France, Belgium), Asia (Mongolia, China, Kazakhstan, Turkey), north Africa (Algeria, Morocco, Sahara), and Australia.

    Characteristics of Red Sea Coral Reefs

    [ Selected Quotes;]

    The geological history of the Red Sea region is distinctive, and there is only slow and restricted water (and larval) exchange between this sea and the remainder of the Indo-Pacific region as a whole.

    Thus, Red Sea reefs have developed a number of features that distinguish them from reefs found throughout most of the rest of this vast oceanic area.

    Particularly important in the light of global warming predictions is the fact that Red Sea corals have developed an unusually high tolerance to the extreme temperatures, salinity, and occasional turbidity (caused by huge seasonal dust storms) that occur in the region.
    Such conditions that would be lethal or highly damaging to most hard corals found elsewhere.

    Also, water clarity is exceptional in the Red Sea because of the lack of river discharge and low rainfall.
    Thus, Red Sea reefs are not heavily impacted by the suspension and dissipation of fine sediments that plague reefs in tropical oceans near large land masses.

    Red Sea coral reefs are particularly well developed in the north and central portions (off the coasts of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Sudan), with large sizable offshore reef complexes containing small islands, fringing reefs, and a variety of reef-associated habitats.

    The region surrounding the Red Sea is one of the hottest, driest areas on earth. The extreme air temperatures result in very high levels of evaporation, making this one of the hottest and saltiest bodies of seawater in the world.
    The average salinity is 40 parts per thousand (ppt), as compared to about 35-36 (ppt) in the tropical Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic Oceans.
    Recent measurements found surface water temperatures to be 28 degrees C. (82 degrees F.) in winter and up to 34 degrees C. (93 degrees F.) in summer.

    Living cold-water coral reef discovered off Greenland [ Science direct ]

    [ Quoted variously ]

    The first ever Greenlandic reef is located in southwest Greenland and was formed by cold-water corals with hard limestone skeletons.
    There are several species of coral in Greenland, but this is the first time that an actual reef has been found.

    In the tropics, reefs are popular tourist destination for divers, but there is little prospect of Greenland becoming a similar diving hotspot.
    The newly discovered living reef is located off Cape Desolation south of Ivittuut, and lies at a depth of 900 metres in a spot with very strong currents, making it difficult to reach.
    This also means that so far little is known about the reef itself and what lives on it.

    “It’s been known for many years that coral reefs have existed in Norway and Iceland and there is a lot of research on the Norwegian reefs, but not a great deal is known about Greenland.

    In Norway, the reefs grow up to 30 metres high and several kilometres long.
    The great Norwegian reefs are over 8,000 years old, which means that they probably started to grow after the ice disappeared after the last ice age.
    The Greenlandic reef is probably smaller, and we still don’t know how old it is,” says Helle Jørgensbye, expressing the hope that at some point this will be investigated more closely.

    According to Helle Jørgensbye, finding a coral reef in southern Greenland was not entirely unexpected:

    “There are coral reefs in the countries around Greenland and the effect of the Gulf Stream, which reaches the west coast, means that the sea temperature get up to about 4 degrees, which is warm enough for corals to thrive.
    In addition to the, for Greenland, comparatively warm temperature, a coral reef also needs strong currents. Both these conditions can be found in southern Greenland,” she says.


    • #


      Corals and coral reefs have been around for quite a long time and will most likely still be around long after the species “Homo sapiens” has gone the way of about 98% of all the species that have previously existed on this planet.

      is correct but misleading and trivial. It is as trivial as saying “flowering plants have been around for 200Myears and will still be around long after Homo sapiens has gone away”.

      The corals of today are not the same as the ones when Homo first appeared and some are more different from each other (genetically, physiologically etc) than we are from birds. Comparing the two in the way you have is not valid.

      I knew I did this for a reason


  • #

    can’t see any other media with this Braganza stuff:

    6 Jun: New Matilda: Thom Mitchell: Did Climate Change Play A Part In The Sydney Storm?
    Dr Karl Braganza is the Manager of Climate Monitoring at the Bureau of Meteorology, and he said that there is research to show these type of storm systems are likely to become more intense but less frequent in the future…
    Dr Braganza said that these storm systems are influenced by normal climactic variations, ocean temperatures, and that possible links to climate change occur over and above that…
    Climate Change has been making its presence felt over recent months, as Australia sweltered through its warmest Autumn on record. The unseasonably high temperatures have driven a mass coral bleaching event across large sections of the Great Barrier Reef.
    Dr Braganza said the same ocean temperatures, which have been “trending to record highs”, may have played a part in the weekend’s storm…
    “Straight off the bat you would say increased ocean temperatures provide a little more fuel for these storms.”
    At this stage, we just don’t know how much, and any research to determine the contribution of heightened ocean temperatures would likely be months in the making…
    Oceanographer Dr John Hunter said “obviously the storms would have been there anyway…[but]what the sea level rise has done is just to add an extra 10 or 20 centimetres on top of it,” meaning that storm surges are coming off a higher base…
    Last week the Climate Institute released research which suggested that property owners face an $88 billion damage bill from coastal erosion, and called for the issue to be fully incorporated into the process of major banks and insurers…
    There is strident debate about how much sea levels will rise in coming decades.
    In March, renowned climate scientist Dr James Hansen published a paper which argued that accepted figures may be far too conservative, and we could face several metres of sea level rise over the coming century…
    Because of the extreme variability in rainfall brought on by east coast lows, it’s hard to say whether climate change contributed to the severity of the deluge.
    We do know that since carbon emissions really took off around the mid-twentieth century, the amount of water vapour in the atmosphere has climbed by roughly seven per cent. “We know that as climate change progresses you’ll get more intense rainfall out of these [east coast low]systems,” Dr Braganza said…
    “Researchers from the University of New South Wales analysed the data from 1300 rain gauges and 1700 temperature stations across Australia,” Prof Sharma said, “and found that flooding from more concentrated storms was up to 60 per cent more likely due to climate change”…


    • #

      “Oceanographer Dr John Hunter said “obviously the storms would have been there anyway…[but]what the sea level rise has done is just to add an extra 10 or 20 centimetres on top of it,” “

      What a load of TOTAL BS !!!!

      at 0.65mm/year, as measured at Fort Denison even a 10cm rise in sea level would take 150 or so year.

      “Dr Braganza said the same ocean temperatures, which have been “trending to record highs”, may have played a part in the weekend’s storm…”

      UAH measurements show that the Southern ex-tropical regions have not warmed for 20 years..
      Those areas are mostly ocean.

      How do they keep getting away with such BLATANT LIES.


  • #

    6 Jun: The Conversation: The role of climate change in eastern Australia’s wild storms
    by Acacia Pepler, PhD student, UNSW Australia
    East Coast Lows are a type of low-pressure system or cyclone that occur on the Australian east coast. They are not uncommon, with about seven to eight lows a year causing widespread rainfall along the east coast, particularly during late autumn and winter. An East Coast Low in April last year caused similar damage.
    But whenever they happen they raise the question: did climate change play a role?…
    In recent work, my colleagues and I looked even more closely at how climate change will affect individual East Coast Lows.
    Our results also found East Coast Lows are expected to become less frequent during the cool months May-October, which is when they currently happen most often.
    But there is no clear picture of what will happen during the warm season. Some models even suggest East Coast Lows may become more frequent in the warmer months…
    Finally, even though there may be fewer East Coast Lows, they are occurring in an environment with higher sea levels…
    So did climate change cause this weekend’s storms? No: these events, including intense ones, often occur at this time of year.
    But it is harder to rule out climate change having any influence at all…
    We know that these factors will become more important as the climate system warms further – so as the clean-up begins, we should keep an eye on the future.


  • #

    East Coast Low caused by 97% Global Warming!

    Yes, someone went there. The home of “Academic rigour, journalistic flair”.

    David Holmes, Senior Lecturer, Communications and Media Studies, Monash University:

    “With an unprecedented storm flooding large population centres on Australia’s east coast over the weekend, you would be forgiven for thinking politicians on the campaign trail might pause to reflect on [Global Warming].

    Every 1℃ increase in global average temperature means the atmosphere can hold 7% more water vapour.”

    Huh? What?

    1. The World Bank: A Warming World Means Less Water, With Economic Consequences

    “A new World Bank report High and Dry: Climate Change, Water, and the Economy examines the future effects of diminishing water supplies on the world.

    These are all fairly evident consequences of global warming.”

    2. [Global Warming] May Mean Slower Winds

    “Three decades’ worth of data seemed to point to a future where global warming lowers wind speeds enough to handicap the nascent wind industry.”
    . . .
    Gaia only knows what happened before Global Warming came along.


    • #
      el gordo

      ‘The weather patterns are complex, but the climate change part of the science is less so. Every 1℃ increase in global average temperature means the atmosphere can hold 7% more water vapour.’

      H20 is a dangerous greenhouse gas, a string of cool wet summers in Europe means cooling has begun.


    • #

      Gaia is laughing at the scaremongers, Flannery et al, with billions of dollars of Flannery’s dumped on Australia’s farmland and Pastoral country. Laughing too at Labor/Green’s Desalination monsters.


  • #
    Egor TheOne

    Shut down the Marxist Conglomerate …The ABC !

    First combat for truth is to get rid of State Funded Propaganda .

    I notice that ex ABC overpaid CEO Marxist Scott has now been appointed head of NSW
    education (CAGW indoctrination)…..another ‘balanced’ department just like his mismanagement
    of the ABC .

    I wonder if he also has renewable financial interests similar to CAGW advocate Hewson?

    I also notice that the current east coast floods are already being blamed on CAGW /CACC.

    What happened to that Dud Flannery’s prediction of no more rain because of CAGW ?

    So if its too hot ,its Global Warming , and if its too wet its climate change ……a name for any possible weather event !

    How convenient that must be for these Climate Shysters , Renewable Racketeers , and Closet Marxists !

    Where would we be without a Great Big New Tax to save the Reef , and save the planet ?

    We’re being flooded with more BS than rain thanks to the taxpayer overfunded ABC .


  • #

    When Ellison Reef was proposed for limestone mining in 1971 because it was dead, the conservationists’ argument was that bleaching of reefs is a natural and cyclical event.

    They were right then, and won their fight against the mining application but the argument now is that reefs have only been bleached since 1998, because of global warming. It’s not an honest argument, but 97% of global warming catastrophists don’t care because the cause is greater than the science anyway.

    Meanwhile, Ellison Reef is doing OK, but don’t mention Ellison reef because it doesn’t fit the narrative.


  • #

    A lot is being said about sea water quality deteriorating due to those nasty farmers. Has anyone seen any water quality results?
    The GBRMP area exceeds that of Victoria plus Tasmania.
    My pea sized brain says that the farmers use some nutrients and fertiliser. Some chemical volatilises, some chemical is taken up by the plants, some chemical reacts with the soil, some chemical goes into the sub surface strata (maybe even water table) and some chemical runs off. Surely our good friends at the CSIRO have a good handle on how much goes as run off and what this contributes to the volume of the GBRMP???
    Is the effect of chemicals in the GBRMP measurable in ppm, ppb or ppt?
    My GUESS is that any worst case contribution would be a small fraction of ppt (ie unable to be measured AND insignificant).

    I often fly over the reef and continue to be amazed by its extent.
    I challenge any of the anti coal mob to fly with me from Brisbane to Cairns and be able to point out the Abbot Point coal port. It is only a person who has frequently flown the route who can work it out.


  • #

    Underwater means out of sight, which means opportunism.


  • #

    as this thread is about spin…i want to get this posted for the record.
    found the following tweets on a Clive Palmer twitter page about an hour and a half ago, between some of the short Bolt Report videos posted there.
    now i can’t find any of them, even though my “history” list shows i have the correct twitter address:

    NJL DELCON ‏@ANTI_ALP · 1h1 hour ago Sydney, New South Wales
    Bolt playing #2GB Clive Palmer Martin Parkiinson was hiding out in toilet for 1 hour when MT CP Caught At A Secret Dinner ? first Plotting?

    PLB Proud DelCon ‏@plbrocks · 2h2 hours ago Melbourne, Victoria
    ClivePalmer confirms to @theboltreport what we all suspected: Turnbull was plotting w Martin Parkiinson & Clive way back To overthrow Abbott

    jill ‏@1Swinging_Voter · 2h2 hours ago
    Clive Palmer USED by Turnbull / JBishop & Co. to trash Tony?
    Now cast aside like a stinking fish #TheBoltReport
    LOL egg on Clive #Ausvotes

    for confirmation of the above, listen for 3 mins from about 3mins in:

    6 Jun: Youtube: 15mins57secs: Clive Palmer surprises Andrew Bolt – full interview – Bolt Report

    reminder…read all:

    May 2014: ABC: Latika Bourke: Senior Liberal official joined Clive Palmer, Malcolm Turnbull, and Treasury boss Martin Parkinson at intimate Canberra dinner
    A senior Liberal Party official attended last night’s dinner with Cabinet minister Malcolm Turnbull, the Treasury secretary ***Martin Parkinson, and latecomer Clive Palmer…
    The dinner made headlines when Mr Palmer and Mr Turnbull were photographed leaving the Wild Duck restaurant in the waterfront Canberra suburb of Kingston…
    Mr Palmer says he did not invite Mr Parkinson and did not know he would be there when he accepted Mr Turnbull’s invitation to dinner…
    Mr Palmer said he was open to being “buttered up” with “free meals” but said the Liberal leadership was not discussed and only mentioned in passing.
    “The only thing about leader that was discussed was that Malcolm … once was a leader of the party…
    Mr Palmer then proceeded to mock the man who replaced Mr Turnbull as the leader after a bitter stoush over carbon pricing…

    ***Martin Parkinson was Secretary of the Department of Climate Change 2007-2010, Secretary of the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency 2010-2011, & became Secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet in January 2016. (His wife, Heather Smith, became Secretary of the Department of Communications and the Arts in January 2016).

    an out-of-order Parkinson prior to the dinner:

    Apr 2014: SMH: Nick O’malley: Treasury chief Martin Parkinson says climate refugees inevitable
    Treasury secretary Martin Parkinson has told an audience in Washington it appeared inevitable that Australia would have to resettle climate change refugees in the coming decades.
    Dr Parkinson had just given a speech about international economic co-operation at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies when an audience member from Fiji asked a question that deftly linked two of the Australian government’s most sensitive issues – climate change and refugee policy. He wanted to know what role Australia would play in resettling people from the region faced with the impact of climate change.
    Dr Parkinson, whose relationship with the government has already been fractured over the issue of climate change, did not duck the question on Thursday evening.
    “[It] doesn’t necessarily arise because you wake up one morning and find water around your ankles because the sea level has risen,” he said. ”We are seeing it already in some of the small island countries where you are seeing potable water degradation in fresh water wells. If climate change plays out the way scientists believe, then it will be inevitable that there will be climate change refugees in our region and it would naturally fall to Australia and New Zealand to welcome any of those because of our historic links with those countries.”
    It is understood that Dr Parkinson has been ousted as Treasury secretary by the Abbott government because of his association with climate change policy.
    He was due to depart in June but this month it was revealed that Mr Abbott had asked him to stay on until the end of the year to help with Australia’s presidency of the G20…


  • #

    It should come as a joyous relief,
    To alarmists of warmist belief,
    When researchers discover,
    That corals recover,
    From bleaching,worldwide and the Reef.


  • #
    Owen Morgan

    Predictably, the Beebyanka came up with this as a major “news” story, a week ago, even though it has been peddling the same twaddle for decades.


  • #
    Andrew McRae

    A big tip of the hat to Peter Ridd, for telling the truth in spite of the danger.
    Of course he brought it on himself. He was a contemporary of Bob Carter and has been stating the facts about the reef, sometimes in public, for many years, e.g.

    Do marine geophysicists experience bleaching when thrown into political hot water?
    More importantly, do they recover?


  • #

    I’ve been reading of the death of the Reef since around the late 1960s, when it was sometimes the front page story on dead Sundays, only to disappear during the week.

    It seems the Reef’s been shot again. Round up the usual suspects.


  • #
    Eugene WR Gallun

    You know the US H-bombed some coral reefs a number of years ago.
    The coral came back and rather quickly. Somehow I don’t think
    climate change is more destructive than H-bombs.

    Eugene WR Gallun


  • #

    Well, this is confusing . . .
    If we already have the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority then why do we need the National Coral Bleaching Taskforce?

    Indeed, the National Coral Bleaching Taskforce name the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority as one of their partners!

    It’s just that if I need to make some absurd facile claim and argue from authority, I’ll need to know the correct QUANGO. 😉


  • #

    Perhaps this time the scaremongering has backfired as it seriously threatens the jobs of tens of thousands of people in Northern Queensland because of a known cyclical problem affecting only a portion of the reef? So local people have a real need to stand up to deliberate misreporting of the environment by the profiteers of doom.

    It was only last year that UNESCO declared that there was problem immediately after Obama’s end of days speech. Then their ABC alleged massive bribery. We had a similar disaster with Gillard’s one phone call stop to the huge essential live cattle trade in the NT and over a one hour staged ABC program about the allegedly cruel Indonesians.

    Impressively Tim Flannery has made an incredible transition from very dead kangaroo scientist to meteorologist to hot rocks engineering technologist and now to marine biology expert without blinking or any expertise. Who needs actual qualifications when you are Australian of the year and head of the Climate Council? Our own science Norman Gunston.


  • #

    The Nixon Syndrome – “I am not a crook”

    We have the largest coral reef structure in the world, but sometimes the ABC can’t find a picture of bleaching from it, instead using an image from Samoa. Greenpeace used the same trick..

    Trying to influence people by publishing deceptive information is obviously not new, However ABC should know better than to try and “trick” the public, especially in this modern age of the Internet.
    It seems we have seen this type of behavior before 🙁

    Note: It is very interesting to compare the Nixon controversy “Watergate Scandal” with the “Hockey Stick scandal” , and I was very impressed that the latter had almost double the references quoted in its Wiki article.

    Someone on Wiki has being doing a great deal of typing…. 😮


  • #
    Alfred Alexander

    Australia is very lucky to have the greatest Marine Scientist and Oceanographer of all times.
    Dr. Barry Ereef


  • #

    Dublin born, US educated, marine biologist Terry Hughes seems to be steering his ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies into the more lucrative waters of politics and applied sociology by:
    “…developing further research capacity in this area by strategic recruitment of social scientists, creating a unique multi-disciplinary team of the highest calibre. My recent work has focussed on market drivers of ecological change, missing institutions, identifying safe planetary boundaries for human development, avoiding social traps, and transformative governance of the sea in Australia, Chile, China, the Galapagos Islands, Gulf of Maine and the Coral Triangle.”

    Environmental Governance is so much more rewarding than mere biology.


    • #

      Betapug, that is an excellent example of pretentious claptrap that you quoted there! Do you think Terry Hughes actually believes what he said?


      • #

        I think it is easier to believe if you are being well paid for it. Best not to risk the questions and uncertainty.
        The US Dept’s of Health and Agriculture quietly announced that cholesterol “was no longer a nutrient of interest” and quietly left the room, closing the door on the US longest and most expensive public health program to suppress consumption of saturated fats and substitute carbohydrates. It was admitted that the whole program “had never had any valid evidence at all” and was largely based on the cherry picked [snip] data of Dr. Ancel Keyes in the 1960’s, picked up and promoted by those close to Pres. Eisenhower.
        Following the brief announcement news item, several doctors commented that, regardless of the news, they intended to continue to advise high carb, low fat diets. Max Planck’s observation that, ” A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because …. Science advances one funeral at a time.” still applies.


  • #

    Disconnected and then some..

    I you ever wanted to know how distanced or oblivious people are about important issues around the world then we should actually live in the countries concerned.
    Jo’s blog tries to convey these points , but when it comes to the truth the reality is different and the same.

    I am very glad that Jo’s blog exists … but it is not enough


  • #

    Coral reef bleaching at the Great Barrier Reef on three occasions in the ’80s was thought to be caused by ozone:

    Reef’s bleaching may not be
    ozone-loss result: scientist
    BRISBANE: Australian scientists are
    monitoring closely bleaching of coral on
    the Great Barrier Reef to determine if it
    is an early warning signal of increasing
    ultra-violet rays caused by depletion of
    the earth’s ozone layer.
    But Dr Jamie Oliver, who heads the
    research team studying the phenome
    non, said on Wednesday he did not
    support the theory at this stage.
    “In fact the bleaching in our part of
    the world this year is more restricted
    despite reports of increasing problems
    with the earth’s ozone layer,” he said.
    “Coral is a sensitive animal and
    bleaching is a sign of stress but on the
    Great Barrier Reef it may be causcd by
    local conditions including water tem
    peratures,” he said.
    Corals normally produce natural sun
    screens for protection but exceptionally
    hot weather causes them to lose that
    University of South Florida marine
    scientist Pamela Hallock-Muller said in
    St Petersburg this week that ozone de
    pletion may lead to widespread coral
    bleaching in the Florida Keys and the
    Caribbean. “Corals and other reef or
    ganisms bleach when stressed, particu
    larly by the combination of warm, still
    water and too much ultra-violet radia
    tion,” she said.
    Dr Oliver, a Great Barrier Reef Ma
    rine Park Authority research scientist
    based in Townsvillc, said bleached coral
    was not always dead.
    “Bleaching occurs when the algae liv
    ing in the coral’s tissues is expelled at
    time of stress, leaving a white skeletal
    appearance,” he said.
    Sometimes the coral recovered, re
    suming its normal appearance when
    fresh algae was absorbed.
    “Most tropical animals live at the
    extreme of their individual ecosystems
    and small fluctuations can cause
    changes. Many go unnoticed but
    changes to coral are easily seen,” Dr
    Oliver said.
    Coral bleaching on the Great Barrier
    Reef has been recorded for years with
    highs in 1980, 1982 and 1984.
    “This year about 20 per cent of the
    affected reefs show signs of bleaching.
    Overall it’s about 1 per cent of the entire
    Great Barrier Reef,” he said.
    The Great Barrier Reef stretches
    more than 2000km along the eastern
    coastline of Queensland and nearly 400
    varieties of coral make up its myriad of
    reefs which attract more than a million
    tourists a year.
    Dr Oliver said the outbreak of
    bleaching in 1980 stretched from Lizard
    Island north east of Cairns to Keppel
    Island, 1000km to the south.
    “Our research into bleaching is far
    from conclusive,” he said.
    Dr Hallock-Mullcr said more ultravi
    olet radiation was reaching the earth’s
    surface because of ozone depletion.

    Newspaper Article courtesy of Trove


  • #
    Boambee John

    The reef has bleached before, it will recover, and it will bleach and recover again and again.

    The key question is, “Why are so many people who claim to be environmental scientists deniers of evolution?”

    All of these characters seem unable to even consider the possibility that corals will evolve as conditions change.


  • #

    Is the coral loss from bleaching or the Crown of Thorns Starfish? From GBRMPA’s own website;

    According to research by the Australian Institute of Marine Science, coral cover on surveyed reefs has declined by about 50 per cent over the past 30 years. Crown-of-thorns starfish were responsible for almost half of this decline.

    The research estimates that if crown-of-thorns starfish predation had not occurred over the past three decades, there would have been a net increase in average coral cover.

    I’m surprised there is any coral left…….


  • #
    Bob Fernley-Jones

    This release by the GBRMPA (the Marine Park Authority) on 3/June is rather enlightening:

    Particularly this link to THIS MUST SEE map showing the distribution and level of bleaching at surveyed the sites:

    The small sample heavy stuff seems to be confined randomly (which is interesting) to relatively small northern areas within the vast system of 3,000 odd reefs.


  • #

    Greg Hunt must be voted out of Flinders!


  • #
    Bite Back

    How else can they keep handing us samoa their scare stories?

    You gotta give them some credit for perseverance if for nothing else.