After a trillion tons of CO2, the Great Barrier Reef hits record coral cover third year in a row

AIMS, Coral Reef Survey, 2022.

By Jo Nova

Sixty percent of all human CO2 emissions have been emitted since 1985 but today the corals are healthier than ever

In 1985 humans were emitting only 19.6 billion tons of CO2 each year, and now we emit 37 billion tons. In the meantime AIMS have been dragging divers thousands of kilometers over the reefs to inspect the coral cover. These are the most detailed underwater surveys on the largest reef system in the world, and they show that far from being bleached to hell, the corals are more abundant than we have ever seen them.

As Peter Ridd points out, when the reef was doing badly, AIMS was happy to combine the data on the whole reef, so we could lament its demise. But lately AIMS splits it into separate sections and if Peter Ridd didn’t check the numbers, who would know it was a record across the full 2,300 kilometer length of the reef? And that may be exactly the point. As Ridd reminds us, in 2012 the AIMS team predicted the coral cover in the central and southern regions would decline to 5 – 10 percent cover by 2022. Instead the whole reef is thriving at 30 percent.

Record High Coral Cover on the Great Barrier Reef, 2024. Graph. AIMS. Professor Peter Ridd.

Meanwhile preposterous power games continue

UNESCO has been threatening to slap an endangered label on the reef for years. They would have looked ridiculous if they had done this whilst corals were at a record high. But that didn’t stop them demanding tribute and conditions anyway, as if Australia can’t manage the reef by itself. Our Prime Minister should have laughed at them and cut UN funding until they start making sense.

The resilient Great Barrier Reef fights back

By Graham Lloyd, The Australian

The UNESCO recommendation that the World Heritage Committee not proscribe the reef as “in danger” at its meeting next month no doubt has come as a big relief for government but it still has plenty of strings attached. To keep favour with UNESCO, governments must ban all gillnet fishing by mid-2027 and more closely supervise land activities stretching hundreds of kilometres inland from the coastline, and further still from the reef itself. It must also keep the billions of dollars flowing for research and reef management.

 Who runs the country, is it our elected government or a foreign committee at the service of third world dictators?

The Greens, unfortunately, still struggle with big-numbers, or any numbers at all:

The Greens say the UNESCO decision is a “triumph of lobbying and spin over science”.  “The burning of fossil fuels is ­literally cooking our oceans and degrading marine ecosystems across the globe, and nowhere else has this been more politicised than on the Great Barrier Reef,” says Greens spokesman Senator Peter Whish-Wilson.

And who is politicizing The Great Barrier Reef more than The hyperbolic Greens themselves? No wonder Greens voters were the most confused in the AEF survey.

Ten years after our corals hit a record low, our survey showed that half the country didn’t realize the reef has recovered. Only 3% knew the corals were at a record high, and nearly half the Green voters were as wrong as they possibly could be — they thought coral cover was at a record low.

The full AIMS report will be released in August. There have been some bleaching events both before and after the survey, and as is normal, we won’t know for months whether any corals actually died or whether it  was just the normal home renovation that corals go through when they get stressed. It’s common for corals to throw out the zooanthellae as temperatures change and let in newer house-guests that are better acclimatized. Since sea levels near Queensland were 1 -2 meters higher 6,000 years ago, and the world was a lot warmer, corals can clearly look after themselves.

As Peter Ridd says the biggest threats to the reef are cyclones and crown-of-thorns starfish plagues, neither of which appear to be any worse now than they were years ago.

REFERENCES

Cumulative CO₂ emissions by world region: OWID (CO2 cumulative emissions were 687 bt in 1985 and 1,700 billion by 2022)

AIMS data

 

9.6 out of 10 based on 96 ratings

37 comments to After a trillion tons of CO2, the Great Barrier Reef hits record coral cover third year in a row

  • #
    Just+Thinkin'

    Dr. Peter Ridd is vindicated.

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    • #
      ralph ellis

      .
      Hmm, does that mean he gets an apology, a belated reward, and gets his job back??

      Yeah, I thought not. Big Green never admits is faults, nor apologises.

      R

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  • #
    Neville

    Dr Peter Ridd is one of my Scientific heroes and his decency and common sense are a blessing for all of us.
    Never forget that corals exist much further north than Australia and have to adjust to much warmer seas and as Jo points out the Eemian and early Holocene were much warmer than today.

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  • #
    Greg in NZ

    Six thousand years ago, sea levels were six foot higher (than today). 18,000 years ago they were 300-400 feet lower: therefore, Noah building his floating zoo (what about the kangaroo?) created calamitous carbon climate change and the oceans rose around him. Yet the reef survives today…

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  • #
    Lawrie

    I think the biggest threat to the GBR is politics. Hopefully a conservative government would expose the lie should they get into office. I also think the withdrawal of funds from all the left aligned agencies would be a great way to both put the science back into research and to help pay down debt. I don’t know how much we pay the UN but whatever it is it is far too much. If petty tyrants want to strut the world stage let them do it on their own dime.

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    • #
      YallaYPoora Kid

      There is no human threat to the GBR.

      All the bluster about the reef is politics ON LAND – it does not affect the reef at all.

      60

  • #
    MrGrimNasty

    Right on cue, bleach bleach bleach.
    Newsround is BBC’s news for kids.
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/articles/cg33mpkxk9po.amp

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    • #
      Just+Thinkin'

      North Queenslanders collected dead coral LONG before Scientists “discovered” the phenomenon.
      I know in the 60’s you could buy PAINTED coral in stores, mainly for the tourists.
      I had a couple of pieces.
      The dead coral was also collected for cement work. Remember, old things die.

      And then, in the mid 80’s Scientists “discovered” dead coral and also coral giving “birth”
      to new coral spawns.

      North Queenslanders knew of these happenings for yonks.

      200

      • #
        GlenM

        Crushed coral driveways are the go. One issue confounds me (actually there are many) is the requirement to ban gill netting. As most gill netting takes place outside of coral reefs – generally in estuaries and inshore areas, so I’m not sure what impacts it would have. Gill netting is contentious as many say that it affects marine mammals and turtles, although there is scant evidence of this being so. Gill netters get top dollar for species like Barramundi and Threadfin Salmon for the restaurant trade and some niche export markets- the quality of wild caught fish perceived to be superior. That said, I am in favour of it being banned.

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        • #

          You may well be right GlenM. But Australia should decide yes or no based on our own reasons, not because the UN told us too.

          FWIW: Wild fish almost certainly are healthier for human consumption, and it is bizarre in our giant oceans that most Australians cannot afford to eat most of our own wild fish.

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          • #
            Dennis

            2007-2013 Rudd-Gillard-Rudd governments and based on UN Agenda 21 – Sustainability marine national parks were created in territorial waters off the coastline and many fishing cooperatives closed and fishing trawler owners paid compensation by taxpayer’s via Federal Government to hand over commercial fishing licences.

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            • #
              Dennis

              By the way, consider the enormous areas of land being used to create wind and solar installations and transmission lines, and the slogan “for future generations” used to sell conversion of State and Territory lands into National Parks & Wildlife managed UN registered land areas.

              UN Agenda-21 ignored, Save The Koala ignored, everything ignored and Environmental Protection laws ignored, and no Greens protest groups?

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  • #
    No name man

    And a certain Sandra is on how much?

    She gotta keep the ruse goin, so she can keep the money flowin – into her pocket.

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  • #
    Neville

    Even their ABC forget their references to Dr Johnathon Nott’s Aussie east coast cyclone studies over the years. Up to 1820 the GBR had to endure much stronger cyclones than we see today and with much more damage to the reef. Here’s an ABC reference in 2001 to the devastation of the GBR in pre- European iimes.
    Lets hope those LIA cyclones or pre 1820 don’t return again. Who knows?

    https://www.abc.net.au/science/news/stories/2001/383361.htm

    ” Dr Nott said that reliable computer modelling could predict wave height and storm surge from incoming cyclones”.

    “We’ve taken the estimated wave size and storm surge measurements from past cyclones, and in effect run those models in reverse, to determine what size cyclones would be required to create the ridges,” he said”.

    “The study showed that the last super-cyclone — a category 5 cyclone, with wind speeds of up to 300kmh — came 50 years before European settlement of the area, in about 1820. If it hit Cairns today, the resulting marine inundation would swamp the city’s esplanade in two metres of water.”

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  • #
    Kim

    Considering that coral is calcium carbonate it’s no surprise.

    70

  • #
    Neville

    Most coral reefs need warmer seas and most are on the equator and further south with our GBR and reefs are north near Japan’s west coast.
    These types of corals have existed for about 485 million years, but recently Coral reefs have had a much tougher and longer time to endure during the world’s full glaciations.
    The warm inter-glacial periods like our Holocene are much shorter than the much longer and colder full glaciations.
    Here’s a world map showing the areas of corals and note our GBR is much further south than the coral reefs around the Equator.

    https://coral.org/en/coral-reefs-101/geography/

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  • #
    Tony Tea

    How long before revealing such truths cop an Assange lock-up?

    70

  • #
    Ross

    When you consider the gaslighting over the nuclear energy debate, just imagine the effort that will be put in by the green blob over this finding. Tanya Plibersek and Adam Bandt will be firing up the bots big time on social media and pulling in all sorts of favours from compliant journalists. Then of course there will the ad-hominem attacks on Peter Ridd as well, about not being collegiate or a team players etc.

    60

  • #
    STJOHNOFGRAFTON

    After a trillion tons of CO2, the Great Barrier Reef hits record coral cover third year in a row

    So CO₂ is not a poisonous atmospheric gas produced by evil anthromorphs to aid the process of global boiling. In reality, the GBR is demonstrating the process of chemical equalibrium where a greater partial pressure of CO₂ over sea water produces more bicarbonate ions which are taken up by the coral polyps and turned into more calcium carbonate for their skeletal structures and hence reef growth. Another process that’s necessary is the buffering action of sea water thus protecting the oceans from rapid changes in pH caused by higher partial pressures of CO₂ which also produces pH lowering H⁺ ions. Yippee, more CO₂ = more HCO₃⁻ = more CaCO₃ = more GBR (equalibrium has shifted to right)

    60

  • #
    John in Oz

    $440,000,000 well spent /sarc

    80

  • #
    Dennis

    It hasn’t happened yet, but it will happen,

    UN IPCC

    20

  • #
    H. Douglas Lightfoot

    Hello:

    The warming effect of carbon dioxide is too small to measure. Water vapor is the only GHG with a warming impact on the Earth’s temperature.

    See the Dropbox link: https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fi/fbuyvm7m8xq2m70xaljiz/Only-the-greenhousae-gas-water-vapor-measurably-warms-the-Earth-JBASV20A8-Lightfoot-002.pdf?rlkey=xqlf14uewrw3cx7c03grrjjqj&dl=0

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    […] Jo Nova:  Sixty percent of all human CO2 emissions have been emitted since 1985 but today the corals are healthier than ever … "A record across the full 2,300 kilometer length of the reef…As [Scientist Peter] Ridd reminds us, in 2012 the AIMS team predicted the coral cover in the central and southern regions would decline to 5 – 10 percent cover by 2022. Instead the whole reef is thriving at 30 percent." […]

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    Geoff Sherrington

    Dr Bill Johnston at bomwatch.com.au did a thorough study of data from a government scientific expedition by ship through the length of the GBR as Christmas 1871 approached.
    Dr Johnston showed that sea surface temperatures some 150 years ago were indistinguishable from those measured recently.
    I regard this as a critical observation that is highly significant for understanding the science of the GBR.
    Yet, there has been very little discussion.
    I have seen no attempt by our appointed bodies,BOM,AIMS,or other alphabets to incorporate these measurements into the official record and explain the scientific consequences.
    Shame on our officials for their censorship.
    Geoff S

    60

  • #
    peter coughlan

    Duiron IS / WAS THE HERBICIDE OF CHOICE FOR QUEENSLANDS CANE GROWERS….USED TO SUPPRESS VEGETATION BETWEEN THE ROWS OF CANE……..RUNOFF DOWN VARIOUS QLAND RIVERS IS THOUGHT TO HAVE CAUSED THE DIEBACK IN THE PAST……SAW THIS INFORMATION UNDER A FEDERAL GOVT LETTERHEAD COUPLE YEARS BACK…?

    11

  • #
    Damien Bates

    Looks like another clear distortion given the reef recently suffered its worst ever mass bleaching event (of which final mortality is yet to be determined)

    https://www.aims.gov.au/sites/default/files/2024-04/FINAL-Aerial%20Bleaching%20GBR2024Report_AIMS_Final_15Apr2024_0.pdf

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    […] La Grande barrière de corail devait mourir à cause du réchauffement climatique…. Pas de chance, depuis 3 années cette barrière atteint des records de croissance. Donc les trolls du réchauffement causé par 0,04% de CO2 de l’atmosphère ne vous en parle plus… En effet le CO2 c’est la vie, plus il y a de CO2 plus la terre verdit… Le CO2 est la nourriture des plantes. A 0,02% de CO2 il n’y a plus de vie végétale sur Terre. Cela aussi ils oublient de vous le dire. https://joannenova.com.au/2024/06/after-a-trillion-tons-of-co2-the-great-barrier-reef-hits-record-co… […]

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    […] For years, the Great Barrier Reef has been the poster child for environmentalists warning about the dire consequences of climate change. Predictions of its imminent demise have been frequent, with a focus on coral bleaching events, ocean acidification, and rising sea temperatures attributed to increasing CO2 emissions. However, recent reports indicate that the Great Barrier Reef has hit record coral cover for the third year in a row, challenging these prevailing narratives. Jo Nova, offers a critical examination of the factors contributing to the reef’s unexpected re… […]

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    […] For years, the Great Barrier Reef has been a poster child for environmentalists warning of the dire consequences of climate change. Predictions of its imminent demise have been frequent, focusing on coral bleaching, ocean acidification, and rising sea temperatures due to rising CO2 emissions. However, recent reports that the Great Barrier Reef has experienced record levels of coral cover for the third year in a row challenge this popular narrative. Jo Nova offers a critical assessment of the factors contributing to the reef’s surprising resi… […]

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    […] For years, the Great Barrier Reef has been the poster child for environmentalists warning about the dire consequences of climate change. Predictions of its imminent demise have been frequent, with a focus on coral bleaching events, ocean acidification, and rising sea temperatures attributed to increasing CO2 emissions. However, recent reports indicate that the Great Barrier Reef has hit record coral cover for the third year in a row, challenging these prevailing narratives. Jo Nova, offers a critical examination of the factors contributing to the reef’s unexpected resili… […]

    10

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    […] pokryvu již třetí rok v řadě, což zpochybňuje tyto převládající příběhy. Jo Nova nabízí kritický pohled na faktory, které přispívají k nečekané odolnosti […]

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  • #
    Timothy Hossack

    The Ridd deniers have done everything possible to destroy him. They have failed yet still attract funding. It is one of the greatest injustices in Australian history that he lost his job and was pursued over his revelation of a demonstrable and constructed mis truth. And if it wasn’t for many of us helping with crowd funding he would have been bankrupted. Thankfully he is still advocating the truth. As said here already a hero.

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    […] a nonsense article in The Australian newspaper last weekend, spruiked by Peter Ridd and reposted by Joanne Nova and Anthony Watts.  Such a shame.  So many […]

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    […] After a trillion tons of CO2, the Great Barrier Reef hits record coral cover third year in a row […]

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