Great Barrier Reef head says reports of widespread coral bleaching misleading

barrier reefRussell Reichelt, chairman of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, said this week that activist scientists, green lobbyists, and environmental organizations have distorted “surveys, maps and data” to intentionally mislead the “extent and impact of coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef.”

A new report on the barrier reef’s health was released last week by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) and the Australian Institute of Marine Science. It showed that only 22 percent of the reef was affected by the now-dissipated 2015-2016 El Niño, and that current conservation efforts over the last few years have taken the reef off of the World Heritage sites ‘watch’ list.

Numerous reports from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and other activist organizations said that much of the barrier reef was bleached, or killed, by the warm waters triggered by the strong, naturally occurring El Niño and global warming.

Dr. Reichelt said the bulk of the coral bleaching was confined to the far northern section off Cape York, which had the best prospect of recovery due to the lack of onshore development, pollution run-off, and higher water quality. Reports from media outlets like The Guardian also reported the reef’s so-called mass bleaching, even though it was based on information provided by Big Green, climactivists, and overly zealous scientists.

Scientists like Australia’s former climate change commissioner Tim Flannery, who said that diving near the Great Barrier Reef was “one of the saddest days of my life. This great organism, the size of Germany and arguably the most diverse place on earth, is dying before our eyes,’’ Flannery wrote in the Sydney Morning Herald. He then compared it to watching his father die a slow, inextricable death two years ago. “This is death, which ever-rising temperatures will allow no recovery from. Unless we act now.”

Hardly. Reichelt said Flannery’s comments were “dramatic” and “theatrical” and his prognosis was “speculative.” As noted, the overall mortality rate that was confined mostly to one small area was only 22 percent. And the areas that tourists visit most often only lost 2 percent. Even the U.N. Chief said the management of the reef in recent years has been top-notch.

Like Flannery, the National Coral Bleaching Taskforce headed by Terry Hughes is at loggerheads with the Barrier Reef agency that produced this latest report. Reichelt said the GBRMPA had withdrawn from a joint announcement on coral bleaching with Hughes “because we didn’t think it told the whole story.” The taskforce said mass bleaching had killed 35 percent of corals on the northern and central Great Barrier Reef. Reichelt said the maps accompanying the research were “misleading and exaggerated the impact.”

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    What Climate Scientists and Marine Biologists predict and what actually happens are often quite dissimilar. Case in point…let’s compare their Great Barrier Reef 1998 coral bleaching reports and conclusions, with their Great Barrier Reef 2016 reports and conclusions.
    “The 1998 El Nino Coral Bleaching has permanently damaged 90% of the Great Barrier Reef”. “The 2016 El Nino Coral Bleaching has permanently damaged 90% of the Great Barrier Reef”.
    Ok so that would mean that after 1998 only 10% of the Great Barrier Reef was alive, and therefore if the 2016 event killed an additional 90% only 1% of the reef should be alive.
    Well that’s not what has happened. What actual happened was that 99% of the Great Barrier Reef fully recovered from the 1998 bleaching by the year 2010 as per numerous studies).
    This is exactly what will happen in a few years with the 2016 bleaching …the Great Barrier Reef will recover. This is how nature works. Warm waters from natural and geologically induced El Nino’s are actually necessary cleaning agents of nature. They are natures “Deep Ocean Forest Fires” as per a previous Climate Change Dispatch article.
    There is however one thing that did NOT recovered from the 1998 El Nino coral bleaching event…a dogmatic group of climate scientists and marine biologist have continue to mislead the public about what causes coral bleaching and how reefs recover.

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    David Lewis


    Jim, excellent math, but don’t expect the alarmists to understand math that doesn’t support their cause.

    We need another reality check. The earth has warmed less than a degree since the start of the industrial revolution. It is not reasonable to believe that damage to the Great Barrier Reef could result from such a small change. In addition, both the Roman and Medieval warm periods were warmer than today, and the Reef survived.

    Exaggerating damage to the Reef is another example of phone information supporting a phony crisis.

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    The pine beetle damage to forest in Western Canada was attributed to global warming
    yet a few short years later the growth in forests is impossible not to see and it is unnerving . No way the electric companies or forestry can keep ahead of this tsunami of green growth . BC alone has a coast line of over 15,000 miles that is virtually nothing but uninterrupted bush and forest .

    You have to be as blind as a bat to not see
    the exponential growth and density of these forest all thanks to our good friend CO2 , a warming climate and humans ability to stop natural occurring forest fires .

    Why do the Greenies want to stifle plant and forest growth ? Maybe their real intended target is the elimination of people . Or maggots as David Suzuki kind of gets off thinking about .

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