Tag Archives: Great Barrier Reef

Do we seriously want to save the Great Barrier Reef?

Back on 17 March, 2017 Joshua Robertson’s article in the Guardian Stopping global warming is only way to save Great Barrier Reef, scientists warn reported four things happening simultaneously. First, a paper by 46 scientists published in Nature showed that bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef in 1998, 2002 and 2016 was determined by ocean surface temperature; water quality had nothing to do with it.

Secondly, Terry Hughes, the lead author of the paper was embarking on aerial surveys to chart the effects of the latest 2017 bleaching event, the first in consecutive years, and the first in a non-El Niño year.

Third, Queensland government officials were in Paris meeting with UNESCO officials to appeal for more time to make good on conservation efforts to ward off an “in-danger” listing for the reef. This conservation plan does not mention global warming, concentrating on such things as water quality.

Fourth, Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk went to India to lobby Adani to proceed with its giant coal mine in the Galilee Basin. Continue reading Do we seriously want to save the Great Barrier Reef?

Climate clippings 202

1. State of the Environment 2016

The government has produced the latest State of the Environment Report 2016 which happens every five years. I’ve browsed the report and can say that it has some magnificent photographs.

According to the ABS Australia’s population will be between 36.8 million and 48.3 million in 2066 as against 24 million now. The report says that the key drivers of environmental change are population growth and economic activity.

The report says that it is possible to decouple these drivers from environmental harm, but it’s a possibility only. Sue Arnold, following Ted Trainer and Sustainable Australia suggests that we have already breached our carrying capacity. Continue reading Climate clippings 202

Climate clippings 199

1. Ballarat and Bendigo targetted for blackouts to keep lights on in NSW

It didn’t happen, but the phone call was made during the early February heatwave:

    Victorian Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio confirmed she was approached by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) with the suggestion that either Ballarat or Bendigo could potentially lose electricity for a period of time to assist NSW.

Victoria was not impressed and have demanded an explanation. Continue reading Climate clippings 199

Climate clippings 187

1. Arctic sea ice volume collapse

The collapse of the Arctic sea ice volume has been even more dramatic than the extent, as shown in this graph:

volume_1-ntec4r4n_axudzpkbhvb9q_550

It’s down from 16,855 cubic kilometres in 1979 to 4,401 in 2016, that’s an ice loss of about 74%. Continue reading Climate clippings 187

Climate clippings 177

1. Potential One Nation senator wants climate scepticism taught in schools

His boss, Pauline Hanson, thinks he has the “true facts”, and in denialists quarters he has gained a reputation for exposing corruption in the IPCC, the CSIRO and elsewhere. Continue reading Climate clippings 177

Saving the Great Barrier Reef

Our government seems bent on saving the tourist industry by airbrushing the Great Barrier Reef out of UN reports. The report “World Heritage and Tourism in a Changing Climate”, published jointly by UNESCO, the United Nations Environment Program and the Union of Concerned Scientists, initially had a key chapter on the Great Barrier Reef, as well as small sections on Kakadu and the Tasmanian forests.

The chapter was removed at the request of the Australian government. They were worried the tourists may not come. Continue reading Saving the Great Barrier Reef

Coral reef resilience

reef_200Recently we took a look at the most recent coral bleaching event in Great Barrier Reef will never be the same. John D subsequently sent me a link to an article Obituaries for coral reefs may be premature, study finds by John Pandolfi, Professor, School of Biological Sciences, at The University of Queensland.

So I thought we should take a closer look. Continue reading Coral reef resilience

Great Barrier Reef will never be the same

Core samples of the Great Barrier Reef going back 400 years show no bleaching before 1998. There was another event in 2002. In those events less than 20% of reefs were bleached in the affected zones. This year 95 per cent of the Great Barrier Reef’s northern reefs were rated as severely bleached. Only 4 out of 520 reefs surveyed, less than one per cent, were found to be unaffected by bleaching.

The bleaching is destroying the northern sector of the Reef as we watch. Continue reading Great Barrier Reef will never be the same

Climate clippings 167

1. Hybrid wind and solar farms could deliver significant cost savings

    A total of at least 1GW of large-scale solar could be added to existing Australian wind farms, boosting renewable energy development, generation, and and smoothing its delivery to the grid, according to a new report from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency investigation the benefits of solar and wind “co-location.”

Continue reading Climate clippings 167

Climate clippings 166

1. Temperatures could be rising faster than we thought

Using a new model, researchers from the University of Queensland and Griffith University, predict the global average temperature could rise by 1.5°C as early as 2020. The model is based on forecasts of population and economic growth combined with rising per capita energy consumption. Continue reading Climate clippings 166

Climate clippings 165

1. Cyclone Winston the second strongest to make landfall

Cyclone Winston, which hit Fiji with winds of almost 300 kph, was the second strongest to make landfall, the strongest being Taiphoon Haiyan, which hit the Philippines in 2013.

Jeff Masters lists the 13 strongest cyclones by windspeed to make landfall using 1-minute averaging: Continue reading Climate clippings 165

Climate clippings 161

1. Lakes warming faster than atmosphere

Courtesy of John D, from Gizmag, an item that has implications for algal blooms, health of species, food and methane emissions.

    Specifically, the results show that the average temperature in the lakes has been rising by 0.61 degrees Fahrenheit every 10 years. While that might not seem too significant, it’s a higher rate of warming than witnessed in either the atmosphere or the ocean, and the long-term effects could be pronounced… Continue reading Climate clippings 161