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Old 10-04-2017, 16:24   #1
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Great Barrier Reef

A new aerial survey shows 2/3's of the Great Barrier Reef has now been affected by severe bleaching.
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Old 10-04-2017, 16:42   #2
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Re: Great Barrier Reef

Last year we saw bleaching from cairns north.
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Old 10-04-2017, 16:45   #3
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Re: Great Barrier Reef

Yes, they were saying the 2 years in a row has been quite devastating.
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Old 10-04-2017, 16:55   #4
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Re: Great Barrier Reef

Cyclone Debbie has reportedly cooled down the waters now.

No doubt there is a fair bit of coral loss in shallow water in the Whitsundays in the places the tourists visit.
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Old 10-04-2017, 17:00   #5
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Re: Great Barrier Reef

I think the scientist said severe bleaching down to 4 meters. I wouldn't be surprised if hurricane Debbie caused extra damage to the reef in the area she devastated. However, that is just my opinion and it certainly may be a wrong opinion. It seems like one of the main functions of hurricanes is to cool the ocean and as the oceans warm we are seeing larger and more powerful canes.
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Old 10-04-2017, 17:05   #6
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Re: Great Barrier Reef

Saw the title to the thread and didn't even want to read it since I knew what it would say. Just too depressing to even think about.

In my lifetime I have personally witnessed the devastation of the reefs in Florida and the Bahamas. I first snorkeled the Florida Keys and Bahamas in the mid 70s. The Florida reefs were spectacular and covered with all varieties of hard corals. Now there are almost no branching corals, a few brain corals and lots of dead bottom. The main growth you see are soft corals like sea fans.

I dove on a reef on the NW tip of Long Island in the Bahamas that was several acres of beautiful, perfectly healthy staghorn coral and swarming with fish. I went back to that same reef less than ten years later and it was completely dead. Not a single living piece of coral in the entire site.

I just wonder what will be left for my grandchildren in another 50 years.
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Old 10-04-2017, 17:33   #7
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Re: Great Barrier Reef

It is another enjoy while it lasts case.

Not much that one can do other than go now, look and remember. Then you can maybe tell stories to your grandchildren. If they care to listen.

What are the consequences of bleaching? Does the reef stop supporting the ecosystem? Or does one ecosystem get substituted by its alternatives?

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Old 10-04-2017, 17:36   #8
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Re: Great Barrier Reef

It is a strech to say we are seeing more, larger and more powerful cyclones in Australian waters. Don't know of the USA situation

It is not the case here.

Debbie so far is the only one this year on the East Coast and despite the devestation caused the widespread rainfall delivered is mostly beneficial to the ecosystem and has filled dams everywhere. Generally speaking if we don't have an East Coast cyclone in a year we have drought situation developing. They are a normal part of our ecosystem. As more people move into the north and build on the flood plains we will see more affected.

It is likely the insurance claims in northern NSW and greater Brisbane area from flooding/rain will be greater than the claims from the area in central qld affected by the cyclonic winds simply because of population density.

Cyclones always cause coral damage in the shallow waters particually under 6 meters depth. It is normal.
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Old 10-04-2017, 17:48   #9
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Re: Great Barrier Reef

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What are the consequences of bleaching? Does the reef stop supporting the ecosystem? Or does one ecosystem get substituted by its alternatives?

b.
Not sure of the scientific answer but based on my personal observation of the dead staghorn reef 90% of the fish were gone. The bleached out coral skeletons were still there and I would have assumed still provided cover and habitat for small fish that would then be food for larger fish but that didn't seem to be the case.
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Old 11-04-2017, 17:08   #10
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Re: Great Barrier Reef

It is very sad. I was planning a dive trip to the GBR this year, but after this double hit I'll probably skip the are for a decade. I like the top 5m of the coral gardens, where I usually dive in the Red Sea, that's the most diverse and beautiful. Apparently turned to a graveyard all along the Queensland coast now, last year it was mostly the far north, now the middle.

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What are the consequences of bleaching? Does the reef stop supporting the ecosystem? Or does one ecosystem get substituted by its alternatives
Short bleaching period is like sickness, the coral (small animals living on the skeleton, providing food for zillions of other organisms) stays alive. When bleaching is severe, the coral dies and along with it goes the whole ecosystem up to the sharks. Diving such a site is like walking in a derelict house...

Usually there is hope for recovery, but I don't know if two subsequent belaching years can be undone... Seychelles recovered quite nice AFAIK, but that took a few years.
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Old 11-04-2017, 17:22   #11
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Re: Great Barrier Reef

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It is a strech to say we are seeing more, larger and more powerful cyclones in Australian waters. Don't know of the USA situation

It is not the case here.

Debbie so far is the only one this year on the East Coast.

And there were none last year. The last few years have seen fewer than average cyclones cross the Qld coast.
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Old 11-04-2017, 17:48   #12
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Re: Great Barrier Reef

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And there were none last year. The last few years have seen fewer than average cyclones cross the Qld coast.
And just goes to show how difficult it is to predict weather, October last year BOM was predicting a more active TC season for Queensland 2016/17....

But then again, they where right weren't they.....
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Old 12-04-2017, 22:44   #13
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Re: Great Barrier Reef

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I think the scientist said severe bleaching down to 4 meters. I wouldn't be surprised if hurricane Debbie caused extra damage to the reef in the area she devastated. However, that is just my opinion and it certainly may be a wrong opinion. It seems like one of the main functions of hurricanes is to cool the ocean and as the oceans warm we are seeing larger and more powerful canes.


Are we actually seeing more powerful and larger?
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Old 12-04-2017, 23:17   #14
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Re: Great Barrier Reef

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And just goes to show how difficult it is to predict weather, October last year BOM was predicting a more active TC season for Queensland 2016/17....

But then again, they where right weren't they.....

No, unless there's a real late season run, they're wrong. Again.
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Old 12-04-2017, 23:51   #15
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Re: Great Barrier Reef

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No, unless there's a real late season run, they're wrong. Again.
Yes! they had one this year none last, so in effect there right, or did the joke pass right over?
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