I am 82 years old, so have had time to read a great deal of garbage in my life, but some of the utter rubbish expressed in this thread exceeds any tripe I have ever seen before.
Brought up after the war in Townsville. Not a great part of the reef, but saw a lot of what was offering. From the early 70s I spent years cruising the reef, & did a little unofficial chartering. From the mid 70s I cruised the Pacific islands, building low tech, low cost jetties, for plantations & villages on atolls & small volcanic islands along the way to pay my way. From the early 80s I spent almost 10 years running tourist marine
operations on the reef.
I know a bit about coral, & about coral in varied locations & environments. Anyone thinking they will go to the effort of seeking out pristine environments to see the coral, think again. The coral in much of the Great Barrier Reef leaves most atoll coral for dead. The coral in an isolated atoll, or fringing a high islands a hundred miles or more from the nearest anything is often less inviting than that fringing some tourist islands, not far off the Oz coast.
I was up looking at some of my old stamping grounds just before Christmas
last year. The coral is as good as I have ever seen it in most locations you would bother going to. Even some inshore reefs are looking pretty good.
I would expect some damage now. The greatest enemy of coral is fresh water
. Hot conditions have little effect compared to the damage fresh water
does. With the extreme rainfall this year, some areas will be degraded as they have always been by a cyclone, or very wet season, but as usual they will recover.
I get so sick of people who would not know a bit of coral if they scratched their toe on it, pontificating on the reef. On one occasion I took 140 people from the Marine Park Authority, & AIMS out to our facility at Hardy Reef. From the conversations overheard I doubt many of them had ever been to the outer reef before, & some of them are the ones talking garbage seeking grants. Grrrr.