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Old 26-07-2021, 05:34   #1
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Good News: Great Barrier Reef Recovering Nicely!

From the Australian Institute for Marine Science, Long-Term Monitoring Program,
Annual Summary Report of Coral Reef Condition, 2020/2021.

Key results

1. This report summarizes the condition of coral reefs of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) from the Long-Term Monitoring Program (LTMP) surveys of 127 reefs conducted between August 2020 and April 2021 (reported as ‘2021’).

2. Over the 35 years of monitoring by AIMS, the reefs of the GBR have shown an ability to recover after disturbances.

3. In 2021, widespread recovery was underway, largely due to increases in fast growing Acropora corals.

4. Survey reefs experienced low levels of acute stressors over the past 12 months with no prolonged high temperatures or major cyclones. Numbers of outbreaks of crown-of-thorns starfish on survey reefs have generally decreased; however, there remain ongoing outbreaks on some reefs in the Southern GBR.

5. Overall, 59 out of 127 reefs had moderate (>10% - 30%) hard coral cover and 36 reefs had high (>30% - 50%) hard coral cover.

6. On the Northern GBR, region-wide hard coral cover was moderate and had continued to increase to 27% from the most recent low point in 2017.

7. On the Central GBR region-wide hard coral cover was moderate and had increased to 26% in 2021.

8. Region-wide hard coral cover on reefs in the Southern GBR was high and had increased to 39% in 2021.

9. In 2020, most of the surveyed reefs experienced heat stress accumulation that produced widespread coral bleaching but was below thresholds where widespread mortality is expected to occur. Consistent with this, surveys in 2021 recorded low coral mortality from the 2020 bleaching event.

10. In periods free from acute disturbances, most GBR coral reefs demonstrate resilience through the ability to begin recovery. However, the reefs of the GBR continue to be exposed to cumulative stressors, and the prognosis for the future disturbance regime is one of increased and longer lasting marine heatwaves and a greater proportion of severe tropical cyclones.

https://www.aims.gov.au/reef-monitor...mary-2020-2021
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Old 26-07-2021, 06:17   #2
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Re: Good News: Great Barrier Reef Recovering Nicely!

2020 Conservation Outlook , for the GBR, from the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) together with IUCN's World Commission on Protected Areas (IUCN WCPA), has been assessed as "critical" in the latest assessment cycle.

Current state: Critical, Deteriorating
Overall threats: Very High Threat
Overall Protection and Management: Mostly Effective

2020 Conservation Outlook ➥ https://worldheritageoutlook.iucn.or...es/wdpaid/2571

The IUCN World Heritage Outlook is based on Conservation Outlook Assessments prepared for each single natural World Heritage site. This includes assessments of the natural values of "mixed sites", which are listed for both natural and cultural significance. These desk-based assessments are a projection of the potential for a site to conserve its natural values over time, according to three main elements:
1. The current state and trends of values
2. The threats affecting those values
3. The effectiveness of protection and management
Assessments also identify benefits of natural World Heritage sites, and active conservation projects taking place.
https://worldheritageoutlook.iucn.or...anding-ratings
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Old 26-07-2021, 07:07   #3
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Re: Good News: Great Barrier Reef Recovering Nicely!

“Reef report cards”
The Reef water quality report card measures progress towards the Reef 2050 Water Quality Improvement Plan targets, objectives and long-term outcome. The information in these reports determines the success of actions and identifies whether further measures need to be taken to address water quality in the Great Barrier Reef. [9 reports, 2009 thru 2019]
https://www.reefplan.qld.gov.au/trac...ef-report-card


Report Card 2017 and 2018 [released in August 2019]
https://www.reefplan.qld.gov.au/trac...card/2017-2018

Report Card 2016 [released in October 2017]
https://www.reefplan.qld.gov.au/trac...port-card/2016

Report Card 2015 [released in October 2016]
https://www.reefplan.qld.gov.au/trac...ef-report-card

Report Card 2014 [released in September 2015]
https://www.reefplan.qld.gov.au/__da...eport-card.pdf

Report Card 2012 and 2013 [released in June 2014]
https://www.reefplan.qld.gov.au/__da...eport-card.pdf

Report Card 2011 [released in July 2013]
https://www.reefplan.qld.gov.au/__da...eport-card.pdf

Second Report Card 2010 [released in April 2013]
https://www.reefplan.qld.gov.au/__da...ond-report.pdf

Great Barrier Reef First Report Card (2009 Baseline)
https://www.reefplan.qld.gov.au/__da...eport-card.pdf
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Old 26-07-2021, 18:25   #4
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Re: Good News: Great Barrier Reef Recovering Nicely!

Quote:
Originally Posted by LakeSuperior View Post
Great Barrier Reef Recovering Nicely
Just to be clear, the hopeful title to this thread is LakeSuperior's interpretation, not that of the authors of the article. Here is their more somber analysis:

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

In periods free from acute disturbances, most GBR coral reefs demonstrate resilience through the ability to begin recovery. However, the reefs of the GBR continue to be exposed to cumulative stressors, and the prognosis for the future disturbance regime is one of increased and longer lasting marine heatwaves and a greater proportion of severe tropical cyclones.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

This year has seen recovery underway on LTMP survey reefs across much of the GBR. However, the metric hard coral cover, while being a simple and robust measure of reef condition, reveals nothing about the diversity or composition of coral assemblages.

To assess this, the LTMP also quantifies the percent cover of different coral types using digital imagery along permanently marked transects during fixed site surveys, at a smaller subset of reefs across the length and breadth of the GBR.

The majority of recovery was driven by increases in the fast-growing Acropora corals, which have proliferated across many GBR reefs. Once established, these corals enter an exponential growth phase which rapidly increases measures of percent hard coral cover, as documented in this year’s results. However, the fast growth comes at a cost, the skeleton is less dense than other slower growing corals, making them particularly susceptible to wave damage, like that generated by strong winds and tropical cyclones.

They are also highly susceptible to coral bleaching and are the preferred prey for crown-of-thorns starfish. This means that large increases in hard coral cover can quickly be negated by disturbances on reefs where Acropora predominate.


^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

While there have been increases in hard coral cover in these areas, there has been a shift to coral assemblages dominated by Pocillopora corals (Image 4) rather than the typically dominant Acropora corals. This shift to Pocillopora-dominated reefs likely results from different mechanisms on different reefs and may include:

1) Adult Pocillopora have survived bleaching where other corals have died, and,
2) Surviving Pocillopora can produce more offspring after bleaching as they are more numerous and spawn more frequently than other corals like Acropora

The replacement of Acropora corals by Pocillopora has important ramifications. For example, slower growth of Pocillopora will likely result in decreased speed of recovery. Additionally, impacts to other animals, like fishes, which are dependent on Acropora corals for food and shelter, may become apparent due to the reduced habitat complexity of a Pocillopora-dominated reef.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

2021 has been a low disturbance year, while the period from 2014 to 2020 was an intense period of widespread disturbances. There were numerous severe tropical cyclones and three mass coral bleaching events in five years. The fourth wave of crown-of-thorns starfish outbreaks began around 2010 between Lizard Island and Cairns, and by 2020 had progressed south to reefs offshore from Townsville.

The prognosis for the future disturbance regime under climate change is one of increasingly frequent and longer lasting marine heatwaves and a greater proportion of severe tropical cyclones. Mitigation of these climatic threats requires immediate global action on climate change.
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Old 26-07-2021, 18:39   #5
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Re: Good News: Great Barrier Reef Recovering Nicely!

We're doomed.... DOOOMED I tell ye!!!
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Old 27-07-2021, 04:52   #6
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Re: Good News: Great Barrier Reef Recovering Nicely!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reefmagnet View Post
We're doomed.... DOOOMED I tell ye!!!
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Old 27-07-2021, 04:54   #7
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Re: Good News: Great Barrier Reef Recovering Nicely!

‘Last chance’ to save coral reefs: scientists warn of climate tipping point
  • This decade is likely our last chance to save coral reefs, according to thousands of scientists
  • The International Coral Reef Society is urging governments to do more to protect and restore coral reefs
  • If temperature increases are held to 1.5 degrees Celsius, between 10 and 30 per cent of reefs could survive
  • But if global temperatures rise by 2 degrees Celsius, only about 1 per cent will
  • In a paper the authors advocate a three-pronged strategy to save the reefs: addressing climate change, improving local conditions and actively restoring coral
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Old 27-07-2021, 05:19   #8
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Re: Good News: Great Barrier Reef Recovering Nicely!

Interesting opinion piece in the Weekend Australian by professor Rudd last week wherein he states that the biggest problem the reef has is the massive increase in academics seeking to get their hands into the public pocket.
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Old 27-07-2021, 05:44   #9
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Re: Good News: Great Barrier Reef Recovering Nicely!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SailOar View Post
Just to be clear, the hopeful title to this thread is LakeSuperior's interpretation, not that of the authors of the article.
Wow! Let me repeat the third summary bullet in the OP...

3. In 2021, widespread recovery was underway, largely due to increases in fast growing Acropora corals.

SailOar, I can see that this new bit observational (not modeling) research doesn't fit your global model of an earths surface of molten slag in 10 years.

So, after 50 years of rising world temperatures and acceleration in sea level rise, the GBR is in "widespread recovery." I wonder what you would say if the news was slightly bad?

In your last three posts you seems to be intent on turning a nice gain into a a bitter loss. I will celebrate a small win.
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Old 27-07-2021, 06:19   #10
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Re: Good News: Great Barrier Reef Recovering Nicely!

Quote:
Originally Posted by LakeSuperior View Post
Wow! Let me repeat the third summary bullet in the OP...

3. In 2021, widespread recovery was underway, largely due to increases in fast growing Acropora corals.

SailOar, I can see that this new bit observational (not modeling) research doesn't fit your global model of an earths surface of molten slag in 10 years.

So, after 50 years of rising world temperatures and acceleration in sea level rise, the GBR is in "widespread recovery." I wonder what you would say if the news was slightly bad?

In your last three posts you seems to be intent on turning a nice gain into a a bitter loss. I will celebrate a small win.
There is a significant difference between "celebrate a small win" and claiming that the "Great Barrier Reef Recovering Nicely." The GBR IS NOT recovering nicely! It is more like a temporary reprieve.

Your attention must have been flagging by the time you reached #10 in your list.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LakeSuperior View Post
10. In periods free from acute disturbances, most GBR coral reefs demonstrate resilience through the ability to begin recovery. However, the reefs of the GBR continue to be exposed to cumulative stressors, and the prognosis for the future disturbance regime is one of increased and longer lasting marine heatwaves and a greater proportion of severe tropical cyclones.
And apparently you didn't bother reading the rest of the article.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SailOar View Post
This year has seen recovery underway on LTMP survey reefs across much of the GBR. However, the metric hard coral cover, while being a simple and robust measure of reef condition, reveals nothing about the diversity or composition of coral assemblages.

To assess this, the LTMP also quantifies the percent cover of different coral types using digital imagery along permanently marked transects during fixed site surveys, at a smaller subset of reefs across the length and breadth of the GBR.

The majority of recovery was driven by increases in the fast-growing Acropora corals, which have proliferated across many GBR reefs. Once established, these corals enter an exponential growth phase which rapidly increases measures of percent hard coral cover, as documented in this year’s results. However, the fast growth comes at a cost, the skeleton is less dense than other slower growing corals, making them particularly susceptible to wave damage, like that generated by strong winds and tropical cyclones.

They are also highly susceptible to coral bleaching and are the preferred prey for crown-of-thorns starfish. This means that large increases in hard coral cover can quickly be negated by disturbances on reefs where Acropora predominate.


^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

While there have been increases in hard coral cover in these areas, there has been a shift to coral assemblages dominated by Pocillopora corals (Image 4) rather than the typically dominant Acropora corals. This shift to Pocillopora-dominated reefs likely results from different mechanisms on different reefs and may include:

1) Adult Pocillopora have survived bleaching where other corals have died, and,
2) Surviving Pocillopora can produce more offspring after bleaching as they are more numerous and spawn more frequently than other corals like Acropora

The replacement of Acropora corals by Pocillopora has important ramifications. For example, slower growth of Pocillopora will likely result in decreased speed of recovery. Additionally, impacts to other animals, like fishes, which are dependent on Acropora corals for food and shelter, may become apparent due to the reduced habitat complexity of a Pocillopora-dominated reef.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

2021 has been a low disturbance year, while the period from 2014 to 2020 was an intense period of widespread disturbances. There were numerous severe tropical cyclones and three mass coral bleaching events in five years. The fourth wave of crown-of-thorns starfish outbreaks began around 2010 between Lizard Island and Cairns, and by 2020 had progressed south to reefs offshore from Townsville.

The prognosis for the future disturbance regime under climate change is one of increasingly frequent and longer lasting marine heatwaves and a greater proportion of severe tropical cyclones. Mitigation of these climatic threats requires immediate global action on climate change.
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Old 27-07-2021, 10:17   #11
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Re: Good News: Great Barrier Reef Recovering Nicely!

So SailOar, are you saying there is not one ounce of good news in report? No good anywhere to be found? Record coral coverage on the GBR is no good?
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Old 27-07-2021, 10:18   #12
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Re: Good News: Great Barrier Reef Recovering Nicely!

Exploiting modern technology it's actually possible to have a look at many of the individual reefs which constitute The Great Barrier Reef. I've posted a couple of the three thousand or so which constitute the Reef.

With even the most casual of inspections one thing becomes obvious, what is described as a reef actually covers a fairly broad area. That is they are not just linear features, why is that so.

Further inspection shows that the part of the reef which constitutes "living" corral is just a very narrow band around the outside of the area described as reef and that all the coral inside this band is dead coral rubble. The live coral around the outside appears to be growing the reef on the bodies of it's dead forbears.

Could it be that the reefs are subject to the same birth, life death cycles as the rest of the biological matter on the planet.
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Old 27-07-2021, 11:10   #13
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Re: Good News: Great Barrier Reef Recovering Nicely!

Quote:
Originally Posted by LakeSuperior View Post
So SailOar, are you saying there is not one ounce of good news in report? No good anywhere to be found? Record coral coverage on the GBR is no good?
Absolutely not. There is some good news, and I appreciate your bringing this report to our attention. But since you've consistently presented yourself as an AGW denier, and since you introduced this report by asserting that the GBR was "recovering nicely," it seemed appropriate to point out that the general consensus among reef experts is actually very "alarmist" in spite of an occasional good year or two.
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Old 27-07-2021, 15:05   #14
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Re: Good News: Great Barrier Reef Recovering Nicely!

I don't want to be accused of using Trip Advisor for my sources, but if the GBR was as screwed as some are trying to have us believe then the din from those depending on it for their livelihoods would be heard far and wide. Tourism, fishing, even those pesky tourists themselves, at al. Yet the only one's complaining are those with a vested interest in alarmism.

Says it all.
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Old 27-07-2021, 15:17   #15
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Re: Good News: Great Barrier Reef Recovering Nicely!

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I don't want to be accused of using Trip Advisor for my sources, but if the GBR was as screwed as some are trying to have us believe then the din from those depending on it for their livelihoods would be heard far and wide. Tourism, fishing, even those pesky tourists themselves, at al. Yet the only one's complaining are those with a vested interest in alarmism.

Says it all.
Not really. As a tourist I've gone snorkeling on reefs in the Caribbean that were less than pristine -- some looked like boneyards. I enjoyed what was there, and tried to imagine the stunning beauty that once was.

The decimation of fisheries is well documented. If you can't make a living fishing you don't fish.
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