coral wins … big increases

Despite the Green scaremongers, coral growth is at an all time high.

After all those scares about the dying Great Barrier Reef, the Australian Institute of Marine Science today admits that coral cover has in fact increased overall by 19 per cent over the past three years:

An updated analysis of the regional and Great Barrier Reef-wide trends shows that from 2012 to 2015 hard coral cover in the central and southern sections of the reef had increased (see Figure 1). In contrast, the northern section shows a decline in coral cover over these three recent years because of an intense cyclone (a second cyclone occurred after the most recent survey) and renewed activity of crown-of-thorns starfish in the region.

Sure, there was a decline in coral cover in years before that, and there’s now some bleaching caused by the El Nino – the first serious mass bleaching event in 14 years. But we now know that corals recover much better than the alarmists once claimed. As AIMS reports:

While the Reef’s coral cover has improved in recent years, the widespread bleaching event will affect its condition. Not all corals that bleach will die, but even partially bleached corals have reduced reproduction and growth for up to two years, which is likely to slow or halt further recovery.

The Reef has had setbacks, but the message is that coral reefs recover – which explains why they’ve been there for many, many thousands of years:

The decline of coral cover on the mid-shelf and offshore reefs from 1985 to 2012 was caused by the cumulative impacts of severe tropical cyclones, damage by the predatory crown-of-thorns starfish (COTS) and the previous two mass bleaching events in 1998 and 2002. Additional environmental pressures such as reduced water quality and increased water temperatures further reduce reef resilience, i.e. all affecting the ability of coral reefs to recover from acute disturbance events such as such as cyclones and storms.

It seems better reef management has also helped. The doom sayers really should apologise.

?????????? ?????????? ??????????

About Tom Harley

Amateur ecologist and horticulturalist and CEO of Kimberley Environmental Horticulture Inc. (Tom Harley) Kimberley Environmental Horticulture Incorporated Kimberley Environmental Horticulture (KEH) is a small group of committed individuals who promote the use of indigenous plants for the landscaping of parks and gardens. Rehabilitation of Kimberley coast, bushland and pastoral regions are also high on our agenda. This includes planting seedlings, weed control, damage from erosion or any other environmental matter that comes to our attention. We come from all walks of life, from Professionals and Trades oriented occupations, Pensioners and Students, Public Servants and the Unemployed. We have a community plant nursery where we trial many old and new species, with a view to incorporating these into our landscaping trials. Our labour force are mainly volunteers, but with considerable help from the 'work for the dole' program, Indigenous Community Development Employment Program (CDEP) groups and the Ministry of Justice, with their community work orders; in this way we manage to train many people in the horticultural skills needed for indigenous plant growing. We constantly undertake field trips that cover seed and plant collection in the Kimberley. Networking around the Kimberley region and the east Pilbara is a necessary part of promoting our activities. We consult on a range of Environmental and Landscaping matters that deal with our region. Our activities involve improving Broome's residential streetscapes by including 'waterwise' priciples in planting out nature strips. Sustainable environmental horticulture is practised by members of our group. We use existing vegetation as the backbone of any plantings, using these species to advantage when planning to develop tree forms or orchards. The Broome region is sensitive to development. Subsequently many weed species have become dominant in and around developed areas. The use and movement of heavy machinery is the biggest single cause of environmental degradation. We dont live in a 'Tropical Paradise' but on the edge of the Great Sandy Desert. The plants that survive best here, grow in well-drained pindan sand, and are found from the Dampier Peninsular southward to where average rainfall is below 600mm. When we use rainforest species, detail is important when planting, water catchment, sunlight and understorey species are all considered. The use of recycled 'grey' water is an advantage here as well as treated waste-water, although many local species do not fare well with nutrients from this source. We use waterwise planting methods which include harvesting asmuch rainwater as possible, with swales designed to hold up to 200 litres, to help recharge the local groundwater aquifer. There has been a serious decline in this aquifer over the last few years. With the fast expansion of the Broome peninsular, more and more land is being covered by concrete, iron and bitumen so that much less water is available to replenish the aquifer, allowing the salt content to become significantly higher. The small Broome Peninsular is on the south-western corner of the Dampier Peninsular (bound by Broome, Derby and Cape Leveque at the northern tip). Compaction by vehicles also inhibits water retention due to the content of our local pindan sand, hard as concrete in the dry, going to soft and sloppy mud after rain. None of us are botanists, inevitably we have got some names wrong, names changed, or have not gone to sub-species level. If you note a photo or description may be wrong, please e-mail to kimenvhort@yahoo.com.au
This entry was posted in Climate, Environment, Oz politics, science, weather and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to coral wins … big increases

  1. john namnik says:

    The issues with coral confuse me. Obviously water temps in tropical waters are much higher consistently than in temperate Southern waters, yet coral survives and grows in both: why do alarmists claim that a rise in temps will kill coral – especially in the Southern part of the Barrier Reef? Is the coral around PNG of a different type than that off Sth Queensland? Is the coral off W.A. bleaching, and if not is that because it was not subject to El Nino? [These are rhetorical questions that I can research if I ever get time].

    • Tom Harley says:

      Bleaching can also happen as a result of strong cyclones, which can break a lot of it up. Usually it’s temporary as a bleaching of most of the Scott Reef coral found back in about 1998 recovered soon after
      .

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s