By Andrew Bolt ~
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.
Andrew Bolt’s columns appear in Melbourne’s Herald Sun, Sydney’s Daily Telegraph and Adelaide’s Advertiser. He runs the most-read political blog in Australia and hosts Channel 10’s The Bolt Report each Sunday at 10am. He is also heard from Monday to Friday at 8am on the breakfast show of radio station MTR 1377, and his book Still Not Sorry remains very widely read.