The Barrier Reef

Submitted: Wednesday, Oct 03, 2012 at 14:07
ThreadID: 98368 Views:1849 Replies:11 FollowUps:30
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50% gone and diminishing further rapidly. An incredibly sad news item last night. It is difficult to imagine Australia without it.
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Reply By: Rangiephil - Wednesday, Oct 03, 2012 at 16:37

Wednesday, Oct 03, 2012 at 16:37
I am always a bit sceptical of such enormous predictions.
I have attached a link to a very extensive 2009 study which has very different conclusions and doesn't even mention Crown of Thorns starfish.

www.reefplan.qld.gov.au/measuring-success/report.../gbr-region.pdf

Regards Philip A
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Follow Up By: mfewster - Wednesday, Oct 03, 2012 at 19:21

Wednesday, Oct 03, 2012 at 19:21
I had a look at this. It is a plan. The plan says itself its targets are ambitious. I see nothing in it that gives any confidence at all that the targets will be met or that they are sufficient to reverse the decline. The government needs to look as though they are doing"something". It reminds me of the mayor/city Council in Jaws who were anxious not to talk about Sharks for fear this would deter tourists.
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Reply By: Member - eighty matey - Wednesday, Oct 03, 2012 at 17:16

Wednesday, Oct 03, 2012 at 17:16
I've been hearing these predictions and figures for 40 years.

I lived in Cairns during the 80s and it was just about gone then.

We have to make sure we treat it with respect but it a mighty organism that will look after itself.

Steve
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Follow Up By: Bazooka - Thursday, Oct 04, 2012 at 11:11

Thursday, Oct 04, 2012 at 11:11
Excellent scientific analysis there eighty matey. Who can argue with logic like that. The effect of global warming (man assisted or otherwise) alone on coral reefs is well documented. Google will turn up numerous references if you're interested.
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Follow Up By: Member - eighty matey - Thursday, Oct 04, 2012 at 19:37

Thursday, Oct 04, 2012 at 19:37
Than you for the compliment.
I try my hardest.

I'm sure Google is full of evidence both ways of the argument.

I'm happy having my own conclusions.... being the rocket scientist I am.

Hoo roo,
Steve

PS, my floor level is 1.45m AHD (Aust Height Datum), and my yard is about a foot above AHD. I've been waiting 21 years for these oceans to start rising so I can sell my lawnmower on Ebay.
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Reply By: Rockape - Wednesday, Oct 03, 2012 at 17:33

Wednesday, Oct 03, 2012 at 17:33
Well like it or not it is happening.

From the belly dumping dredges that smother the coral, to the over fishing by pros and amateurs with all the tech aids they have, to the release of fertilisers and sewerage as the population grows and grows, to the run off from tilled land.

We can't control nature but we can control what we do. Cane farmers now zero till and have learnt to use minimum fertiliser and bund their farms as best they can.

Population and the reef

As an old friend of mine told me when he was in his 70's said. Son as an ocean going master in my time at sea I have seen the oceans change colour.

My opinion only others can answer the poster directly.

RA.

AnswerID: 496105

Follow Up By: Tonyfish#58 - Wednesday, Oct 03, 2012 at 17:54

Wednesday, Oct 03, 2012 at 17:54
An Opinion is not Fact :-) So when you say "Well like it or not it is happening". It does not cover all the facts.

It is more than likely we have some impact on the reef, the extent is still not really known. IMHO

Regards Tony
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Follow Up By: Rockape - Wednesday, Oct 03, 2012 at 18:49

Wednesday, Oct 03, 2012 at 18:49
Tony,
exactly what I said we do have an impact on the reef. How much you and I don't know will depend on research whether we like it or not.

I can remember

as for fact, I don't think you could deny any of the things I have posted above have added to the decline in the health of the reef.

FACT. Even If the honest facts are released people will still say they are wrong.

I still remember when an army of doctors said smoking doesn't cause health problems. Many chose to agree with them. That was their opinion. They just got it wrong.

RA.


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Follow Up By: Member - alandale - Wednesday, Oct 03, 2012 at 20:52

Wednesday, Oct 03, 2012 at 20:52
Hi Rockape,
We have been observing the Great Barrier reef for the last fifty years, and spending a lot of money to keep scientists happily on Islands like Heron and others. I would like to be paid to live on the reef too, but they have to make some reports every so often to keep their job. The more they scare you the better it is for themselves, the Government does what the loudest minority wants. Be them (greenie experts) aged about 20 years old .
The Reef itself is building up on top of dead reef, coral sporn yearly and it settles on dead reef and grows like a small forrest, then that dies off again and the process starts again.
There are many ways a reef can die, one I myself have noticed is with sand movement, humans had nothing to do with that. The closest in main reef is about 20 kilometers approx. I haven't yet seen the flood waters of the Johnstone, Hurbert, Burdekin, Pioneer, Fitzroy or Burnett flow out that far.
Look at the photo in my profile, it is the Devonian Reef at Windjana Gorge in WA, it is over 360 million years old, now up high and dry. It is believed to be nearly two Kilometers deep and it took 50 million years to grow, humans had no hand in its fate.
We can clean up our rubbish but we cant stop natural disasters.
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Follow Up By: Rockape - Wednesday, Oct 03, 2012 at 22:08

Wednesday, Oct 03, 2012 at 22:08
Alan,
who is we.
1.Why mention the Pioneer River it is a blue water River.
2. The Burdekin flows right out past the outer reef in flood.
3. Look at aerial photos of these rivers in flood and you will see how far they go.
4. Dredges have caused reef to be lost in Townville when the harbour in Ross creek and the trawler basin in Ross river were built.
5. Same happened in Smith Creek Cairns. You had to step up 500mm to the bottom step on the sugar terminal, guess where all that mud went full of fertiliser. Yes they used to drop fertiliser there after the cane cutting season.
6. When you see cane headlands to the edge of creeks with no trees left. Have a think about it.
7. The cane farmers are actually trying to change and help as it is known what the fertiliser and silt does.

Enough said. If you disagree then say it in the original post as you won't change my mind.

RA.


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Follow Up By: mfewster - Thursday, Oct 04, 2012 at 07:05

Thursday, Oct 04, 2012 at 07:05
Hello Alendale
That is a truly remarkable post. You are correct about those huge old reefs and their age. What you are missing is that our reef has gone in 60 years. This is no slow geological movement, this (in geological, not human time frames) is instant death and that is something very different. Something has killed it. And unless we fix that "something" it wont be coming back.
I liked your references to the rebuilding process. That was the natural cycle for reefs. But that rebuilding process (worldwide) has almost halted. And with them (just like the rainforests) the planet centres for genetic diversity are disappearing as well.
One can only hope that our West Australian citizens learn something from all this and think real hard about the Kimberley coast and areas like Ningaloo Reef. But I'd agree that asking scientists to do research for us is a complete waste of time as we will find any laughable way we can to ignore their findings if we don't like them.
Let's all take lots of photos so we can show our grandchildren what it was once to be Australian.
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Reply By: mfewster - Wednesday, Oct 03, 2012 at 18:34

Wednesday, Oct 03, 2012 at 18:34
I didn't give an opinion. I drew attention to a report in the media. The report stated what the latest survey shows to be the state of the reef. The closest anything gets to opinion is the interpolation re the current rate of reef disappearance as to how long we will still have a reef. And that isn't really opinion, it just reads the graphs.
About 10 years ago while overseas at a diving resort in Thailand with divers from many parts of the world, I noted that many divers were saying it was no longer worth coming to Australia for the Barrier Reef as so much of it was dead. I didn't believe it at the time, our press tended to carry stories that suggested there were problems and something should be done, but the general feeling was that science would fix it. So I thought it was exaggerated. A few years later I went to look at it myself. I was shocked at how much was dead. I no longer think " they" were exaggerating then or now.
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Follow Up By: Rockape - Wednesday, Oct 03, 2012 at 19:46

Wednesday, Oct 03, 2012 at 19:46
Mate,
I won't even go out there now as I don't want to spoil how I remember it.

Thanks for the post.

RA.
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Reply By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Wednesday, Oct 03, 2012 at 19:39

Wednesday, Oct 03, 2012 at 19:39
Interesting thread, I was at another "world heritage site" a couple of days ago and there was a map of Australia showing all these world heritage sites (including the GBR)together with a statement about what that meant. The words were something like it means that the Federal and Queensland Governments will do whatever is neccessary to maintain the value of the site for future generations. I found it a bold and interesting statement and I was thinking about the reef at the time in particularly the degredation of the water quality caused by 150 years of development that is now choking the reef. Some things are clearly within the control of decision makers but I guess that economic pressure is too much too bear.

Kind regards
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Reply By: mikehzz - Wednesday, Oct 03, 2012 at 21:12

Wednesday, Oct 03, 2012 at 21:12
There is the FACT that people who try to care for the environment and put plans into action that may reduce any impact are yelled down as militant greenies, green nazis, tree huggers etc. You name it they get called it. Don't they realise that most people won't pay extra to try and save these sorts of things and that it is our God given right to trash the place? I don't believe in forcing my opinion on others. Whatever happens will be a majority decision. If the reef goes then the majority will have allowed it, democracy in action....c'est la vie.
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Thursday, Oct 04, 2012 at 10:39

Thursday, Oct 04, 2012 at 10:39
Its a hard one Mike - and I often think this is because of a failure to be inclusive - and this failure occurs because its to hard to be inclusive.

Take some recent issues like the reduction of campfires in the Simpson area.

We opposed this and continue to cost those supporting organizations every where we can.

The base reason for this and other similar situations is that some way for these things to continue in a responsible manner seemed to hard for the authorites to encompass and its easier in the short term to put a blanket ban on things and almost always things deriorate and years later they can say were wrong and simply change directions- in the meantime everyone suffers and the whole place goes downhill.

The reef , The Simpson and many others areas are following this base senario - of over reaction followed by loss of public support and the cycle continues.
Robin Miller

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Follow Up By: mikehzz - Thursday, Oct 04, 2012 at 21:17

Thursday, Oct 04, 2012 at 21:17
I have to agree it's hard. However, there is no doubt that people are turning the Simpson into a bit of a tip. You only have to read the post from Jeff at Mt Dare a few months ago. There is just no way that you can get some people to do the right thing unfortunately. Could the fire ban have something to do with the big fire last year that closed the Simpson for a few weeks? I suppose the answer is in what you term as a reasonable response or an over reaction. I believe our freedom to travel to exotic remote places is far more under threat from bogan mongrels than it is from over zealous killjoy authorities.
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Reply By: pop2jocem - Wednesday, Oct 03, 2012 at 23:28

Wednesday, Oct 03, 2012 at 23:28
I don't suppose it could have anything to do with the fact that as well as the increasing industrialisation of our society we are now something like 22 million in number compared to what, 12 million 50 years ago. And the world is being asked to support more and more of us.

Nah couldn't be....no votes in that (;-))
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Reply By: Kris and Kev - Thursday, Oct 04, 2012 at 10:54

Thursday, Oct 04, 2012 at 10:54
It is like the old green house gas arguments. We must do this and that (carbon tax etc) to save the planet. I thought this too, that we must make changes to save the planet, until I realised it is not about saving the planet, it is about saving us, the human race. The planet will survive. In fact the planet is probably wishing we would hurry up. Once we are gone the planet will recover very quickly.
It also amazes me that we have so many experts now, but the more experts we get the more differing opinions we get. Don’t figure hey. Kevin
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Follow Up By: mfewster - Thursday, Oct 04, 2012 at 11:44

Thursday, Oct 04, 2012 at 11:44
Those "old greenhouse gas " arguments are still valid. The ecosystem appears robust, but only up to a point. When we look at all the planets we know about, only one has got the balance that gives sustainable life. That doesn't suggest to me that the system can be taken for granted. I'd agree that the Earth as a life system would probably do better without us. But the whole system is interconnected. You can't do something to one part of the system withoput it having ramifications for another part.
And the oceans are probably the key to it all. No other planet we know of has anything like our oceans. At what point do we destroy the oceans and make the whole life chain unsustainable?
I don't know either. But it defies common sense to think that we can continue to destroy habitat for the world's species without it coming back to harm us and the whole system. Humans today are very different to humans of 100 years ago. We make huge changes to the world around us and in time frames that don't allow the natural processes that have operated in the past to adjust.
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Reply By: Danna - Thursday, Oct 04, 2012 at 12:20

Thursday, Oct 04, 2012 at 12:20
Hi everybody
The global warming …hmmm ….. where and when I heard this one first time in my life???
Let me thing…. yes…. more than 50 years ago…. communists “behind the iron wall” wanted to “command Sun, wind and rain”, just like some people now!
They have to come with more original con for people like us, who went thru this madness before.
On other hand we learned in primary school in level 5, that there are cycles on planet Earth. We were told that we are in period of time between the ice ages. The ice age N.5 & N.6 and there is nothing, nothing we can do about weather patterns at all. We are too small and unimportant for nature and mighty planet Earth.
Dana
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Follow Up By: Lyn W3 - Thursday, Oct 04, 2012 at 12:32

Thursday, Oct 04, 2012 at 12:32
Saw this article at the weekend:

Record Antarctica Ice Contradicts Global Warming Trend
Sunday, 30 Sep 2012 11:23 AM

As climatologists worry about the effects of global warming, Antarctica has quietly set a new record for the greatest sea ice extent ever measured at either pole, according to various sources.

“NSIDC (National Snow and Ice Data Center) seems disinterested in their own data, choosing instead to write stories about Penguins being threatened by declining Antarctic sea ice,” states the web site Real Science. “If current trends continue, the earth will be completely covered with ice much faster than the climate models predicted.”

“Anyone wonder why NOAA isn’t making a fuss about this?” adds the website Sunshine Hours.

Steve Goreham, executive director of the Climate Science Coalition of America and author of the new book “The Mad, Mad, Mad World of Climatism: Mankind and Climate Change Mania” argued that the finding appears to challenge the theory of climatism, or a belief that man-made greenhouse gases are destroying earth’s climate.

“It’s interesting that climate scientists are so alarmed by declining Arctic ice. The Arctic Icecap is only 1 to 2 percent of Earth’s ice, while the elephant, the Antarctic Icecap, contains about 90 percent of Earth’s ice,” he wrote on the website phillyBurbs.com.

“The climate models underestimated the decline in Arctic ice, but they are confounded by the growth in Antarctic ice," he explained.

© 2012 Newsmax. All rights reserved.



Read more on Newsmax.com: Record Antarctica Ice Contradicts Global Warming Trend




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Follow Up By: mfewster - Thursday, Oct 04, 2012 at 12:41

Thursday, Oct 04, 2012 at 12:41
And that is one of the great myths. You are of course right about the cycles. But you should have continued with your science a bit longer at school. We actually have a pretty good idea about those cycles and what causes them and that is mainly related to sunspot activity (although we don't understand what causes the sunspot activity, apart from knowing that it is cyclical. What is happening at the moment doesn't fit ... except with the analysis that science is giving us.
You have to love it when we accept the science that we did at PS but reject the science of today. Do you think scientists as twisting facts to suit their own ends but you happily accept the views of vastly rich mine owners that they are working in our best interests?
Although I did notice a couple of days ago in a news item that should have got better coverage, Rio Tinto came out and said that they now accept the evidence that climate change is real, is a problem and that it is caused by humans.
Yes, we are small, but we have power now that sure isn't. In particular, we have done in about 100 years what used to take millions of years, we have freed vast amounts of energy that was locked up. And we continue to do so at an accelerating rate.
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Follow Up By: mfewster - Thursday, Oct 04, 2012 at 12:45

Thursday, Oct 04, 2012 at 12:45
Here's the press statement from Rio Tinto

http://www.riotinto.com/ourapproach/17214_climate_change.asp

The climate change deniers need to do some fast rethinking, but I'll bet they just see conspiracy theories
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Follow Up By: Danna - Thursday, Oct 04, 2012 at 14:31

Thursday, Oct 04, 2012 at 14:31
Mfewster
Being little to personal, are you…..

you should have continued with your science a bit longer at school…..

In our schooling system you didn’t pick & choose what you study, or how many years…. you were told!!, …minimum 14 years no discussion – trade was minimum education in my time!

Well to our subject:
There is nothing cyclical about Sunspot activity that’s pure opportunistic speculation.
When it comes to mining, that’s pure vandalism and greed what is happening around Australia.
Otherwise, I have no worries if some people want to take their cloths of their backs and want to go living in cage, I will be definitely not holding them back.
Dana
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Follow Up By: mfewster - Thursday, Oct 04, 2012 at 18:07

Thursday, Oct 04, 2012 at 18:07
Sunspot cycles were discovered in 1859 by Heinrich Schwabe. Their connection with climate change can be linked back to pre history periods. In fact, this is one of the big arguments used by those opposed to global warming theory. Trouble is, while it has been consistent in the past, it doesn't explain the current patterns.

Wasn't meaning to be rude, but really, you raised the issue of cycles and if you do so, you should show some understanding of what you are referring to.

Ask yourself, just what eveidence would it actually take to convince you of global warming and that the current warming is caused by human activity? Do you think you can be persuaded or does the idea that it might be so and that we might all have to do something about it mean that you will reject the idea no matter what.

Note that Rio Tinto now say that climate warming is real, that the current warming is man made and that further, they think a carbon tax is necessary. Rio Tinto has a long history of opposition to leftish governments. They also have a lot of scientific know how in their organization. Do you think they are keen to pay an extra tax, or to support the current government?
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Follow Up By: mfewster - Thursday, Oct 04, 2012 at 18:21

Thursday, Oct 04, 2012 at 18:21
Lyn w3, that is a phoney science website and a phoney piece of news. For those who doubt this, check out the site Real Science.
It is actually a right wing political site that mainly takes aim at Obama on any issue you care to pick. There is a piece of piece of news behind the headline but their use of the story is laughable as it actually indicates exactly the opposite to what the site claims.
They accurately quote that the ice sheet in Antarctica is now moving faster with less build up of snow behind it. That's correct. It is moving faster because it is melting which is making it spread. The depth behind it is diminishing.
The willingness of the deniers to swallow, believe and repeat this sort of hokum without actually doing the most basic check on the credentials/connections of those making such claims is quite extraordinary.
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Follow Up By: Bazooka - Thursday, Oct 04, 2012 at 19:14

Thursday, Oct 04, 2012 at 19:14
"The willingness of the deniers to swallow, believe and repeat this sort of hokum without actually doing the most basic check on the credentials/connections of those making such claims is quite extraordinary."

But unfortunately, quite common as we see regularly on this website. One thing which sets humans apart from other species is our ability to analyse and reason - but only when it suits.
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Follow Up By: philw - Thursday, Oct 04, 2012 at 19:27

Thursday, Oct 04, 2012 at 19:27
Every government on Earth tries to achieve sustained economic growth. I'm sorry but you can't have this and still have a planet worth living on. Mother Earth "IS" a finite resource,whether you like it or not!
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Follow Up By: Member - eighty matey - Thursday, Oct 04, 2012 at 20:00

Thursday, Oct 04, 2012 at 20:00
Mother Earth is a huge system, millions of times bigger than us specks called humans.

I'm not sure how far you've travelled but there is a vast volume within the outer limits of our atmosphere. The distances and heights that make up the Earth are massive compared to us.

We're not that good. If we are to believe we can affect what happens within this biosphere, we're wrong.

Steve
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Follow Up By: philw - Thursday, Oct 04, 2012 at 20:08

Thursday, Oct 04, 2012 at 20:08
Eighty matey. What planet do you come from?? lol.
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Follow Up By: Member - eighty matey - Thursday, Oct 04, 2012 at 20:17

Thursday, Oct 04, 2012 at 20:17
Earth mate. Been here all my life.

I don't read too many newspapers, so I'm not too sure what the right thing to say is.

I just know what I see and experience.

Sorry if you don't agree but you can think what you like, I won't laugh at you.
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Follow Up By: philw - Thursday, Oct 04, 2012 at 20:44

Thursday, Oct 04, 2012 at 20:44
No offence intended mate. I just read a paper on the Arctic ice cap melting at a rapid rate and the problems that will arise when the Methane contained in the permafrost releases into the atmosphere and it got me thinking. It's often what we don't see that is of most concern.
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Follow Up By: mikehzz - Thursday, Oct 04, 2012 at 20:56

Thursday, Oct 04, 2012 at 20:56
I thought global warming had been linked to the decline in pirates over the last several hundred years? There is a graph to prove it. :-)


The average height of the ice on Antarctica is approx 3 kms. If the spread in ice is caused by melting then the height should be decreasing and should be observable? I would like all the skepticism put to rest so we can go about preserving things for our great grand children.
Speaking of interesting things that need preserving, the dinosaur coast north of Broome is apparently of world heritage significance and under threat from coal and gas mining. The Catalyst program on ABC highlighted it this evening. Another one will probably bite the dust.
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Follow Up By: mfewster - Thursday, Oct 04, 2012 at 21:03

Thursday, Oct 04, 2012 at 21:03
Hello Eighty Eight.
Something you might like to ponder a bit further. It isn't the Earth that is being discussed, just the biosphere. That is the zone on the Earth in which life is possible. As far as we know, that is the only life we have found anywhere in the universe (so far at any rate). That zone is relatively thinner than an eggshell around an egg. It isn't huge, it is incredibly thin and probably just as fragile. It is certainly ultra rare. Worth gambling that science has it wrong?

But I love those lines you have in your signature, some of my favourite lines in all literature. And I'd like to do my bit to keep the vision splendid available for generations to come.
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Follow Up By: mfewster - Thursday, Oct 04, 2012 at 22:20

Thursday, Oct 04, 2012 at 22:20
Hello Mikehzz
You are right. The thinning of the Antarctic ice ought to be observeable and it is. The latest reports in Nature, April 2012 (and sources don't get more authoritative than that) give the loss rate at up to 7 metres a year.
For an explanation of how the pseudo scientists have misquoted the report (they confused ice flow with increase in ice volume) you might like to look at the actual report.

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v484/n7395/full/nature10968.html

I watched tonight's Catalyst with fascination as well. My next big 4wd trip is planned for the Kimberly region and looking at those footprints is high on my "to do" list
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Follow Up By: Danna - Thursday, Oct 04, 2012 at 22:42

Thursday, Oct 04, 2012 at 22:42
Pick & choose, or see them all:

/Global climate scam

I rather go to the threads on travel and everything around that topic.
Thanks for any replays.
HooRoo dana
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Follow Up By: Member - eighty matey - Thursday, Oct 04, 2012 at 22:48

Thursday, Oct 04, 2012 at 22:48
Hi mfewster,

we just got back from touring across to The Kimberley and back.

Driving across the Plenty Hwy and Gary Junction Rd, Banjo's lines were brought to life time and again. Looking across the spinifex plains in the afternoon and the night sky with the Milky Way over the top of us from one horizon to another is truly majestic. I even miss the dust for some reason.

I been at home for two weeks so to fix that up I'm heading west with my son, dog and a couple of mates tomorrow night.

When we get back I'll be home till Christmas, then we're planning to spend NYE at Cameron Corner (three NYEs in the one night sounds like the go).

The bloody bug has bitten hard and the only cure is to get out of the house.

I'm teeing up a job in NT, so that should cure me after a while up there....or will it make me worse.

Hoo roo,
Steve
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Follow Up By: mfewster - Friday, Oct 05, 2012 at 06:51

Friday, Oct 05, 2012 at 06:51
Agreed Eighty Matey.
We have a camper traliler behind our trusty 60 series but we often wonder why we got it. We prefer to just throw out the swag and look up. Funny thing is, we use the camper on clear nights when there is a full moon because the full moon wipes out the stars anyway and in central Oz it feels as though someone has a searchlight in your face all night.

There is a parody of Banjo's lines sending up the public service and life in an office and paying off his motgage

"and he sees the vision splendid pf the bungalow extended
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Reply By: Isuzumu - Thursday, Oct 04, 2012 at 20:41

Thursday, Oct 04, 2012 at 20:41
Would have thought this was totally off topic Modsquad. Can't drive my 4by out to the reef!!!
Cheers Bruce
D.Max and Jayco Outback

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Reply By: mfewster - Sunday, Oct 07, 2012 at 09:49

Sunday, Oct 07, 2012 at 09:49
Having been alarmed by the news item on the rate of Barrier Reef destruction and following the discussion on this thread, I started doing more reading. A report in today's news is even more disturbing. If the report is correct, and it looks convincing, I don't like the chances of the Barrier Reef, or any reef, coming back. And it's not just reefs.

http://www.theage.com.au/environment/climate-change/islands-decline-puts-oceans-rising-acidity-in-focus-20121007-276vb.html
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