10 years ago I sailed across the Coral Sea from the Solomon Islands to Cairns after sailing and diving in Micronesia and Guam.
I sailed 800 miles down the reef from Cairns to Brisbane, diving every day, never seeing a coral bleaching incident anywhere enroute. This collapse is sudden and abrupt as was the PETM extinction event which was also driven by the acidification of the oceans. The tiny marine algae essential to coral health is the foundation of the marine food web and these reefs are the incubator for effectively all complex life on this planet including the production of 90% of the planets oxygen.
In Cairns I spoke to a marine biologist who said we were the last generation to dive on the living reef. These reefs have been murdered by a combination of fertiliser and other pollutants from the adjacent rivers which Dr Mike Joy is fighting desperately for here in NZ against our own eco-terrorist P.M. John Key, carbonate saturation, climate change and human hubris, before long they will be laced with radionuclides from Fukushima Daiichi.
The final video in the link has Eric the Viking being accused of being alarmist, as was Winston Churchill in 1937 as is my friend Professor Guy McPherson who will be coming to NZ in November on another speaking tour about this disaster. Eight brutal years later, 50 million people were dead. This time will be infinitely worse. The scientist in one of the videos describes his feelings when flying over the reef, It reminded me of your experience flying over Greenland Jennifer Hynes prompting you to create the Arctic Methane Monster presentation.
See ‘Climate Denial Crock of the Week’, with Peter Sinclair: ‘Powerful report from Australian Broadcasting about damage to the Great Barrier reef, currently being observed. It’s one of the most widely predicted consequences of a warming, acidifying ocean. Spokesmen for climate denying politicians were quoted as saying, “This is not happening.” See below.’ This continues”
‘ABC – Australia: An aerial survey of the northern Great Barrier Reef has shown that 95 per cent of the reefs are now severely bleached — far worse than previously thought‘. Full article continues here: ‘Extreme Coral Bleaching in Great Barrier Reef‘.
Australian Broadcasting on Great Barrier Reef Bleaching 2016 // March 28, 2016
I have had a lot of experience over the last 20 years with the Pacific reef systems and I don’t believe for a second that they will bounce back.
Three bleaching events on record, all in the last 8 years with the oceans warming and continuing to acidify.
“A blob of a coral has been caught violently pulsating, with tentacles wriggling every which way, as it ejects its algal residents in a time-lapse video of the phenomenon called bleaching. The video revealed for the first time how the mushroom coral Heliofungia actiniformis, which is a single polyp, physically reacts to heat stress. The results gave scientists more information about how corals will respond to warming seas that are associated with climate change, the researchers said.
In the video, a green plume of the algal cells can be seen coming out of the coral’s mouth. During the pulsing, the coral ballooned to 340 percent of its normal body size of about 3 inches (7 centimeters) high and about 6 inches (15 cm) across, as seen in images in the journal article, the researchers found.
“Seeing how pulsed inflation was critical to the bleaching process was amazing,” Lewis told Live Science. “This type of pulsing is documented in other species of coral as a way to mitigate other stressors, but this was the first time observing its role in coral bleaching.”
If the heat stress goes away, the algae may return to the coral, the researchers said. “If the Symbiodinium is removed from the host and does not recolonize quickly, the corals can die,” Nothdurft said.
The only thing I would disagree with in this article is the time frames, it will happen much faster.
Reef Bleaching can’t be stopped;
High ocean temperatures the trigger.
More dead zones than previously thought!
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The Australian Bureau of Meteorology has us on “El Nino Watch”, when it kicks in it will be the death knell for our coral reefs, the Great Barrier Reef being the largest and oldest single living organism on the planet.
“While acknowledging cause for concern, the Marine Park Authority reminded its visitors that the Great Barrier Reef remained a natural wonder with “abundant living coral.”
That’s like saying it’s not quite dead yet.
The Australian Bureau of Meteorology has us on ‘El Nino Watch’, when it kicks in the bleaching event will be back on steroids.
Emotionally prepare for the death of a loved one. The single largest and oldest living organism on the planet is in hospice.
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RobertScribbler on the reef;
The loss of the flying fish during my sailing career was an early indicator of the severity of the predicament we find ourselves in. I went from seeing hundreds of them to seeing none. Then I started delving into the issue and found the situation was much worse than I had at first anticipated.
Brilliant lecture on the unraveling of the biosphere, acidifying oceans and the non-linear nature of the unraveling with the prerequisite dose of hopium.