Peter Ridd: Crying wolf over The Great Barrier Reef 

Great Barrier Reef, Australia [image credit:BBC]

H/T The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF)
Dr. Ridd points out that coral bleaching damage ‘looks terrible at first, but it quietly and rapidly grows back ready for the scientists to peddle their story all over again.’ Bad news is headlined, good news ignored.

The scare stories about the Great Barrier Reef started in the 1960’s when scientists first started work on the reef. They have been crying wolf ever since.

Scientists from James Cook University have just published a paper on the bleaching and death of corals on the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) and were surprised that the death rate was less than they expected because of the adaptability of corals to changing temperatures. It appears as though they exaggerated their original claims and are quietly backtracking.

To misquote Oscar Wilde, to exaggerate once is a misfortune, to do it twice looks like carelessness, but to do it repeatedly looks like unforgivable systemic unreliability by some of our major science organisations.

It is a well-known phenomenon that corals can adapt very rapidly to high temperatures and that if you heat corals in one year, they tend to be less susceptible in future years to overheating. It is the reason why corals are one of the least likely species to be affected by climate change, irrespective of whether you believe the climate is changing by natural fluctuations or from human influence.

Corals have a unique way of dealing with changing temperature by changing the microscopic plants that live inside them. These microscopic plants called zooxanthellae give the coral energy from the sun by photosynthesis in exchange for a comfortable home inside the coral. But when the water gets hot, these little plants become effectively poisonous to the coral and the coral throws out the plants turning the coral white – it bleaches.

But most of the time the coral will recover from the bleaching. And here’s their trick- they take in new zooxanthellae, that floats around in the water quite naturally, and can select different species of zooxanthellae to be better suited to hot weather.

Most other organisms have to change their genetic makeup to deal with temperature changes, something that can take many generations. But corals can do it in a few weeks by just changing the plants that live inside them. They have learnt a thing or two in a couple of hundred years of evolution.

The problem here is that the world has been completely mislead by scientists about the affect of bleaching and rarely mention the spectacular regrowth that occurs.

Continued here.

via Tallbloke’s Talkshop

https://ift.tt/2Ekkrnl

December 12, 2018 at 04:31AM

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