Nothing wrong with the reef
from Rusty Marsh
If any further proof was required of the un-trustworthiness of many environmental science institutions, it happened today with the release of the State of the Environment Report. Have they even looked at the data on coral cover from the Australian Institute of Marine Science, “the most comprehensive record of reef condition available for the Reef” and shows spectacular coral cover on the reef last year?
This latest report is just a political statement, designed to bully the government. It was apparently written when the coalition was still in government but the then Minister Susan Ley decided not to publish it. That was a mistake – it should have been released and ridiculed for what it is. The then minister should have started to ask for some quality assurance of this ‘science’.
Where does the report mention that the concentration of pesticides on the reef are so low they cannot be measured with the most sensitive scientific equipment, or that sediment does not reach the reef in anything but minuscule concentrations? Why does it blame farmers for killing the reef when the data shows the opposite?
Why does it mention the three mass bleaching events which supposedly devastated the coral but fails to mention the fabulous coral cover today? Because the data disprove the doom story.
Because this report is not about science.
It is time for both sides of politics to finally stand up to this blackmail. Time to call for some quality assurance and pledge to pay for it. There is a great deal of scepticism about reports like these because they are so over-the-top, they have lost credibility.
Calling for quality assurance does not make one a denier – it makes one prudent.
For 2021, AIMS (see link below) list the northern, central and southern regions as having 27%, 26% and 39% coral cover respectively. Normalising this for the number of reefs surveyed in each section (54, 53 and 20 reefs respectively), this produces a total average coral cover for the GBR of 28%. This 2022 figure has been added (in the graph above) to previous graphs that AIMS has produced of coral cover.
AIMS no longer plots the GBR total coral cover. They did so up until 2017. Why on earth did they stop? Also reefs almost never have 100% coral cover as there are many other organisms on reefs including crustose coralline algae, soft coral, and areas of coral sand.
The coral cover is at record high values in 2021, although, given the uncertainties in these numbers (about 4% according to AIMS) one needs to be a little circumspect. But it certainly does not indicate that there is much wrong with the Reef.
The reason there is high coral cover is that the reef is in good shape because it is not affected by any significant pollution and the impact of climate change has been minimal