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Friday Eco-Fact: What is Really Damaging the Great Barrier Reef

More global warming alarmism that is causing people to miss the real environmental threats to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef:

CORAL growth since 1990 in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef has fallen to its lowest rate for 400 years – a troubling sign for the world’s oceans.

This could threaten a variety of marine ecosystems that rely on the reef and signal similar problems for other similar organisms worldwide, Glen De’ath and colleagues at the Australian Institute of Marine Science said.

The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral expanse, and like similar reefs worldwide is threatened by climate change and pollution.

“These organisms are central to the formation and function of ecosystems and food webs, and precipitous changes in the biodiversity and productivity of the world’s oceans may be imminent,” the researchers wrote in the journal Science. (….)

De’ath and his team studied 328 large coral colonies from 69 reefs and found the skeletal records indicate that calcification – or the deposit of calcium carbonate – by these creatures has declined by 13.3 percent throughout the Barrier Reef since 1990.

The researchers blamed a combination of global warming, ocean acidity level and decreasing carbonate content in seawater for the decline, unprecedented over the past 400 years.  [Reuters]

As usual when articles like this are published, no other opinions on what is happening with the Great Barrier Reef are provided, such as the fact global warming is the least of the problems

THE prediction of a prominent marine biologist that climate change could render the Great Barrier Reef extinct within 30 years has been labelled overly pessimistic for failing to account for the adaptive capabilities of coral reefs.  (….)

Andrew Baird, principal research fellow at the Australian Research Council’s Centre for Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, said there were “serious knowledge gaps” about the impact rising sea temperatures would have on coral.

“Ove is very dismissive of coral’s ability to adapt, to respond in an evolutionary manner to climate change,” Dr Baird said. (….)

Dr Reichelt said the greatest threat facing the reef was poor water quality in the coastal regions, the result of excess sediment and fertiliser.  [The Australian]

Ask anyone in Australia what the greatest threat facing the Great Barrier Reef is and most people will tell you global warming, which is a by product of the continuing flow of these alarmist articles in the Australian media.

While people blame global warming, the real reason for environmental damage to the reef is excess sediment and fertiliser pollution from rivers that drain into the ocean near the reef.  This pollution will continue to effect the reef with little notice, while global warming advocates will tell you to give up your SUV to save the reef, which in reality will have no effect on preserving one of Australia’s greatest natural assets.

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