Does the variation of bleaching with latitude have any genuine causative relationship with the claims of warming waters? Or are there other factors, such as closer promixity to the more polluted waters of the Far Eastern economies?
Brian M
The other consideration is that temperatures will warm irrespective of how much we might want to reduce global warming. The reality is that - its happening. Is the reef sustainable or should another more suitable species be allow to evolve into the habitat. Sometime conservation is not always the right answer and nature should be allowed to evolve to suit or maybe some of the Australian governments 'wacky' ideas might work can only hope?
Briefly mentioned and quickly passed over was pollution. Farming causes increased erosion and sediment. No till farming means more chemical pollution to control weeds and insects. More fertilizer means more runoff that stimulates undesirable plants. While so many preach global warming, it isn't the biggest problem mankind faces. It is only a diversion.
Here is something that most people don't know or think about. Most Coral lived within 30 feet of the surface. 7,000 years ago, the great barrier reef was high and dry as the last ice age was storing a lot of water in it's northern and southern ice blocks. 30,000 to 40,000 years ago the sea level was about where it is now, so that great barrier reef was again a thriving community. Yes it looks bad, and the sea's are warming up due to various reasons (Human CO2 constitutes less than 1% of the total), but the sea, ultimately, will adapt. it did 6,000 years ago when the sea lever achieved it's current position.
Darus Zehrbach
It has been covered here in the writings of NewAtlas before that sunscreen is a coral killer in the most minute amounts. Yet the reefs are a huge tourist diver draw and an economic boon to the area. Simultaneously, the most visited areas show the greatest effect. So where is the "No Sunscreen" government policy that would be implemented for free
Douglas Bennett Rogers
Again, no one mentioned desert irrigation, which has about five times the greenhouse effect of anthropogenic CO2.
Reducing pollution is a good thing. Questions I have after reading this article: Why are the COT starfish multiplying? What effect will cooler water have no the reef? What happens when they flow too much cool water over the reef? How will the deeper water environment handle the loss of the coolth? Why haven't they tried banning the potentially offensive sunscreens yet? // Then again, Simon and Brian have good points. Local efforts won't stop global changes, and man is only one part of the changes the Earth is seeing. After all, we're between ice ages. Of course it's going to heat up until it switches directions and starts cooling. Man (+ other animal life) is but a blink in the timeline of the Earth, and we don't control Mother Nature. // Note to environmentalists: If you want to make the largest difference right now, switch to an electric car and support eco-sourced production of electricity (solar, wind, geothermal), don't do barbeques, don't burn wood in your chimney or on the beach (wood is up to 400 times more polluting/warming than any other source, and don't give me that crap about it being carbon neutral). Easy, right?
Nelson Hyde Chick
As humanity grows by billions more the only life on this planet will be us humans, the species we exploit and the pests we can't eradicate. Go anthropocene!!!
The Reef is boned, none of the plans will save it and global warming will not stop. Even if Australia went to zero emissions, by some miracle, the rest of the world just don't give a rats ass about the planet. India, China, (most of Asia really) Africa, South America, they only care about $$$ and have proven they will do anything to make it. Sadly Australia also fits into this category. The Adani Coal mine is proof, it will go ahead regardless of the environmental impact. The Australian Government does not care about the planet, they only care about creating jobs and population growth at ANY cost. It's a grim future kids face :(
..Starfish, ocean warming/pollution.......also are addressed in recent Scientific American article about the coral reefs....sunscreen...leave it off, you don't need it underwater..... By the time coral is visibly 'bleached'....usually too late, it's dead. And the coal mine/s...coal to India....and copper and iron ore to China....they smelt it and help pollute the air for everyone.