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Conversations with Climate Change Denialists Pt.3. (Part 1, Part 2 )

A senior relative (SR) of mine, an unquestioning supporter of the Murdochcracy, recently told me that Governments across the world have influenced the CSIRO, and NASA (for example) to write pro-AGW papers in order to expand their control of the economy and society.

Any other climate deniers also believe this ?

I thought this was a novel extension of the CSIRO/NASA/Worldwide Climate Reserach Unit conspiracy theory as it expanded the scope of the conspiracy to include now not only all Climate Research Units and all Universities but also now all national governments.

An unintended corollary of this theory is that John Howard is the sinister architect of Climate Change Alarmism in Australia because it was under his governments that AGW came to the attention of the Australian general public. Can’t remember anything about AGW in mainstream reporting under Keating.

So SR challenged me to confront the statements of the noted diver and Reef personage, Ben Cropp, who dives on the Great Barrier Reef nearly every day, that the Reef was in magnificent condition….which contradicted Bob Brown’s deranged assertions that the reef was in danger of destruction through Climate Change. On researching I found that Ben Cropp had actually said he had seen no heat damage on the reef at all.

So, summarizing what I found out about the Great Barrier Reef:

Bob Brown is, as usual, correct. The Great Barrier Reef has recently suffered serious bleaching events due to Global Warming. Ben Cropp is kind of correct. The Reef is still currently in pretty good condition, though he may be interested in the photograph of reef bleaching taken at Great Keppel Island in 2006 contained in this document.

In short, Coral Reefs can recover from bleaching events. So far the Great Barrier Reef has largely been able to recover from bleaching events which it has experienced. It will not be able to do so indefinitely as sea temperatures continue to rise and ocean acidification destroys the ability of the reef to re-create itself.

According to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, from whom I have plagiarized most of the text below, the Great Barrier Reef suffered significant bleaching events in various places in 1980, 1982, 1983, 1987, 1992, 1994, 1998, 2002 and 2006 with 1998 and 2002 being the most serious.

In 1998 67% of the Great Barrier Reef inshore reefs suffered bleaching

Prior to 1980 no significant bleaching event had been observed on the Great Barrier Reef. Ever. In fact at no time in Human History has mass coral reef bleaching been observed until the early 1980’s. Fortunately, damage to the Great Barrier Reef corals has been relatively low because the conditions have not been as severe as in other parts of Australia and the world.

For example, in 1998 Scott Reef in the northwest waters of Australia, a very warm core of water persisted above Scott Reef for several months. It was almost wiped out.

But Coral Reefs can recover from bleaching events if temperatures drop back beyond extremes. This has been the case for the Great Barrier Reef up to this point.

At present sea temperatures in the Great Barrier Reef are 0.4 degrees warmer than they were in 1871.

Based on how corals respond to increased temperatures today, an increase of 2°C in the average sea temperature in tropical and subtropical Australia will lead to annual bleaching with up to 97 percent of the Great Barrier Reef affected. This will totally ruin it as Bob Brown has correctly stated.

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