Great Barrier Reef Not In Danger

By Bob Irvine

Decades of activist science by Australian scientists has now led to the Great Barrier Reef being possibly labelled as “In Danger” by the Chinese run UN World Heritage Committee.

Statements from the Reef’s scientific watchdogs, AIMS and the GBRMPA, have led to this catastrophic situation. See Appendix “A”.

“While the Reef is already experiencing the impacts of climate change,..” Josh Thomas CEO GBRMPA; 2019 Outlook Report.

2019 Outlook Report;

Climate change is threatening the Reef and other World Heritage Areas globally. Australia is now caring for a changed and less resilient Reef. Global action on climate change is critical.

There is, however, a good dataset that indicates that these statements are exaggerated.

Each year since 1986, AIMS has run surveys on the 11 GBR sectors that measure Crown of Thorn infestation (COTS) and percent cover of Hard Coral. These surveys have been described as having “good quality-control systems” by Peter Ridd.

These 11 sectors contain 135 separate reefs. Not all these reefs are surveyed each year. This could be a source of some inaccuracy as some reefs naturally have less cover than others.

Having said that, this is still the best dataset we have for evaluation of GBR health over a period where CO2 concentration has increased significantly. The most recent survey has average hard coral cover at 28% for all 11 sectors in 2021, which is equal to the cover recorded in 1986.

The dataset used here is.…/reef/latest-surveys.html…  

Two of the sectors, Pompey and Swains, have experienced significant COTS infestation from 2005 to the present. Pompey also, suffered 4 cyclones from 2009 to 2017 which reduced coral cover significantly. The three El Nino’s in 2016,2017 and 2020 also tended to reduce coral cover.

Figure 1 shows hard coral cover with Pompey and Swains removed to correct for some of these factors.

Figure 1. Hard Coral cover for 9 of the 11 sectors. Pompey and Swains removed.

Figure 2 below is hard coral cover for the entire dataset with nothing removed.

Figure 2, Hard Coral cover for the entire AIMS dataset of 11 sectors.

You will notice a drop in cover from 2006 to about 2012 that looks significant. This drop is partly explained by the COTS outbreaks in the Pompey and Swains sectors as seen in Figure 1 and 2. The GBR also suffered 4 severe cyclones in 2006 and may have taken some time to recover.

Cyclone activity has not generally increased in the GBR reef region, in fact it appears to have fallen slightly. See Figure 3.

Figure 3, Cyclone Activity for Eastern Australia from the BOM website. Blue are less severe cyclones, while orange are more severe cyclones.

We are constantly told that cyclones will be more common and more severe due to human CO2 emissions. The BOM dataset in figure 3 does not support this narrative.

The anomalously large number of severe cyclones in 2006 is, therefore, likely coincidence and could explain some of the drop in coral cover from 2006 to 2012.

Activist scientists have consistently blamed COTS outbreaks on nutrient run off from farms etc. This does not pass the pub test. The outbreaks at Pompey’s and Swains are exclusively in mid or outer reefs that are 50 or more kilometres from the coast. It is almost impossible to pollute the GBR as it is fed and drained by massive ocean currents that replace the entire water body every 2 to 3 weeks. COTS infestations are likely a part of the natural ebb and flow of a beautiful ecosystem.

Tropical waters do not readily warm as they are subject to large convective forces and evaporation that dampen any potential temperature rise. For this reason, the accurate AIMS dataset with over 500 individual points of measurement, indicates no sea surface warming in the GBR since 1994. Something the activists should bear in mind when trying to blame Global Warming for the reef’s demise.

Reefs also prefer warmer water. They grow nearly twice as quickly in the warm tropics around New Guinea and Indonesia as they do on the GBR. Something else the activists should bear in mind.

The important point here is that the reef has recovered well in 2021 as any healthy ecosystem will. This does not mean that we don’t study and attempt to understand this complex ecosystem. AIMS monitoring of Hard Coral Cover is an example of the type of program that needs to be funded.


Examples of activist science.…/great-barrier-reef…/12107054

4 ABC Radio National. (2016). Widespread coral bleaching detected on the Great Barrier Reef. [online] Available at:…/widespread-coral…/7212760

Josh Thomas CEO GBRMPA; 2019 Outlook Report.

“While the Reef is already experiencing the impacts of climate change, its future is one we can change — and are committed to changing. Local, national and global action on the greatest threats facing the Reef is needed now.

“Gradual sea temperature increase and extremes, such as marine heat waves, are the most immediate threats to the Reef as a whole and pose the highest risk. Global action on climate change is critical,” he said.

2019 Outlook Report;

Climate change is threatening the Reef and other World Heritage Areas globally. Australia is now caring for a changed and less resilient Reef. Global action on climate change is critical.

GBRMPA; Blueprint to Action, 2018

Climate change is the single biggest threat to the Great Barrier Reef’s future survival. There is an urgent need to curb global warming as climate related disturbances outpace the Reef’s ability to recover.

Australian Dep. Of the Environment and Energy,

State party Report, 1/12/2019.

“However, significant components that underpin all four natural world heritage criteria for which the world heritage area was inscribed in 1981 have deteriorated since its inscription.

One criteria – habitats for the conservation of diversity – is assessed as poor, which aligns with the assessment findings in chapter 2. Given the impacts from climate change are accelerating, the overall assessment of the reef’s world heritage and national heritage values is good, borderline poor.”

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Alastair gray
June 28, 2021 10:33 pm

The link doesn’t work

Reply to  Alastair gray
June 28, 2021 10:52 pm

This is the best I could come up with.

It matches the last part “/reef/latest-surveys.html”, so it seems to be the page intended.

Bob Irvine
Reply to  TonyL
June 28, 2021 11:29 pm

Thanks Tony. That is the correct link.
See the section “Latest Section Reports”

Howard Dewhirst
June 29, 2021 12:18 am

But James Cook University (excl Peter Ridd) have been telling us for years (in peer reviewed journals no less) that the GBR is dying due to climate change; 80% dead? THey reap what they sow and will be hoist by their own petard

Jean Parisot
Reply to  Howard Dewhirst
June 29, 2021 6:34 am

Doesn’t a reef by definition have to be 80% (or more) dead? That’s the structure that supports the diverse life and holes sailboats.

Howard Dewhirst
Reply to  Jean Parisot
June 29, 2021 4:31 pm

Yes – but it is the growing polyps on its surface that they say are dying from climate change. But I swam on the reef last year and everywhere we went there was the reef just like it always has been. patches bleached patches dead but overwhelmingly business as usual.Here’s a video about a so called dead reef.

Craig from Oz
June 29, 2021 12:38 am

Back last century when I was shorter and had much more hair we school kiddies were constantly told the evil Crown of Thorns Starfish was currently destroying the reef.

So colour me cynical when I hear, again, that the reef is in danger.

Frankly, if the reef IS ‘nearly dead’ then we can remove the environmental protect and start strip mining the entire area. I mean it IS dead right? Those environmental groups would manipulate their reports to pull on our heart and wallet strings, would they?

Reply to  Craig from Oz
June 29, 2021 7:05 pm

were constantly told the evil Crown of Thorns Starfish was currently destroying the reef.”

I worry about the quality of ”scientific” thought sometimes. It seems to often lack any wisdom. It is based on numbers on paper without having a clue (or considering) about how nature operates.
Some reef damage now means catastrophe in the eyes of the worry-er people. Look at the ”problem” in the context of a thousand years and it utterly disappears.

Peter K
Reply to  Mike
June 29, 2021 10:07 pm

Unfortunately it’s a case of “follow the money”. There are no grants available for telling the truth.

June 29, 2021 1:22 am

The Sirens were these dangerous creatures in Greek mythology who lured sailors to shipwreck on the rocks.

Data analysis is a Siren song. The graphs above are a Siren song.

I used to work with someone who had previously been employed in the financial industry. He told me about his greatest triumph. He took market data over time and differentiated it in an attempt to detect leading indicators. In my world, that would be like putting a capacitor in series with a noisy signal in an attempt to extract better data. It says everything that this person wasn’t rich and was no longer employed in the financial industry.

When I look at things like the ozone hole or the GBR, for which we have ‘good’ (maybe) data only recently, I am dismayed that idiots predict long term behavior based on what can only be characterized as a tiny amount of data. In the face of overwhelming real world experience showing that approach doesn’t work, I am also dismayed by the other idiots who believe them.

Richard Page
Reply to  commieBob
June 29, 2021 3:24 am

Some of these people have a religious fervour (typified by the term ‘anthropocene’) that they hold the secrets of life, the universe and everything in their understanding. To them, ‘anthropocene’ is the age where they understand and can begin to control everything ‘for the universal good’. This is, of course, completely delusional rubbish – they have simply not understood what they do not know and cannot grasp there are things they don’t yet know that they don’t know. It seems to be almost a megalomania and religious mania tied up together – a concept of scientist as God or replacing God. It’s a bizarre and extremely weird delusion that has links back to a growing knowledge base and perhaps echoes the nuclear research of the 1940’s where some of the scientists were acutely aware of the power they were working with. All I can do is paraphrase; “power corrupts, absolute power (or the illusion of same) corrupts absolutely” and in the words of Stan Lee; “with great power comes great responsibility”. A significant number of these people have become corrupted and abrogated any sense of responsibility.

Reply to  Richard Page
June 29, 2021 3:41 am

Absolutely. It’s the same thing that drives utopians everywhere and Marxists in particular. If you tally the numbers of the dead, Marxism created the greatest horrors of the twentieth century. Any school child can tell you that fascism is evil. How is it that Marxism escapes the same revilement?

Richard Page
Reply to  commieBob
June 29, 2021 5:11 am

‘Any school child can tell you that fascism is evil’ and yet that isn’t necessarily so, any more than marxism is evil. It is setting up those concepts as entities in their own right (as Fascism and Marxism – emphasis mine) and what was done under their respective ideological banners that made them evil. The same thing is happening today with The Science – setting up an idea as an entity in it’s own right, with some inherent idea of built-in ethics and morality, enables it’s followers to bypass their own sense of right and wrong and believe that the ends justify the means; any and all means. To their followers, the ideology contains it’s own right and wrong and, if they just follow the correct ideology, they are doing right. It’s seductive and dangerous – the idea that you can imbue a concept with it’s own morality frees the follower from any individual responsibility, frees them from moral or ethical problems and gives the ideology as a whole a sense of collective morality that may be completely at odds with an individuals, or society’s, moral and ethical code. I do apologise for getting a bit ‘deep’ on this subject but the discussion of ‘The Science’ has worrying echoes of the past.

Reply to  Richard Page
June 29, 2021 9:49 am

I think the very nature of Marxism gives rise to brutal totalitarianism.

Capitalism revitalizes itself. Marxism ossifies and the wrong people inevitably take over.

Richard Page
Reply to  commieBob
June 29, 2021 11:35 am

Capitalism is not really a political ideology, it’s an economic ideology. Frankly it doesn’t matter whether it’s Marxism, Fascism or Democracy – at some point the wrong people will take control whether directly or indirectly. I take your point that it’s usually easier and quicker for the wrong people to take control of a Marxist or Fascist state as there is already some form of extremism baked in. Now look at some of the democracies around the world and tell me there is no extremism associated with any of them, that they are all peaceful and benign and the wrong people are not in control of any of them, if you can?

Reply to  Richard Page
June 29, 2021 1:54 pm

It wasn’t for nothing that the U.S. founders considered democracy the worst form of government ever devised, not that it was taught as such through the educational system and the military until FDR.

Reply to  commieBob
June 29, 2021 1:15 pm

Jerry Pournelle’s Iron Law of Bureaucracy

Solomon Green
Reply to  Richard Page
June 29, 2021 11:53 am

Any school child can tell you that fascism is evil”. But I bet they will not know that Fascism is a form of state socialism (as incidentally was the National Socialist German Workers’ Party, better known by its initials NAZI). According to Wikipedia:

The original Fascist Manifesto of 1919  supported the creation of universal suffrage for both men and women with all opposition parties banned or disbanded, proportional representation on a regional basis; government representation through a corporatist system of “National Councils” of experts, selected from professionals and tradespeople, elected to represent and hold legislative power over their respective areas, including labour, industry, transportation, public health and communications.

The Manifesto also supported the creation of an eight-hour work day for all workers, a minimum wage, worker representation in industrial management, equal confidence in labour unions as in industrial executives and public servants, reorganization of the transportation sector, revision of the draft law on invalidity insurance, reduction of the retirement age from 65 to 55, a strong progressive tax on capital, confiscation of the property of religious institutions and abolishment of bishoprics, the revision of military contracts to allow the government to seize 85% of profits and nationalization of the armaments industry. 

A century of demonisation has ended in schools worldwide teaching that Fascism is a far right-wing belief, whereas in reality it is shares its beliefs of Antifa.

As Richard Page says “the discussion of ‘The Science’ has worrying echoes of the past.”

Richard Page
Reply to  Solomon Green
June 29, 2021 3:24 pm

Actually it was better known by it’s initials NSDAP or an amalgamation of the first few letters of National Sozialist but hey, who’s quibbling?

June 29, 2021 1:32 am

The more remote and unverifiable by average people the climate change is, the more catastrophic it is. The Arctic, the pacific islands, the Great Barrier Reef. You gotta love science as an activist political tool.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Bob
June 29, 2021 6:30 am

“You gotta love science as an activist political tool.”

Yes, the political activists have been very creative and successful at lying in their use of “the science”.

June 29, 2021 2:07 am

Thank you!
We’re going up there later in year ,Covid and trigger happy State premiers willing,and the way they were talking,I thought the GBR would be gone by September.

Stephen W
Reply to  Paul
June 29, 2021 4:28 am

It could be.
A scientist told me 4 years ago that there will be no more reef in 5 years.
So less than a year left. Hopefully you get up there soon.

Reply to  Stephen W
June 29, 2021 6:45 am

The sun came up this AM and the temperature went up 4 C in 10 minutes. By this afternoon, according to my calculations, it will be above the melting point of lead.…..just as accurate as a prediction of no more reef in 5 years….

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Paul
June 29, 2021 6:14 am

Come soon, and bring tourist dollars! 🙂

The further up you go here in Queensland, the less people worry about climate change, and covid. The environment is the same as it was thousands of years ago. I’ve just been up to the tip, and there is an absolutely tiny amount of environment that has been affected by humans. As far as I can tell, termites rule, at 10,000 mounds per square km, and some up to 5 metres tall.

Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
June 29, 2021 7:28 am

I was tempted to ask whether those 5m tall termites were friendly, but then realized they must have been, or you wouldn’t be here telling your story.

Hokey Schtick
June 29, 2021 2:37 am

China, always stepping in to lend a helpful hand.

John Phillips
June 29, 2021 3:07 am

The important point here is that the reef has recovered well in 2021 as any healthy ecosystem will.

There has been a moderate and very welcome recovery in 2021, but you cannot conclude that from the report linked, which is based on fieldwork up to June 2020, and thus largely missed the bleaching event that hit the Northern Reef in the Austral Summer.

“While there were few severe cyclones this year, a widespread marine heatwave led to the third mass coral bleaching event in five years during the late Austral summer, with corals still bleached during surveys in June 2020. As LTMP surveys occur annually from September to June, information on the spatial extent and severity of bleaching were limited to reefs surveyed from January to June 2020. The full impacts of this event will not be assessed until reefs are revisited next field season, which is due to start in late August 2020.”

• The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted fieldwork and as a result, surveys were not conducted at the height of the recent bleaching event.

• Coral mortality can occur for weeks to months after a coral bleaching event; therefore, the full impact of the 2019/2020 mass coral bleaching will be assessed during the next field season, which is set to begin in late August 2020.

While reef condition was variable both within and among regions, the majority of reefs (58 out of 86) had low (0 to 10%) or moderate (10 to 30%) coral cover and most of these were in the Northern and Central GBR. Few reefs had high coral cover (30 to 50%) and only five out of the 86 surveyed reefs had very high coral cover (50 to 75%).

I went and got the manta tow data, here is my plot of all reefs average live coral coverage by year with linear trend. Not sure it supports the ‘out of danger’ narrative.

Stephen W
Reply to  John Phillips
June 29, 2021 4:36 am

That 2020 mass bleaching event was fake news. Coral cover increased pretty much everywhere in 2021.

John Phillips
Reply to  Stephen W
June 29, 2021 6:57 am

2020 had the highest February sea temperatures on record for the GBR, and an aerial survey found widespread bleaching, 25% of the reef experienced severe bleaching, and 35% was moderately bleached.

Reply to  John Phillips
June 29, 2021 7:40 am

Aerial surveying of the GBR as reliable scientific research is risible.

A 100mph fly-over at 1,000 ft elevation taking pics that can’t capture the subtle color tones that differentiate bleached near-surface corals from healthy growths.

If you have ever dived or flown over the GBR proper, you will know what I’m talking about.

John Phillips
Reply to  Mr.
June 29, 2021 7:52 am

Which is why you calibrate the aerial data with underwater surveys.

The accuracy of the aerial scores is verified by underwater surveys on reefs that are lightly and heavily bleached. While underwater, we also measure how bleaching changes between shallow and deeper reefs.

Of the reefs we surveyed from the air, 39.8% had little or no bleaching (the green reefs in the map). However, 25.1% of reefs were severely affected (red reefs) – that is, on each reef more than 60% of corals were bleached. A further 35% had more modest levels of bleaching.

Reply to  John Phillips
June 29, 2021 10:52 am

The article by Hughes in your Conversation link does not say where their underwater surveys were carried out, but the picture illustrating their activity shows an inshore fringing reef, which is not the GBR.

Also, I note that all these “bleached” assessments are determined by visual judgements, and “scored” on a scale invented by the observers.

I also did not see in either of the Nature papers where the “observers” had their eyesight or color blindness assessed before they were accepted as adequately appropriate or calibrated to record differing levels of “bleaching” of the myriad subtle tones of corals at varying depths.

Do you have a reference to the measurement standards & control conditions used by the observers to record their rankings of bleaching?

John Phillips
Reply to  Mr.
June 29, 2021 12:08 pm

Which Nature papers?

Reply to  John Phillips
June 29, 2021 12:19 pm

The 2 that are linked from your Conversation link.
Shirley you read these?

Reply to  John Phillips
June 29, 2021 3:28 pm

”Do you have a reference to the measurement standards & control conditions used by the observers to record their rankings of bleaching?”
Maybe you could answer the question instead of deflecting.

Reply to  Mr.
June 29, 2021 12:18 pm

The 2 that are linked from the Conversation link you posted.
Shirley you read these?

Reply to  Mr.
June 29, 2021 4:36 pm

I think that these may well be the “surveys” that Dr Jennifer Marohassey proofed recently and found to be 100% wrong.

Stephen W
Reply to  John Phillips
June 29, 2021 1:44 pm

So they call some bleaching a tragedy. Yet coral health improved following the bleaching.

My takeaways are, emotional scientists are useless.
And some bleaching is good. (it is)

Reply to  Stephen W
June 29, 2021 4:37 pm

It is one of the mechanisms that grow the reef.

Stephen W
Reply to  John Phillips
June 29, 2021 1:41 pm

Considering the reef is fine..
A) warm temperatures do not matter
B) a single annual temperature is irrelevant for coral reefs
C) it’s not warming.

I’ll go with option B.

Besides, all the coral surveys started in the 1980s, and there’s been negligible warming since then. Thanks for posting the chart showing that.

Reply to  John Phillips
June 29, 2021 4:43 am
John Phillips
Reply to  lee
June 29, 2021 6:31 am

Thanks, that seems to be the latest snapshots, rather than the Long Term Monitoring Project quoted in the head post. The few I looked at do indicate a recovery in 2021, as I said, but after three major bleaching events, and with a moderate La Nina, this is welcome but hardly surprising.

Reply to  John Phillips
June 29, 2021 7:14 pm

And yet he level seems to be about that of the first readings

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  John Phillips
June 29, 2021 6:17 am

Fewer tourists, and the copious amounts of sunscreen they use, and the Reef is doing fine.

Peter K
Reply to  John Phillips
June 29, 2021 10:20 pm

I am sure that this is just a natural cycle. As coral reefs grow higher closer to the surface they become bleached and crumble. The deteriorated section close to the surface gets broken away by cyclones and strong currents. A new crop will begin. The same thing that has been happening for thousands of years.

Anne R
Reply to  John Phillips
June 30, 2021 5:45 am

That diagram fails to take into account the standard deviation. Looking at the diagram, the mean is going to be about 23% – so for the last 5 years the proportions will have been well within 1 standard deviation of the mean, much less the 2 needed for 95% confident intervals. A trend line for such a small number of data points is essentially meaningless.

John Phillips
June 29, 2021 3:36 am

For this reason, the accurate AIMS dataset with over 500 individual points of measurement, indicates no sea surface warming in the GBR since 1994. Something the activists should bear in mind when trying to blame Global Warming for the reef’s demise.
Link please. 1994 was, of course, an El Nino year so perhaps not the best starting point.



Bob Irvine
Reply to  John Phillips
June 29, 2021 6:50 am

I’m having trouble pasting graphs here so have resorted to links.

Here is the link to the BOM water temps for the two closest south sea islands to the reef, Vanuatu and The Solomons.  

They show no warming from the mid 90s while your, I’m guessing ERSST v5, graph indicates close to 0.5C warming from that time.

I also have the HADSST that indicates a rise from 1871 to 2012 of only 0.2C total that mainly occurred in the 1920s. The HADSST dataset has since been altered. I apologize but I’m having trouble pasting it here.

Here is the ocean heat content from 1982 to 2012. There is zero increase in that period.
CMCC Global Ocean Reanalysis System (C-GLORS) | NCAR – Climate Data Guide (

If you check the AIMS website

Historic Data Tool Graph Australian Institute of Marine Science AIMS

Select “All Sites” at “zero depth” you will see no water temperature rise in fact a downward trend since records began in the 1990s.
You may have a reason why the ERSST v5 is so different from the raw data and older HADSST dataset.

I suspect that in filling and homogenization may have played a role.

John Phillips
Reply to  Bob Irvine
June 29, 2021 7:46 am

Here is the link to the BOM water temps for the two closest south sea islands to the reef, Vanuatu and The Solomons.

The nearest, Vanatu is more than 1500km from the GBR.

Select “All Sites” at “zero depth” you will see no water temperature rise in fact a downward trend since records began in the 1990s.

You have restricted the sites (channels) presumably to focus on the GBR, only one – One Pole Island – seems to have data after 2008. And I am not sure I could detect a trend from those noisy monthly plots. (That is one of the worst interfaces I’ve ever seen on the web), I would like to know how you made your selection and why you chose 0m, when data is available at a variety of depths and corals generally live a few metres down?

Bob Irvine
Reply to  John Phillips
June 29, 2021 5:29 pm

The ERSST global data map shows general warming through the tropics that is roughly similar to the temperate oceans.
The tropics are subject to enormous convective forces driven by tropical storm activity and evaporation. It is simply not physical for the tropical oceans to have warmed the same amount as the temperate oceans as the ERSST dataset contends.
Why do you believe that the ERSST data shows significant warming when the ocean heat content, South Sea Island water and the local AIMS SST for the reef and surrounds don’t.
You can add to that the older HADSST data that has since been changed.

Mickey Reno
June 29, 2021 4:30 am

If all we can count on from the United Nations is for them to lie to the world, then what possible good can come from this corrupt, decrepit cesspool of political graft and cronyism?

End the United Nations. Disband it. Kill it, and this time no replacement, as when we killed the previous attempt, the League of Nations.

June 29, 2021 4:40 am

The only danger GBR faces is from the actions of environista politicians and greentard activists.

Zig Zag Wanderer
June 29, 2021 6:07 am

We have strong currents from the east here in the Reef. Very little runnoff gets to the reef.

This is the last chance to see the Great Barrier Reef, before the next last chance. Come and visit, and bring those tourist dollars!

June 29, 2021 6:28 am

Coral death has happened before…..or there wouldn’t be coral islands….

June 29, 2021 7:46 am

The global warming promotion has too many people hysterical that the increase in the global temp from 1.5C above an arbitrary level to 2.0C will be catastrophic to most everything on Earth.
Including the GBR.
But I recently read that the ocean temp difference of the Reef from north to south is some 5C.
Can someone explain the hysteria about a 0.5C increase overall?

Reply to  Bob Hoye
June 29, 2021 7:24 pm

Can someone explain the hysteria about a 0.5C increase overall?”

Because it’s not the same as 0.0C increase. We don’t want changes of any kind!

June 29, 2021 7:58 am

As far as the GBR and coral bleaching is concerned we only became aware of the phenomenon in the 1980s when SCUBA diving really took off-
Bleaching Background (

There’s just no reasonable historical data to draw any conclusions about it except to note it comes and goes just like vegetation varies on land with episodic weather. We wanted to see the moon up close in our millions before seriously looking under the sea in any numbers. Besides cameras work better in air and vacuums and there be monsters under the water.

Reply to  observa
June 29, 2021 4:23 pm

Back in the 1960s / 70s, scuba-dive tv doco producers Ben Cropp and Valerie Taylor were anguishing over the prevalence of crown of thorns starfish all over the reefs they explored, even crab-spearing the cots one at a time to “save the reef”

Of course, as we’ve seen since then, the cots constantly moved on to other reef patches, the reefs recovered, and it’s all rinse & repeat as usual.
God, nature’s boring, isn’t it?

Reply to  observa
June 29, 2021 4:45 pm

In fact, I think Peter Ridd recently published a ‘photograph’ taken from an early diving bell expedition on the GBR in the late 1800’s that shows bleaching of coral; can’t find the article now … did anybody else see it ?

Paul Johnson
June 29, 2021 9:56 am

The Chinese Communist Party has gained control of the UN World Heritage Committee and other UN organizations for political purposes. Their objective here is to declare the GBR critically endangered and place it off limits to tourism. This will punish the Australian economy for the government’s criticism of China’s human rights violations and trade policies. Useful idiots at James Cook University facilitate this strategy.

June 29, 2021 12:46 pm

That is one very fine picture to head the article.

You can see all of the constituent parts from dry land all the way down to sandy bottom.

I suppose I’ve seen similar photos, but none stand out like this one.
To the article: It has a lot of good information in plain, easy reading English, plus the references to back it up. I learned a few new things about the GBR.

If anyone doesn’t understand what Bob Irvine wrote, it’s because they don’t want to understand.
👍 👍

June 29, 2021 6:56 pm

Yeah, the reason why we have ”infestations” of the completely naturally occurring Crown of Thorns Starfish is because there’s plenty of coral for it to feast on. It and the coral have co-existed for gazillions of years without problems. The human panic about the COT starfish is based of feelings and nothing more.

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