Corals, John Brewer Reef, GBR by Jennifer Marohasy

Sorry, CNN, Great Barrier Reef Is Setting Records, Fearmongering Won’t Work

From ClimateREALISM

By H. Sterling Burnett

A new report from the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) shows the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) set new records for extent this year. Sadly, in a story titled, “Parts of Great Barrier Reef record highest amount of coral in 36 years,” CNN tried to turn this good news contained in the headline into a climate cautionary tale.

According to AIMS’ annual report the northern and central regions of the 2,300 km GBR ecosystem have the most coral since the surveys began 36 years ago. As CNN notes, AIMS survey of 87 sections of the GBR found that between August 2021 and May 2022, average hard coral cover in the upper region and central areas of the reef increased by around one third. AIMS CEO Dr. Paul Hardisty told CNN that the report shows the GBR can “recover from mass bleaching and outbreaks of crown-of-thorns starfish that feed on coral.”

One could be forgiven for missing this good news since CNN spent just a few paragraphs discussing the GBR’s expansion. More than two thirds of CNN’s story talked about the threat posed to the GBR from recent bleaching events purportedly driven by climate change. CNN’s story largely ignored the fact that most of the GBR’s coral colonies impacted by bleaching had recovered, as the AIMS’ report documents.

In a press release from the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) commenting on the AIMS report its director, Benny Peiser, Ph.D., said, “This is just the latest example of empirical data making a mockery of the catastrophists. For how much longer do they think they can get away with it?”

The GWPF recently released a study discussing the positive health of coral reefs in general, by Peter Ridd, Ph.D., a long-time researcher on the GBR and coral reefs.

“In recent years, the media around the world has been reporting coral bleaching events in increasingly apocalyptic terms,” Ridd said in the GWPF’s press release. “This data proves that they are simply scaremongering.”

AIMS’ annual survey confirms what previous posts on Climate Realism have shown, corals in the GBR and around the world are more adaptable than climate alarmists claim.

The evidence suggests, contrary to CNN’s fearmongering, climate change does not threaten to decimate the GBR or other coral reefs around the world. That’s something people around the globe can be thankful for.

H. Sterling Burnett

H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D., is the Director of the Arthur B. Robinson Center on Climate and Environmental Policy and the managing editor of Environment & Climate News. In addition to directing The Heartland Institute’s Arthur B. Robinson Center on Climate and Environmental Policy, Burett puts Environment & Climate News together, is the editor of Heartland’s Climate Change Weekly email, and the host of the Environment & Climate News Podcast.


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August 6, 2022 10:04 pm

Gee I am totally gob smacked, the reef refuses to die for the mandatory pessimistic climate cult for them to swoon over.

Maybe they will finally drop their reefer madness and stop the wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Reply to  Sunsettommy
August 6, 2022 10:31 pm

I doubt it. Perhaps they will introduce another “control knob” into their Von Neumann Elephantine model of coral growth and decay, perhaps labelled “Crown Of Thorns” or “Antarctic Current Fluctuation” and claim that they can still see a “Human Fingerprint” is still visible in the Rorschach Test of its output.

Steve Case
Reply to  Sunsettommy
August 6, 2022 11:41 pm

Maybe they will finally drop their reefer madness and stop the wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Or they can complain about the rate of growth slowing down over the past so many months or years. I’m sure they can cherry pick start and stop points in the data to support the claim.

Reply to  Sunsettommy
August 7, 2022 1:09 am


Over Reefing next.

The story will go something like – “The GBR is over reefing because of man made climate change. The reef will consume eastern Australian coastlines as it emerges from the oceans and spreads across the land mass killing all in it’s path. Conditions are just too perfect.”

“Flee Australians, you have only 12 years left!”

Reply to  HotScot
August 7, 2022 1:48 am

Over reefing has been the big problem of late-
Canberra’s Cannabis Laws & Rules: CBD Oil, Weed & Growing Marijuana (
So much so they’re into slushfunded harm minimization for the inhabitants-
Australia’s first fixed-site pill testing to open in Canberra in bid for harm reduction – ABC News
But not harm minimization for nicotine addicts as from Oct 31st 2021 they now require a doctor’s prescription for vaping e-liquid nationally. Imbibing nicotine by inhaling burning tobacco leaves is OK if you pay the usurious excise just like liquor. See any pattern here folks?

Reply to  observa
August 7, 2022 4:33 am

The pattern? If it moves, tax it. If it doesn’t move, tax the people that move it. And if it can’t be moved, tax it for just sitting there.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  observa
August 7, 2022 4:40 am

“e-liquid” has other things in it besides tobacco/nicotine. I think it is the other substances that raise questions.

Reply to  Sunsettommy
August 7, 2022 1:29 am

They’ll probably start Taxing the GBR, that will surely stunt new growth.

Reply to  Sunsettommy
August 7, 2022 7:08 am

“Reefer madness” is a great description.
You are a genius.

Reply to  Richard Greene
August 7, 2022 7:18 am

This article reminded me to visit the always excellent
Jennifer Marohasy website. I don’t claim to be an expert on corals,
but I am an expert at determining which authors know what they are talking about, and back up their claims with reliable data.

As the editor of three blogs that publish good articles by other authors — over 330,000 page views for my climate science and energy blog so far — I am very confident Ms. Morohasy knows what she is talking about … and there was another good JM article on corals two days ago.

Blog – Jennifer Marohasy

Last edited 3 months ago by Richard Greene
Michael in Dublin
Reply to  Richard Greene
August 7, 2022 9:37 am


I am neither a scientist nor engineer but have a good grasp of logic and how language works. I invariably find these alarmist screeds sorely deficient in logic, distorting and deceiving. We have a good English word for this “dissimulation.” Naive people fall for the emotional appeal not realizing they are being duped. In contrast I have found far more climate realists clear, concise and convincing.

Reply to  Sunsettommy
August 7, 2022 9:53 am

None of the morons have figured out the “Great Barrier Reef” was dry land 20,000 years ago.

August 6, 2022 10:37 pm

The Federal Albanese led Government of the Commonwealth of Australia elected in May 2022 is also claiming that the GBR is in trouble from climate change.

I wonder what the Queensland State Labor Government is thinking as their Federal pals effectively discourage tourism to the GBR?

Mike Lowe
Reply to  Dennis
August 6, 2022 10:48 pm

“Fighting amongst thieves” comes to mind!

Reply to  Mike Lowe
August 7, 2022 1:20 am

Or rats in a sack

Zig Zag Wanderer
August 6, 2022 11:01 pm

It’s another ‘last chance to see’ the Great Barrier Reef, at least until the next ‘last chance to see’ it. Come quickly, come often, and don’t forget to bring those tourist dollars!

Gary Pearse
August 6, 2022 11:56 pm

I’m sorry the author didn’t mention that as late as a year ago, AIMS was putting out the gloomiest prognosis for the Reef. What happened? I’ll tell you what!

Peter Ridd, mentioned in the article, spoke out about the shoddy research and erroneous conclusions arrived at by AIMS and was fired by Cook University where he was a professor. Ridd took the Uni to court funded globally through GoFundMe. He won the case but lost on appeal on a technicality. His right to freedom of speech was upheld, but having spoken to the press instead of running the gauntlet at the University first. Nevertheless the publicity was global.

An independent ecologist in Australia, Jennifer Morohasy who is knowledgeable about the reef, dove in areas said to be dead or dying and found the reef to be fairly healthy. She then made a feature underwater film, wrote illustrated articles in newspapers showing the reef to be vibrant and healthy and presently is taking young people on tours of transects of the reef along its length.

These despicable doctrinaire activist ‘scientists’ at Cook U had no choice but to do an about face on the condition of the reef. Thank you Peter and Jennifer for shining a bright light on the malfeasance of these crooked scientists. And Wow, the GBR is more beautiful than I had thought!

August 7, 2022 12:00 am

The BBC news covered this the other day! – I was surprised – perhaps there is a slight change in the editorial line creeping in?

Reply to  mark
August 7, 2022 2:27 am

A change of tactic but not of purpose.

August 7, 2022 12:13 am

I doubt you should have said “Sorry” because you make it clear that you are not! I’m not either. I, like I suspect all sane people, want the GBR to thrive.

And if CNN closed its doors tonight and was no more, I would be ecstatic.

Reply to  rah
August 7, 2022 1:21 am

What would its half dozen viewers do?

Ed Cane
Reply to  fretslider
August 7, 2022 7:35 am

Probably get their nappies changed. Finally. Their reality really stinks.

a happy little debunker
August 7, 2022 12:47 am

The Science⟨™⟩ & the MSM tried to get Ridd of Peter for this exact ‘misinformation’ being promulgated by the consensus..
But, there will never be any apologies – their merciless beatings will continue until we all live in mud huts…

August 7, 2022 1:19 am

Er, it’s much better than we thought…

August 7, 2022 1:32 am

Message to CNN, just in case you actually do what journalists are supposed to do – check the facts by asking the locals? Not just the likes of Rummer & Co at JCU?
John Brewer Reef is about 70km from my front door. No more than 2 hours by reef boat.
I am not alone in this regard. There are something like 200,000 of us in the same location, maybe +10km or so. That is a rather large number of people who are in a position to know that the GBR is in great shape and has always been perfectly capable of saving itself.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Martin Clark
August 7, 2022 4:32 am

I’ve had a few online arguments about this. I have been informed that we who live next to the Reef are too close to it, and can’t see the damage. Meanwhile, experts sitting in air-conditioned offices thousands of kilometres away have a much better understanding of the state of the Reef.

It all makes sense, now.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Martin Clark
August 7, 2022 4:47 am

“Message to CNN, just in case you actually do what journalists are supposed to do”

They won’t. They are leftwing propagandists by trade. Lying and distorting is their stock in trade.

Last edited 3 months ago by Tom Abbott
August 7, 2022 3:02 am

Coral bleaching is not well understood by scientists. Many different hypotheses exist as to the cause behind coral bleaching,….

Until the 1980’s, the only coral bleaching event recorded was due to flooding from Hurricane Flora that resulted in a large drop in salinity that bleached and killed many corals in Jamaica (Goreau 1964). Mass coral bleaching was first recognized on the Pacific coast of Panama following the 1982-83 El Nino event (Glynn 1984). 
Bleaching Background (

We didn’t really know anything about coral bleaching events until the early 1980s and the burgeoning use of SCUBA. So naturally when we began to observe bleaching events the usual suspects immediately saw it as as sign of the dooming. We have no idea whatsoever about coral bleaching periodicity and extent down the ages. Yet the rebound of the GBR and its proven ancient history tells us it’s one big yawn for coral reefs just like coral spawning.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  observa
August 7, 2022 4:54 am

“Yet the rebound of the GBR and its proven ancient history tells us it’s one big yawn for coral reefs just like coral spawning.”

Exactly right.

And add ocean “acidification” to this “big yawn” category.

The alarmists are running out of climate change disasters to hype. The polar bears are thriving and the coral reefs are thriving and the alarmists are reduced to handwringing/handwaving over a two-day heatwave in England.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
August 7, 2022 6:26 am

The alarmists might also try explaining a 40cm drop in sea level amidst all their CO2 ice melting and ocean expansion with global warmening-
‘Died of thirst’: Research solves mystery of Far North Queensland mangrove dieback (

Reply to  Tom Abbott
August 7, 2022 10:53 am

alarmists are reduced to handwringing/handwaving over a two-day heatwave in England.”
Yes, but it was hot – for England, anyway.
Especially at the airports and airfields . . . .


shortie of greenbank
Reply to  observa
August 7, 2022 6:48 pm

I’d hate to ruin the official narrative but I do remember ship observations written in the 1890s of coral bleaching events.

Further to that this article on notrickszone has the studies done that show that claiming bleaching is a recent thing is nothing but more of the same lies their trot out each time.

August 7, 2022 6:02 am

Fearmongering works when the truth is suppressed (or distorted), and CNN is the lead fearmongerer.

August 7, 2022 6:04 am

Sky News giving Peter Ridd a voice to get some small satisfaction from the disgraceful scientific charlatans that besmirch the name of James Cook-
‘Completely untrustworthy’: Great Barrier Reef data calls coral bleaching events into question (

Reply to  observa
August 7, 2022 7:21 am

Do compare and contrast Peter Ridd with the doomsters’ megaphone-
Great Barrier Reef coral cover at record levels after mass-bleaching events, report shows – ABC News

“This shows how vulnerable the reef is to the continued acute and severe disturbances that are occurring more often, and are longer lasting,” Dr Hardisty said.

With 36 years of GBR study wisdom you reckon perfessor?

Rare 20 Million Years Old Reef Bigger Than The Empire State Building Discovered Underwater In Australia –

Great Barrier Reef climate history unlocked as CSIRO maps offshore Queensland Basin – ABC News

Ancient ‘Western Great Barrier Reef’ discovered off northern Australia (

Nothing to do with rustling up $1.2 billion from the taxpayer trough here folks. Be afraid cough up and leave it all in their expert hands.

August 7, 2022 7:53 am

Who watches CNN anyway? Since I dropped cable TV, I haven’t seen it. I can’t even tell you who the very famous news reporters reading pap to me are.

August 7, 2022 8:37 am

They keep going on about mass bleaching events, but the evidence shows they have little significant impact in coral mortality. The majority of damage to coral comes from cyclones and crown of thorns starfish. If you look at the reef monitoring website, there is usually very little drop in concentration after a bleaching event.

August 7, 2022 9:51 am

If you want to talk to someone grossly ignorant of fact and facts, talk to a leftist.

Steve Taylor
August 7, 2022 1:41 pm

I thought it was interesting these were northern reefs, where, in Oz, one might reasonably expect the waters to be, on the whole, warmer than in the south. Maybe those southern ones need a bit more warm water

Lindsay Moore
August 7, 2022 4:14 pm

The recovery of the reef as described is dramatic . 97%?of reef scientists didn’t not predict even the possibility of this happening? (Ie, wrong!)
There are profound implications from many different points of view.
From the “scientists” point of view they demonstrated a basic lack of knowledge and judgement and have been exposed for crying “wolf” too often. Might be difficult to extract more research funds, although I am sure they will try to find a way to extend the “scare”
From a reef science perspective the extremely rapid recovery in growth, particularly in the Northern section where bleaching history is worse begs the question if reef damage from bleaching,cyclones, crown of thorns is actually a vital component of reef health and sustainability. ?
Like bushfires or pruning a tree the removal of a percentage of the biome stimulates new growth . In the case of the reef the new growth will be dominated by life forms best suited to the prevailing environment thus promoting genetic development and diversity
This process of natural selection ensures that the reef adapts as and if required.
Of course this is how nature works.
The spectacular reef recovery as observed would support this hypothesis and is testament to its health and sustainability into the future.
As with Climate science, reef science needs to be looked at with a larger perspective. Too many assumptions and too much groupthink!
Long live the reef!

August 7, 2022 5:54 pm

The stock standard doomster GBR memes by the established reef academics helped game the recent Fed election for GreenLabor.
Last year China also gamed the Fed election by bad-mouthing Oz at some UNESCO do.

leading our foolish Env Minister to race to to “up-over’ to defend Oz – We should have just told China/UN to F-O.

August 8, 2022 6:11 am

Who here remembers Jacques Cousteau?
I was an avid SCUBA diver in the 80’s and guess what, Jacques was guaranteeing the GBR, because of ‘bleaching’, was a relic of history.

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