Dr Jennifer Marhoasy at Climate Change Concern Forum in Maroochydore
IPA Senior Fellow Dr Jennifer Marohasy addresses the Climate Change Concern Forum at the Maroochydore Surf Life Saving Club on 14 July 2019.
Dr Marohasy speaks about the single biggest threat to the Great Barrier Reef – sea level fall – as well as the embarrassing state of climate research science in Australia.
Dr Marohasy’s talk revolves around the corals at Heron Island and what they tell us about sea levels. She reveals that these corals remain constrained, just as they were in 1955 when her mother lived and worked on the Island. The growth of corals in 1955 were constrained by their inability to continue to grow-up, because sea levels were not rising. This continues to be the situation today — despite what you might to be told on the nightly news.
In fact, a peer-reviewed technical paper by L. Scopelitis et al. published in the journal Coral Reef in 2011 explains that the period 2002 to 2007 has been the most constrained for Heron Island corals since at least 1940 because they have reached their vertical limit for growth and there has been no sea level rise.
The single biggest threat to the Great Barrier Reef is sea level fall. Sea levels did fall some 30 centimetres during the recent super El Nino event of 2015/2016 as explained in the presentation.
Watch this important lecture now.
You can also read Dr Marhoasy’s blog post on this important topic at her website. As Dr Marohasy writes:
The single biggest threat to the Great Barrier Reef is sea level fall. Sea levels did fall some 30 centimetres during the recent super El Nino event of 2015/2016 as I explain in the YouTube presentation.
This is not a large amount considering that the tidal range at Heron Island on any one day can be anything from 1 to 3 metres.
But 30 centimetres is enough to result in bleaching of the top 30 centimetres of a coral that may be subject to sunshine on the exposed reef flat for perhaps an hour.