Friday, July 15, 2011

Coral Whisperer not listening

ABC has thus far not provided any news of some recent peer reviewed science that shows things aren't so bad on the Great Barrier Reef.
Firstly there's this one that went unreported in June - Disturbance and the Dynamics of Coral Cover on the Great Barrier Reef (1995–2009) by Kate Osborne, Andrew M. Dolman, Scott C. Burgess and Kerryn A. Johns published in PLOS that found: "This study indicates that at the scale of the whole GBR there was no net decline in live hard coral cover between 1995 and 2009."
They also did not provide any news of this paper recently published in the journal Coral Reefs, titled Assessing loss of coral cover on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef over two decades, with implications for longer-term trends by Hugh Sweatman, S. Delean and C. Syms of the Australian Institute of Marine Science that indicates: "The GBR has clearly been changed by human activities and live coral cover has declined overall, but losses of coral in the past 40–50 years have probably been overestimated."
Between them, these papers go a long way to falsify the alarming picture about the state of the reef made by Coral Whisperer Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, including this picture of 2050 painted on The Science Show in 2005: "The waters of the Great Barrier Reef are also 1.5 degrees warmer destroying the conditions for coral growth and leading to annual bleaching events by 2010 and seeing the almost total loss of coral communities by 2030 as huge mortality events role through the system. The reef is unrecognisable. Many of the beautiful fish have gone, coral has been replaced by seaweeds and less appealing organisms."

Seems the corals are speaking, but the Coral Whisperer only hears what he wants to hear. "Selective hearing" is one of the sure signs of confirmation bias, a symptom of Cargo cult science. Censoring alternate viewpoints another one. 

1 comment:

  1. The 'reef' is our own polar bear, clinging desperately on for it's own survival. Coral bleaching? Where? When? Come on. Warmer waters would equal more coral? No?


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