Coral reefs and garden sprinklers

Further protecting the reef: a snippet from a recent ABC News article regarding our research with Quicksilver Cruises in Port Douglas – a little background to the story.

Queensland marine scientists and a cruise company are investigating whether garden sprinklers could be used to protect the Great Barrier Reef from coral bleaching.

The University of Queensland and Quicksilver Cruises have been monitoring the effect large floating shade cloths have on reefs of the far north Queensland coast.

Too much light causes algae that fuels coral to deteriorate, leading to colour loss then bleaching.

Researchers have found algae in shaded coral is much healthier but shade clothes are unsightly and expensive to maintain.

Quicksilver spokesman Philip Laycock says solar-powered sprinklers will be mounted onto floats above reefs to see if they can reduce light penetration.

“Once we get a bit of wave action on the surface we reflect a lot more sunshine but a very calm ocean will let about 90 per cent of sunshine through,” he said.

Mr Laycock says similar experiments in the Red Sea have shown sprinklers can reduce light penetration by 40 per cent.

Freedom, not climate, is at risk

A recent Op-Ed piece in the Financial Times by the President of the Czech Republic, Vaclav Klaus caught my eye recently:

“As someone who lived under communism for most of his life, I feel obliged to say that I see the biggest threat to freedom, democracy, the market economy and prosperity now in ambitious environmentalism, not in communism”

The article goes on to say:

“The environmentalists ask for immediate political action because they do not believe in the long-term positive impact of economic growth and ignore both the technological progress that future generations will undoubtedly enjoy, and the proven fact that the higher the wealth of society, the higher is the quality of the environment”

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A Reef in Time

“A Reef in Time: the Great Barrier Reef from Beginning to End”

Upcoming book release from J.E.N. Veron, expert coral taxonomist (over 35 years of experience) and the principal author of over 20 books and monographs on corals including the award winning “Corals of the World” and “Corals in space and time“.

“Drawing on a lifetime of experience, Veron combines an extraordinary broad array of different sciences to portray the world’s most famous coral reef as never before. This fundamentally original book takes the reader down one path after another, showing how they are linked together in very different time-frames. The central theme, which remains constant throughout, it that the origins, history, diversity, and ultimate fate of Great Barrier Reef – as with all coral reefs – is, and always has been, controlled by global climates.

A Reef in Time determinedly sticks to its fundamental objective of weaving together multiple fields of biology, geology and climatology in ways that are easily followed by non-scientists.

The expected launch date for this book is early December.