More disinformation from Dr Peter Ridd in response to the ocean thermostat study

I see over on “The Politics and Environment Blog” in response to the ocean thermostat study published recently that the following comment from the ill-informed Dr Peter Ridd’s diatribe “The Great Great Barrier Reef Swindle” is again being misconstrued as evidence that warmer waters will be beneficial for corals:

“The scientific evidence about the effect of rising water temperatures on corals is very encouraging. In the GBR, growth rates of corals have been shown to be increasing over the last 100 years, at a time when water temperatures have risen. This is not surprising as the highest growth rates for corals are found in warmer waters. Further, all the species of corals we have in the GBR are also found in the islands, such as PNG, to our north where the water temperatures are considerably hotter than in the GBR. Despite the bleaching events of 1998 and 2002, most of the corals of the GBR did not bleach and of those that did, most have fully recovered.

Of course, some corals on the Queensland coast are regularly stressed from heat, viz. the remarkable corals of Moreton Bay near Brisbane which are stressed by lack of heat in winter. A couple of degrees of global warming would make them grow much better.”

See my response to Dr Ridd’s comments here. I’d like to extend an open invitation to Dr Jennifer Marohasy, the blog’s main author (or anyone else) to provide evidence from the scientific literature that warmer waters will be holistically beneficial to corals from the Great Barrier Reef, and look forward to your response.

Parrotfish key to saving Caribbean reefs

Recent research published in the journal Nature by Peter Mumby and co-authors at the University of Exter (United Kingdom) and University of California shows that in the Caribbean, the parrotfish (see image on the left) plays a key role in preventing coral reefs from being dominated by macro-algae (Link to abstract). Following the mass mortality of sea-urchins across the Caribbean reefs in the early 1980’s due to an unknown disease, the majority of the grazing of macro-algae is conducted by the humble parrot fish (Link to Reuters article). Dr Mumby gave a fascinating seminar earlier this year at the University of Queensland entitled “Marine Protected Areas & Coral Reef Ecosystem Resilience” detailing this and other research from his team in this area: