Monday, April 17, 2017

The Great Barrier Reef Scam

Coral does not like the arctic regions. Very possibly due to the cold, I imagine. But to a greenie it must have something to do with we wicked men and all the mining and farming we do. It cannot be because coral loves warm waters, as the 'Warmist Fanatics' never like to acknowledge that coral reefs thrive on the equator well north of Oz' iconic Great Barrier Reef.

Nope: warming waters off Queensland brought about through man-made 'cimate change' is responsible for coral turning white from time to time. 

There is money in mendacity.

Barely a year goes by without some 'ecologist' or 'oceanographer' who finds despair when his/her taxpayer-provided, Government dispersed Grant running low trying to scare the tourists away with tales of doom and dismay: tales which could win a literary fiction award.

The Prof, JJ Ray brought a few talking (and drinking) heads by to tell us some fictions and home truths. And he also, later, introduced some fine old fellows with some history marking their passage through nearer waters.

“”And because such an apocryphal analysis was published in Nature and will undoubtedly mislead coral conservation policies, I wept.””
And the fraud goes on: 
2016/2017 bleaching on GBR
JJ said: 
It seems that the 2015/2016 summer bleaching was repeated in summer this year (2016/2017).  Since water levels change only slowly, that is to be expected.
But note the dishonesty below.  They are still attributing the bleaching to global warming -- while giving not a single number for either the global water temperature or the North Queensland water temperature. 
So let me supply some numbers: NASA/GISS Tell us that the global December 2016 temperature (mid-summer) was .77, which was DOWN on December 2015 (1.10)and even slightly down on 2014 (.79).  So in the period at issue, there was NO global warming.  So the guys below are lying through their teeth.  They say that the bleaching was caused by global warming but there WAS no global warming in the period concerned.
And they also don't give numbers for sea levels in the area. They are zealously hiding the real cause of the bleaching
And he put this - that he was talking about, forward. 
BACK-to-back bleaching is killing huge tracts of the Great Barrier Reef, 
with almost none of the coral effected in 2016 expected to recover.

Recent aerial surveys by the Australian Research Council’s Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies have revealed only the southern third of the reef is unscathed from the bleaching events.
Researcher Terry Hughes said mass bleaching happened in 2017 even without the assistance of El Nino, which normally brings warmer sea surface temperatures.
“The bleaching is caused by record-breaking temperatures driven by global warming,” Professor Hughes said.
“Ultimately, we need to cut carbon emissions, and the window to do so is rapidly closing.” Warmer water temperatures cause coral to expel their algae, turning them bright fluorescent colours and eventually bone white.
Marine biologist James Kerry said bleached corals were not necessarily dead but it was anticipated high levels of coral would be lost in the central region of the reef, which experienced the most intense bleaching this year.
“It takes at least a decade for a full recovery of even the fastest growing corals, so mass bleaching events 12 months apart offers zero prospect of recovery for reefs that were damaged in 2016,” Dr Kelly said.
Tropical Cyclone Debbie also destroyed parts of the reef around the Whitsundays, a popular tourist destination that had largely escaped the worst of the bleaching so far.
While cyclones normally cause the water temperature to drop, Prof Hughes said any cooling effects were likely to be negligible in relation to the damage caused by the slow-moving Category 4 system.
“Clearly the reef is struggling with multiple impacts,” he said. The Great Barrier Reef is known to have experienced four bleaching events in 1998, 2002, 2016 and 2017.
JJ said, " That sea levels could fall is of course be unthinkable to a Warmist. In their religion sea levels only rise.  In fact sea levels both rise and fall all over the place worldwide.  There has even been a fall in recent decades in Moreton Bay, near where I live. 

And are we allowed to mention the remarkable sea-level testimony of Tasmania's Isle of the Dead? Read the late John Daly on the matter.  He knew where all the skeletons are buried.  There's a whole graveyard of them. 

It is only highly theoretical isostatic "rebound" adjustments to the raw tide gauge data that enable  Warmists to produce any picture of global sea level rise. 

Sad below that it took Indonesian scientists to face what was actually going on. 

JJ always brings surprises into the Tavern and this time several other fellows along with Mr Daly. I will come to them all later.
Falling Sea Level was the Critical Factor in 2015/2016 Great Barrier Reef Coral Bleaching! 
It is puzzling why the recent 2017 publication in Nature, Global Warming And Recurrent Mass Bleaching Of Corals by Hughes et al. ignored the most critical factor affecting the 2016 severe bleaching along the northern Great Barrier Reef – the regional fall in sea level amplified by El Niño. 

Instead Hughes 2017 suggested the extensive bleaching was due to increased water temperatures induced by CO2 warming.
Well, he had to use the magic incantations to get his Grant, innit? 
In contrast in Coral Mortality Induced by the 2015–2016 El-Nino in Indonesia: The Effect Of Rapid Sea Level Fall by Ampou 2017, Indonesian biologists had reported that a drop in sea level had bleached the upper 15 cm of the reefs before temperatures had reached NOAA’s Coral Reef Watch bleaching thresholds
As discussed by Ampou 2017, the drop in sea level had likely been experienced throughout much of the Coral Triangle including the northern Great Barrier Reef (GBR), and then accelerated during the El Niño. They speculated sea level fall also contributed to the bleaching during the 1998 El Niño.
Consistent with the effects of sea level fall, other researchers reported bleaching in the GBR was greatest near the surface then declined rapidly with depth. Indeed if falling sea level was the main driver in 2016’s reef mortalities, and this can be tested, then most catastrophic assertions made by Hughes 2017 would be invalid.
Indeed the Great Barrier Reef had also experienced falling sea levels similar to those experienced by Indonesian reefs. Visitors to Lizard Island had reported more extreme low tides and more exposed reefs which is consistent with the extremely high mortality in the Lizard Island region during the 2016 El Niño.
Of course reefs are often exposed to the air at low tide, but manage to survive if the exposure is short or during the night. However as seen in tide gauge data from Cairns just south of Lizard Island, since 2010 the average low tide had dropped by ~10 to 15 cm.  After previous decades of increasing sea level had permitted vertical coral growth and colonization of newly submerged coastline, that new growth was now being left high and dry during low tide. As a result shallow coral were increasingly vulnerable to deadly desiccation during more extreme sea level drops when warm waters slosh toward the Americas during an El Niño.
Furthermore, an El Niño in the Coral Triangle not only causes a sudden sea level fall, but it also generates a drier high-pressure system with clear skies, so that this region is exposed to more intense solar irradiance. In addition, El Niño conditions reduce regional winds that drive reef-flushing currents and produce greater wave washing that could minimize desiccation during extreme low tides. And as one would predict, these conditions were exactly what were observed during El Niño 2016 around Lizard Island and throughout the northern GBR.
Aerial surveys, on which Hughes 2017 based their analyses, cannot discriminate between the various causes of bleaching. To determine the cause of coral mortality, careful examination of bleached coral by divers is required to distinguish whether bleached coral were the result of storms, crown-of-thorns attacks, disease, aerial exposure during low tides, or anomalously warmer ocean waters. Crown-of-thorns leave diagnostic gnawing marks, while storms produce anomalous rubble.
Furthermore aerial surveys only measure the areal extent of bleaching, but cannot determine the depth to which most bleaching was restricted due to sea level fall. To distinguish bleaching and mortality caused by low tide exposure, divers must measure the extent of tissue mortality and compare it with changes in sea level. For example, the Indonesian researchers found the extent of dead coral tissue was mostly relegated to the upper 15 cm of coral, which correlated with the degree of increased aerial exposure by recent low tides.
Unfortunately Hughes et al never carried out, or never reported, such critical measurements.
Crown of Thorns Starfish
However a before-and-after photograph presented in Hughes 2017 suggested the severe GBR bleaching they attributed to global warming primarily happened between February and late April. Their aerial surveys occurred between March 22 and April 17, 2016. And consistent with low tide bleaching, that is exactly the time frame that tide tables reveal reefs experienced two bouts of extreme low tides coinciding with the heat of the afternoon (March 7-11 & April 5-10). And such a combination of sun and low tide are known to be deadly.
A study of a September 2005 bleaching event on Pelorous and Orpheus Islands in the central GBR by Anthony 2007, Coral Mortality Following Extreme Low Tides And High Solar Radiation, had reported extreme deadly effects when extreme low tides coincided with high solar irradiance periods around midday. As in Indonesia, they also reported bleaching and mortality had occurred despite water temperatures that were “significantly lower than the threshold temperature for coral bleaching in this region (Berkelmans 2002), and therefore unlikely to represent a significant stress factor.” Along the reef crests and flats, “40 and 75% of colonies in the major coral taxa were either bleached or suffered partial mortality.
In contrast, corals at wave exposed sites were largely unaffected (<1% of the corals were bleached), as periodic washing of any exposed coral by waves prevented desiccation. Surveys along a 1–9 m depth gradient indicated that high coral mortality was confined to the tidal zone.” 
The fortuitous timing of Ampou’s coral habitat mapping from 2014 to 2016 in Bunaken National Park (located at the northwest tip of Sulawesi, Indonesia) allowed researchers to estimate the time of coral mortality relative to sea level and temperature changes. Ampou reported that in “September 2015, altimetry data show that sea level was at its lowest in the past 12 years, affecting corals living in the bathymetric range exposed to unusual emersion. By March 2016, Bunaken Island (North Sulawesi) displayed up to 85% mortality on reef flats” and that almost “all reef flats showed evidence of mortality, representing 30% of Bunaken reefs.” Based on the timing of reef deaths and changes in temperature they concluded, “the wide mortality we observed can not be simply explained by ocean warming due to El Niño.”  They concluded, “The clear link between mortality and sea level fall, also calls for a refinement of the hierarchy of El Niño impacts and their consequences on coral reefs.”
The whole bizzo of 'sea level' causes problems. To hear warmist fanatics, sea levels only rise when huge amounts of ice melts in Antarctica or the Arctic. They rarely discuss 'rising' compared to what. To me - and likely you too - it means rising up onto the land. But of course the land itself is floating on magma and it tilts up and down in places. So we have a 'science' of measuring. Hence the reference above to one, Mr John L. Daly.  And he brings us neatly back to the Tavern. Or nearby at least.

So let's look at him.
Testing the Waters
A Report on Sea Levels
for the Greening Earth Society
The `Isle of the Dead' is not mentioned at all by the IPCC in any of its reports. However, there is intensive research presently underway by several institutions including Australia's `Commonwealth Science and Industry Research Organisation' (CSIRO Marine Research Division), assisted by the head of the Inter-Agency Committee on Marine Science & Technology, Dr David Pugh, who is based at the University of Southampton, UK, all focused on this 
sleepy little isle at the bottom of the world in Tasmania.
The `Isle of the Dead' is over two acres in size, situated within the harbor of Port Arthur in southeastern Tasmania . 
This large and undeveloped harbor opens out directly to the Southern Ocean. The isle itself is actually a graveyard (thus its eerie name), containing the graves of some 2,000 British convicts and free persons from the 19th century who lived and died at the nearby convict colony of Port Arthur between 1832 and 1870. Port Arthur is now a heritage historic site, visited by thousands of tourists every year to see the convict buildings and ruins, and to enjoy the popular night-time `ghost tours'.
To understand why there is so much scientific interest in the Isle, we must travel back in time ...
In September 1840, the renowned British Antarctic explorer, Captain Sir James Clark Ross sailed from Hobart Town, the capital of Van Diemen's Land (the former name for Tasmania) for a 6-month voyage of discovery and exploration to the Antarctic with his two expedition ships, `Erebus' and `Terror'.
After a highly successful voyage, he returned in April 1841 for a refit and resupply of his ships and spend the southern winter in temperate latitudes. Upon arrival at Hobart Town, he was disappointed to learn that a golden scientific opportunity had been lost. 
A proposal by Baron Von Humboldt to the British Colonial Secretary, Lord Minto, that mean sea level marks should be struck on newly discovered coasts and islands, had arrived during Ross' absence in the Antarctic. 
"The fixing of solid and well secured marks for the purpose of showing the mean level of the ocean at a given epoch, was suggested by Baron von Humboldt, in a letter to Lord Minto, subsequent to the sailing of the expedition (Ross' own expedition of the `Terror' and `Erebus'), and of which I did not receive any account until our return (to Tasmania) from the Antarctic seas, which is the reason of my not having established a similar mark on the rocks of Kerguelen Island, or some part of the shores of Victoria Land (in Antarctica)."
In spite of the missed opportunity, Humboldt's idea still appealed to Ross and to the Governor of Van Diemen's Land, Sir John Franklin, himself a naval man. 
Consequently, both Ross and Franklin made a point of visiting Port Arthur, 40 miles from Hobart Town, to meet Thomas Lempriere, a senior official of the convict colony there, but who was also a methodical observer and recorder of meteorological, tidal, and astronomical data. Here is the account Ross gives of his visit to Lempriere at Port Arthur - 
"My principal object in visiting Port Arthur was to afford a comparison of our standard barometer with that which had been employed for several years by Mr. Lempriere, the Deputy Assistant Commissary General, in accordance with my instructions, and also to establish a permanent mark at the zero point, or general mean level of the sea as determined by the tidal observations which Mr. Lempriere had conducted with perseverance and exactness for some time: by which means any secular variation in the relative level of the land and sea, which is known to occur on some coasts, might at any future period be detected, and its amount determined.
The point chosen for this purpose was the perpendicular cliff of the small islet off Point Puer, which, being near to the tide register, rendered the operation more simple and exact. The Governor, whom I had accompanied on an official visit to the settlement, gave directions to afford Mr. Lempriere every assistance of labourers he required, to have the mark cut deeply in the rock in the exact spot which his tidal observations indicated as the mean level of the ocean."
The Ross-Lempriere sea level benchmark on the `Isle of the Dead'  (photo taken by John L. Daly at mean tide, Aug 29, 1999. Benchmark is 50 cm across)
Ross further explained why he chose Port Arthur for a mean sea level mark instead of in the Derwent estuary closer to Hobart Town, where his ships `Erebus' and `Terror' were moored.
"The tides in the Derwent were too irregular, being influenced greatly by the prevalence of winds outside and the freshes from the interior, so that we could not ascertain with the required degree of exactness the point of mean level."
I can attest to this personally. From my vantage point at the deck infront of my cave, I overlook the waters of the Derwent and watch both river and tide vie for momentary supremacy. 
The `permanent mark' at the `zero point, or general mean level of the sea' that Ross wrote about has proved to be more permanent than even he bargained for -
The mark is still there, and in perfect condition.
In the photo above, the line and arrow mark is a standard British Ordnance Survey Benchmark, 50 cm across, and is standing in the photo about 35 cm above the water level. 
Since the photo was deliberately taken at the time of mean or half-tide for that day, we see in this one photo the enigma that is the `Isle of the Dead'. 
Because, how can a benchmark struck at "zero point" or the "mean level of the sea", as described so explicitly by Ross, now be 35 cm above the mean level today? Has the sea level fallen?
Of course, mean tide on the day of the photo may not be the long-term MSL. However, the CSIRO has been researching the benchmark since 1995, installing a new state-of-the-art acoustic tide gauge at the Port Arthur jetty a mile away, setting up a network of GPS buoys around the harbor, and involving other institutions in the effort. Their unpublished conclusion is that the benchmark is indeed 35 cm above current mean sea level.
And they cannot explain it in a manner consistent with the Ross account.
Southeastern Tasmania is believed to be uplifting very slightly due to PGR, although there is no tectonic activity in the region. 
The CSIRO installed GPS receivers and GPS marine buoys in the Port Arthur area to test for the effect of PGR. It takes several years to get an uplift rate accurate to within millimeters using GPS positioning. However, the CSIRO have made a preliminary, though unpublished, uplift estimate of 0.61 mm/yr ±0.22 mm/yr. 
Over the full period of 159 years since the benchmark was struck, this uplift rate would result in a relative sea level fall of between 6.2 cm and 13.2 cm, with a mid range value of 9.7 cm. This is only a fraction of the 35 cm to be accounted for. However, local geological shoreline evidence indicates an uplift much less than this at around 0.19 mm/yr, giving a total uplift since 1841 of only 3 cm. The geological figure is probably the more accurate because it represents actual past uplift, whereas the albeit preliminary GPS result can only represent a current rate of uplift.
In 1888, a scientific assessment of the benchmark was made by Capt. Shortt, who surveyed it in an effort to determine its exact origins and meaning. He searched archives in Hobart and Port Arthur for information and reported his findings in a short paper published by the Royal Society in Hobart.
A small tablet was found above the benchmark (the tablet went missing around 1913) and this gave Shortt the date the benchmark was struck as July 1st 1841, at a point in the lunar month when the age of the moon was 12 days. 
In order to measure sea level under similar conditions which existed then, Shortt made his calculation of MSL and the benchmark height when the age of the moon was also 12 days, as cited on the tablet. 
His conclusion, in 1888, was that the benchmark was 34 cm above mean sea level, only a centimetre less than the CSIRO estimate of 35 cm 112 years later. 
As Shortt was familiar with the Ross account given above, he was perplexed as to why a `mean sea level' benchmark should now be 34 cm above MSL 47 years later.
Moving forward in time to 1985, Bruce Hamon, a scientist from Sydney, also studied the benchmark. He concluded that it was 36 cm above MSL . He examined tide data from nearby Hobart to establish the current point in the 18.6 year cycle, so we can be confident of his 36 cm estimate.
Hamon's was only the second, and the last, paper to appear in the scientific literature about the Ross-Lempriere benchmark. Since then, nothing has been published, not even interim results from the recent CSIRO research 
All that has appeared in the public domain are a few media releases, none of which impart the vital information to the public that a mean sea level benchmark struck in 1841 now spends most of its time out of the water.
Since the benchmark has been observed to be the same height above relative MSL on three sets of good observations 112 years apart (Capt Shortt [1888], Hamon [1985] and the CSIRO [2000]), sea levels have clearly not changed at Port Arthur in all that time. Being tectonically stable and subject to only minor PGR, land uplift will hardly provide an adequate explanation for the lack of sea level rise since 1888 and a possible sea level fall between 1841 and 1888.
The benchmark powerfully confirms what the Australian Mean Sea Level Survey tells us, namely that the rate of sea level rise over much of the 20th century has only been +0.16 mm/yr, 
less than one tenth of the IPCC's estimate of 1.8 mm/yr. 
This survey would imply a sea level rise of only +1.6 cm for the whole century, consistent with observations and measurements of the Ross-Lempriere benchmark since Capt. Shortt first observed it in 1888.
The joint `Co-ordinating Lead Author' of Chapter 11 (sea levels) of the draft Third Assessment Report of the IPCC is Dr John Church, who heads the CSIRO Marine Research Division in Hobart, Tasmania. The organization he heads is deeply involved in researching the benchmark as shown by their press release of 1998. 

In spite of this, there is no discussion about the benchmark, or its implications for historical sea levels, in the IPCC draft co-authored by Church. The draft cites old tide records from PGR-ridden Europe and even complains about the lack of data from the southern hemisphere, but nothing is mentioned about a 159-year-old sea level benchmark in the data-sparse southern hemisphere which predates most other records, and is located only 1 hour's drive from Hobart.
The most comprehensive information about the benchmark and the historical events and personalities surrounding it comes from this author's website, from which futher details can be obtained at the linked references given.
There is also a discussion about the origins of the benchmark in the Appendix
Rather than confront this issue directly, the IPCC and the modelers have chosen instead to `quarantine' the Australian survey by suggesting that the Southern Oceans can somehow go their own way when it comes to sea level rise. Given that the southern hemisphere holds nearly two-thirds of the world's oceans, this is clearly not a tenable position in the long term.
Their suggestion also puts a whole new meaning on the term 'Down Under'.
I am most grateful for JJ's efforts in bringing these interesting observations to the Tavern. Many other are too considering the evidence of at least four barrels of fine Ale that was dispensed to the crowd in the Oz room.

Drink up too.



  1. Major piece of work. Must wedge it in tomorrow and tweet.

  2. Quite thorough. Well done. Another cyber friend, Tom Harley, whose posts I also publish on Speak Freely page, has many articles on these subjects. Here is the link....

    1. Thank you for the heads-up. I noticed too an article in the Australian the other day about a researcher at James Cook Uni (I think ) who 'checked' some work by colleagues and found it fictitious. He was reprimanded for insulting them !!! So much for truth and its search in what passes for science in our seats of dislearning. I was unable to get the Oz to stand here. They were hiding behind a wall.

  3. The "Falling Sea Level" article by Jim Steele is highly misleading. It's based around a paper concerning surface mortality in Indonesia, which has nothing to do with the bleaching of whole coral reefs on the northern part of the Great Barrier Reef in 2016 or central part in 2017.

    The article wrongly implies that the paper by Prof Hughes and 45 other authors was based only on an aerial survey, when in fact nearly 200 divers were involved and it covered over 900 sites. See for example:

    1. I disagree. The article has much to do about bleaching, if we are to go by the 'consensus'. But I am pleased tou took time to point it iut and to take issue. That is what science does. It does not attempt to 'shut ' people 'up', as we find so often in the 'Warming Sciences'. By the way New Scientist and Scientific American are fine magazines for the layman to skim through. Not authorities though.

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Ne meias in stragulo aut pueros circummittam.

Our Bouncer is a gentleman of muscle and guile. His patience has limits. He will check you at the door.

The Tavern gets rowdy visitors from time to time. Some are brain dead and some soul dead. They attack customers and the bar staff and piss on the carpets. Those people will not be allowed in anymore. So... Be Nice..