Effects of climate change for surfers.

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indo-dreaming started the topic in Sunday, 17 Nov 2013 at 10:35am

Seems the talk of the month around here is climate change.

Now putting aside all the political stuff and we all know there is many negatives and im not suggesting we should be pro climate change or start lighting indo style plastic fires in our backyards, so don't go blasting me for even bringing this up, but as surfers if we be a little selfish for a moment as us surfers are good at being and just look at the effects climate change could have on surfing?

We know all the negative things, but everything in life has a good side and a bad side.

It got me thinking (and a google search) could climate change have a positive effect for surfing?

Heres a good article http://www.abc.net.au/environment/articles/2012/11/19/3634514.htm

For example most reefs (not all) are better on higher tides while most sand bottom points/rivermouth are better on lower tides so any sea level rise could see improvements in many reefs (yes i know not all) while sand bottom breaks in theory would adapt to sea level changes as there supplied by moving sand (from rivers, from beaches and erosion of dunes)

In regard to coral reefs, Sumatra could be a good example of how land height changes effect wave quality, for example much of sumatran offshore islands have been sinking especially the mentawais (sinking is virtually the same as sea levels rising) I guess we don't know what the mentawais were like before land sunk but it definitely is good now, personally i think sinking coral reefs have more chance of creating good waves than ones that rise or even don't change.

In sumatra (south end of Mentawais and from Nias to Aceh) we can also see the opposite effect where reefs even islands have had sudden uplift often a metre plus, and i can only think of three examples where wave quality has increased from this (Roxys in sth ments, Lagundri at Nias and a reef in Simeulue)

While in every other case wave quality has been negatively effected (some examples quite a few reefs in Simeulue have said to have changed for the negative even now not surfable, Treasure island in banyaks not as long or good, Asu and Bawa in Hinakos lost best sections, Afulu, the machine at Nias, and a few waves in the sth Mentawais like rags left)

So chances are coral reef wise in Indo at least wave quality could improve more than be negatively affected.

Offcourse then you have the affect on weather systems winds and swell.

I guess the effect of whether its a positive or negative in regards to surfing will have a lot to do with where you live the set ups and swell and water temps.

I just hope they come up with a better sun protection otherwise we will be screwed no matter what.

Blowin's picture
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Blowin Tuesday, 30 Jul 2019 at 10:40am

You just compared the likelihood of an unprecedented and utterly improbable event which contradicts nature’s inherent ability to adapt and evolve in entirely unpredictable ways with the certainty of gravity.

Sounds like its yourself who is trolling, Mowgli.

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Pops Tuesday, 30 Jul 2019 at 10:49am

Well said Mowgli.
Science (not even physics) does not pretend to state anything with certainty; however it does produce testable, probabilistic predictions.
E.g. the evidence for the prediction that human activity is causing average global temperatures to rise has reached "five-sigma" levels (i.e. 99.977% likelihood), which is the same standard which allowed CERN to announce the discovery of the Higgs boson.

100% probability isn't realistically attainable - its a bit like trying to count to infinite. Even if you had infinite time to do so, you'd never get there (though you would approach it).

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mowgli Tuesday, 30 Jul 2019 at 11:29am

Outlandish. No. Very extreme, definitely. It’s the most extreme statement in that entire report and the ones that report is based on.

If you know how the IPCC works, you’ll know that its proclamations have a tendency to be fairly conservative. It’s not accurate to say they fall to the “lowest common denominator”, but they tend to pick positions that lie somewhere just below the middle ground of the projections show in terms of severity. Which is why with each report we always find ourselves tracking at the high end of projections. Basic behavioural science can illuminate how we keep ending up here.

So, understanding all that, they still put out the 99% claim. That human behavioural aspect if nothing else tells you what you need to know regarding the veracity of the claim. Also, as I said earlier, you need to go beyond that single line and understand the detail behind it, specifically the temporal and spatial basis for it.

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Craig Tuesday, 30 Jul 2019 at 11:57am

I haven't looked at the paper or data Blowin, so can't answer you on your first question, but this statement peeves me..

"No one is qualified in predicting a long term future based off modelling, irrespective of what they’d have you believe. In case you were still deluded enough to imagine that there is A SINGLE PERSON on this planet who is qualified to predict the future with certainty ....there is not anyone capable of this"

It's not with certainty but it's with a certain probability as Mowgli has pointed out in previous posts that certain predictions or outcomes are made with the help of quite sophisticated modelling which continues to be improved on daily. Some of these outcomes less likely or with less confidecence than others.

Outlooks and predictions are made based off fundamental known and proven theories, in this case ocean acidity and temperature thresholds amongst coral ecosystems. Carbon concentrations in a closed system as another example, and so forth.

Also, have I seen coral.. seriously.

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mowgli Tuesday, 30 Jul 2019 at 11:57am

Also, the Greens and their ilk tend to engage in hyperbole. It's unhelpful and frustrating to see/hear.

So yeah, better to take whatever they say with a handful of over-priced fair-trade pink Himalayan salt and go straight to the source when it comes to climate change. For our part of the world the best sources are CSIRO and BOM (you could go to IPCC but they get all the stuff for Australasia/Oceania from those two orgs).

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Laurie McGinness Tuesday, 30 Jul 2019 at 12:38pm

Seen it a bit closer than you might have liked Craig?

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Craig Tuesday, 30 Jul 2019 at 12:41pm

Nothing to the face thankfully, a little fire coral graze in the Ments got me good years ago, just blew up with some crazy infection that when swabbed back here, they didn't know what it was..

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thermalben Tuesday, 30 Jul 2019 at 12:48pm

I think one of the problems with climate change discussion is that very few people will actually live to see their predictions played out in full.

For deniers, this allows them the opportunity to kick the can along the road a little further because they can't quite see the claimed effects at full strength.. yet. 

And this is the worrying part for me. Because it's my kids (and their kids, and so on) who are going to have to deal with the problems created by the generations before.

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Laurie McGinness Tuesday, 30 Jul 2019 at 12:54pm

Ben, Australia has been insulated from the worst effects so far because the major changes are taking place in the Arctic. I think the residents of many northern hemisphere countries would disagree with you ....... they are experiencing significant change right now. Deniers are trapped in an ideological bubble. They are like the smokers in my father's generation who could deny smoking caused cancer while they were actually dying of it.

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freeride76 Tuesday, 30 Jul 2019 at 1:33pm

significant changes happening here too.

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thermalben Tuesday, 30 Jul 2019 at 1:44pm

I suppose my point is that - using Blowin's statement as an example:

"I’m calling utter bullshit on the claim that basically ALL coral in the world will cease to exist with a 2 degree rise in global temperatures"

... can I take it that Blowin won't accept this theory until all of the world's coral is actually gone/bleached/etc? Do we need to reach the finale before we agree on the premise?

Or, at what point do you accept the theory?

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Laurie McGinness Tuesday, 30 Jul 2019 at 2:45pm

Denial, as they say, is not an Egyptian river. So those who go down that road never acknowledge they are wrong. In the case of climate change the very first set of predictions, made over 40 years ago by scientists working for the oil industry, have been pretty much spot on. Present models have been tested against palaeo-climates and come out as accurate. The point being that evidence doesn't sway those who are only interested in confirming their prejudices.

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mowgli Tuesday, 30 Jul 2019 at 3:56pm

You don’t even need to look to the literal ends of the Earth to find people already suffering from global warming right now.

Look no further than our own country, specifically the folks in Torres Strait. Who due to the sea level rise we’ve already seen flooding and/or eroding their ancestral burial lands. I won’t go into it here but you can imagine the huge distress this is causing on spiritual and cultural ground. Not to mention social conflict as attempts to relocate collective ancestral remains elsewhere runs into issues around current land tenure.

Or how about our emergency services telling us climate change is here right now, as we see an expansion and converange of bushfire season right across Australia’s East Coast, running from north to south and across such short timeframe in a way never before seen since we entered the current interglacial period.


Climate change is here and now. It’s not some distant future thing that will only impact your grandkids.

One thing worth remembering in these discussions is the denialist/"I call BS" camp has dwindled substantially in size, and new analysis of satellite imagery reveals its situated just down the road from the Flat Earther and Vaccinations-cause-autism campgrounds. One can only assume you get a per person per night discount for being a backward thinking science denier at those sites.

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Blowin Tuesday, 30 Jul 2019 at 4:18pm

I’m not disputing that the Earths climate s changing, I’m disputing the call that all of the world’s corals will die.

It’s an overreach.

Nature reacts in unprecedented and unpredictable ways . No modelling can account for a scenario which is unprecedented.

Unknown unknowns cannot be modelled.

Therefore the statement that 99 percent of the world’s corals will be dead is UTTER BULL SHIT.

Modelling is built on historical foundations. Past results are not necessarily replicated in future outcomes. You can hedge this by saying that the statement wasn’t definitive, only as probable as statistical determination will allow if you like , but the fact remains that there is no way on Earth to predict the future of a life form by extrapolating historic record.

Life forms adapt at an amazing speed when necessary. Nothing in scientific literature can account for an adaptation which has not previously been witnessed. No one in science predicted the resistance to antibiotics that we are seeing in the modern age ......amongst many such adaptations by nature .

When it comes to long term predictions regarding living beings, science is guessing.....no more , no less.

Remember when it was scientifically proven that man could not exceed the four minute mile ? Times have not changed, they just use computers to do the calculations on their GUESSWORK.

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Pops Tuesday, 30 Jul 2019 at 4:14pm

Blowin, the hole in your argument is that corals dying due to elevated temperatures is not in fact unprecedented. Corals evolving fast enough to deal with the rate temperatures have been rising is, though.

Hopefully some will somehow adapt faster than they've ever been observed to, but it seems foolish just to rely on that hope. And if they don't, it seems that a lot of top-notch surf spots will slowly die.

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davetherave Tuesday, 30 Jul 2019 at 4:14pm

well said blowin- which means humanity can take a different course, through making different choices and decisions. i agree, all statistics should say a possible worst case scenario. but modelling is a very useful tool to give humanity knowledge and when knowledge is applied- it becomes wisdom- will humanity be wise- i think it will. tweed bar pumped earlier today- great lefts- just like old times- a few punters had a crack but the wind got up- but still good stuff.

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Blowin Tuesday, 30 Jul 2019 at 4:23pm

Pops - Why do people keep arguing as though I’m disputing the fact that action is required to halt humanity’s impact on the environment ?

Of course we must act.

I’m just say that the science is nothing more than best guess. I’ve got more faith in the resilience of nature than I have in computer modelling predicting the adaptability of life with any accuracy that you’d care to mention.

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Laurie McGinness Tuesday, 30 Jul 2019 at 4:29pm

"I’m just say that the science is nothing more than best guess. I’ve got more faith in the resilience of nature than I have in computer modelling predicting the adaptability of life with any accuracy that you’d care to mention."

So the computer modelling that has accuratey predicted the changes so far and which accurately predicts palaeo-climates from starting data is no better than a guess? Sorry, less chance than accurately predicting next weeks lotto numbers but keep digging, you must be close to the bottom by now!

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Pops Tuesday, 30 Jul 2019 at 4:35pm

Fair enough - you were coming off as though you didn't think there was any risk of impact to the reefs/any need to act.
Having a background in science (physics), and particularly in modelling, I'm a little more pessimistic than you are with respect to the accuracy of the models. Hopefully you're right.

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Blowin Tuesday, 30 Jul 2019 at 4:45pm

Laurie - try reading mate.

Modelling cannot predict the long term reaction of LIFE FORMS to duress or change.

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Blowin Tuesday, 30 Jul 2019 at 4:47pm

Pops , My old man wrote computer modelling for the Navy . He was saying that models are only as good as the information fed into them. If something is unprecedented and unknown , how can modelling account for it ?

It can’t.

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Laurie McGinness Tuesday, 30 Jul 2019 at 4:48pm

Assertion without evidence.

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Laurie McGinness Tuesday, 30 Jul 2019 at 4:51pm

Pops if you look at what the models are currently telling us is the probable future, we should be hoping they are wrong.

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Blowin Tuesday, 30 Jul 2019 at 4:51pm

Yep, that’s modelling in a nutshell....assertion without evidence.

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Pops Tuesday, 30 Jul 2019 at 4:52pm

yep, "garbage in, garbage out".
but we do know how corals react to elevated temperatures & reduced pH's, so we're not really dealing with unprecedented unknowns - the previously observed reactions of corals to the conditions can be fed into the models. Sure, some colony of coral might evolve at an unprecedented rate, and the models would likely not capture that, but there's plenty of data of corals dying under the conditions in question and none for them adapting, so it seems logical to assume they won't adapt.

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Pops Tuesday, 30 Jul 2019 at 4:53pm

"Pops if you look at what the models are currently telling us is the probable future, we should be hoping they are wrong." - Laurie, agree with you 100%, with very little optimism that they are [wrong].

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Blowin Tuesday, 30 Jul 2019 at 5:02pm

That’s it , Pops.

With a Trillion seperate organisms all reacting to stimuli , climate , nutrient availability, chemical interactions and individual propensity towards natural variation, it’s literally impossible to predict how nature will fare in a static climate, let alone one which is transigent.

It’s akin to modelling how any person will die at the time of their birth. Sure , you can throw out all the statistics and probability you like based on genetics , cultural influences and other factors.

But it’s still nothing more than a guess. And it’s a wild guess at that.

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Laurie McGinness Tuesday, 30 Jul 2019 at 5:06pm

Ha ha ha except those "wild guesses" have turned out to be consistently accurate over several decades. Your argument is apparently that because your father did not trust models we should ignore decades of progress in thousands of different fields that employ modelling to make accurate predictions.

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Blowin Tuesday, 30 Jul 2019 at 5:22pm

How did my father not trust models ? They were his career. He actively furthered the progression that you only tenuously understand through theory.

He wasn’t just rote teaching disinterested adolescents the same basic science elementals year after year and congratulating himself for reading New Scientist in the staffroom during little lunch.

He related a truism of the industry that you don’t want to accept. You keep refusing to acknowledge the varying degrees of appropriateness and accuracy of modelling across the differing fields of science, Laurie.

That’s your mistake, not mine.

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Laurie McGinness Tuesday, 30 Jul 2019 at 5:24pm

When the best you can do is personal put downs without a single fact or shred of evidence to support your absurd and nonsensical assertions, it is time say good bye. Something stronger would be more appropriate but why bother.

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Blowin Tuesday, 30 Jul 2019 at 5:40pm

You’ve been throwing out your petty little jabs since we started this discussion. You kicked off with the denialist accusations, followed with the close to the bottom jibe and then rounded out on the adequacy of my father . Usual story . You give it out then expect respect in return. You’re dreaming.

Grow a pair , Laurie. Stop being the pouting child. The victimised innocent routine has never been justified.

If someone doesn’t fall over with fawning adulation when you issue your opinions, don’t go to water . It’s unbecoming. No point worrying about being defamed when you’re carrying on like that yourself, the jobs already done.

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Laurie McGinness Tuesday, 30 Jul 2019 at 6:10pm

From IPCC 1.5C (p229)
"Box 3.4 | Warm-Water (Tropical) Coral Reefs in a 1.5°C Warmer World
Warm-water coral reefs face very high risks (Figure 3.18) from climate change. A world in which global warming is restricted to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels would be a better place for coral reefs than that of a 2°C warmer world, in which coral reefs would mostly disappear (Donner et al., 2005; Hoegh-Guldberg et al., 2014; Schleussner et al., 2016b; van Hooidonk et al., 2016; Frieler et al., 2017; Hughes et al., 2017a). Even with warming up until today (GMST for decade 2006–2015: 0.87°C; Chapter 1), a substantial proportion of coral reefs have experienced large-scale mortalities that have lead to much reduced coral populations (Hoegh-Guldberg et al., 2014). In the last three years alone (2016–2018), large coral reef systems such as the Great Barrier Reef (Australia) have lost as much as 50% of their shallow water corals (Hughes et al., 2017b).
Coral-dominated reefs are found along coastlines between latitudes 30°S and 30°N, where they provide habitat for over a million species (Reaka-Kudla, 1997) and food, income, coastal protection, cultural context and many other services for millions of people in tropical coastal areas (Burke et al., 2011; Cinner et al., 2012; Kennedy et al., 2013; Pendleton et al., 2016). Ultimately, coral reefs are underpinned by a mutualistic symbiosis between reef-building corals and dinoflagellates from the genus Symbiodinium (Hoegh- Guldberg et al., 2017). Warm-water coral reefs are found down to depths of 150 m and are dependent on light, making them distinct from the cold deep-water reef systems that extend down to depths of 2000 m or more. The difficulty in accessing deep-water reefs also means that the literature on the impacts of climate change on these systems is very limited by comparison to those on warm- water coral reefs (Hoegh-Guldberg et al., 2017). Consequently, this Box focuses on the impacts of climate change on warm-water (tropical) coral reefs, particularly with respect to their prospects under average global surface temperatures of 1.5°C and 2°C above the pre-industrial period.
Chapter 3 Impacts of 1.5°C of Global Warming on Natural and Human Systems
Box 3.4 (continued)
The distribution and abundance of coral reefs has decreased by approximately 50% over the past 30 years (Gardner et al., 2005; Bruno and Selig, 2007; De’ath et al., 2012) as a result of pollution, storms, overfishing and unsustainable coastal development (Burke et al., 2011; Halpern et al., 2015; Cheal et al., 2017). More recently, climate change (i.e., heat stress; Hoegh-Guldberg, 1999; Baker et al., 2008; Spalding and Brown, 2015; Hughes et al., 2017b) has emerged as the greatest threat to coral reefs, with temperatures of just 1°C above the long-term summer maximum for an area (reference period 1985–1993) over 4–6 weeks being enough to cause mass coral bleaching (loss of the symbionts) and mortality (very high confidence) (WGII AR5, Box 18-2; Cramer et al., 2014). Ocean warming and acidification can also slow growth and calcification, making corals less competitive compared to other benthic organisms such as macroalgae or seaweeds (Dove et al., 2013; Reyes-Nivia et al., 2013, 2014). As corals disappear, so do fish and many other reef-dependent species, which directly impacts industries such as tourism and fisheries, as well as the livelihoods for many, often disadvantaged, coastal people (Wilson et al., 2006; Graham, 2014; Graham et al., 2015; Cinner et al., 2016; Pendleton et al., 2016). These impacts are exacerbated by increasingly intense storms (Section 3.3.6), which physically destroy coral communities and hence reefs (Cheal et al., 2017), and by ocean acidification (Sections 3.3.10 and, which can weaken coral skeletons, contribute to disease, and slow the recovery of coral communities after mortality events (low to medium confidence) (Gardner et al., 2005; Dove et al., 2013; Kennedy et al., 2013; Webster et al., 2013; Hoegh-Guldberg, 2014b; Anthony, 2016). Ocean acidification also leads to enhanced activity by decalcifying organisms such as excavating sponges (Kline et al., 2012; Dove et al., 2013; Fang et al., 2013, 2014; Reyes-Nivia et al., 2013, 2014).
The predictions of back-to-back bleaching events (Hoegh-Guldberg, 1999) have become the reality in the summers of 2016–2017 (e.g., Hughes et al., 2017b), as have projections of declining coral abundance (high confidence). Models have also become increasingly capable and are currently predicting the large-scale loss of coral reefs by mid-century under even low-emissions scenarios (Hoegh- Guldberg, 1999; Donner et al., 2005; Donner, 2009; van Hooidonk and Huber, 2012; Frieler et al., 2013; Hoegh-Guldberg et al., 2014; van Hooidonk et al., 2016). Even achieving emissions reduction targets consistent with the ambitious goal of 1.5°C of global warming under the Paris Agreement will result in the further loss of 70–90% of reef-building corals compared to today, with 99% of corals being lost under warming of 2°C or more above the pre-industrial period (Frieler et al., 2013; Hoegh-Guldberg, 2014b; Hoegh-Guldberg et al., 2014; Schleussner et al., 2016b; Hughes et al., 2017a).
The assumptions underpinning these assessments are considered to be highly conservative. In some cases, ‘optimistic’ assumptions in models include rapid thermal adaptation by corals of 0.2°C–1°C per decade (Donner et al., 2005) or 0.4°C per decade (Schleussner et al., 2016b), as well as very rapid recovery rates from impacts (e.g., five years in the case of Schleussner et al., 2016b). Adaptation to climate change at these high rates, has not been documented, and recovery from mass mortality tends to take much longer (>15 years; Baker et al., 2008). Probability analysis also indicates that the underlying increases in sea temperatures that drive coral bleaching and mortality are 25% less likely under 1.5°C when compared to 2°C (King et al., 2017). Spatial differences between the rates of heating suggest the possibility of temporary climate refugia (Caldeira, 2013; van Hooidonk et al., 2013; Cacciapaglia and van Woesik, 2015; Keppel and Kavousi, 2015), which may play an important role in terms of the regeneration of coral reefs, especially if these refuges are protected from risks unrelated to climate change. Locations at higher latitudes are reporting the arrival of reef-building corals, which may be valuable in terms of the role of limited refugia and coral reef structures but will have low biodiversity (high confidence) when compared to present-day tropical reefs (Kersting et al., 2017). Similarly, deep-water (30–150 m) or mesophotic coral reefs (Bongaerts et al., 2010; Holstein et al., 2016) may play an important role because they avoid shallow water extremes (i.e., heat and storms) to some extent, although the ability of these ecosystems to assist in repopulating damaged shallow water areas may be limited (Bongaerts et al., 2017).
Given the sensitivity of corals to heat stress, even short periods of overshoot (i.e., decades) are expected to be extremely damaging to coral reefs. Losing 70–90% of today’s coral reefs, however, will remove resources and increase poverty levels across the world’s tropical coastlines, highlighting the key issue of equity for the millions of people that depend on these valuable ecosystems (Cross-Chapter Box 6; Spalding et al., 2014; Halpern et al., 2015). Anticipating these challenges to food and livelihoods for coastal communities will become increasingly important, as will adaptation options, such as the diversification of livelihoods and the development of new sustainable industries, to reduce the dependency of coastal communities on threatened ecosystems such as coral reefs (Cinner et al., 2012, 2016; Pendleton et al., 2016). At the same time, coastal communities will need to pre-empt changes to other services provided by coral reefs such as coastal protection (Kennedy et al., 2013; Hoegh-Guldberg et al., 2014; Pörtner et al., 2014; Gattuso et al., 2015). Other threats and challenges to coastal living, such as sea level rise, will amplify challenges from declining coral reefs, specially for SIDS and low-lying tropical nations. Given the scale and cost of these interventions, implementing them earlier rather than later would be expedient.”


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tubeshooter Tuesday, 30 Jul 2019 at 6:44pm

just a note on the IPCC and the science / politics, {lengthy pdf}

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Laurie McGinness Tuesday, 30 Jul 2019 at 6:55pm

tubeshooter that document referred to the 2nd report in 1996. At that time some of the concerns raised were valid and numerous changes to the process were made, so interesting historically but completely irrelevant 13 years later.

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davetherave Tuesday, 30 Jul 2019 at 8:07pm

see, laurie and blowin blown apart by needing to stick to their beliefs- ludicrous when they are both intentionally showing their love for a sustainable stewardship of humanity and planet earth.
when we can replace, "it has to be my way" with let's all have a way that works for all our way's, then we are truly on our way.
this discussion is only one part of a larger whole that is working towards a sustainable future for planet earth and humanity 3d.
all contributions are welcome, but realising that all contributions ultimately all add up to a final gesalt, is paramount to feeling that you have contributed in your own way. and that's enough- thank you. no one is wrong, just different- be thankful for diversity- it allows you to be you- and that is very very cool.

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Tony Jack Clancy Tuesday, 30 Jul 2019 at 9:30pm

It’s been a great, lively and typical debate. I’m making only one submission then letting the debaters continue without further interruption.
One might argue apropos modelling by scientists committed to verifiability, validity and falseafiability exposed to peer review could be the best source of nett possibilities, probabilities and likelihoods. Ignored in the C02 argument by perhaps the majority is that the CO2 emissions maximise around 50 years after release and that various other gases more deadly are involved in what we put into the air affecting at various levels including ground level. In other words, the CO2 outcome alone, of the Vietnam war has not yet been reached and there are worse gases hanging around longer.
The ‘natural’ inhabitants of the planet will try to survive…through intelligent their environmental changes communicating using their perfumes, signalling systems (root networks and fungi) however we, the humans, are the problem in nature. We have wreaked destruction, nothing we do enhances it; we fix ruined things by exploiting other things. We are nett demolishers, whether active passive or bystanders.
With all the potency of argument we also let slide that volcanoes, meteorites overpopulation and disease can alter the situation instantly. Our tectonic plate is moving. Our magnetic poles periodically invert, things ‘just’ happen, bigger than we are as a global occupation… but that ‘nature’ is fighting its own battles doesn’t as I see it, relieve us fixing the consequences of our actions or pretending we cannot be called-upon to repair actions of those before us. It’s laziness.
Other great contributors to our egomania driven obstinacy against ‘fixing problems we didn’t cause’ include air-conditioning, air traffic and deforestation… both in small doses and massively through war. War is the tool used by evil leaders, those who want ‘possession’ come what may. It is the western financiers through the CIA for example and the Asian money launderers and financiers which demand equity for debt from individuals nations and states to whom they lend money. Provably in many cases loans were of such size and burden there never was any chance of escape. It was and is a facilitator to control destiny. Some nations interest on borrowings is greater than their GDP.
Evil ‘leaders’ and their henchmen and women, few are not stripped of original ethics once absorbed into the political system. Whether people elect them from cleverly devised ‘choices’ or which are despots, autocrats, ‘caliphates’ or simply alien controlled forelock-tuggers like ours, they utilise religious maniacs on the excuse ‘right to worship’ etc. The three main ‘right hand of god executioner-pathology religions’ claim the right to control each other and every member of community. They traverse nations, blasting dust and chemicals slaughter and fear around the globe…nuclear testing, fishing the oceans to point of extinction so, in a truncated example , we now are sold chemically treated fish all for the betterment or worse (e.g “Basa” catfish called “Dorey’ after our great table-fish.) Even 50-60 years ago we surfed amidst condoms lice turds and god knows what else at Queenscliff, Freshwater, Collaroy for example…before the ‘if it’s not on, it’s not on’ mantra.Solid sewage released into the oceans…but that’s tip of the iceberg in polluting our planet and foodstocks.
The question might be what are we going to do? individually and collectively to repair, not just save our planet rather than sit on our finger and argue the toss. I’ve seen the deterioration in my lifetime and heard over and over the plagiarised ex-contextra, the prognostications the procrastination and evasion. ‘There is non so blind as he who will not see’ is the ‘forever’ problem with such evasion . Strategy, tactics and guidance on slowing down our environmental malpractice are available and whatever hurt done in economic harm, real or perceived or alarmist if , if not even for us, we actually want to see this planet survive for our descendants, renewal action is required. ..or is everything, to quote Curley Joe, (hallucinating) in that wonderfully philosophical westers ‘Tombstone” (Val Kilmer et al) ‘just…. Capital’
Ion Idriess addressed erosion and water issues….massive issues…in 1941 (‘The Great Boomerang’) …Nett-effect on Government?... pretty well zero.
Sustainability is nowhere-near enough a goal. Dealing with illusionists is a fight day in and out. Take a recent example…One of the most absurd power-broker claims to fame in recent times in the ‘grey water solution’ in W.A; …..ok ok…use it if you must, but to pour it into the aquifer system will I fear, join the ‘safe storage’ of nuclear wastes as one of the great catastrophes. Desperation and greed are great motivators.
Grey water can be put to better use by localised recovery. For example, the continuing of irrigation in daytime in our water situation is unsustainable …It is there that ‘grey water’ …cleansed also of fats…should be used and the aquifers left alone…some may take ‘forever’ to refill….
Europe has productive water recovery systems, we have none and the ‘seawater’ units we have are uneconomic presently and cost a motza weekly to keep serviceable. The question again is are we just going to argue the toss decade after decade and exemplify it in worry about our surfing, or rather, become pressure groups to demand and enforce at least restorative-action.
Research I have done concerning Antarctica and its Treaty drew much to my attention (an HD submission ensued, I believe having been reviewed by an independent Antarctica-expert ). Not only does Australia not own any of Antarctica at all, (the Pope split the whole world between Spain and Portugal over 1000 years ago which is why Indonesia claimed part NG after defeating the Portuguese) yet Australian governments have been allowing China to frenetically build on the area it claims as ‘ours’. Australian Government has allowed tourists, polluting it further and I have no doubt reading of meetings between Hunt and Chinese some years ago, is negotiating with China to mine it whilst allowing it to impact the Australian mainland ownership.
Notwithstanding the (no-mining) treaty they have comprehensive minerals mapping of all Antarctica. The damage control rapidly undertaken after I asked pertinent and innocuous questions on OHSE there of one person in the Cwth. Antarctica organisation was bewildering. Time has proven it to me as a secretive organisation, releasing media distractions. It has refused (obviously) to respond to my ‘why’? enquiries on being denied information even to the top of the hierarchy. Antarctica was not a pristine place, now we can blame tourists. Antarctica is not controlled by pristine people but by secretive exploiters.
In closing, perhaps you might ask your local member to clearly explain in authoritative writings what’s going on there….and then rethink climate-change belief and denial in the light, for example, of public housing built on polluted sites and a school on an asbestos dump when pondering the climate and pollution outcome of Antarctica being mined for minerals and oil.

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indo-dreaming Tuesday, 30 Jul 2019 at 9:35pm

Oķay totally convinced now a 2 degree water temp rise will kill all coral.

So when is this going to happen again?

Five years?

Revisit this thread then i guess.

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mowgli Wednesday, 31 Jul 2019 at 9:57am

Indo - when the running global mean temp crosses the 2 degree C threshold.

The thing about about maxim’s like “models are only as good as the data that goes into them/their parameters” is they're only meant to be useful rules of thumb/guide posts. Problems arise when people who were taught a maxim in school, and then just run with that and apply it everywhere models exist; they end up never trusting model results. That is a deeply flawed position to take and ignores the fundamental premise of maxims.

It's intended to only be something to remember so you don’t fall into a cognitive trap (having blind faith in modelling). But the other end of the spectrum is also a cognitive trap - if we all applied the “can never have faith in model results!”* - we’d never have put people in space, figured out the effectiveness of a hundreds of life-saving medications, or be able to forecast pretty well what the surf will be like tomorrow. The list goes on..

That kind of mindset seems to be leading you astray when it comes to the forecasts regarding coral reefs. It - appears - that not only are you not qualified to make such claims. But you’re ignoring the extremely good track record (given the complexity of the system being studied**) all of the people involved in making those forecasts have – not just their quals and experience, but also their record in getting it right (as Laurie has pointed out).

* yeah, yeah, I know you didn’t say that specifically, but surely you can see that’s how you come across, Blowin?
** it's so much more than millions of organisms as you point out. They actually look at how the atmosphere, biosphere, cryosphere, and hydrosphere all interact, PLUS human responses. The science on this is so much more advanced than you seem to comprehend.

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Blowin Wednesday, 31 Jul 2019 at 10:26am

No , that’s not how I come across because I’ve specifically stated that the efficacy of modelling is dependent on the field and it’s inherent predictably and variability. Life forms are unpredictable. As I said before, no one foresaw the resistance to antibiotics before the situation arose. You can qualify this by saying that the life forms involved are less complex, but the resulting adaptability of nature is not really any less across the spectrum of life.

I’m not underestimating the science, I’m saying that the science underestimates nature.

I’d seriously bet $10000 that corals will not be wiped out by a 2 degree change in average global temperatures. That’s the extent of my faith in the adaptability of nature.

You don’t have to look too far to find established science being undermined by the resilience of natural necessity.


What else will science be surprised about ? Who knows ? And how can modelling account for something unknown.....it can’t.

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mowgli Wednesday, 31 Jul 2019 at 11:15am

Hahaha, only someone external to you can say how you come across. It is literally physically impossible for you to know without an external entity.

It's simple. How you come across = how you are perceived by others. You are you, you are not others not, thus you cannot determine how you are perceived.

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mowgli Wednesday, 31 Jul 2019 at 11:17am

For someone that is rallying against the IPCC’s qualified projections, you yourself are adopting an absolutist position with regard to others’ ability to understand the world. Smells a bit hypocritical wouldn't you say?**

It’s clear you cannot accept that those qualified (i.e. not you), can say with a high level of certainty (again, not total, as they are the first to point out) what is likely to occur. This is not a surprise because unless you are qualified, why would you? To the layperson the world is an extremely complex place that humans couldn’t possibly begin to understand or comprehend, both in terms of present state let along future state. I mean, it’s impossible to put a person on the moon. Just physically impossible. The variables are too many! Until it wasn’t….
Understanding how bacteria would respond to antibiotics wasn’t factored in…until it was (and you’ll find it was quite early in the game that we noticed).

The climate system was an unknown…who knew that a certain class of gases played a role in keeping the planet warm…until it wastn’t an unknown (150 years ago no less).
Gosh, I bet 40 years ago when Blowin was younger and snorkelling with amazement above coral reefs nobody did know how those reefs are affected by rising temps, pollution, heatwaves, and more acidic seawater….maybe we still don’t know? Maybe nobody has bothered to check. Maybe nobody has looked at how they’ve responded to changing conditions in the real world. Maybe nobody has built huge tanks and played around with the variables to mimic climate projects to see how well the organisms do or don’t respond….maybe nobody has looked at the geologic record, compared other instances of rapid changes in marine conditions and seen how reefs did or did not respond….

Or maybe they have looked. And maybe as a result they can say in the absence of any other compelling evidence the current composition and distribution of coral reefs as they’ve existed pre-industrial times (a little footnote and its relationship to the projection that you seem unaware of? Is your position still the same once you think about what they’re actually saying and not saying?).

And maybe, if nothing else, have you considered the consequences of a “I call BS” stance and finding out you are wrong? If the IPCC is wrong, hey we’ve cleaned up the oceans more than we would have. Happy days. But if they’re wright and we do nothing…..are you going to be around to help the rest of us deal with the consequence?

When it boils down to it, it’s Pascal’s Wager, plain and simple. You can either help or get your nihilistic self out the way. That includes throwing mud online where those who don’t have time to inform themselves could be shaped by your comments.

#this almost pointless online forum rant has been brought to you by “The Society of People That Will Be Left To Deal With The Problems Created By Depression and Baby Boomer Generations After They Are Already Dead But Still Didn’t Take The Problem Seriously Enough Because It Wasn’t Slapping Them In The Fact Like Starved Drowning Polar Bear#

** fascinated to see if you address each point or continue to hone in 1-2 things and frame them as some kind of ad hominem attack, continuing to ignore and propagate your flawed arguments.

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Blowin Wednesday, 31 Jul 2019 at 12:56pm

Talk about not taking the time to inform yourself......

I think you’ll find that it’s expressly conveyed that I support intervention into humanity’s impact on the planet.

In fact , I promote direct action and personal responsibility.....and that doesn’t refer to egging politicians and waving a placard , as some dreamers would have you believe is direct action.

The only point I’m contending is the ability of science to predict the future resilience of nature using historic evidence. You seem to think that describing the minutiae of how they reach their conclusions will sway me from this belief.

Maybe my position is absolutist in this regard , but I don’t think that being sceptical of scientific ability to predict the eminently unknowable future is anything to shy from.

I’ve seen science been proven wrong too many times to place faith in another 99.9999 percent surety based on past indicators. Obviously not in all fields * , but definitely in the predictions of long term directions that natural beings will adhere.

* I’ve thrown this caveat in for the 3rd or 4th time because it seems you haven’t noticed it when I made an unambiguous point of mentioning it previously.

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indo-dreaming Wednesday, 31 Jul 2019 at 2:32pm

Remember the Y2k bug thing, 100% created by man and they still didn't get it right.

Nature is so complex and it moves goal post all the time.

And although people want to draw a line where the high tide line should be and where corals range starts and ends or what a coral reef should or shouldn't look like, nature doesn't care nature is about change it always adapts as do humans.

Yeah sure us humans are having more influence on that change, but unfortunately, with population increase that won't change.

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mowgli Wednesday, 31 Jul 2019 at 4:08pm

Here's the TL:DR version of my response. The long version is at the bottom and I would genuinely welcome a response to each point. I only have any interest in the eternal pursuit of facts (I'm not being facetious). Maybe something you say will cause me to re-think a position of mine. But so far from what I can see, not just in this thread but others on here, your modus operandi appears nothing more than either (a) angry/cycnical/jaded/nihilistic old man trolling everyone regardless of topic, or (b) indeterminate aged person just in it for the LOLS.....At this point it's hard to tell. It's basic game theory. I know I'm not trolling. But I don't know if you aren't either. So those are my cards. Your response will illustrate a lot.

Perhaps we go back to the beginning. You call BS on the 99% figure. Ok, fine. Maybe you can help me understand. What empirical evidence, supported by a significant number of qualified folk, and/or personal qualifications can you put forth to demonstrate otherwise. Or is just because the 99% figure appears obscene to you? Is it just a kind of "gut feel" thing? You may have said it, but it can be hard to find the nuggets worth noticing. And, if you accept that global warming is a problem (which I think you do?), what % of existing reef systems would you expect to be irreparably damaged/lost, if not 99%?

As for me, my formal quals are in environmental science, and my work (consulting/advisory) requires me to grasp a whole host of subject matter, from environmental impact, conservation, finance, business management, health and safety, and engineering (just to name the usual ones). The people interact with range from graziers and miners, to lawyers and investors, to professors and politicians. What about yourself? Our backgrounds may assist those (bothering) to read our comments as to what to accept and discard of what we say here.

Talk about not addressing the counterpoints...I go to lengths to address yours but you won't reciprocate?

For instance...regarding the notion of knowing with certainty how others perceive you? What are your qualifications on marine ecology indeed? Even something on marine snails would help at this point. You support intervention? Ok, but in almost all cases the intervention decided up will be, in no small measure, determined using models. So, how do you reconcile with that? What about the ramifications of your position? That is, if the scientists are correct and you are not, the consequences of everyone following your lead would be catastrophic. Does that not present an intolerable risk? The basis for said direct action needs to be founded upon, among other things, a risk- and evidenced-based approach.

Ok let's play that out. You call BS on their claim. Sure, your prerogative. Part of why you say this is that they use past indicators to forecast the future, and that this is a flawed (or at least shakey?) foundation for doing so. Ok, given the future is inherently unknowable (which we all seem to agree upon), all we can do is predict. Let's park that there...

In order to decide which direct interventions are possible, and eventually which interventions should be actioned, we need to predict the outcomes of each of those interventions.....and that is done with modelling. Modelling outputs are predictions. It's informed by data. The best models use the most complex, the longest, and most accurate data. But it's also based on past events the moment the 'go' button is pushed on the model.

But you are for direct intervention....Sooo, quite the conundrum, no?

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indo-dreaming Wednesday, 31 Jul 2019 at 4:36pm

Are you talking to me or blowin?

BTW if you have experience in this area, im real interested to know the answer to these questions, im not trolling, it just doesn't make sense it just seem to be going against basic common sense and logic and painting a very broad black and white brush.

Different corals prefer different temps and depths, so why with a 2 degree change, can they not adapt? (Depths even now change from plate movement)

There is always going to be an area of the ocean where there is the perfect water temp, so if too warm in current area, why won't corals continue growing in these other areas where the temps are perfect.

Even now isnt the southern most range of coral a different temp to further north?

Also even with a 2 degree average rise in temps, obviously this will vary world wide with currents etc., even strangely enough water height increases worldwide vary.

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indo-dreaming Wednesday, 31 Jul 2019 at 4:42pm

Btw. Just a quick google of can coral reefs adapt to climate change, show quite a few interesting articles and studies from decent sources suggesting in many cases it seems they can and are.

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Laurie McGinness Wednesday, 31 Jul 2019 at 5:28pm

Indo there has been a lot of research on the ability of corals to survive changes in temperature and acidity by various mechanisms. As far as I can see most of this has been done in lab settings so even when this shows positive results it is still a long way from demonstrating that it would apply across a whole reef in a natural environment. If you have any evidence of that please post it. If you read the IPCC exert I posted above you will see that it is the the increase in water temperature in combination with other climate changes as well as non-climate problems (nutrient run off etc) that lead to the conclusion. The fact that some species of coral can survive temperature and pH changes in a lab is a long way from suggesting that whole reefs can survive.

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tubeshooter Wednesday, 31 Jul 2019 at 5:37pm

A bit of reef reality from Walter Stark


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Laurie McGinness Wednesday, 31 Jul 2019 at 6:11pm

No credibility tubeshooter but it is a bit better than yesterday's article which was only 23 years out of date. Keep trying.

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mowgli Wednesday, 31 Jul 2019 at 6:22pm

Sorry Indo, was referring to Blowin.

Good question! I did say it earlier but I guess it got lost in thesis haha. The IPCC's projections re. reefs are with regard to the composition and distribution of coral reefs as they exist in the present day. They aren't saying that if you compare the area of ocean with reefs in 50 years, with the total area today, that the future area will be 1% of what we see today.

We also expect some reef-developing species (polyps, etc) to do better than they currently do in warmer, more acidic oceans. The main reason is a big reduction in competition with other species that have lower tolerance to change. Unfortunately, a relative few species doing better won't even come close to making up for what we will lose. Unfortunately some of those that might do alright also aren't the most attractive. Mono-culture is rarely a good thing.

Some (not all) reef establishing species are expected (and indeed a few already are) to move into the higher latitudes (meaning further from the equator, regardless of the hemisphere you're in). That makes sense, however don't get your hopes up because...

(1) the oceans are becoming more acidic. This is bad for anything in the ocean that involves calcium (including reefs and important marine fauna species upon which the entire oceanic food web depends) and;
(2) healthy reefs, especially the large ones we most often think of, take a long time to establish, especially in the absence of any existing structures to get started on.

The problem with our current period of global warming is the rate of change. In the past, the rate was gradual enough (usually tens of thousands, at worst a thousand years) that ecological systems and everything they include were able to respond without large scale extinction events taking place. When short term impacts did occur, the impacts were limited in area, so the system could bounce back. Essentially unaffected areas repopulate the denuded ones, and there's a long enough length of time between those events to allow things to recover.

So not only have we been creating those short-lived impact events (agricultural runoff, nutrient pollution, over-fishing, bottom-trawling, and toxic pollutants), but now the underlying climate system is changing so fast thanks to us that it's undermining the resilience of these systems to withstand and recover from those short term impacts even today, let alone have enough time to migrate to where water temps are suitable in future.

That is why 99% of reefs as we know them today are not expected to persist in a +2 degree world.