Thursday, August 4, 2022

Surveys: Continued coral recovery leads to 36-year highs across two-thirds of the Great Barrier Reef, but nothing is said of the average in the whole GBR

Annual Summary Report of Coral Reef Condition 2021/22: Continued coral recovery leads to 36-year highs across two-thirds of the Great Barrier Reef. Australian Institute of Marine Science, no date (YouTube movie dated Aug 3 2022.) https://www.aims.gov.au/monitoring-great-barrier-reef/gbr-condition-summary-2021-22

Summary: In 2022, the [Great Barrier Reef] continues to recover, registering the highest levels of coral cover yet recorded in the Northern and Central regions over the past 36 years (in the Southern part, recovery continued but hard coral cover declined slightly due predator's activity).

[...]

The recovery [...] continues to be driven by [vulnerable corals]. The [Barrier] remains exposed to the predicted consequencies of climate change. [...]. Any future disturbances can rapidly reverse the observed recovery.


Some comments:

1 you won't see the recovery in the news;

2 the AIMS doesn't publish _average_ coral cover since 2017, it only publishes data per region/area (Northern, Central, Southern Barrier);

3 the data above, if aggregated, would show record levels of coral cover since monitoring started for the whole, so, IMHO, it is misleading to say recovery in "two thirds of the Great Barrier Reef";

4 we are only monitoring the GBR since the mid-1980s, we don't know how were things before.


Now, why would the AIMS not publish aggregate cover since 2017? Critics think this may be due to a deliberate strategy of making things look worse than they are. Why would they do such a thing? Because of a linear combination of: they are true believers in the superior rights of Nature over us humans; they live off this (the taxpayer finances the surveys, the AIMS and several research positions at universities); the intimate satisfaction of being applauded by important bien-pensants; in a small number of persons, corruption; being good members of the herd; other reasons you may add.

I wrote to the AIMS asking them:

hi, thanks for your work. I got some questions about the reports on the Great Barrier Reef, like https://www.aims.gov.au/monitoring-great-barrier-reef/gbr-condition-summary-2021-22...:

1   what was the motivation to stop considering relevant the coral cover average, across all regions, which is no longer published (since, at least, 2017, as seen in "The whole GBR," https://www.aims.gov.au/reef-monitoring/gbr-condition-summary-2016-2017)?

2  are there papers in scientific publications about how good would it be to abandon publishing the cover average?;

3  does anyone knows what would be the result if the average were computed?; and

4  do they plan to start publishing again the average?


Once they reply I will post here their answer.


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