Nee dus! Weer een Greenpeace sprookje!

Eerder schonk ik aandacht aan de alarmerende berichten over de vermeende aftakeling van de Australische koraalriffen, die – zoals wij dat van klimaatalarmisten gewend zijn – voornamelijk wordt toegeschreven aan de opwarming van de aarde (die zo’n 18 jaar geleden is gestopt). Daaruit bleek dat er op dit terrein veel desinformatie in omloop is. Maar ja, daar werd niet kritisch naar gekeken omdat e.e.a. naadloos paste in de litanie van milieu-angsten.

Onder de titel, ‘Climate-Related Death of Coral Around World Alarms Scientists’, rapporteerde ‘The New York Times’, in april nog dat wetenschappers zich grote zorgen maakten over de toestand van de koraalriffen.

Wie schetst echter mijn verbazing dat diezelfde krant nu, vier maanden later, lichtpuntjes ziet? Onder de titel, ‘Giant Coral Reef in Protected Area Shows New Signs of Life’, schreef Karen Weintraub:

In 2003, researchers declared Coral Castles dead. On the floor of a remote island lagoon halfway between Hawaii and Fiji, the giant reef site had been devastated by unusually warm water. Its remains looked like a pile of drab dinner plates tossed into the sea. Research dives in 2009 and 2012 had shown little improvement in the coral colonies.

Then in 2015, a team of marine biologists was stunned and overjoyed to find Coral Castles, genus Acropora, once again teeming with life. But the rebound came with a big question: Could the enormous and presumably still fragile coral survive what would be the hottest year on record?

This month, the Massachusetts-based research team finished a new exploration of the reefs in the secluded Phoenix Islands, a tiny Pacific archipelago, and were thrilled by what they saw. When they splashed out of an inflatable dinghy to examine Coral Castles closely, they were greeted with a vista of bright greens and purples — unmistakable signs of life.

“Everything looked just magnificent,” said Jan Witting, the expedition’s chief scientist …

“Threats to tropical coral reefs worldwide have escalated to a level that imperils the survival of these complex, diverse and beautiful ecosystems,” Janice M. Lough, an Australian researcher, wrote in a February opinion piece in Nature.

Coral can be severely damaged by rising water temperatures, which cause acidification, as well as by pollution and human activity like tourism, fishing and shipping – prompting some governments to restrict such activities.

If Coral Castles can continue to revive after years of apparent lifelessness, even as water temperatures rise, there might be hope for other reefs with similar damage, said another team member …

In a letter published in Nature earlier this year, another global team of researchers reported a similar coral recovery after they reduced the acidity in three lagoons in the southern Great Barrier Reef, off Queensland, Australia. …

“It’s encouraging, because if we do the right things, health might restore in a pretty responsive manner,” said Rebecca Albright, one of the paper’s authors and a postdoctoral scientist at Stanford University. …

“Last year, the whole place was holding its breath,” Dr. Witting said. This summer, it has sprung to life with plankton visible everywhere, he said, comparing it to a garden that is six times as productive as usual. “The whole ocean’s in bloom this year.”

The fluctuations of nature are a part of life, of course, and the corals adapt to these variations. …

Lees verder hier.

Alweer een sprookje minder.

Voor mijn eerdere bijdragen over klimaat en aanverwante zaken zie hier, hier, hier, hier en hier.