Shuffle ability

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Last updated on July 16th, 2017 at 04:38 pm

Pity the poor fragile threatened doomed little Great Barrier Reef:

From a boat at sea, the Australian Great Barrier Reef seems invincible, its myriad corals stretching beyond sight.

But the reef’s vastness covering 2,300 kilometers, or 1,450 miles, and wave- smashing outcrops mask fragility in the face of climate change threatening to bleach its fluorescent depths the stark white of death.

The reef … will be “functionally extinct” by 2050, [according to] a draft report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released in the past week.

Maybe not:

Coral geneticists from the Australian Institute of Marine Science have found that many corals store several types of algae, which can improve their capacity to cope with warmer water.

“This work shatters the popular view that only a small percentage of corals have the potential to respond to warmer conditions by shuffling live-in algal partners,” said institute marine scientist Madeleine van Oppen …

The Australian scientists said this “shuffle” ability might explain why coral reefs have been able to survive for thousands of years during various climate changes.

Which may have involved a few coldenings.

Posted by Tim B. on 07/25/2007 at 12:37 PM
    1. I seem to remember hearing of the imminent demise of the Great Barrier Reef 20 or so years ago. But it was due to go before now, not in 40 years time. Must be Aussie Coral – tough stuff

      Posted by Pa Feral on 2007 07 25 at 12:45 PM • permalink


    1. Took time out for research and it was the Crown of Thorns back in 1982 Then but since 2000 it has been Global Warming (but not Climate Change) Now

      Posted by Pa Feral on 2007 07 25 at 12:55 PM • permalink


    1. Jesu God Almighty, Blair. There you go listening to scientists again. No wonder lefties think you’re a luddite.

      Posted by Gary from Jersey on 2007 07 25 at 01:10 PM • permalink


    1. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (probably not marine scientists) vs the Australian Institute of Marine Science (probably knows what they are talking about)
      Gosh! all of this contradictory information is giving me a headache.
Posted by missred on 2007 07 25 at 01:12 PM • permalink


    1. G’wan! There’s plenty barrier reef left. Plenty for everybody.

      How do I know? Because the chief excavator for Priceless Antipodal Coral Ornaments tells me we’ve got proven reserves that’ll last at least a hundred years.

      Posted by paco on 2007 07 25 at 02:11 PM • permalink


    1. I guess it’s safe for Al Gore to move to Townsville, then.

      Posted by SoberHT on 2007 07 25 at 02:17 PM • permalink


    1. This isn’t the only problem.  When I last lived on that side of the world(early-mid 70’s), the crown-of-thorns star fish were supposedly poised to eat the entire Great Barrier reef and most of the other coral reefs in the Pacific. They then disappeared for a while, only to be cited in 2000 as having eaten 66% of surveyed reefs (which were what percentage of the total?).  Now they seem to have backed off again.

      Makes one think that there just might be a natural rhythm to the life of reefs.  This was also probably the case in the untold millenia prior to the onslaught of leftist politics.  I’m quite sure it will continue long after us.  There always be variable conditions, none of which can or need be altered by cryto-commies trying to empty my wallet on false pretenses.

      (Caution – here be left leaning tendencies):

      Posted by Winger on 2007 07 25 at 02:41 PM • permalink


    1. “will”

      Posted by Winger on 2007 07 25 at 02:42 PM • permalink


    1. Coral has “live-in algal partners”?? Interspecies cohabitation? That’s just… sick. Worse than cats and dogs living together, if you ask me.

      Posted by Dr Alice on 2007 07 25 at 02:46 PM • permalink


    1. The Australian scientists said this “shuffle” ability might explain why coral reefs have been able to survive for thousands of years during various climate changes.

      What’s strine for “Duh?”

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 2007 07 25 at 03:07 PM • permalink


    1. We usually go with “Duh”, Richard.

      Posted by Ash_ on 2007 07 25 at 03:15 PM • permalink


    1. What, the GBR has coral???

      I don’t seem to recall that from my trip from Pt. Douglas out to the Low Islands back in the early 90’s.  What I do remember, most vividly, is a sweet, young “marine biologist”, in a translucent white bathing suit, who worked for the Quicksilver folks.

      I still have some hearing loss in my left ear from where the ex-Mrs. Zardoz slapped me so that she could regain my attention.

      Posted by Zardoz on 2007 07 25 at 03:36 PM • permalink


    1. All aboarrrrrrd!
      The Gravy Trains a commin to town! And every crack pot, snake oil salesman in the world is crawling out from under his rock and buying a first class ticket. Yessir, the Gravy Train is building up steam and preparing to depart from Grand Moonbat Station, you don’t want to miss it. With its Climate Global Change Warming Dining car, the lines are sure to be long, so don’t wait another minute! Latch on to the Global Milk Teat and suck to your pseudo-scientific heart’s content. Wooooooo woooooooooooooooo!

      Posted by Texas Bob on 2007 07 25 at 04:13 PM • permalink


    1. Say, Winger, I don’t suppose that crown-of-thorns starfish make good eating?  They’re echinoderms after all, like sea urchins, which are quite tasty…
      (hops over to Wikipedia for a look at the enemy)

      “…If accidentally touched or stepped on by humans, the starfish’s long spines are capable of pricking and stinging, inflicting great pain that can last for hours, as well as nausea and vomiting. …”

      Okay, maybe not so edible.  Never mind… 😛

      Well then, instead, I suggest that we Blairites throw our vigor and enthusiasm into a program to support the predators of the crown-of-thorns starfish.  Adopt a Humphead Wrasse today!

      Posted by Mary in LA on 2007 07 25 at 05:05 PM • permalink


    1. We have had 60 odd ice ages in the last three million years, and every time sea level dropped and the GBR died off.  The GBR has spent 90% of the last three million years being a vegetation-covered range of hills, in other words dead as a coral reef.  A few more generations of humans will see it alive and then sea levels will start dropping again.

      Posted by norian on 2007 07 25 at 07:19 PM • permalink


    1. The corals in the world’s hottest area of ocean, the Persian Gulf are doing just fine.

      BTW, there has only been one ice age in the last 3 million years. Namely the ice age we are currently in. We are in an inter-glacial within the ice age where the ice temporarily retreats for a short period (geologically speaking) before once again advancing as the interglacial ends.

      Posted by phil_b on 2007 07 25 at 10:13 PM • permalink


    1. The Barrier Reef has been carking it for years, and is in terrible danger.

      This requires many scientists, nubile young “research assistants” and various support staff to spend their winters snorkelling around the Reef and documenting it’s imminent demise. This must be done annually, so The Children will know what a lovely place it was before Gaia so vengefully killed it off.
      Naturally, this can only be done in daylight hours, so these dedicated researchers are required to spend their nights in shabby hovels like this.

      On Gummint money, of course.

      Posted by Pedro the Ignorant on 2007 07 25 at 11:24 PM • permalink


    1. From 20,000 years ago until 6,000 years ago, the sea level rose steadily. As it rose, the corals could grow higher on the hills of the coastal plain. By around 13,000 years ago the sea level was 60 metres (197 ft) lower than the present day, and corals began to grow around the hills of the coastal plain, which were, by then, continental islands. As the sea level rose further still, most of the continental islands were submerged. The corals could then overgrow the hills, to form the present cays and reefs. Sea level on the Great Barrier Reef has not risen significantly in the last 6,000 years.[12]

      The CRC Reef Research Centre estimates the age of the present, living reef structure at 6,000 to 8,000 years old.

      these econutters think we came in down in the last ice age shower.

      i blame Mabo and Burnam Burnam for the last global warmening…..and George Bush of course.

      Posted by bailador on 2007 07 26 at 02:02 AM • permalink


    1. The Barrier Reef – nature’s Castro.

      Posted by Infidel Tiger on 2007 07 26 at 02:24 AM • permalink


    1. Oh me, oh my, the end of the world. As we know it.

      The spouse and I fish and dive all over the Pacific ocean, and we can say sincerely that there’s good eating fish, beautiful coral, lots of warm, cool, cold water depending on the currents.

      We can’t think for a minute what people are worried about, because the water temperature here at merewether was 14C when we had a swim this morning.

      Which must mean the warmenin is coldenin.

      Or somethenin.

      Posted by mareeS on 2007 07 26 at 03:06 AM • permalink


    1. And who gives a flyen F, really. It’s only thirty and forty something people who are scared. They won’t die for a while, so they need a stash of money from us, their parents, to stay alive because the 20s are coming after them with tire irons.

      Posted by mareeS on 2007 07 26 at 03:16 AM • permalink


    1. Here’s another great article on the GBR’s staying power from a prescient Dr Walter Starck who has a PhD in marine science including post graduate training and professional experience in fisheries biology.

      Great Barrier Reef threatened: so where is the evidence?

      Posted by Srekwah on 2007 07 26 at 05:24 AM • permalink


    1. This just in! Species older than mankind may survive slight warming!

      Posted by wreckage on 2007 07 26 at 11:19 AM • permalink


  1. Humphead wrasse, gee it bears an uncanny resemblence to Al Gore.

    Posted by baslimthecripple on 2007 07 28 at 01:23 PM • permalink