Sea temp helps reef
NEAR average sea surface temperature predicted by the Bureau of Meteorology for the next three months is good news for the Great Barrier Reef, as summer temperatures and weather can pose a threat to coral and marine animals.
This summer forecast and other latest research was the focus for leading scientists and marine managers gathered in Townsville this week for their annual pre-summer check-up of the Reef. Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority director Dr David Wachenfeld said short and long-term impacts were considered when looking at the health of the reef.
Dr Claire Spillman from the Bureau of Meteorology said the Seasonal Climate Outlook for the next three months pointed to average sea surface temperatures for the Great Barrier Reef and for the tropical Pacific to stay in a neutral (neither El Nio nor La Nia) ENSO phase.
‘‘The northern wet season brings challenges for marine ecosystem management, with flooding events, extreme heat events and tropical cyclones part of the landscape of Australia’s climate,’’ she said.
‘‘Our Seasonal Climate Outlook is based on a dynamical climate model. It combines the physics of the atmosphere, oceans and land to calculate the likely climate conditions across Australia several months into the future.’’