Sea temp helps reef

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

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.’’

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