Great Barrier Reef threatened
Episodic flooding is the norm in Queensland, with deluges predating anthropogenic global warming, these natural events having the potential to ravage the Great Barrier Reef:
This week there are reports that the Great Barrier Reef is threatened as plumes of dirty flood water from the Burdekin, Fitzroy and Burnett rivers expand into the ocean. Underwater visibility has dropped from 50 metres to 1 metre in affected areas, according to the New Zealand Herald. The inundation of silt threatens to clog the delicate corals, while the drop in salinity may also be problematic for the stenohaline organisms.Ain't Mother Nature a bitch?
But the greatest source of coral mortality may come from an explosion in the coral-eating crown-of-thorns starfish population, Katharina Fabricius at the Australian Institute of Marine Science told the New Zealand Herald.
Ominously, three previously observed outbreaks of crown-of-thorns starfish have coincided with large floods in the Burdekin river, Fabricius said.