Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Alas, it's gonna get Hot!

As so often, Helen is spot-on.

By the very nature of who we are and especially, what we do, we're sort of situated at the outer fringes of Fiji's Diving Industry.
Having once memorized that If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be "meetings" (and "committees"!), I've chosen to be more of an Executive Summary kinda guy and try to avoid those gatherings.

Luckily for us, we're clients of Resort Support.
Nomen being Omen, their dedication extends well beyond the completion of their projects and we would be stupid if we didn't shamelessly take advantage of that.

Stuart is our conduit to the arcane world of Fiji's Diving Politics and Political Correctness (and preternatural experiments involving Hypothermia) and I'm quite content to have him and Andrew handle that in their own Q-Celtic gibberish. DO click that link and then continue, you'll be amazed... I had no idea!

Helen on the other hand is part and parcel of Fiji's equally arcane local Marine NGO scene and keeps me abreast of developments there. Being more of a Hugger, she's also my very own advocatus diaboli and plays an important role in tempering our sharkophilic, and some would say, reckless exuberance. She's also involved with Reef Check and the like and has been coaching our Eroni in several aspects of local Conservation, last of which the Great Butterflyfish Count.

Anyway, Helen was the person I contacted when we were swamped in Crown of Thorns early on this year. Thankfully, the critters have been told to move on but I remember Helen commenting that in her view, this was the harbinger for a bout of Coral Bleaching.
Unfortunately, it seems, she is right. The picture on top, from NOAAs Coral Bleaching Outlook page, bodes ill indeed.

Indo-Pacific Bleaching Outlook:

The area most likely to suffer thermal stress with the potential for severe bleaching during the next 15 weeks is a region spanning Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, and the Far Northern section of the GBR. Less severe thermal stress is expected in a broader region including all of the Cairns section of the GBR. To the west, the model currently predicts a threat of moderate levels of thermal stress from southern Borneo across through Timor-Leste to southern Papua New Guinea and Torres Strait. This level of potential stress then picks up in the central GBR and east extending across Vanuatu and New Caledonia to the east-southeast of Fiji. Some mild stress may be seen around Madagascar. The greatest warming is expected to begin from late January through February.

Weekly maps right here.
Although ENSO predictions are neutral, some characteristics are pointing to a continuation of this year's La NiƱa. Others have other explanations but the long and short of it is that we're in for hotter and wetter weather in our nick of the Pacific.

Whatever the cause - this sucks!

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