[Coral-List] Basic Question. Simple Answer ?

Mark Eakin Mark.Eakin at noaa.gov
Fri Jul 23 15:16:25 EDT 2004

While air temperatures rose dramatically in Greenland at the end of the  
Younger Dryas, it is unlikely that tropical oceans warmed anywhere near  
that much.  More important were changes in the area of warmth in the  
tropics.  That was also an increase from cold (glacial) conditions to  
warm (interglacial).  Your question regarding global warming is a  
further increase in interglacial temperatures.

If corals were not under a wide range of other anthropogenic stresses,  
then the warming would probably be less of an issue.  The temperature  
problem is really compounded by the additive and synergistic effects of  
other stress imposed on the corals at the same time as the warming.

Corals are not likely to go extinct.  However, it can take a long time  
for coral reef ecosystems to recover from severe stresses like those we  
are likely to see in the next century.


On Jul 21, 2004, at 5:38 PM, Fishy wrote:

> Greetings all,
> My sincerest apologies for wasting time and bandwidth with what Im sure
> is an eye-rolling question for you all.
> I have tried to answer this question myself but have found  
> insufficient research
> to back up my response.
> Can anyone help me ?
> "Why are marine biologists so worried by a forecast global warming  
> rise of 1.4-5.8 degrees occurring over the next century, when the  
> coral obviously survived a far more rapid and greater increase (~7 deg  
> over 10 years) about 15000 years ago (Younger Dryas) ?"
> My response is this:
> 1. Greenland never had hard corals and the temperature change was  
> probably local not global.
> 2. Just because some corals survive, doesnt mean losing massive  
> diversity was a minor effect.
> 3. Tropical coral reefs have been stable for a long time now - sudden  
> change will be disasterous.
> But thats the best I can offer.
> Hope someone out there has some patience.
> Sorry again.
> Chris.
> _______________________________________________
> Coral-List mailing list
> Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
> http://coral.aoml.noaa.gov/mailman/listinfo/coral-list
C. Mark Eakin, Ph.D.
Director of the World Data Center for Paleoclimatology

NOAA/National Climatic Data Center
325 Broadway E/CC23
Boulder, CO 80305-3328
Voice: 303-497-6172                  Fax: 303-497-6513
Internet: mark.eakin at noaa.gov

More information about the Coral-List mailing list