[Coral-List] "Global Dimming" and Coral

Christopher Paul Jury jurychri at msu.edu
Wed Apr 19 13:41:05 EDT 2006

Good question. From what I know (I make no claims to be an expert on this 
topic ;-) the reduction in solar radiation has been ~10% or so. This is 
plenty to affect climate, and certainly has an effect on any sort of 
photosynthetic organism, but a reduction in intensity of that amount is 
something most any photosynthetic organism can adapt to easily. That is 
unless they are already near their compensation point. So for most 
shallow-water corals it probably has not been particularly detrimental, but 
for those on deep forereefs or otherwise in dim light it may have a more 
pronounced effect. The cooling effect that this has had has probably been a 
bigger positive (preventing bleaching and disease) than any negatives for 
reefs though. Also, double check the figure above as I'm not certain on it 
and am just going off memory. 



andrew ross writes: 

> All,
>   I was watching NOVA on American PBS last night and the topic was a weather condition called Global Dimming: a reduction in solar light penetration to the earth's surface due to particulate pollution and increased cloud cover over the past 30-50 years. 
>   I wondered how this would affect corals?
>   Andrew Ross
>   UWI
>   Montego Bay, Jamaica 
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