[Coral-List] Call to Action Re: New paper on coral bleaching in Science
Katy.Cummings at MyFWC.com
Wed Jan 10 11:26:50 EST 2018
Thanks for the call to arms! I am a supporter of coral reef restoration, but don't see how putting coral restoration first is the solution here. The first step in restoring an ecosystem is to remove the stressors - which we haven't done for coral reefs. How can we 'restore' a reef in a degraded environment that is no longer conducive to them? You are right in saying we need to stop burning fossil fuels at the rate we do (and stop pollution, coastal development, restore herbivore populations, etc. etc. etc) - and those are the things we need to do first before moving on to restoration. There have been few studies looking at the long-term success of outplanting projects, but with all the tens of thousands (possibly hundreds of thousands?) of corals outplanted on to the Florida Reef Tract in the past couple decades I would expect to see the reef recovering... it is not. Most of the Acropora I've seen planted just become damselfish nests in a few years. And even if these outplanted corals spawn, they're not successfully recruiting to the reef.
I am more hopeful about all the work being done to select for phenotypes that are more resistant to certain stressors. But if we still have a recruitment problem, I fear we're going to end up having to continually replant the reef until (if?) we solve the overarching problems.
On that note, I've also spoken to quite a few people down in the Keys about the status of Florida's coral. Many of them thought the reefs were doing great because of all the restoration happening on them. That's a pretty dangerous outlook - it lets people think we have solved the problem and they don't need to change anything about their own lives or be more active in speaking up on behalf of the reef. I know there's a balance between making people feel hopeful about the future and not depressing them to the point where they feel like it's hopeless to act further, but restoration needs to be clearer to the public about what it can and can not do. I feel that all restoration is doing at this point is maybe buying the reef some time so that we can solve the actual problems. Is that correct? Or are we trying to selectively breed coral to create a reef that is resilient in the face of everything humans throw at them?
Those are my concerns and questions about restoration, and I look forward to seeing responses! As far as best strategies, I almost feel like it would be better to drastically improve our science communication to the public. I think there are still far too many people out there who either don't know the issue exists (or think the reefs are doing well), don't know what they can do, or know what they can do but think it's hopeless anyways so why bother acting. If we can get a lot of the public on our side, we have their power as consumers and voters to help us in begging the legislature to listen to our science.
From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov <coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml..noaa.gov> on behalf of Sarah Frias-Torres <sfrias_torres at hotmail.com>
Sent: Tuesday, January 9, 2018 11:08 AM
To: Mark Eakin - NOAA Federal; Coral Listserver
Subject: [Coral-List] Call to Action Re: New paper on coral bleaching in Science
As Pogo says, "We have met the enemy, and he is us"
The recent Science paper (Hughes et al 2018; http://science.sciencemag.org/content/359/6371/80) shows a bleak global picture for coral reefs. We must stop burning fossil fuels if we want a future for coral reefs as we know them.
At this crossroads, we can either give up or keep fighting.
I choose to fight.
This is a Call to Action to those who still want to fight, against all odds, so coral reefs will have a future.
We have many strategies on the table. It's uncertain which strategy is going to work.
>From the angle of coral reef restoration, I call on the restoration community to work together, to share failures and successes and move towards large-scale restoration.
To the critics of coral reef restoration, I ask you to work with us. Don't just say: "this won't work". Give us constructive criticism, share your concerns with us. Is it a failure of the scientific process (validity of hypothesis testing) or is it an engineering concern (bringing the process to scale)?. The solution is very different in each case.
For everyone on this list, let's find ways to work together, from science to implementation, to communication, to everything in between.
It's all hands on deck now.
Sarah Frias-Torres, PhD
Science Blog: https://grouperluna.com/
Art Blog: https://oceanbestiary.com/
She was a clone. Not unique, not original, unable to make a difference. Inside her… it was growing. The precious cargo released only once every year, at the same ...
Sarah Frias-Torres | Smithsonian Institution, DC | on ...<https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Sarah_Frias-Torres>
Sarah Frias-Torres of Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. with expertise in Evolutionary Biology, Biology is on ResearchGate. Read 25 publications, 1 question ...
From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov <coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml...noaa.gov> on behalf of Mark Eakin - NOAA Federal <mark.eakin at noaa.gov>
Sent: Friday, January 5, 2018 12:07 PM
To: Coral Listserver
Subject: [Coral-List] New paper on coral bleaching in Science
For the first time, an international team of researchers has measured the
escalating rate of coral bleaching at locations throughout the tropics over
the past four decades. The study documents a dramatic shortening of the gap
between pairs of bleaching events, threatening the future existence of
these iconic ecosystems and the livelihoods of many millions of people.
"The time between bleaching events at each location has diminished
five-fold in the past 3-4 decades, from once every 25-30 years in the early
1980s to an average of just once every six years since 2010," says lead author
Prof Terry Hughes, Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef
Studies (Coral CoE).
“Reefs have entered a distinctive human-dominated era – the Anthropocene,”
said co-author, Dr C. Mark Eakin of the National Oceanic & Atmospheric
Administration, USA. "The climate has warmed rapidly in the past 50 years,
first making El Niños dangerous for corals, and now we're seeing the
emergence of bleaching in every hot summer."
For more, see the full paper at:
C. Mark Eakin, Ph.D.
Coordinator, NOAA Coral Reef Watch
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Center for Satellite Applications and Research
Satellite Oceanography & Climate Division
e-mail: mark.eakin at noaa.gov
Twitter: @CoralReefWatch FB: Coral Reef Watch
NOAA Center for Weather and Climate Prediction (NCWCP)
5830 University Research Ct., E/RA32
College Park, MD 20740
Office: (301) 683-3320 Fax: (301) 683-3301
Mobile: (301) 502-8608 SOCD Office: (301) 683-3300
“You would have to reject the “greenhouse effect” outright to conclude that
human activities pumping millions of tons of CO2 and other greenhouse
gases into the atmosphere every year are having little or no impact on the
earth’s climate. That is simply not a tenable position."
William K. Reilly, EPA Administrator under President George H.W. Bush,
June 18 2014
Coral-List mailing list
Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
Coral-List mailing list
Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
Coral-List Info Page<http://coral.aoml.noaa.gov/mailman/listinfo/coral-list>
Coral-List is funded by NOAA's Coral Reef Conservation Program and NOAA's Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory, and therefore adopts and is guided by ...
More information about the Coral-List