Bleaching corals and global warming.

Don McAllister mcall at
Mon Nov 13 16:21:42 EST 2000

Rick Grigg wrote:

> John,
>         Not to downplay the potential significance of bleaching events on coral
> reefs, it should also be understood that reefs are capable of rapid
> recovery after bleaching events have occurred.    I mention
> this not to lessen our concern or attention to the problem, but to suggest
> that recovery stages be built into the models.

One would also need to get data on recovery rates of reefs exposed to
eutrophication, siltation, destructive fishing methods, etc.  These were all
concerns before we finally twigged, reluctantly on the part of some, to the
influence of elevated sea surface temperatures.  Some of those other stresses are
chronic, others episodic.  Some of those now impacted only by high SSTs will
doubtless be exposed to the other stresses as the population and socio-economic
root causes drive them.  For some of those see the WRI paper.

This leads on to a degree of pesimism that can only be reasonably countered by
invoking the Precautionary Principle and a higher priority to real action on the
Kyoto Protocol, not just trading emissions but actual reduction by the chief
emitters of greenhouse gases. By all means let's model, but simultaneously put
serious resources into cutting emissions - that includes Canada, where I live,
which has been losing ground in meeting its feeble committments.

If you need any inspiration look once a week or once a month at the global SST
anomaly maps.

Don McAllister
Ocean Voice International

Don McAllister

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