[Coral-List] Correction: some reefs really ARE gone

Thomas Goreau goreau at bestweb.net
Thu Nov 2 10:06:23 EST 2006

> From: Thomas Goreau <goreau at bestweb.net>
> Date: November 2, 2006 9:30:59 AM EST
> To: andrew ross <andyroo_of72 at yahoo.com>,  coral- 
> list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
> Cc: Jeffrey Houdret <houdret1 at verizon.net>
> Subject: Re: [Coral-List] Even more from Tom Goreau
> Dear Andrew,
> You are completely right, to point out this unfortunate rhetorical  
> exaggeration on my part.  The word ALMOST should have been  
> inserted. But you get the idea. Some reef, especially Caribbean  
> fringing reef that died from White Band disease around 1979 has  
> been dead long enough that bioerosion and hurricanes has removed it  
> entirely. Good examples are much of the old Acropora palmata and  
> Acropora cervicornis that used to fringe northern Jamaica, Isla  
> Mujeres, Curacao, Bonaire, etc. There are many places where I  
> remember dense shallow branching reefs you could not get to the  
> water through which are entirely gone or represented only by a  
> little rubble. Ramon Bravo, Mexico's first underwater photographer  
> documented dense fringing reefs along western Isla Mujeres of which  
> only a handful of tiny patches remain, mostly dead like those at  
> Garrafon. Jeff Houdret has photos on our web site showing the  
> fringing reefs of Bonaire that they used to dynamite channels  
> through so that people could get to water deep enough to swim. Only  
> a handful of tiny patches now remain, making it a heaven for shore  
> divers that it did not use to be in the 1970s.
> Best wishes,
> Tom
> On Nov 2, 2006, at 7:20 AM, andrew ross wrote:
>>> Lost NONE of our reefs? The base may still be there, but  
>>> deposition/erosion changes on the inner shore/beach indicate that  
>>> more wave energy is coming over (the reef) because the top is a  
>>> little deeper then it used to be, be it from small sea-level  
>>> rises or erosion without coral growth in replacement. Amount of  
>>> rubble and Cliona/boring critters points to the latter.
>>> Mo-Bay has lost SOME of its reef... or at least some of its  
>>> protective function.
>>> Andrew
>>> Jim Hendee <Jim.Hendee at noaa.gov> wrote:
>>> [See below]
>>> Subject:
>>> Re: [Coral-List] CO2 and the inconvenient truth
>>> From:
>>> Thomas Goreau
>>> Date:
>>> Wed, 1 Nov 2006 14:14:41 -0500
>>> To:
>>> "Jansen Anderman-Hahn"
>>> CC:
>>> Dear Jansen,
>>> Since a reef is simply a rock that you can run a ship aground on, it
>>> does not matter if it is dead or alive. So the irony is that we have
>>> lost NONE of our reefs (at least until global sea level rise and
>>> bio-erosion accelerates to float all grounded vessels) even  
>>> though we
>>> have already lost MOST of our corals.
>>> We have indeed found strong regional patterns in warming rates, with
>>> some areas much more affected than average, and a few lucky ones  
>>> much
>>> less affected. This is not a matter of distance from shore or the  
>>> global
>>> conveyer belt as much as changes in surface currents and  
>>> upwelling. Ray
>>> Hayes and I have published some papers on this, a few that have been
>>> banned from publication by malign reviewers, and have much more in
>>> preparation.
>>> Best wishes,
>>> Tom
>>> On Nov 1, 2006, at 1:56 PM, Jansen Anderman-Hahn wrote:
>>> Thank you for your response Tom. Interesting that there should be a
>>> dichotomy between "reefs" and "corals", the term "reef" is such a  
>>> loose
>>> word.
>>> In your research, have you identified any areas that will not be
>>> affected by global warming? He seemed to suggest that Hawaii  
>>> would be
>>> less affected because it was not near shore... does a changing of  
>>> the
>>> global "conveyor belt" (as Gore puts it) have the biggest effect on
>>> coral mortality?
>>> Regards,
>>> jansen
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> Thomas J. Goreau, PhD
> President
> Global Coral Reef Alliance
> 37 Pleasant Street, Cambridge MA 02139
> 617-864-4226
> goreau at bestweb.net
> http://www.globalcoral.org

Thomas J. Goreau, PhD
Global Coral Reef Alliance
37 Pleasant Street, Cambridge MA 02139
goreau at bestweb.net

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