[Coral-List] Poor terminology in coral reef research 4: El Nino caused bleaching

mpjm71585 at aol.com mpjm71585 at aol.com
Mon Nov 6 19:48:25 EST 2006

 I preface what I am going to say first by saying that I am by no means an expert on the ecology, physiology, or health of coral reefs, just a concerned Marine biology student and subscriber to the coral list serve. However, your posting on El Nino being the cause of bleaching events raised a question in my mind. First off, I would like to say that ytour description of what the ENSO events really are was very clear and understand (which will play into my question in a minute). Secondly, much of what I have learned about coral reefs (i.e. some ecology, basic physiology, management, etc.) I learned from a course taught by Dr. Peter Glynn, and during this course we did an extensive amount of reading in the current literature on coral reef research. In all the readings I did I can recall numerous papers on ENSO events being the cause of bleaching on coral reefs. Some of these papers did site increased surface temperatures, resulting from the ENSO events, as being the direct cause of the bleaching, while others led me to believe that it was the actual ENSO event itself. My question, or rather the thought that have is that if as you say there is such a mis-use of the terminolgy, a misunderstanding in the actual causes of bleaching, and a general attempt by certain countries' "officials" to shed the light off of Global Warming as the main issue, why only comment on this here? It has been my observation that the general public, in this case the global community, tends to believe what they here most often, assuming that it must be the case if it is what the scientists and "officials" are saying. It seems to me that your posting might serve better as an article in a journal, or even better as an article in newspaper or magazine, where the general public would be able to see it for themselves, would it not?
 This was just a thought that I had. Either way I will be on the look out for new articles or journal submissions that deal with this topic, as I do agree that Global Warming, whether certain countries want to admit it or not is behind many of the problems we are facing, and will become an even bigger component of these problems inthe future if nothing is done.
 Michael McCallister
 Senior Marine Science and Biology student
 University of Miami
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