[Coral-List] Censorship of IPCC with regard to coral and coral reefs?

Caspar Henderson caspar81 at gmail.com
Sat Apr 7 12:06:04 EDT 2007

There have been allegations, reported in the New York Times and
perhaps elsewhere, that IPCC Working Group 2 was censored with regard
to what it said with regard to coral and coral reefs (among other
things) in the summary report published in 6 April.   It would be
interesting to learn if there is information to substantiate or indeed
disprove these allegations.

Here are the mentions of coral in the IPCC WG2 summary:

Page 8: 'The progressive acidification of oceans due to increasing
atmospheric carbon dioxide is expected to have negative impacts on
marine shell forming organisms (e.g., corals) and their dependent

Page 9: 'Corals are vulnerable to thermal stress and have low adaptive
capacity. Increases in sea surface temperature of abut 1 to 3°C are
projected to result in more frequent coral bleaching events and
widespread mortality, unless there is thermal adaptation or
acclimatisation by corals.'

Page 10: 'Towards the end of the 21st century, projected sea-level
rise will affect low-lying areas with large populations. The cost of
adaptation could amount to at least 5-10% of GDP. Mangroves and coral
reefs are projected to be further degraded, with additional
consequences for fisheries and tourism.'

Page 12: 'Sea-level rise is projected to cause increased risk of
flooding in low lying areas. Increases in sea surface temperature due
to climate change are projected to have adverse effects on
Mesoamerican coral reefs, and cause shifts in the location of
south-east Pacific fish stocks.'

Page 13 'Deterioration in coastal conditions, for example through
erosion of beaches and coral bleaching, is expected to affect local
resources, e.g. fisheries, and reduce the value of these destinations
for tourism.'

Page 16: [increases in intense tropical cyclone activity will cause]
'damage to coral reefs.'

Page 19: 'Non-climate stresses can increase vulnerability to climate
change by reducing resilience and can also reduce adaptive capacity
because of resource deployment to competing needs. For example,
current stresses on some coral reefs include marine pollution and
chemical runoff from agriculture as well as increase in water
temperature and ocean acidification.'

(see also: http://coralstory.blogspot.com/2007/04/censoring-ipcc-on-coral-reefs.html)

Caspar Henderson
tel: +44 (0)7949 140 581
Will coral reefs be the first ecosystem to be eliminated by global warming?
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