[Coral-List] Censorship of IPCC

John Hocevar jhocevar at dialb.greenpeace.org
Tue Apr 10 10:28:45 EDT 2007

Greetings -

Greenpeace was present for the IPCC Working Group negotiations, and can
verify what was written in the New York Times.  With respect to coral
bleaching, for example, language to the effect that sea surface temperature
spikes of 1 degree above average cause bleaching, and temperature spikes of
3 degrees cause widespread coral mortality was modified under pressure from
the U.S. delegation (led by Ko Barrett of NOAA).  Several countries
objected, including New Zealand, Germany, and France, but ultimately the
statement was qualified to say that "Increases in sea surface temperature of
about 1 to 3 degrees C are projected to result in more frequent coral
bleaching events and widespread mortality, UNLESS THERE IS THERMAL

It's hard to argue with a hypothetical clause, but of course the issue is
that we have a government that is still in denial about climate change when
what is needed is leadership. If we are going to have any chance of saving
coral reefs, it is going to take government action: mandatory reductions of
CO2 emissions and strong support of renewable energy.

John H

John Hocevar
Senior Oceans Specialist
Greenpeace USA
Office: 512 454-6140
Cel: 512 577-3868
The sea does not belong to despots.
 - Jules Verne

----- Original Message ----- 
> Date: Sat, 7 Apr 2007 17:06:04 +0100
> From: "Caspar Henderson" <caspar81 at gmail.com>
> Subject: [Coral-List] Censorship of IPCC with regard to coral and
> coral reefs?
> To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
> 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
> species.'
> 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?
> Sign up for updates at: http://coralstory.blogspot.com/
> Grains of Sand - observations from a strange planet at:
> http://jebin08.blogspot.com/
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> http://www.chinadialogue.net/
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> ma per seguir virtute e canoscenza" 

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