[Coral-List] What can SCIENTISTS do??
Paul Hoetjes - traveling
phoetjes at gmail.com
Tue Dec 18 13:10:11 EST 2007
I think an important area of research is the study of recovery after
bleaching and/or disease in human-impacted versus less human-impacted
(remote) areas (I don't think there are any places left that are free
from direct human impact, with pollution spreading through all oceans.
It seems almost arrogant to think so but I do believe us humans have
achieved the unimaginable feat of perceptibly altering all of the
waters of our planet).
Such research could perhaps document and drive home the necessity (or
not) to minimize local human impacts in the face of global changes, as
well as provide us with a realistic prognosis of potential resilience.
Research into the fate of fish (and/or crustacean) populations in
areas where reefs have been left standing dead would also seem useful
to feed management decisions.
If we are to lose all or most coral reefs, it might also be useful to
look more closely at artificial reef options; their feasibility,
longevity/sustainability, as compared to dead natural reef structures
The few real reefs that survive the next generation of humans will be
practically priceless (from a dive tourism point of view at least) and
will be exploited heavily, possibly leading to their subsequent
demise, if we don't know why they survived and what is needed to
ensure continued survival.
On 12/18/2007 11:50 AM, mikhail matz wrote:
I have a more specific question:
How can coral research help reef management and protection?
It is not as trivial as it seems. Most of our environmentally
relevant studies thus far were directed at documenting coral reef
decline. We don't have nearly as much data on the mechanisms of
decline and very little if anything (hence my question) on the ways
to counteract it on a local scale.
No doubt, documenting the worldwide decline of coral reefs is
extremely important to raise public awareness, but now we're largely
past this stage - Al Gore et al can take over from here. Public and
politicians are already quite well aware of the problem, as the Peace
Nobel indicated this year. Surely much persuasion is still required
to make the world take action - but this is not exactly our job as
scientists. We won't be as useful there as the conservation
For those of us who are scientists, our part of the problem is coral
reef decline, our skill is research - so what can we do to help?
While conservationists are struggling to convince the world to cut
CO2 emissions, what can scientists do to help reefs survive - until
the world listens? Looks like it may take a while...
Mikhail V. Matz
University of Texas at Austin
Integrative Biology Section
1 University station C0930
Austin, TX 78712
phone 512-992-8086 cell, 512-475-6424 lab
On Dec 17, 2007, at 1:27 PM, John Hocevar wrote:
[First, a pre-emptive note on restirctions about using this list for
lobbying - this message does not refer to specific legislation, so I'm
pretty sure this does not fit that definition for this purpose.]
There is much to be said for actions we can take as individuals,
leading by example. There is also a great deal of value in
of the research questions that relate to the interests and
scientists on this list. It is also clear that the urgency of the
facing our reefs, our oceans, and our planet from climate change and
acidification require action from policy makers.
Greater leadership is needed from this community, which both
better than most what is at stake. Many of us are already active,
participation in lawsuits, testifying before congress, speaking to the
media, etc. We can do more.
Action is required of us on an international, national, and local
The follow up meeting to the Kyoto talks just concluded in Bali,
US Government was the biggest obstacle to progress. (See
Ante at Bali Climate Talks: U.S. Stance on Emissions Targets
to Boycott Bush Forum" in Friday's Washington Post for a summary.)
Al Gore pointed out to delegates, the US position is almost certain to
change over the next two years. And, in fact, it has already changed
significantly, with several climate bills currently being debated in
Congress that would have been non-starters just two years ago. On
level, some cities and states have chosen not to wait for
Washington to act,
and are setting targets for greenhouse gas reductions and renewable
If ever there was a time and an issue that scientists and
organizations needed to be working together to help communicate
best available science tells us to policy makers and the broader
this is it.
At Greenpeace, our climate campaign now dwarfs all our other
get plugged in, check out either of the websites below (or just
drop me a
Whether you are working with Greenpeace, another conservation
group, or on
your own, the most important thing is to do something. Are your
representatives in your city, state, and country fully aware of
happening and what it means? Are there ways you can help inform
rapidly growing debate? Are there ways you can help inform voters
jhocevar at greenpeace.org
Date: Sat, 15 Dec 2007 16:18:19 -0500
From: Judith Lang <jlang at riposi.net>
Subject: [Coral-List] WHAT CAN WE DO??
To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
Tom Williams raises an important question when he asks: "WHAT CAN WE
DO??," now that the risk from carbon emissions to coral reefs and
those who depend upon them for their livelihoods is receiving some
Here are a few suggestions for starters:
We CAN set a positive example for our neighbours and colleagues by
our daily choices of how much fossil fuel we consume, both directly
as a fuel and indirectly via our use of hot water, paper, plastic
bags, electronic trinkets, exotic foods, etc., etc.
We CAN minimize our long-distance work-related travel to that which
is really necessary to fulfill our research and educational needs or
Those of us with some discretionary income CAN spend some of it on
carbon-offset programs: for example, planting trees in the tropics
where they will grow year round which also helps nourish impoverished
soils, and provides food, fuel or income for poor communities.
Begin forwarded message:
From: Tom Williams <ctwiliams at yahoo.com>
Date: December 14, 2007 1:59:28 PM EST
To: Coral Listserver <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>
Subject: [Coral-List] Fwd: Re: New Science Paper Says Carbon
Emissions [MORE THAN] THREATEN Coral Reefs
It appears to be FAR WORST than indicated in the
Subject Line Check the conclusions --- WHAT CAN WE
PARTIAL From Science
Science 14 December 2007: Vol. 318. no. 5857, pp.
1737 ? 1742 DOI: 10.1126/science.1152509
Coral Reefs Under Rapid Climate Change and Ocean
O. Hoegh-Guldberg,1* P. J. Mumby,2 A. J. Hooten,3 R.
S. Steneck,4 P. Greenfield,5 E. Gomez,6 C. D.
Harvell,7 P. F. Sale,8 A. J. Edwards,9 K.,
Caldeira,10, N. Knowlton,11 C. M. Eakin,12 R.
Iglesias-Prieto,13 N.Muthiga,14 R. H. Bradbury,15 A.
Dubi,16 M. E. Hatziolos17
"Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration is
expected to exceed 500 parts per million and global
temperatures to rise by at least 2?C by 2050 to
2100, values that significantly exceed those of at
least the past 420,000 years during which most extant
marine organisms evolved.
Under conditions expected in the 21st century,
global warming and ocean acidification will compromise
carbonate accretion, with corals becoming increasingly rare on reef
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7. mailto:ctwiliams at yahoo.com
8. mailto:coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
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