[Coral-List] Long term reef temperature records

Thomas Goreau goreau at bestweb.net
Wed Jun 13 12:44:50 EDT 2007

Dear Gene,

Thanks!  You are right, Hal has great data, and I am sure he will  
publish it with Florida bleaching observations.

The longest continuous data I know of is the La Parguera, Puerto Rico  
data set, which I think goes back to 1966. Carlos Goenaga told me  
that this shows a clear localized Hot Spot correlated with a  
localized thermal bleaching event known only from Puerto Rico in  
1969, but apparently not published. I think that after Carlos died  
Amos Winter published the data, but I don't have the paper, or the  
follow up with Paul Sammarco that does some very interesting things  
with the variance of the data in marginal temperature events. Paul  
and Amos can elaborate, since my knowledge is second hand.

Data from Jamaica is much more spotty, we have some from the early  
1950s, and students would make measurements at their thesis sites for  
a year or two in the 1970s, but the locations were all different, as  
were the thermometers. The oldest reef temperatures I have are from  
my father's unpublished whole reef carbon and oxygen metabolism time  
series from Bikini Atoll in 1947 (temperature, oxygen, salinity, pH,  
alkalinity, water depth, with supplemental current and nutrient data  
misplaced)  through day/night and tidal cycles, with each measurement  
apart from temperature and water depth a separate chemical  
titration.  I've tabulated all the raw data from his original notes  
and will publish this one day.

Although, I will certainly not be involved with those who get the  
money to look at such data, I am sure they will wind up confirming  
the long known primary role of temperature and secondary role of  
other stressors in mass bleaching events. It's a pity that the second  
order effects have been (mis)used to delay action on the primary  
causes for so many decades in order to rediscover what was already  
known, since we will never regain the lost time and corals.

Best wishes,

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

> Date: Tue, 12 Jun 2007 13:59:36 -0500
> From: Gene Shinn <eshinn at marine.usf.edu>
> Subject: [Coral-List] long term water temperature in the Florida Keys
> To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
> Message-ID: <a06230934c2949b84671c@[]>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" ; format="flowed"
> Tom, Aside from Jamaica it will be interesting to see actual water
> temperature from Florida Keys reefs. Between the 15 years of
> thermograph data recorded since 1974 by Harold Hudson at USGS and the
> more extensive data he has accumulated up to the present with NOAA
> there should be more than 30 years of recorded water temperature data
> available.  Perhaps this actual long term data could be thrown into
> the global warming and ocean acidification mix and see what we can
> learn. Gene
> -- 
> No Rocks, No Water, No Ecosystem (EAS)
> ------------------------------------  
> -----------------------------------
> E. A. Shinn, Courtesy Professor
> University of South Florida
> Marine Science Center (room 204)
> 140 Seventh Avenue South
> St. Petersburg, FL 33701
> <eshinn at marine.usf.edu>
> Tel 727 553-1158----------------------------------

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