[Coral-List] SPPI report on climate change and coral reefs

Alan E Strong Alan.E.Strong at noaa.gov
Wed Jan 14 12:59:38 EST 2009

In attempting to put any rationale [if possible] behind some of their 
statements, perhaps the first wiggling on SPPI's behalf would be to 
respond to the first statement quoted by you, John, to be something 
like:...."well, it depends on the time of year"..."high temperatures in 
the winter are not likely to cause bleaching but in the peak summertime 
months they are likely to be more important" ..."and...it depends on 
duration of these high SSTs....not simply a quick high temperature spike 
but high SSTs over a prolonged time"....etc.  The key word here, they 
might argue, would be the word "simple"....need I go further??

I find it a curiosity that all the SPPI Board holders are apparently 
from the same family [same last name!!]



John Bruno said the following on 1/14/2009 6:30 AM:
> Just when you thought you'd seen it all, the "Science and Public Policy 
> Institute" issues a report about climate change and coral reefs, 
> claiming to debunk all our worst fears:
> http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/originals/co2_coral_warming.html
> Also see Rachael Middlebrook's blog post about this here: 
> http://www.climateshifts.org/?p=1028
> Perhaps we could take a time out from the circular firing squad that is 
> the coral-list and focus on debunking some really dodgy science. If 
> coral-listers wrote rebuttals to specific claims in the SPPI report, we 
> could post them on climateshifts.org. Here are a few highlights from the 
> report:
> "There is no simple linkage between high temperatures and coral bleaching."
> "The persistence of coral reefs through geologic time – when 
> temperatures were as much as 10-15°C warmer than at present, and 
> atmospheric CO2 concentrations were 2 to 7 times higher than they are 
> currently – provides substantive evidence that these marine entities can 
> successfully adapt to a dramatically changing global environment. Thus, 
> the recent die-off of many corals cannot be due solely, or even mostly, 
> to global warming or the modest rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration 
> over the course of the Industrial Revolution."
> "The 18- to 59-cm warming-induced sea level rise that is predicted for 
> the coming century by the IPCC – which could be greatly exaggerated if 
> predictions of CO2-induced global warming are wrong – falls well within 
> the range (2 to 6 mm per year) of typical coral vertical extension 
> rates, which exhibited a modal value of 7 to 8 mm per year during the 
> Holocene and can be more than double that value in certain branching 
> corals. Rising sea levels should therefore present no difficulties for 
> coral reefs. In fact, rising sea levels may actually have a positive 
> effect on reefs, permitting increased coral growth in areas that have 
> already reached the upward limit imposed by current sea levels."
> "Theoretical predictions indicate that coral calcification rates should 
> decline as a result of increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations by as 
> much as 40% by 2100. However, real-world observations indicate that 
> elevated CO2 and elevated temperatures are having just the opposite effect."
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**** <>< ******* <>< ******* <>< ******* <>< ******* 
Alan E. Strong, Ph.D.
NOAA Coral Reef Watch, Senior Consultant
...with AJH Environmental Services...
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NOAA Coral Reef Watch Program
  e-mail: Alan.E.Strong at noaa.gov
URL: coralreefwatch.noaa.gov

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