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

Tim Wijgerde t.wijgerde at coralscience.org
Thu Jan 15 17:56:08 EST 2009

Dear all,

I have read the statements on the SPPI website, and this startled me
tremendously. It is clear to me that these statements are again intended
to confuse the general public, and unfortunately this strategy is highly

Marine scientists who are on this list, and are respected by both the
scientific community and the general public (such as AIMS and James Cook
Univ scientists), should readily respond to these claims.

Their statement that an increase in CO2 and high temperatures will
increase coral growth is ridiculous, and our website
(www.coralscience.org) is willing to publish statements/press releases
from the scientific community challenging these claims.


Tim Wijgerde
(Mozilla FF optimized)

Op Do, 15 januari, 2009 18:00, schreef
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>    1. Re: SPPI report on climate change and coral reefs (Alan E Strong)
>    2. SPPI Report (Steve Mussman)
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Message: 1
> Date: Wed, 14 Jan 2009 12:59:38 -0500
> From: Alan E Strong <Alan.E.Strong at noaa.gov>
> Subject: Re: [Coral-List] SPPI report on climate change and coral
> 	reefs
> To: John Bruno <jbruno at unc.edu>
> Cc: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
> Message-ID: <496E280A.9060402 at noaa.gov>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="windows-1252"
> 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!!]
> hmmm..
> Al
> 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
> E/RA31, SSMC1, Room 5305
> 1335 East West Hwy
> Silver Spring, MD 20910-3226
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> Cell: 410-490-6602
> ------------------------------
> Message: 2
> Date: Wed, 14 Jan 2009 13:09:46 -0500
> From: "Steve Mussman" <sealab at earthlink.net>
> Subject: [Coral-List] SPPI Report
> To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
> Message-ID: <410-22009131418946351 at earthlink.net>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII
> Just a quick response to John Bruno's post on the SPPI report on climate
> change and coral reefs
> from a non-scientist. The general public needs your efforts in the respect
> that John suggests.
> These reports that claim to disprove the impact of climate change are very
> effectively used to convince
> the general public that this is an issue that has been blown out of all
> reasonable proportion.
> You in the scientific community may view it as an annoying concern
> unworthy of debate,
> but it must be consistently countered in the public domain if reason is to
> prevail.
> Steve Mussman
> sealab at earthlink.net
> EarthLink Revolves Around You.
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> End of Coral-List Digest, Vol 5, Issue 15
> *****************************************

Tim Wijgerde, M.Sc.
CEO Coral Publications
(Mozilla Firefox optimized)
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