[Coral-List] Fossil Reefs and Sea Level Rise

Eugene Shinn eshinn at marine.usf.edu
Mon May 11 09:56:07 EDT 2009

Thanks James and Paul, I am often reminded that the lesson of history 
appears to be, "we seldom learn from history." Geology is simply 
history written in the rocks, and the best part is its unbiased. I 
will admit ,however, that the geologists who read the rocks may not 
be unbiased. During the Cretaceous (age of the dinosaurs for non 
geologists) our planet grew the most extensive reefs that ever 
existed. CO2 was around 3,000 ppm (its around 380 ppm now). How could 
that happen? Will history not repeat itself as it did many times 
during the Pleistocene? (That's the ice ages for non geologists). We 
don' really know why ice repeatedly melted and froze and sea level 
yo-yoed up and down during the Pleistocene. For all practical 
purposes we are still in the Ice Ages.  For that reason it seems 
logical to expect history to repeat itself again and again. Why 
shouldn't it? I wish I knew the answers. Ice core records also 
indicate that during the ice ages temperature went up and Co2 rise 
followed. That's the opposite of what we all read in the press. I 
don't understand why temperature rise preceded CO2 rise but as you 
know each summer when sea water temperature rises CO2 also rises. 
That's the little annual spikes on the Keeling curve we all know so 
well. We notice those spikes because of the way the curve is 
presented. If it were drawn to scale we would not see them. Ever try 
to draw the Keeling curve to scale? I.e., put one million on the Y 
axis and years on the X axis and 380 pm is almost impossible to see. 
You can also try it as percentage of atmospheric gasses. Same result!
     Paul says multiple lines of evidence show Co2 is causing warming. 
As near as I can tell it is only the linear numeric computer models 
that predict warming. The physics of CO2 being a greenhouse gas I do 
not argue..  It's just that there is so little of it. Note that 
temperature has been relatively flat since the world wide El Nino of 
1998 and it has been falling during the past two years. Remember Yogi 
Bera, "Prediction is really difficult, especially if it is about the 
future." I'm still waiting for sunspot cycle 24 to start. Who could 
have predicted its late arrival? The last time the sunspots did not 
show up was during the Little Ice Age,  a  little more than a century 
ago. 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---------------------------------- 

More information about the Coral-List mailing list