[Coral-List] Fw: Chagos MPA - Continuing international disputeoverboundaries

Douglas Fenner dfenner at blueskynet.as
Wed Sep 29 19:09:54 EDT 2010

But as I tried to point out in my message, the best available scientific 
evidence now clearly predicts that in the future mass coral deaths due to 
coral bleaching will occur, and ocean acidification and reduced calcium 
carbonate saturation will greatly reduce inorganic precipitation (ooid 
precipitation is as far as I know a major factor only in the Bahamas 
currently, though the Yucatan Penninsula and parts of Florida may have been 
built largely of them, that was a long time ago.  Geologists may want to 
clarify that.).  Reef calcification rates will drop dramatically.  I think a 
consequence of these events will be that reef growth will slow 
substantially, and very likely won't be able to keep up with sea level rise.
    Net effect is that yes, if current conditions continued, atolls should 
be able to keep up with current sea level rise.  But I believe there is 
every reason to predict that in the future, perhaps less than 50 years down 
the road, they won't be able to.  And won't again for a very, very long 
time.  Atolls that are currently inhabitable will likely continue to be so 
for a few decades, but are likely to be increasingly more difficult to live 
on with time.   Doug

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Ulf Erlingsson" <ceo at lindorm.com>
To: <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>
Sent: Wednesday, September 29, 2010 4:13 AM
Subject: Re: [Coral-List] Fw: Chagos MPA - Continuing international 

> Let me point out that the argument that atolls will sink due to sea
> level rise due to global warming fails to take into account the
> geomorphological mechanisms by which atolls are created and grow.
> They grow, slowly, through coral reef growth (as should be no news to
> anyone on this list), through littoral processes, and through
> chemical precipitation, i.e., when the water gets supersaturated with
> respect to CaCO2 the calcium is precipitated in layers on ooid sand
> grains, eventually building up large land masses such as the Bahamas.
> The problem is only when the sea level rises quicker than these
> processes can keep up with. However, the predicted rise in sea level
> is much smaller than the quickest and largest sea level rise in the
> recent past. See http://erlingsson.com/authorship/CIS2GOM.html
> Of course, that event did drown large areas that are now sea floor,
> but others managed to remain above water. A question of interest is,
> naturally, what lessons we can learn from that event.
> Ulf
> On 2010-09-28, at 22:41, Douglas Fenner wrote:
>> But those same atolls may not be
>>  inhabited much longer, due to sea level rise.
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