[Coral-List] Forecasting and reef management

Thomas Webler twebler at seri-us.org
Sun Feb 12 20:12:41 EST 2012

I joined this listserve some time ago, when I became engaged in a project
to experiment with reducing the vulnerability of reefs in Puerto Rico to
ecotourism by changing people's behavior.  It's been very instructive for
me to read the list. This is my first posting.

I'm writing because I didn't see anyone yet remark on the two articles in
the December issue of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society
(BAMS), by Claire Spillman and others.  Basically the articles call for
more accurate tools to forecast key climate change-related threats to
reefs: storm surge, thermal stress, acidification and sea level rise (SLR).
 The articles suggest that these forecasts might be useful to someone,
presumably reef managers.

What I wanted to know from the listserve is this...  Are there non-trivial
management actions that are known to be (1) preventative for harm,  (2)
help promote coping during the stressor, or (3) aid recovery after an
event?  Mention is made in the article of implementing temporary MPAs to
remove additional stresses (from fishing and tourism), which reportedly
aids recovery from bleaching.  Is this a fact or a conjecture?  Mention is
also made of sunshades.  Have these been attempted and demonstrated
successful at alleviating thermal stress?  Are there other management

Here's the reference for the first of the two articles if you are
interested in reading them.  (The second deals explicitly with

Spillman, C.,Heron, S., Jury, M., and Anthony, K.. 2011. Climate change and
carbon threats to coral reefs: National meteorological and ocean services
as sentinels.  BAMS. 92(12):1581--1586.

Thomas Webler
Research Fellow
Social & Environmental Research Institute
Suite 404
278 Main Street
Greenfield MA 01370 USA

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