[Coral-List] What do coral reef scientists perceive are the major, threats to Caribbean coral reefs?

Eugene Shinn eugeneshinn at mail.usf.edu
Thu Apr 17 13:02:13 EDT 2014

It's interesting to observe human nature, especially when it is coral 
reefers. Attitudes of coral reefers seem to be influenced by who has a 
dog in the fight. Many years ago I published that hurricanes were the 
number top dog. But that was back when we were having a bunch of 
hurricanes and were documenting the extreme damage they did. Later it 
was disease that was the problem but at that time all the dogs were 
anchor damage and ship wrecks. Disease was taken out of the ring for a 
while. We finally got over that so now the latest dog in the fight is 
climate change. Before climate change global warming was top dog but 
after more than 15-years without much warming climate change became the 
dog to bet on. Now that people are learning Earth has always experienced 
changing climates attention shifted. Acidification became the top dog.  
I am as guilty of betting on the wrong dog as anyone. Several years ago 
I thought the top dog (at least in the Florida Keys) was sewage in 
groundwater. Next it was dust but now mosquito pesticides might be top 
dog. That's one dog that remains to be fully tested.  Or maybe it really 
is Lion Fish after all?  Isn't there a dogfish out there somewhere? What 
will it be five years from now? Surely the fight will shift again. Gene


No Rocks, No Water, No Ecosystem (EAS)
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E. A. Shinn, Courtesy Professor
University of South Florida
College of Marine Science Room 221A
140 Seventh Avenue South
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
<eugeneshinn at mail.usf.edu>
Tel 727 553-1158
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