[Coral-List] reassessing coral reefs

Eugene Shinn eugeneshinn at mail.usf.edu
Thu Apr 9 10:28:43 EDT 2015

Guess I stirred up a lot of muddy water with the report on coral growth 
in the Australian newspaper. I thank Dough Fenner for pointing out that 
the report is on a 2012 paper published in Science.I missed that however 
I do remember reading the original paper. I think the take home message 
is that in areas where the water is usually quite cool it is logical for 
coral growth to increase when the water warms. Think “just right” as in 
the Goldilocks story.And yes Porities is a fairly tough coral.While with 
USGS we cored large Porities heads that survived near Atomic bomb tests 
at Eniwetok atoll. Based on analysis of annual growth rings we found 
that several smaller heads began growing on the edge of a bomb crater 
within a year of the event.

The photo of the diver coring the head coral appalled Dennis Hubbard as 
it did me. The photo showed all the divers equipment as well as the 
diver resting on the coral head. In the past we cored over a hundred 
head corals and never touched them except with the drill bit.

It was interesting that one reader took the “kill the messenger” 
approach taking the newspaper to task because it is a Rupert Murdock 
product. Is that the way we do science? Read the article in Science and 
evaluate that.

Earlier comments about the hypocrisy of coral scientists using air 
travel to study distant coral reefs, reminded me of a recent gathering 
of climate activists in Switzerland. They came from far and wide in 
approximately 700 different private jets. Yes it was reported on Fox 
news. What other network would have reported it?Hypocrisy is all around 
us. It shows up when we attack the messenger instead of the message. 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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