[Coral-List] Reassessing Coral Reef Scientists

Richard Dunne RichardPDunne at aol.com
Wed Apr 15 12:23:32 EDT 2015

As a co-author on one of those papers [Brown et al. (2011) Increased sea 
level promotes coral cover on shallow reef flats in the Andaman Sea, 
eastern Indian Ocean. Coral Reefs 30:867-878] I would encourage Denny, 
Doug and others who are interested in sea-level rise and variability to 
have a look at a very good book [Church et al. (2010) Understanding 
sea-level rise and variability. Wiley-Blackwell 428pp]. Most of the 
answers to the questions and discussions are found there.

We tend to have too simplistic a view of sea-level. It is highly dynamic 
not just on the scale of the tides (hours, days, months) but also by 
season, by year, decade, and longer cycles (50-60 years). Add to this 
Indian Ocean Dipole (sea level in the Indian Ocean can change by up to 
40cm due to this for months on end), ENSO, weather effects, etc and we 
have a very complex variable. As far as long-term sea level is concerned 
this may be the least of a reef flat coral's worries. Also don't forget 
that corals grow laterally - not just upwards.

We also tend to think of corals dying when aerially exposed. The reef 
flats at Phuket, Thailand where we work are exposed for up to 4 hours in 
the baking tropical sun. They thrive - admittedly only a few hardy 
adapted species. They are then bathed in a soup of sediment and 
particulates which they consume voraciously and grow fast as a result. 
Their colour is also deep chocolate brown because they are bursting with 
zooxanthellae (x10 the normally accepted numbers). Barbara (Brown's) 
papers for which she was recently awarded the ISRS 'Eminence in Research 
Award' document this. There are plenty of such intertidal reefs around 
SE Asia.

For those interested in the declining growth rate picture a paper not 
yet mentioned is Tanzil et al. (2013) Regional decline in growth rates 
of massive Porites corals in Southeast Asia. Global Change Biology 
19:3011-3023. It contains a very good introduction which draws together 
the work of Lough, Cooper, De'ath, etc. It illustrates that for SE Asian 
reefs where the mean annual water temperature is  >28.5C (compared to 
approx 26.7C on the GBR) although there has been an overall long-term 
decline in linear extension and calcification with rising sea 
temperature there was significant variability between locations. Once 
again it is a complex picture. Correct me if I am wrong but I am still 
waiting to read a paper where OA is shown to contribute to such 
long-term declines despite the hype.

Richard P Dunne

On 15/04/2015 00:56, Douglas Fenner wrote:
> Dennis,
>      Thanks for this!  I had read that there were some surprising regional
> differences in the rate of sea level rise.  Initially, that didn't make any
> sense to me.  If I remember, there has been a lot of sea level rise on the
> US east coast.  Thinking about it, I think sea level has to be isostatic.
> So, for instance, tiny perturbations in sea level can reveal hidden
> seamounts that add just enough gravitational pull, to very slightly
> increase the sea level over them.  A very small effect that can be detected
> by satellites to map the unseen sea floor, but one that won't change over
> our lifetimes.  Another effect is shifting wind patterns, that push water
> west in the Pacific in some periods, but not others, leading to changes in
> sea levels of up to about 20 cm I believe.  These wind changes in the
> Pacific tend to happen during El Nino periods, as documented by Chowdhury
> et al, 2007.  Very ephemeral event, happens over periods of months.  But
> fully capable of killing corals on shallow reef flats.  Still another is
> due to differences in the water itself.  If there is slightly warmer water
> somewhere in the water column in one area, that water expands, lifting the
> surface water.  But, correct me if I'm wrong, that water remains isostatic,
> so it doesn't flatten out quickly, like it would if water was suddenly
> added to the area.  This could happen, say, if on the Antarctic coast,
> water was not quite as cold as normal, say, one degree warmer.  Water there
> is more saline and colder than elsewhere, so it sinks, then spreads as a
> deep water layer northward in the oceans.  Antarctic deep water, or some
> such name.  If it is slightly warmer, that layer could lift the surface
> slightly, and it could stay that way as long as the deep water layer stays
> there and stays warmer.  Converse for cooler water.  I think it is the case
> that these could stay for at least years, if not decades or longer.
>       Thanks for pointing this out and reminding us.
>        My own guess is that the increase in coral cover on shallow reef
> flats, which is documented in two studies so far and fits with logic and
> observation, that coral that grows faster than the reef and grows faster
> than current sea level rise, some of it growing very fast, and between the
> lowest tides from one year to the next can grow high enough that when the
> lowest tides happen, exposure kills the exposed fast growing coral.  (By
> the way, I think sea level was rising at 3 mm a year during the period that
> data was taken in both of those two papers I referred to, so it can happen
> in spite of current sea level rise.)  That means that the live coral cover
> that fast growing species provides (which is likely to be a small part of
> all coral cover and even a smaller portion of all cover on the reef flat),
> will go up and down over the course of a year or a few years, as the two
> published studies I referred to document, and as I have personally seen..  I
> think that means that the variability in coral cover on reef flats varies
> over time enough that will make it harder to detect any effect of overall
> increasing coral cover due to increasing depths.  (I also suspect there are
> rather few coral cover baselines on reef flats around the world, most reef
> scientists don't seem to consider them important and study reef slopes
> instead.  It is true that they can be hard to access on snorkel since you
> get bashed by waves at high tide, and walking around at low tide your eyes
> are farther from the reef and tapes can be pulled or ripped by waves, etc
> etc.  Not an easy place to work.)  That and the fact that you point out
> that sea level in different places is likely to be going up and down,
> faster or slower, over time scales of at least years if not decades or
> longer.  I agree with you that over the long haul, sea level rise has to be
> the same at all locations, if it should end up being an average of 60 cm
> higher in 2100, it could be 60 cm + the current local effects of these warm
> bulges in one place, and 60 cm - effects of cold bulges another place, but
> they will all average out to 60 cm.  Plus any effects of changing wind
> patterns.  That kind of variability will make it even more difficult to
> detect the effect I was predicting.
>       Add to that, what I've always said along.  The sea level is rising
> only 3 mm a year now, and within 3-4 decades or less, it is highly likely
> mass coral bleaching will be killing lots of coral.  Almost surely not all
> coral, because not all corals are equally sensitive, and because corals
> have been demonstrated to be able to acclimate and/or adapt at least some.
> But coral cover is highly likely to go down, especially during the big
> events like the 1998 El Nino.  In 40 years, at 3 mm rise a year, that's a
> total of 120 mm or just 12 cm rise.  Spread out over 4 decades.  I think
> likely the effect I was predicting will be very small at any one point in
> time, because some corals grow much faster than the sea level rise, and get
> killed back all the time.  Maybe slower growing corals like massive
> *Porites* will show it better, since they won't be growing so much faster
> than the sea level.  That's so many variables that it would likely take a
> quantitative model to find out what is most likely to happen.
>       Net effect, is that while I predicted a positive effect on coral cover
> on shallow reef flats, I think it is going to be hard to detect, and be
> ephemeral, lasting at most a few decades.
>       There is no way that this effect I predicted is going to save reefs or
> negate the effects of high temperatures or acidification, or anything like
> that.  It will surely be a tiny blip, if anything.  But it is a positive
> prediction based on what we know about coral growth rates, what limits
> coral growth on reef flats, and rising sea levels.  I think people have
> been inclined to dismiss it out of hand, because it is a possible, if tiny,
> positive effect of climate change.
>      Cheers, Doug
> Chowdhury, M.R., Chu, P-S., Schroeder, T.  2007.  ENSO and seasonal
> sea-level variability - a diagnostic discussion for the U.S.-affiliated
> Pacific Islands.  Theor. Appl. Climatol. 88: 213-224.
> On Sat, Apr 11, 2015 at 11:13 AM, Dennis Hubbard <dennis.hubbard at oberlin.edu
>> wrote:
>> Hi Doug:
>> I didn't want to just go dark, but it's the time of year when student
>> theses, end-of-year chair duties and all those other fun parts of academia
>> get superimposed. So, I'll have to get back to you when I'm out of the
>> weeds.Actually, Lucien and a few of us have been discussing this quite a
>> lot over the past 18 months. The one outlier that we weren't aware of is
>> the new Topex-Poseidon data show that sea level is rising at very different
>> rates in different places for reasons having nothing to do with subsidence,
>> tectonics or the usual cast of characters for regional differences in SL
>> rise on a scale of centuries to millennia. Near Australia, it's going up at
>> ca 10 mm/yr while in other places it is actually dropping. What seems to be
>> emerging is a relationship with ENSO like cycles that operate over scales
>> of decades to perhaps 60 years. Obviously, sea level can't continue to rise
>> at these differential rates indefinitely or else we're going to see people
>> water skiing without boats from Australia to the US on the resulting
>> water-surface slope.
>> So..... if these areas of "winners" and :losers" are ephemeral and operate
>> on time scales of several decades, that's going to mean that all those new
>> corals on GBR reef flats (IF SL rise does encourage coral recruitment or
>> survival) are going to get whacked when SL starts dropping on the GBR and
>> rising across the pond. I don't claim to understand the dynamics, but it
>> seems inescapable that what goes up must come down - and if there are
>> places where SL is rising faster (and presumably there are fewer low tides)
>> over the next two decades, they are in for a big disappointment down the
>> line. I'm hoping that somewhere the modelers can give us a
>> back-of-the-envelope calculation on the periodicity and amplitude of these
>> excursions. In the meantime, it seems like trying to extrapolate from what
>> we're seeing on a decadal scale to even a few centuries ignore the
>> likelihood that the variability is going to totally swamp the success rate
>> in the longer run. So, unless we're going to open a market for "coral
>> futures", these short-term patterns are not going to be helpful. I can't
>> even begin to predict what the magnitude of these might be, but from what
>> little I've read these patterns we're just beginning to see may end up
>> being the critical piece of the puzzle.
>> I wish I had a better answer,
>> Dennis
>> On Fri, Apr 10, 2015 at 5:41 PM, Douglas Fenner <
>> douglasfennertassi at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> Dennis,
>>>       I agree with much of what you say.  I was very unspecific about what
>>> I meant by reef flat, sorry.  I was thinking of reef flats that are very
>>> close to the lowest tide levels of the year.  I agree that corals 2-3 m
>>> deep can grow without being limited by exposure to air at low tides.
>>>       I was trying to make the point that on reef flats that shallow, any
>>> corals that grow above the level of the lowest tides of the year will be
>>> killed by exposure during those low tides.  They can grow higher than that
>>> the rest of the year, but will be killed by exposure to air by the lowest
>>> tides.  Low tides limit the growth of corals on reef flats, that is for
>>> sure, corals die in air (though they can last for perhaps a few hours at
>>> most in air).
>>>       The two papers I referred to document that when there are longer
>>> periods without the lowest tides, coral cover increases on these shallow
>>> reef flats.  That makes sense to me, because when the lowest tide occur,
>>> they kill corals that have grown too high.  Most of us would see increased
>>> coral cover as a good thing, and these two papers plus the observation of
>>> low tides killing corals on the reef flat, indicate that sea level rise
>>> will lead to increased live coral cover on shallow reef flats.  Actually,
>>> if the reef flats don't grow upward at all, the effect should be larger
>>> than if the reef flats do grow upward, since the water will be deeper as
>>> sea level rises, and thus there will be more room for corals to grow.  That
>>> might well lead to more coral cover on shallow reef flats than would be the
>>> case if the reef flats grow upward.  But the more live coral there is on
>>> the reef flat, the faster the reef flat should be able to grow upward I
>>> would think, since the corals are the fastest growing calcifiers on the
>>> reef flat, the more corals the faster the reef flat would grow upward, I
>>> would think.  I don't know if that's been documented.
>>>       I don't know how many reefs will manage to keep up with sea level
>>> rise.  The article I read on reef growth rates, Montaggioni, 2005, says
>>> that average growth of catch-up reefs is 3-4 mm a year, and the average
>>> growth of keep-up reefs is 6 mm a year.  Reefs with flats near the water
>>> surface presently would be considered keep-up reefs I would think, and thus
>>> reefs with shallow reef flats would be predicted to grow upward at an
>>> average of 6 mm a year, twice the present rate of sea level rise.  That is,
>>> if Montaggioni's review of the evidence is correct.  Those figures can't
>>> apply to reef flats, or else during periods of stable sea level, the reef
>>> flat would grow up into the air.  Surely they apply only to reef areas
>>> below low tide level.  I believe that he says that there is considerable
>>> variation between reefs in the rate that they grow, the 6 mm is only an
>>> average.  So a minority of keep-up reefs would grow at less than 3 mm a
>>> year.  Corals can clearly grow much faster than both sea level rise and the
>>> average rate of growth of a reef. Staghorns can grow 100 mm or more a year
>>> on their branch tips, massive Porites grow around 5-10 mm a year, but
>>> encrusting corals probably add very little to their thickness in a year.
>>> So it does make a big difference which kind of coral.  If most corals on
>>> reef flats can grow faster than present sea level rise, my guess is that
>>> higher coral cover with deepening water will lead to a faster reef growth
>>> rate.  But if such an effect exists, I don't know how big it might be, I
>>> don't know how much faster the reef flat could grow upward, though I'd
>>> predict that would depend on how much coral cover there is, and how fast
>>> that coral grows.  Local human impacts are indeed likely to slow coral and
>>> reef growth I would think, but there are lots of atolls with no people, and
>>> the longest fringing reef in the world, Ningaloo Reef, on the west coast of
>>> Australia, has almost no human impacts and the coast is a desert so little
>>> if any runoff.
>>>      But my main point that rising sea levels will lead to more coral
>>> cover on reef flats is supported by those two articles.
>>>      Coral growth is encouraged by water motion, up to the point at which
>>> skeletons start to break.  Most of the energy of a wave is dissipated where
>>> the wave breaks, which is usually on the crest.  Thus, reef flats receive
>>> much less wave energy than the crest, and don't have the concussion from
>>> the falling wave, which I've read is the strongest force breaking
>>> skeletons.  For reefs with coral on the crest, increasing wave action on
>>> the reef flat should be good for corals, unless they are on unstable
>>> substrate such as rubble.  For reefs with only coralline algae on the
>>> crest, it might be that waves on the reef flat will break corals during the
>>> heaviest wave periods, such as during storms.  So for those reefs, I don't
>>> know what the net effect would be.  Could be that deeper water would allow
>>> more coral growth between storms, but storms would break the coral.  But
>>> for reefs with corals on the crest, increasing waves on the reef flat
>>> should help coral growth there.  Unless it is along a coast with lots of
>>> terrestrial sediment, which a good number of reefs have, but other reefs
>>> like atolls and Ningaloo Reef don't have.
>>> Cheers,  Doug
>>> Montaggioni, L.F. 2005. History of Indo-Pacific coral reef systems since
>>> the last glaciation: Development patterns and controlling factors.
>>> Earth-Science Reviews 71: 1-75.
>>> On Thu, Apr 9, 2015 at 1:45 AM, Dennis Hubbard <
>>> dennis.hubbard at oberlin.edu> wrote:
>>>> Hi Doug, Regarding your comments on SL rise, this conflates coral growth
>>>> and reef building. The work of Peter Davies, David Hopley and others
>>>> clearly showed that these reef flats broadened after reef caught up with
>>>> slowed (actually stable or falling) sea level after 8 CalBP. The reefs
>>>> built at their fastest rates after initial start-up, but it is unclear
>>>> whether this was a response of faster sea-level rise or just the background
>>>> accretion rate. In the Caribbean, it is clear that reefs in 20+ m of water
>>>> build just as fast as those in 2-5 m of water. Our preliminary analyses of
>>>> other data suggest that this is  mimicked in other oceans. To me, the fact
>>>> that the depth-related patterns of coral growth is not mirrored by reef
>>>> building suggests that coral growth is a very poor proxy for what will
>>>> happen as accelerating sea level opens up accommodation space atop reef
>>>> flats. Very careful and thoughtful studies have shown that even 20 cm of
>>>> freeboard atop the reef crest can more than double the wave energy normally
>>>> filtered by the reef. Also, increased storm intensity will dramatically
>>>> increase export from the ref proper (either across the reef flat in the GBS
>>>> and the Indo-Pacific or down-slope in the Caribbean. Reef building is a
>>>> complex process and coral growth, while providing the building blocks, is a
>>>> very small part of the total budget. Existing data on reef building
>>>> suggests that the present rate of sea-level rise is faster than the
>>>> Holocene accretion rates of more than half of the reefs where coring has
>>>> occurred (and this was with plenty of available accommodation space).. Also,
>>>> we must remember that this was at a time before *Homo stupidus* was
>>>> providing the myriad stresses that are common today. To me, it is not
>>>> comforting to realize that so many reefs are already lagginf behind is the
>>>> most optimistic picture available.
>>>> Best,
>>>> Dennis
>>>> On Wed, Apr 8, 2015 at 6:04 PM, Douglas Fenner <
>>>> douglasfennertassi at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>>      I didn't notice the date of the article, Feb. 2012, initially, it
>>>>> is in
>>>>> such small, light print.  This article is not recent news.  Thanks to
>>>>> everybody for pointing out the article it was based on, and the
>>>>> informative
>>>>> comments.
>>>>>      My take on the Cooper 2012 Science article is that decreases in the
>>>>> rate of calcification had been reported in a previous paper based on GBR
>>>>> (Great Barrier Reef) data, and there had been speculation that it could
>>>>> indicate that acidification had begun to slow coral growth.  But the
>>>>> Cooper
>>>>> paper found that on the west coast of Australia, calcification had
>>>>> increased along with increasing temperatures, and increased most in the
>>>>> south where temperatures were lower and the increase greater.  So they
>>>>> conclude that the dominant effect at this point is the effect of warming
>>>>> temperatures, because increasing temperatures strongly increase the
>>>>> rate of
>>>>> calcification (and linear extension, the main contributor to
>>>>> calcification).  They explain the GBR result as likely being due to the
>>>>> GBR
>>>>> having reached higher temperatures at which growth may begin to slow, or
>>>>> due to decreased growth there due to bleaching.
>>>>> Articles have previously documented that massive *Porites* corals growth
>>>>> rate increases with temperature.  Such as in:
>>>>> Lough, J.M.  2008.  Coral calcification from skeletal records revisited.
>>>>> Marine Ecology Progress Series 373: 257-264.  Figure 2b shows skeletal
>>>>> extension rate increasing with increasing temperature.  Figure 2a shows
>>>>> skeletal density decreasing with increasing temperature, and Figure 2c
>>>>> shows calcification increasing with temperature. The range of annual
>>>>> average sea temperature was 23-29.5 C.
>>>>> http://www.int-res.com/abstracts/meps/v373/p257-264/   open access
>>>>> People do tend to assume that all effects of climate change and global
>>>>> warming will be negative.  Not true, I would argue.  For instance,
>>>>> melting
>>>>> Arctic sea ice will make ship navigation there possible, with likely
>>>>> economic benefits.  It may also make drilling for oil in the Arctic
>>>>> ocean
>>>>> easier, with all of the possible effects on economics and the
>>>>> environment.
>>>>> Also, people often say that rising sea levels will hurt reefs.  Indeed,
>>>>> where there are soft terrestrial sediments, increased wave action due to
>>>>> less friction with the substrate in the deeper water on reef flats will
>>>>> mobilize sediment and negatively impact corals.  But where there is no
>>>>> such
>>>>> sediment, like on atolls, more water depth allows more coral growth on
>>>>> reef
>>>>> flats.  There are a lot of atolls, and reef flats around the world have
>>>>> about 6 times the area of reef slopes, so that's not a minor
>>>>> consideration,
>>>>> though sea level rise of 3 mm a year is way slower than most corals can
>>>>> grow, so corals will likely hit the surface and be limited anyhow.
>>>>> Plus,
>>>>> once mass coral bleaching kills them, they won't be growing any more.
>>>>> So a
>>>>> temporary positive effect.  References listed at the end of this
>>>>> message.
>>>>>      Another paper adds some perspective:
>>>>> Wooldridge, S. A.  2014.  Assessing coral health and resilience in a
>>>>> warming ocean: why looks can be deceptive.  BioEssays 36(11): 1041-1049.
>>>>> http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/bies.201400074/abstract
>>>>> (not
>>>>> open access, click on "author information" to get the author's email
>>>>> address)
>>>>> He writes in the abstract, "In this paper I challenge the notion that a
>>>>> healthy and resilient coral is (in all cases) a fast-growing coral, and
>>>>> by
>>>>> inference, that a reef characterised by a fast trajectory toward high
>>>>> coral
>>>>> cover is necessarily a healthy and resilient reef." and "Moreover, it
>>>>> explains the somewhat
>>>>> paradoxical scenario, whereby at the ecological instant before the
>>>>> reef-building capacity of the symbiosis is lost, a reef can look
>>>>> visually
>>>>> at its best and be accreting CaCO3 at its maximum."
>>>>> In general, I believe it is the case with most poikilothermic or
>>>>> ectodermic
>>>>> animals, that as temperature rises, metabolism increases, gradually and
>>>>> reversibly, up to a point.  Above that point, it decreases,
>>>>> precipitously
>>>>> and irreversibly.  Corals are no different.  The two processes are quite
>>>>> different, the precipitous drop at high temperatures is due to the
>>>>> denaturing of proteins primarily, I would think, and it leads to
>>>>> death.  In
>>>>> other words, for any animal, indeed any organism, if the temperatures
>>>>> gets
>>>>> too high, they get cooked and die.
>>>>> So increasing temperatures seem great, but beyond a certain point are
>>>>> lethal.  The problem for corals is that in many places, they live close
>>>>> to
>>>>> their upper thermal limit in the summer, and global temperatures are
>>>>> increasing.  In places where they live well below their thermal maximum,
>>>>> temperature increases may not be a threat, and increase growth rates,
>>>>> which
>>>>> seems good.  Mind you, much of the threat doesn't come directly from
>>>>> gradually increasing temperatures, it comes from hot water events, such
>>>>> as
>>>>> the 1998 El Nino event that killed about 16% of the world's corals.
>>>>> Such
>>>>> events can push even corals in cooler water over their limits, since
>>>>> their
>>>>> limits tend to be lower, usually just a couple degrees above the local
>>>>> mean
>>>>> summer high temperature.  Janice Lough tells me that the corals on the
>>>>> west
>>>>> coast of Australia bleached in 2011, 1-2 years after they collected
>>>>> their
>>>>> coral cores.  The high temperature of El Nino events and the like, are
>>>>> on
>>>>> top of the gradually warming baseline, so as the baseline goes up, the
>>>>> peak
>>>>> event temperatures go up as well (though they vary greatly depending on
>>>>> the
>>>>> strength of the El Nino) and thus likely the damage.  If I remember, the
>>>>> maps of where coral bleaching on the GBR occurred in the major events of
>>>>> 1998 and 2002, didn't show that they only bleached at the northern end,
>>>>> they bleached at the southern end too (where average water temperatures
>>>>> are
>>>>> lower).  In fact, they bleached more at the southern end than the
>>>>> northern
>>>>> end, judging from Fig. 2 in the following article:
>>>>> Berkelmans, R., De’ath, G., Kininmonth, S. & Skirving,W. J. 2004 A
>>>>> comparison of the 1998 and 2002 coral bleaching events on the Great
>>>>> Barrier
>>>>> Reef: spatial correlation, patterns and predictions. Coral Reefs 23,
>>>>> 74–83.
>>>>>      The Cooper paper says in the next to last paragraph that "The
>>>>> influence of ocean acidification is expected to occur first at higher
>>>>> latitudes that inherently have lower seawater saturation states with
>>>>> respect to
>>>>> carbonate minerals due to their increased solubility at lower water
>>>>> temperatures (10, 30)."
>>>>> The following paper predicts that while bleaching will degrade corals in
>>>>> the future mainly at low latitudes, acidification will degrade them at
>>>>> high
>>>>> latitudes, and so there is no latitude that offers a refuge from climate
>>>>> change:
>>>>> van Hooidonk R, Maynard JA, Manzello D, Planes S (2014) Opposite
>>>>> latitudinal gradients in projected ocean acidification and bleaching
>>>>> impacts on coral reefs. Global Change Biology, 20, 103–112.
>>>>> http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/gcb.12394/abstract   Not
>>>>> open
>>>>> access, but click on author information for the author's email address..
>>>>> Cheers,  Doug
>>>>> Fenner, D.  2012.  Reef flat growth: comment on “Rising sea level may
>>>>> cause
>>>>> decline of fringing coral reefs.”  EOS 93 (23): 218.
>>>>> Brown, B. E., R. P. Dunne, N. Phongsuwan, and P. J. Somerfield (2011),
>>>>> Increased sea level promotes coral cover on shallow reef flats in the
>>>>> Andaman Sea, eastern Indian Ocean, Coral Reefs, 30, 867–878..
>>>>> Scopélitis, J., S. Andréfouët, S. Phinn, T. Done, and P.. Chabanet
>>>>> (2011),
>>>>> Coral colonization of a shallow reef flat in response to rising sea
>>>>> level:
>>>>> Quantification from 35 years of remote sensing data at Heron Island,
>>>>> Australia, Coral Reefs, 30, 951–965.
>>>>> Vecsei, A. 2004. A new estimate of global reefal carbonate production
>>>>> including the fore-reefs. Global and Planetary Change 43:1-18.
>>>>> On Tue, Apr 7, 2015 at 9:46 AM, Eugene Shinn <eugeneshinn at mail.usf.edu>
>>>>>   wrote:
>>>>>> Listers, Here is a report of work done by coral scientists in
>>>>> Australia
>>>>>> readers might want to reassess. Gene
>>>>> http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/health-science/study-finds-coral-reef-growth-thrives-in-warmer-waters/story-e6frg8y6-1226261278615
>>>>>> --
>>>>>> No Rocks, No Water, No Ecosystem (EAS)
>>>>>> ------------------------------------
>>>>> -----------------------------------
>>>>>> 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
>>>>>> ---------------------------------- -----------------------------------
>>>>> On Wed, Apr 8, 2015 at 6:23 AM, Greg Challenger <
>>>>> GChallenger at polarisappliedsciences.com> wrote:
>>>>>> Below is a link to the paper.  I don't believe there is any longer any
>>>>>> doubt that media outlets have agendas on all sides.
>>>>>> The researchers found both decreases and increases in Porites growth
>>>>> with
>>>>>> no widespread pattern.  They did find contradictory evidence of
>>>>> increasing
>>>>>> growth in higher latitudes.  I didn't get into the power or
>>>>> significance.
>>>>>> It is not shocking to learn that ranges can change as a result of
>>>>> physical
>>>>>> forcing, even if contradictory.  The study involves one size class of
>>>>> a
>>>>>> single species (Porites) and doesn't speak to diversity as far as can
>>>>> be
>>>>>> discerned from the abstract.   As always, there are likely winners and
>>>>>> losers when it comes to change.  It doesn't surprise me that massive
>>>>>> Porites lobata may be doing well because we find it in the most
>>>>> polluted of
>>>>>> industrial harbors doing quite well throughout the Indo-Pacific and
>>>>> Red
>>>>>> Sea.  There was an in situ test (accident) that I cannot mention that
>>>>>> removed oxygen from a certain harbor for a number of days and many
>>>>> members
>>>>>> of this species survived while some others did not.
>>>>>> One of the better Elkhorn Stands I have seen in recent years in the
>>>>>> Caribbean was recently removed from the entrance of Kingston Harbor
>>>>> to make
>>>>>> way for Post Panamex Vessels in some of the dirtier water I care to
>>>>> swim
>>>>>> in, while some of the most recently devastated elkhorn I have seen
>>>>> was 100
>>>>>> miles offshore in the Silver Banks, D.R., both within the past few
>>>>> years.
>>>>>>    I'm not sure we've got our fingers on the pulse of this thing, which
>>>>>> makes it more challenging to convey a sense of urgency to the
>>>>> public.  I
>>>>>> usually ask for examples of positive ecological outcomes from
>>>>> unintended
>>>>>> consequences of man and then I might worry less.  I'm still waiting
>>>>> for
>>>>>> some of those examples.
>>>>>> ____________________________
>>>>>> Growth of Western Australian Corals in the Anthropocene, Science 3
>>>>>> February 2012: Vol. 335 no. 6068 pp. 593-596. DOI:
>>>>> 10.1126/science.1214570
>>>>>>   Read more at:
>>>>> http://phys.org/news/2012-02-coral-growth-western-australia-warmer.html#jCp
>>>>>> -
>>>>>> Abstract
>>>>>> Anthropogenic increases of atmospheric carbon dioxide lead to warmer
>>>>> sea
>>>>>> surface temperatures and altered ocean chemistry. Experimental
>>>>> evidence
>>>>>> suggests that coral calcification decreases as aragonite saturation
>>>>> drops
>>>>>> but increases as temperatures rise toward thresholds optimal for coral
>>>>>> growth. In situ studies have documented alarming recent declines in
>>>>>> calcification rates on several tropical coral reef ecosystems. We show
>>>>>> there is no widespread pattern of consistent decline in calcification
>>>>> rates
>>>>>> of massive Porites during the 20th century on reefs spanning an 11°
>>>>>> latitudinal range in the southeast Indian Ocean off Western Australia.
>>>>>> Increasing calcification rates on the high-latitude reefs contrast
>>>>> with the
>>>>>> downward trajectory reported for corals on Australia's Great Barrier
>>>>> Reef
>>>>>> and provide additional evidence that recent changes in coral
>>>>> calcification
>>>>>> are responses to temperature rather than ocean acidification.
>>>>>> ----Original Message-----
>>>>>> From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov [mailto:
>>>>>> coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov] On Behalf Of Tim
>>>>>> Sent: Wednesday, April 8, 2015 7:49 AM
>>>>>> To: Eugene Shinn
>>>>>> Cc: <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov> list
>>>>>> Subject: Re: [Coral-List] Reassessing Coral Reef Scientists
>>>>>> .......more on "The Australian" newspaper.....
>>>>>> Instead of engaging their vast resources to help finance genuine
>>>>> marine
>>>>>> research, and using some of their influence to drive corporate
>>>>>> accountability, particularly in "developing" economies, the paper
>>>>>> specialises in selective editing of scientific papers and peddling
>>>>> their
>>>>>> own business agenda.
>>>>>> Some of us familiar with the Maldives, take exception to News Corp
>>>>>> chairman Rupert Murdoch's disheartening comments at the newspaper's
>>>>> 50th
>>>>>> anniversary last year.
>>>>>> He said climate change should be treated with "much scepticism".
>>>>>> If the temperature rises 3 degrees in 100 years, "at the very most
>>>>> one of
>>>>>> those [degrees] would be man-made," he said.
>>>>>> "If the sea level rises six inches, that's a big deal in the world,
>>>>> the
>>>>>> Maldives might disappear or something, but OK, we can't mitigate
>>>>> that, we
>>>>>> can't stop it, we have to stop building vast houses on seashores".
>>>>>> Perhaps we should all give up, like drowned reefs, on reading his
>>>>>> papers......
>>>>> http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/fight-climate-change-by-building-away-from-sea-rupert-murdoch-20140713-zt66s.html#ixzz37oiOo25z
>>>>>> On 8 Apr 2015, at 16:31, Osmar Luiz wrote:
>>>>>>> For those who were not familiar with "The Australian" newspaper
>>>>> points
>>>>>> of view and its strong right-wing trend, some quotes below from The
>>>>>> Wilkpedia...
>>>>>>> According to other commentators, however, the newspaper "is
>>>>> generally
>>>>>>> conservative in tone and heavily oriented toward business; it has a
>>>>>>> range of columnists of varying political persuasions but mostly to
>>>>> the
>>>>>>> right."[9] Its former editor Paul Kelly has stated that "The
>>>>>>> Australian has established itself in the marketplace as a newspaper
>>>>>>> that strongly supports economic libertarianism".[10]
>>>>>>> In September 2010, the ABC's Media Watch presenter Paul Barry,
>>>>> accused
>>>>>>> The Australian of waging a campaign against the Australian Greens,
>>>>> and
>>>>>>> the Green's federal leader Bob Brown wrote that The Australian has
>>>>>>> "stepped out of the fourth estate by seeing itself as a determinant
>>>>> of
>>>>>>> democracy in Australia". In response, The Australian opined that
>>>>>>> "Greens leader Bob Brown has accused The Australian of trying to
>>>>> wreck
>>>>>>> the alliance between the Greens and Labor. We wear Senator Brown's
>>>>>>> criticism with pride. We believe he and his Green colleagues are
>>>>>>> hypocrites; that they are bad for the nation; and that they should
>>>>> be
>>>>>>> destroyed at the ballot box."[12]
>>>>>>> On 8 Apr 2015, at 6:46 am, Eugene Shinn <eugeneshinn at mail.usf.edu>
>>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>>>> Listers, Here is a report of work done by coral scientists in
>>>>>>>> Australia readers might want to reassess. Gene
>>>>> http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/health-science/study-finds-coral
>>>>>>>> -reef-growth-thrives-in-warmer-waters/story-e6frg8y6-1226261278615
>>>>>>>> --
>>>>>>>> No Rocks, No Water, No Ecosystem (EAS)
>>>>>>>> ------------------------------------
>>>>>>>> -----------------------------------
>>>>>>>> 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
>>>>>>>> ----------------------------------
>>>>>>>> -----------------------------------
>>>>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>>>>> Coral-List mailing list
>>>>>>>> Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
>>>>>>>> http://coral.aoml.noaa.gov/mailman/listinfo/coral-list
>>>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>>>> Coral-List mailing list
>>>>>>> Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
>>>>>>> http://coral.aoml.noaa.gov/mailman/listinfo/coral-list
>>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>>> Coral-List mailing list
>>>>>> Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
>>>>>> http://coral.aoml.noaa.gov/mailman/listinfo/coral-list
>>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>>> Coral-List mailing list
>>>>>> Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
>>>>>> http://coral.aoml.noaa.gov/mailman/listinfo/coral-list
>>>>> --
>>>>> Douglas Fenner
>>>>> Contractor with Ocean Associates, Inc.
>>>>> PO Box 7390
>>>>> Pago Pago, American Samoa 96799  USA
>>>>> phone 1 684 622-7084
>>>>> "belief in climate change is optional, participation is not."
>>>>> Politics, science, and public attitudes: What we're learning, and why it
>>>>> matters.  Science Insider, open access.
>>>>> http://news.sciencemag.org/social-sciences/2015/02/politics-science-and-public-attitudes-what-we-re-learning-and-why-it-matters?utm_campaign=email-news-latest&utm_src=email
>>>>> Homeopathy ineffective, study confirms.
>>>>> http://news.sciencemag.org/sifter/2015/03/homeopathy-ineffective-study-confirms
>>>>> website:  http://independent.academia.edu/DouglasFenner
>>>>> blog: http://ocean.si.edu/blog/reefs-american-samoa-story-hope
>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>> Coral-List mailing list
>>>>> Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
>>>>> http://coral.aoml.noaa.gov/mailman/listinfo/coral-list
>>>> --
>>>> Dennis Hubbard
>>>> Chair, Dept of Geology-Oberlin College Oberlin OH 44074
>>>> (440) 775-8346
>>>> * "When you get on the wrong train.... every stop is the wrong stop"*
>>>>   Benjamin Stein: "*Ludes, A Ballad of the Drug and the Dream*"
>>> --
>>> Douglas Fenner
>>> Contractor with Ocean Associates, Inc.
>>> PO Box 7390
>>> Pago Pago, American Samoa 96799  USA
>>> phone 1 684 622-7084
>>> "belief in climate change is optional, participation is not."
>>> Politics, science, and public attitudes: What we're learning, and why it
>>> matters.  Science Insider, open access.
>>> http://news.sciencemag.org/social-sciences/2015/02/politics-science-and-public-attitudes-what-we-re-learning-and-why-it-matters?utm_campaign=email-news-latest&utm_src=email
>>> Homeopathy ineffective, study confirms.
>>> http://news.sciencemag.org/sifter/2015/03/homeopathy-ineffective-study-confirms
>>> website:  http://independent.academia.edu/DouglasFenner
>>> blog: http://ocean.si.edu/blog/reefs-american-samoa-story-hope
>> --
>> Dennis Hubbard
>> Chair, Dept of Geology-Oberlin College Oberlin OH 44074
>> (440) 775-8346
>> * "When you get on the wrong train.... every stop is the wrong stop"*
>>   Benjamin Stein: "*Ludes, A Ballad of the Drug and the Dream*"

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