[Coral-List] Corals Persist But Bioerosion Rises in Low-pH Waters

Eugene Shinn eugeneshinn at mail.usf.edu
Fri Jun 12 10:45:49 EDT 2015

No surprise that my apparent skepticism about relationship between 
alkalinity shift (aka ocean acidification) and limestone boring 
organisms elicited several responses both on and off line. I asked about 
experimental confirmation and as expected was shown several papers 
indicating positive correlations between lowered pH and increased 
boring. Positive relations in these experiments were obtained when the 
pH level was adjusted to projected CO_2 levels for the 21^st century. 
There was no confirmation that present levels caused increased boring. 
Could the positive results be a leap of faith since those projected 
levels may not be reached in the future? Such experiments do serve as a 
warning and should be seen as such. There is a well-tested phenomenon in 
financial circles called Confirmation Bias. Simply stated, people tend 
to interpret published financial data to suit their bias and often make 
the wrong decision when purchasing stocks, etc. The article I read even 
had a section titled “Confirmation Bias Can Look Very Scientific.” Could 
we be seeing confirmation bias affecting conclusions in coral and 
climate science? Could it be happening because the best way to get 
published (or obtain funding) is to interpret data so that it follows 
the popular climate change and ocean acidification paradigm? Follow the 
money? Or is it promotions and or tenure? Just wondering. Gene


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
---------------------------------- -----------------------------------

More information about the Coral-List mailing list