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

Steve Mussman sealab at earthlink.net
Sat Jun 13 14:40:40 EDT 2015

   Dear Gene,
   It seems to me that suggesting that âconfirmation biasâ is responsible for
   shaping the conclusions of countless studies published by coral and climate
   scientists in regards to the impending impacts of climate change and ocean
   acidification is a bit over the top. Iâm not a scientist and although that
   phrase seems to have become an excuse for promoting uncertainty, I can still
   read and evaluate scientific information. Considering the preponderance of
   evidence in support of the popular paradigm, I would think that any solid
   research that reaches an antithetical conclusion would have no problem
   getting  published or obtaining funding. There are a number of special
   interest groups and think tanks that are eager to discredit prevailing
   scientific thought and as such they would welcome and support any sign of
   legitimate  scientific  disunity.  Of  course the problem here is that
   confirmation bias works both ways and following your lead one would have to
   wonder what factors could possibly be at play in motivating the detractors.
   Another possibility is that the science is pure, valid and compelling and
   that the reason for a lack of science-based contention on these issues is
   that there simply arenât any antitheses that have withstood the test of

     -----Original Message-----
     >From: Eugene Shinn
     >Sent: Jun 12, 2015 10:45 AM
     >To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
     >Subject: [Coral-List] Corals Persist But Bioerosion Rises in Low-pH
     >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 âConfirmation Bias Can Look Very Scientific..â 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
     >Tel 727 553-1158
     >---------------------------------- -----------------------------------
     >Coral-List mailing list
     >Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov

More information about the Coral-List mailing list