[Coral-List] Evidence that ocean warming has caused most Caribbean coral loss

Peter Sale sale at uwindsor.ca
Mon Apr 24 23:21:25 EDT 2017

Hi all,
John Bruno's blog post is a service to the community that deserves a more permanent place (i.e. a peer-reviewed article) as a review of the data.  A lot of our data on reef degradation are correlative, and you cannot discover correlations with factors that are not included in the analyses.  Nor are correlations proof of causation.  And because ecology remains a science of words instead of equations, it is easy for one's personal experience or bias to subtly shift the meaning of sentences written by others.  In other words, I won't be surprised if it turns out that we can all agree on the data, but have nuanced differences in how we interpret them.  Responses will be interesting to read...

In the meantime, damage caused by warming continues to occur on reefs around the world, while the global community continues to take baby steps in cutting GHG emissions.  Regardless of the history of reef degradation, global temperature increases appear to be a major factor at present, with impacts that appear not to be ameliorated by high quality local reef management.  We need much stronger action on climate.

Peter Sale
University of Windsor

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