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

Douglas Fenner douglasfennertassi at gmail.com
Thu Apr 27 20:13:40 EDT 2017

    It may be that geologists, because of their understanding of the vast
expanse of earth history, which has included periods of larger temperature
variation than the last few decades, and which some groups of organisms
survived, have been more resistant to the evidence of human-caused global
warming in recent decades.  However, my understanding is that most if not
all geological societies now agree that the recent rapid warming of the
earth is mostly caused by humans, by greenhouse gas emissions,
deforestation, carbon soot on snow absorbing heat, positive feedback from
melting of Arctic ice which reflects light more than water, etc.  In fact,
some of the effects of humans, such as the emissions of aerosols (such as
SO2 from burning fossil fuels) actually work to reduce global temperatures,
though the effects of other emissions are greater and cause net global
     Am I wrong about the geological societies?
    Cheers,  Doug

On Thu, Apr 27, 2017 at 10:10 PM, Ulf Erlingsson <ceo at lindorm.com> wrote:

> Steve,
> I'm an Earth Scientist. Since the first day of talking about global
> warming as a threat, back in the 1980's when I was still a student, those
> studying climate change since over a century have expressed deep
> scepticism/skepticism depending on the side of the pool, since climate
> researchers are typically willfully ignoring the research of those in
> fields such as Quaternary Geology. Yet, the one who doesn't know his
> Quaternary Geology is a complete ignoramus when it comes to climate change,
> wouldn't you agree?
> My field of study is coastal processes and sea level change as a function
> of climate change, that's what I wrote my thesis on, but according to the
> climate change researchers all of that is irrelevant. Why?
> Ulf Erlingsson
> > On 2017-04-26, at 11:41 , Steve Mussman <sealab at earthlink.net> wrote:
> >
> > Dear John and Mike,
> >
> > I ask this respectfully,  don't you both (as well as the vast majority
> of your colleagues) ultimately arrive at the same conclusion?
> > Correct me if I'm wrong, but regardless of how we got here, don't you
> agree that it is ocean warming that now represents the consummate threat?
>  I may be interpreting things incorrectly, but It seems to me that at this
> point we need a unified message reflecting the urgency of addressing this
> particular issue.
> >
> > At the same time we can all remain supportive of the various efforts
> aimed at addressing local stressors.
> >
> > Regards,
> > Steve
> >
> > Sent from my iPhone
> >
> >> On Apr 25, 2017, at 8:50 AM, Bruno, John <jbruno at unc.edu> wrote:
> >>
> >> Dear Mike, thank you for your ongoing interest in this topic and my
> post.
> >>
> >> "the Caribbean had already lost more than half its reefs before water
> temperatures had increased by more than a fraction of a degree”
> >>
> >> This is a common misconception from folks unaware that global warming
> began many decades ago. Please have a look at the NOAA data plotted in this
> figure from my post: http://theseamonster.net/2017/04/caribbean-bleaching/
> nclimate2915-f4/  Or the graphics in Kuffner et al 2014 below it. These
> data should sort you out. The Caribbean had clearly warmed significantly by
> the time mean coral cover had been roughly halved (around the mid-1980s).
> Also, we haven’t lost any reefs yet, what we’ve lost is coral cover (and
> fish biomass).
> >>
> >> Iv’e dove near Havana and I agree - its a mess and was probably locally
> impacted. And I don’t understand the logic in arguing managers should give
> up because climate change has had significant impacts on corals.. I’ve said
> it a million times: local impacts need to be mitigated. We all agree on
> that. I think you’re underestimating managers and local conservation
> capacity. (All the managers I know acknowledge climate change but aren’t
> giving up). As the Ocean Optimism symposium highlighted over the weekend,
> local successes are realistic and very much meaningful and worthwhile.
> >>
> >> "and there is overwhelming evidence of land-based stress going back to
> the 70’s”
> >>
> >> You have been promising this list-serv these references for years now.
> If you ever find them, please do share with us if you have the time.
> >>
> >> "how well could coral reefs survive ocean warming if they were not
> already stressed by [local] human impacts?”
> >>
> >> That experiment has been run dozens of times. On the northern GBR, on
> Scott Reef, off Southern Cuba or in the Bahamas, across the central
> Pacific, etc.. The answer is not well at all.
> >>
> >> The reason is that local impacts do not appear to act synergistically
> with ocean warming. As Cote and Darling suggested (
> http://journals.plos.org/plosbiology/article?id=10.
> 1371/journal.pbio.1000438), the interaction appears to be antagonistic,
> not synergistic. Either that or the impact of warming is so much stronger
> that it swamps the local and synergistic signals. Also see Darling et al
> 2010: htt
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> >
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Douglas Fenner
Contractor for NOAA NMFS, and consultant
"have regulator, will travel"
PO Box 7390
Pago Pago, American Samoa 96799  USA

phone 1 684 622-7084

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