[Coral-List] Coral mortality in a warmer and acidified ocean

Sean Beckwith stbeckwith at mail.usf.edu
Fri Feb 3 13:30:07 EST 2017

You make a very good point and I want to state that from my perspective I
am grateful for Gene's post, and that I certainly do not intend to create
any divisiveness by my response. Especially with Gene... after all, he's
right down the hallway :)  Although, I don't get to see him everyday.

Having said that, I feel like my original point was not fully absorbed.  It
is the rate that is the difference.  When Acropora sailed through climate
catastrophes in the past, they did so on a 10 to 60 thousand year voyage,
or even longer.  The current embarkation is only 150 years in the making
and already it has matched CO2 deviations that have not been seen in
millions of years.  So, the question is simply whether stony corals and
other somewhat susceptible calcifiers can handle this rate of change?
Experiments try to replicate the situation and determine the consequences
of a stressor (maybe even 2, i.e., OA and temperature) but most experiments
that I've seen presented are extremely short in scope and don't usually
give enough time to see how the organism will react to chronic stress over
a long enough time period.  Also, I've yet to see presentation of any
experiment that incorporates 3,4 or even 5 simultaneous stressors (Temp,
OA, pollution, disease, corallivory, ...) at random stages in the

I'll admit that the verdict is out, but I would also caution that it
doesn't look good. Life will go on, and we will continue living in a world
with consequences. That much is for sure.

Thank you for reading,

On Thu, Feb 2, 2017 at 1:05 PM, Risk, Michael <riskmj at mcmaster.ca> wrote:

>    Hi Pedro (Doug, Gene).
>    These are perilous times, with science seemingly under threat from all
> sides
>    and societies increasingly polarized. This is especially true of the US.
>    It is increasingly important to all of us on this list that we stick to
> the
>    science. Gene's scientific credentials should need no repeating to
> anyone on
>    this list. He also performs a valuable although sometimes annoying
> service
>    by posting items that cause us to think, or cause our hair to catch on
> fire.
>    This recent exchange I think can be used as a microcosm to formulate our
>    proper responses. We must not fall into the trap of shooting the
> messenger.
>    It is true that Gene's posting came from a website that some of us
> would not
>    deem as credible. Nonetheless, however, the description of the science
>    itself was accurate. Gracious behaviour on our part would be to thank
> Gene
>    for bringing this to our attention.
>    Lost in the noise is the essential conclusion of this piece of science,
> and
>    I am disappointed that this seems not to have been absorbed. We as a
> group
>    need to accept that one of our major genera of reef building corals has
>    sailed through previous climate changes with its skeletal architecture
>    intact. We either have to  accept that the recent declines are due to
> local
>    stresses,  or  we need to devise experiments to challenge the original
>    findings.
>    Mike
>    On Feb 1, 2017, at 3:00 PM, Pedro H. Rodríguez <[1]phernanrod at yahoo.com
> >
>    wrote:
>    Doug,
>    Thanks  for  checking the references provided to the list to support a
>    counter-argument. An apparent need for attention has, once again,
> disguised
>    as  someone's  "pushing the boundary" of the science with a fact-based
>    argument. This is a huge disservice to the List- many people not have
> the
>    time to check every claim that poses as a scientifically-based
> argument. As
>    a defense mechanism, some of us pay special attention to claims made by
>    frequently debunked offenders.
>    Best,Pedro
>    Message: 1
>    Date: Mon, 30 Jan 2017 11:20:08 -0500
>    From: Douglas Fenner <[2]douglasfennertassi at gmail.com>
>    Subject: Re: [Coral-List] Coral mortality in a warmer and acidified
>        ocean
>    To: Nicole Crane <[3]nicrane at cabrillo.edu>
>    Cc: Eugene Shinn <[4]eugeneshinn at mail.usf.edu>,
>        "[5]coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov" <[6]coral-list at coral.aoml.
> noaa.gov>
>    Message-ID:
>        <[7]CAOEmEkF34OUZHy2WWtY6=3opq5eX3TLhj+eybY4YJUun6ZODNw@
> mail.gmail.com>
>    Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
>    Well, all of the wording in Gene's message other than the article
> reference
>    was from the "CO2 Science" website, except where it quotes the
> article...
>    _______________________________________________
>    Coral-List mailing list
>    [8]Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
>    http://coral.aoml.noaa.gov/mailman/listinfo/coral-list
>    Risk, Michael
>    [9]riskmj at mcmaster.ca
> References
>    1. mailto:phernanrod at yahoo.com
>    2. mailto:douglasfennertassi at gmail.com
>    3. mailto:nicrane at cabrillo.edu
>    4. mailto:eugeneshinn at mail.usf.edu
>    5. mailto:coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
>    6. mailto:coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
>    7. mailto:CAOEmEkF34OUZHy2WWtY6=3opq5eX3TLhj+eybY4YJUun6ZODNw@
> mail.gmail.com
>    8. mailto:Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
>    9. mailto:riskmj at mcmaster.ca
> _______________________________________________
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> Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
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*Sean Beckwith, M.S.*
Geological Oceanography
University of South Florida - College of Marine Science
stbeckwith at mail.usf.edu

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