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

Risk, Michael riskmj at mcmaster.ca
Tue Feb 7 09:49:42 EST 2017

   Hi Esther.

   Always good to hear from you.

   We don’t let just anybody in. We like them to be tough, self-reliant, and
   immune to propaganda.

   Sometimes (often) to get away from things I walk through our forests. But
   those forests are not what they were-first, we lost the American Chestnut,
   back in the 40’s, to an imported blight. Then the Dutch Elm disease hit,
   wiping out magnificent old trees that caused Toronto to be called the Green
   City, because that was all you could see from the air. Then the Spruce
   Budworm, the Pine Beetle…and now there’s the Emerald Ash Borer, imported
   from the orient and spread by movement of firewood by ignorant people. (We
   have Ash >1m diam. that are now doomed.)

   Most of these are imports; all have their activity accelerated by global
   warming and humans. You may have a point. When I dove the Caribbean in the
   60’s  and  70’s I don’t recall ever seeing diseased corals, and Cliona
   delitrix was a rarity. Both of these phenomena are driven by nutrients.


   On Feb 6, 2017, at 8:37 PM, Esther Peters <[1]estherpeters at verizon.net>

   Thanks, Mike, for the immigration instructions....
   Which reminded me, what I think we are missing in the current global change
   crisis is not just the temperature and pH changes, but the "globalization
   change" that has brought about rapid mixing of species, from one ocean or
   continent to another that have been separated by geographic and geologic
   barriers for eons, by transportation via seas, skies, and roadways; the
   demand by humans to bring species to locations where they weren't previously
   found, either on purpose or accidentally. The result is they have escaped
   from our homes and businesses, or from bilge or ballast water, airplane or
   shipping cargo and baggage. They have been introduced into situations where
   they may conquer native species and alter ecosystems. And for every foreign
   macro-organism  that we can easily find in a new habitat, there may be
   associated microorganisms (viruses, bacteria, protozoa, algae, metazoans) as
   well, that may cause diseases or mortalities when they infect hosts that
   lack the immune responses to deal with them.
   I think this problem is also contributing to why organisms are not thriving
   where they once did, on top of the changing abiotic factors in our world.
   On 2/4/2017 9:15 AM, Risk, Michael wrote:

        Good day.
        Please  excuse me if I sound somewhat testy-as I said, these are
        times, when we scientists should all be on our best behaviour. Not only
        we thereby gain merit-some of you living in that nation which is about
     to be
        made great again (or not) need to realise there are people looking over
        shoulder, searching for excuses.
        Don’t shoot the messenger. Do not allow your opinion of the messenger
        cloud your appraisal of the message.
        Read  the freakin paper. It is free access. It clearly states Acropora
        “...has  not  only survived these environmental changes, but has
        its distinct skeletal biomineralization pattern for at least 40 My.”
        environmental changes involved large swings in temperature and pH.
        Arguments that the present rate of change is more rapid than those that
        before  are valid, but irrelevant to what I think is the central
     message: how
        did we get here?
        If we really want to save the reefs of today, we must be able to
        what? As a group, we have probably been aware that the most important
        we could possibly do is identify and prioritise the threats to reefs.
        We have yet to do this, which is a signal failure of the group. I
        that absorbing the results of this work may shake some shibboleths, but
        is how science advances.
        Instructions  outlining  how  to  emigrate  to  Canada  may  be  found
        at [1][2]http://www.cic.gc.ca/EnGlish/immigrate/index.asp
        On Feb 3, 2017, at 6:52 PM, Steve Mussman <[2][3]sealab at earthlink.net>
        As  a scientifically literate non-scientist, the first thing I do when
        examining new information is consider the source(s).  So while in this
        I don't advocate shooting the messenger, I certainly have the right to
        question his motives especially considering the fact that this isn't
        first time he has chosen to cite a source which you have described as
        questionable credibility.  By accepting such sources we begin to
        them. Next thing you know "alternative science" will creep into our
        right along with "alternative facts".
        Sent from my iPad
        Sent from my iPad
          On Feb 2, 2017, at 1:05 PM, Risk, Michael <[3][4]riskmj at mcmaster.ca>
          Hi Pedro (Doug, Gene).
          These are perilous times, with science seemingly under threat from
          and societies increasingly polarized. This is especially true of the
          It is increasingly important to all of us on this list that we stick
          science. Gene's scientific credentials should need no repeating to
          this list. He also performs a valuable although sometimes annoying
          by posting items that cause us to think, or cause our hair to catch
          This recent exchange I think can be used as a microcosm to formulate
          proper  responses.  We  must not fall into the trap of shooting the
          It is true that Gene's posting came from a website that some of us
          deem as credible. Nonetheless, however, the description of the
          itself was accurate. Gracious behaviour on our part would be to thank
          for bringing this to our attention.
          Lost in the noise is the essential conclusion of this piece of
          I am disappointed that this seems not to have been absorbed. We as a
          need to accept that one of our major genera of reef building corals
          sailed  through  previous  climate  changes  with its skeletal
          intact. We either have to  accept that the recent declines are due to
          stresses,   or  we need to devise experiments to challenge the
          On    Feb    1,    2017,   at   3:00   PM,   Pedro   H.   Rodríguez
          <[1][4][5]phernanrod at yahoo.com>
          Thanks  for  checking the references provided to the list to support
          counter-argument.  An  apparent need for attention has, once again,
          as   someone's   "pushing  the boundary" of the science with a
          argument. This is a huge disservice to the List- many people not have
          time to check every claim that poses as a scientifically-based
          a defense mechanism, some of us pay special attention to claims made
          frequently debunked offenders.
          Message: 1
          Date: Mon, 30 Jan 2017 11:20:08 -0500
          From: Douglas Fenner <[2][5][6]douglasfennertassi at gmail.com>
          Subject: Re: [Coral-List] Coral mortality in a warmer and acidified
          To: Nicole Crane <[3][6][7]nicrane at cabrillo.edu>
          Cc: Eugene Shinn <[4][7][8]eugeneshinn at mail.usf.edu>,
             "[5][8][9]coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov"
          <[6][9][10]coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>
             <[7][10][11]CAOEmEkF34OUZHy2WWtY6=3opq5eX3TLhj+eybY4YJUun6ZODNw at ma
          Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
          Well,  all  of the wording in Gene's message other than the article
          was from the "CO2 Science" website, except where it quotes the
          Coral-List mailing list
          [8][11][12]Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
          Risk, Michael
          [9][13][14]riskmj at mcmaster.ca
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        Risk, Michael
        [25][27]riskmj at mcmaster.ca
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   Risk, Michael
   [55]riskmj at mcmaster.ca


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