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

Steve Mussman sealab at earthlink.net
Tue Feb 7 14:18:06 EST 2017

Dear Mike,

I read "the freakin paper" and don't take issue with it, but the conclusions or "take home message" reached in the review by CO2 Science (to which Gene made reference) is another matter all together. That is what I'm objecting to.. As we have established, CO2 Science is a questionable source and therefore their assessment should be considered suspect as should anyone who repeatedly uses them in citations. To be sure that my interpretation of the paper was correct, I contacted the lead author of the study to determine if he agreed with CO2 Science's analysis of the paper and it appears that he clearly takes issue with their conclusions.  This is how he explained it to me: (I have his permission to quote) " . . . we have a proof that phylogenetic lineage of Acropora was stable through long period of radical changes of the seawater chemistry. We observe exactly the same biomineralization style (mostly physiological control), the same calcium carbonate polymorphism of the skeleton - all suggest  ability of this coral to adopt to the changes. HOWEVER, we are talking about Acropora, the richest coral genus of modern reefs - great biodiversity, also in the past. So actually we don't know how many individual species went extinct because of these seawater chemistry changes. Of course corals are threatened by contemporary climate change and associated pH levels. But the fossil record provides arguments, that if biodiversity is large enough, corals (like Acropora) may ultimately survive even pretty severe climate change. It's like bacterial potential to cope with antibiotics: millions will be killed but few will survive and will preserve genetic information of this lineage. To sum up, I think coral have potential to cope with climate change (Acrpora lineage lesson) but this does not mean that they will cope if changes are too drastic, too fast... "  As I see it, this is in line with all the science that I have read. I also think that the marine sciences have already clearly identified and prioritized the major threats involved. In my opinion, It's time we acted on it. 


Sent from my iPad

Sent from my iPad

Sent from my iPad

Sent from my iPad
> On Feb 6, 2017, at 8:37 PM, Esther Peters <estherpeters at verizon.net> wrote:
> 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, protozoan , 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.
> Esther
>> 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 perilous
>> times, when we scientists should all be on our best behaviour. Not only will
>> 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 your
>> shoulder, searching for excuses.
>> Don’t shoot the messenger. Do not allow your opinion of the messenger to
>> 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 maintained
>> its distinct skeletal biomineralization pattern for at least 40 My.” Those
>> environmental changes involved large swings in temperature and pH.
>> Arguments that the present rate of change is more rapid than those that came
>> 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 say-from
>> what? As a group, we have probably been aware that the most important thing
>> 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 realise
>> that absorbing the results of this work may shake some shibboleths, but that
>> is how science advances.
>> Instructions  outlining  how  to  emigrate  to  Canada  may  be  found
>> at [1]http://www.cic.gc.ca/EnGlish/immigrate/index.asp
>> Mike
>> On Feb 3, 2017, at 6:52 PM, Steve Mussman <[2]sealab at earthlink.net> wrote:
>> As  a scientifically literate non-scientist, the first thing I do when
>> examining new information is consider the source(s).  So while in this case
>> I don't advocate shooting the messenger, I certainly have the right to
>> question his motives especially considering the fact that this isn't the
>> first time he has chosen to cite a source which you have described as having
>> questionable credibility.  By accepting such sources we begin to legitimize
>> them. Next thing you know "alternative science" will creep into our lexicon
>> right along with "alternative facts".
>> Regards,
>> Steve
>> Sent from my iPad
>> Sent from my iPad
>>   On Feb 2, 2017, at 1:05 PM, Risk, Michael <[3]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][4]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][5]douglasfennertassi at gmail.com>
>>   Subject: Re: [Coral-List] Coral mortality in a warmer and acidified
>>      ocean
>>   To: Nicole Crane <[3][6]nicrane at cabrillo.edu>
>>   Cc: Eugene Shinn <[4][7]eugeneshinn at mail.usf.edu>,
>>      "[5][8]coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov"
>>   <[6][9]coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>
>>   Message-ID:
>>      <[7][10]CAOEmEkF34OUZHy2WWtY6=3opq5eX3TLhj+eybY4YJUun6ZODNw at 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][11]Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
>>   [12]http://coral.aoml.noaa.gov/mailman/listinfo/coral-list
>>   Risk, Michael
>>   [9][13]riskmj at mcmaster.ca
>>   References
>>   1. [14]mailto:phernanrod at yahoo.com
>>   2. [15]mailto:douglasfennertassi at gmail.com
>>   3. [16]mailto:nicrane at cabrillo.edu
>>   4. [17]mailto:eugeneshinn at mail.usf.edu
>>   5. [18]mailto:coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
>>   6. [19]mailto:coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
>>   7. [20]mailto:CAOEmEkF34OUZHy2WWtY6=3opq5eX3TLhj+eybY4YJUun6ZODNw at mail.gma
>>   il.com
>>   8. [21]mailto:Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
>>   9. [22]mailto:riskmj at mcmaster.ca
>>   _______________________________________________
>>   Coral-List mailing list
>>   [23]Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
>>   [24]http://coral.aoml.noaa.gov/mailman/listinfo/coral-list
>> Risk, Michael
>> [25]riskmj at mcmaster.ca
>> References
>> 1. http://www.cic.gc.ca/EnGlish/immigrate/index.asp
>> 2. mailto:sealab at earthlink.net
>> 3. mailto:riskmj at mcmaster.ca
>> 4. mailto:phernanrod at yahoo.com
>> 5. mailto:douglasfennertassi at gmail.com
>> 6. mailto:nicrane at cabrillo.edu
>> 7. mailto:eugeneshinn at mail.usf.edu
>> 8. mailto:coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
>> 9. mailto:coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
>> 10. mailto:CAOEmEkF34OUZHy2WWtY6=3opq5eX3TLhj+eybY4YJUun6ZODNw at mail.gmail.com
>> 11. mailto:Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
>> 12. http://coral.aoml.noaa.gov/mailman/listinfo/coral-list
>> 13. mailto:riskmj at mcmaster.ca
>> 14. mailto:phernanrod at yahoo.com
>> 15. mailto:douglasfennertassi at gmail.com
>> 16. mailto:nicrane at cabrillo.edu
>> 17. mailto:eugeneshinn at mail.usf.edu
>> 18. mailto:coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
>> 19. mailto:coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
>> 20. mailto:CAOEmEkF34OUZHy2WWtY6=3opq5eX3TLhj+eybY4YJUun6ZODNw at mail.gmail.com
>> 21. mailto:Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
>> 22. mailto:riskmj at mcmaster.ca
>> 23. mailto:Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
>> 24. http://coral.aoml.noaa.gov/mailman/listinfo/coral-list
>> 25. mailto:riskmj at mcmaster.ca
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