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

Pedro M Alcolado gmalcolado at gmail.com
Thu May 4 06:53:00 EDT 2017

Yes, thinking about the earth's past in the present context seems to
me distracting from the focus of the problem and inopportune.

On 5/2/17, Elizabeth Sherman <sherman at bennington.edu> wrote:
> Dear Ulf et al.,
> The rate of change of temperature in most of the earth's past is not
> particularly relevant because there were no people living then who would
> suffer as a consequence of global temperature change. That is not the case
> now. Moreover, the only *driver* of the increase in temperature  (the
> increase in total ocean heat content) is us and our CO2 emissions. My
> understanding is that no other driver of the change in the heat content of
> the ocean now has been identified other that us.
> Betsy
> On Tue, May 2, 2017 at 8:18 AM, Ulf Erlingsson <ceo at lindorm.com> wrote:
>> Richard,
>> What I am saying is,
>> 1) In the very recent past there were temperature changes more dramatic
>> than what is predicted to happen in the coming century,
>> 2) there were global transgressions more dramatic than what is predicted
>> to happen in the coming century,
>> 3) all now living coral species survived all of this, and they probably
>> have experienced many such events.
>> 4) Of course, many coral REEFS went from being barrier or fringing reefs
>> to becoming submerged reefs, but so what? New species take over.
>> Here is an article for you to start digging:
>> https://www.researchgate.net/
>> publication/230135618_A_jokulhlaup_from_a_Laurentian_
>> captured_ice_shelf_to_the_Gulf_of_Mexico_could_have_
>> caused_the_bolling_warming <https://www.researchgate.net/
>> publication/230135618_A_jokulhlaup_from_a_Laurentian_
>> captured_ice_shelf_to_the_Gulf_of_Mexico_could_have_
>> caused_the_bolling_warming>
>> The biggest upset was not to the corals, it was to the human
>> civilizations
>> that existed close to the sea. Many cities were buried, many
>> civilizations
>> went under and are only preserved in myths. What Plato writes about the
>> sinking of Atlantis is with high probability based on actual events, the
>> sinking of Dogger Bank in the North Sea around the year 8,200 BC as a
>> result of a global transgression punctuated by a megatsunami at a
>> critical
>> time when only a low island remained. However, the western seaboard of
>> Europe is full of accounts of sunken cities. Such myths abound around the
>> world. Some have suggested they have to do with psychology but they
>> don't;
>> they all reflect real events. How can I be sure? Because on the island of
>> Gotland that instead has risen from the sea, the creation myth talks
>> about
>> the island risking from the sea. And take the Lakota myth of the water
>> monster Unktehi that blocked the river and then let out all the water.
>> That
>> is just what the inland ice sheet
>>  did according to recent geological findings (around the year 14,600 BC).
>> A huge flood on the Mississippi is also recorded by Native American myths
>> further down river. And all of this is confirmed by geology; every ice
>> age
>> of our present ice age period (i.e. the last million years or so) has
>> created a separate canyon and submarine fan in the Gulf of Mexico,
>> accumulating miles of sediment (in thickness).
>> What do you think the inflow of all that glacial meltwater in less than a
>> year did for the corals in the Caribbean? You'd expect them all to be
>> dead
>> by now, wouldn't you? Each of those mega floods raised the global sea
>> level
>> by meters. Yet all the coral species living there naturally today
>> survived,
>> because there has been no migration over the Central American isthmus
>> since. The mega floods must also have plaid havoc with the circulation in
>> the Caribbean Sea. All societies founded on deltas and lowlands must have
>> been wiped out (except those with enough foresight to build a boat, like
>> Noah; speaking of which, the Biblical account of the deluge forms part of
>> these myths that tell the story of the last mega flood: It tells us that
>> the water rose by 15 cubits, i.e. around 7 meters, and that is in the
>> realm
>> of where geology says if was).
>> Now, returning to the issue of why corals are dying. The coral death
>> NOT YET HAPPENED. So even if the predictions are true, and even if they
>> would be unprecedented (which they are clearly not), it can still not
>> explain the coral decline already observed. THE ONLY REASONABLE
>> We don't have to point out which chemical and how it affects the cells.
>> It
>> is enough to take a geographical / geological approach and say, the last
>> 2
>> centuries the humans have released an ever larger number of completely
>> new
>> chemical species in the environment, many of which are sure to be very
>> toxic to at least some species, most of which is probably still unknown.
>> What goes up in the atmosphere gets mixed up in a matter of months or
>> years; what goes into the surface of the ocean gets mixed up in a matter
>> of
>> decades through the gyres; and what goes into the deep ocean gets mixed
>> up
>> in a matter of millennia through the thermohaline circulation. Most of
>> the
>> North American pollution reaches the Gulf Stream, and some circulates
>> back
>> to the Caribbean, another branch goes past Europe and sinks to become new
>> global bottom water, emerging in a thousand years or so in the eastern
>> Pacific from where it will then bathe the Pacific corals. Remember Silent
>> Spring? What happened to fresh
>>  water lakes and rivers back then also happens to the ocean, it just
>> takes
>> a lot longer time, but eventually all the hens will come home to roost.
>> What to do about it? Change paradigm, do as the European Union: Instead
>> af
>> allowing everything except what is banned, ban everything new until it
>> has
>> PRODUCTS. The U.S. law that allows ingredients to be secret is appalling
>> and mind-boggling.
>> Ulf Erlingsson
>> Lindorm, Inc.
>> http://lindorm.com
>> > On 2017-05-02, at 06:29 , Richard Plate <richarp33 at gmail.com> wrote:
>> >
>> > Ulf,
>> >
>> > I'm unclear about what you mean by "dramatic" in this context.  Are you
>> saying that we have geological records showing us climatic changes
>> similar
>> to the current changes in magnitude and rate of change that did not
>> result
>> in massive reduction of corals and other species?
>> >
>> > If so, could you direct me to a paper where I could read more about
>> > that
>> kind of comparison?
>> >
>> > I'm referring to this statement:
>> >
>> > "The hypothesis of those who warn of climate change seems to be that
>> > the
>> anthropogenic temperature changes at the present time are more dramatic
>> than anything in the past, and that they will lead to consequences that
>> are
>> unique. They seem to think that past changes were never that dramatic.
>> That
>> is where I beg to differ. In what we Earth Scientists call "Recent" time,
>> as late as a few hundred human generations ago, there were much larger
>> and
>> at least as dramatic changes according to the geological archive."
>> >
>> > Thanks for your help.
>> >
>> > -Richard
>> >
>> > On Fri, Apr 28, 2017 at 7:32 AM, Ulf Erlingsson <ceo at lindorm.com
>> <mailto:ceo at lindorm.com>> wrote:
>> > Doug,
>> >
>> > The hypothesis of those who warn of climate change seems to be that the
>> anthropogenic temperature changes at the present time are more dramatic
>> than anything in the past, and that they will lead to consequences that
>> are
>> unique. They seem to think that past changes were never that dramatic.
>> That
>> is where I beg to differ. In what we Earth Scientists call "Recent" time,
>> as late as a few hundred human generations ago, there were much larger
>> and
>> at least as dramatic changes according to the geological archive. And if
>> we
>> look at absolute temperatures, then it is disingenuous to compare to the
>> 19th or 20th century as a baseline, since that was the peak of the Little
>> Ice Age.
>> >
>> > Furthermore, after the existence of an Ice Age covering northern Europe
>> (Germany, Poland, Holland) had been convincingly shown by Swedish
>> geologist
>> Otto Torell in the 1860's, and it later was understood that there had
>> been
>> several, combined with the evidence of falling temperatures, science
>> started worrying about a new ice age. It was in that atmosphere (no pun
>> intended) that Swedish physicist Svante Arrhenius in 1896 calculated that
>> our emissions of greenhouse gases might actually prevent a new Ice Age.
>> >
>> > However, we still don't know for sure why the Ice Age happens, although
>> I have an idea which I have presented as a project on ResearchGate, which
>> has to do with ocean circulation, and if that is true, it is very
>> unlikely
>> that global warming can do more than delay the onset a little.
>> >
>> > But back to corals: I am convinced that the biggest issue is NOT global
>> warming, but POLLUTION.
>> >
>> > Ulf
>> >
>> >
>> > > On 2017-04-27, at 20:13 , Douglas Fenner
>> > > <douglasfennertassi at gmail.com
>> <mailto:douglasfennertassi at gmail.com>> wrote:
>> > >
>> > > Ulf,
>> > >     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 warming.
>> > >      Am I wrong about the geological societies?
>> > >     Cheers,  Doug
>> >
>> > also responding to this:
>> >
>> > > Ulf,
>> > >     My understanding is that climate science data supports the view
>> that the rapid increases in world temperature in recent decades has been
>> caused mostly by human emissions, while earlier, more gradual temperature
>> increases were caused mostly by natural processes (in spite of claims
>> that
>> we are in the beginning of a new ice age).  Both of these were present in
>> the graph John presented in his essay.  However, it seems unlikely to me
>> that corals either understand the causes of temperature increases, or
>> care
>> what those causes are.  Corals are impacted by temperature increases,
>> whatever the causes of those temperatures are, surely.  That includes
>> turning up the heat in aquaria in experiments.  So it seems to me that
>> John's graph of increasing temperatures IS relevant to the question of
>> whether corals in the Caribbean have been impacted by temperature
>> increases
>> or not, and I don't see the relevance of the question of what caused the
>> temperature increases, at least to the ques
>>  ti
>> >  on of impacts on corals.  The effect of increasing temperatures on
>> corals is a mechanistic thing, higher temperatures stress or kill corals.
>> Cause of temperature increase is irrelevant for that.
>> > >      That said, it is good to remind us of the broader processes over
>> geological time.  That could include the fact that present temperature
>> increases exceed those that have happened in a very long period of time,
>> well beyond the range of time you've referred to.
>> > > Cheers,  Doug
>> > >
>> >
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> --
> Elizabeth Sherman, Ph.D.
> Biology
> Bennington College
> website: http://faculty.bennington.edu/~sherman/
> *Save the world. Save a Coral.*
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