[Coral-List] Call to Action Re: New paper on coral bleaching in Science

Sarah Frias-Torres sfrias_torres at hotmail.com
Tue Jan 9 11:08:09 EST 2018

As Pogo says, "We have met the enemy, and he is us"

The recent Science paper (Hughes et al 2018; http://science.sciencemag.org/content/359/6371/80) shows a bleak global picture for coral reefs. We must stop burning fossil fuels if we want a future for coral reefs as we know them.

At this crossroads, we can either give up or keep fighting.

I choose to fight.

This is a Call to Action to those who still want to fight, against all odds, so coral reefs will have a future.

We have many strategies on the table. It's uncertain which strategy is going to work.

>From the angle of coral reef restoration, I call on the restoration community to work together, to share failures and successes and move towards large-scale restoration.

To the critics of coral reef restoration, I ask you to work with us. Don't just say: "this won't work". Give us constructive criticism, share your concerns with us. Is it a failure of the scientific process (validity of hypothesis testing) or is it an engineering concern (bringing the process to scale)?. The solution is very different in each case.

For everyone on this list, let's find ways to work together, from science to implementation, to communication, to everything in between.

It's all hands on deck now.

Sarah Frias-Torres, PhD

Twitter: @GrouperDoc
Science Blog: https://grouperluna.com/
Art Blog: https://oceanbestiary.com/
From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov <coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml..noaa.gov> on behalf of Mark Eakin - NOAA Federal <mark.eakin at noaa.gov>
Sent: Friday, January 5, 2018 12:07 PM
To: Coral Listserver
Subject: [Coral-List] New paper on coral bleaching in Science

For the first time, an international team of researchers has measured the
escalating rate of coral bleaching at locations throughout the tropics over
the past four decades. The study documents a dramatic shortening of the gap
between pairs of bleaching events, threatening the future existence of
these iconic ecosystems and the livelihoods of many millions of people.

"The time between bleaching events at each location has diminished
five-fold in the past 3-4 decades, from once every 25-30 years in the early
1980s to an average of just once every six years since 2010," says lead author
Prof Terry Hughes, Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef
Studies (Coral CoE).

“Reefs have entered a distinctive human-dominated era – the Anthropocene,”
said co-author, Dr C. Mark Eakin of the National Oceanic & Atmospheric
Administration, USA. "The climate has warmed rapidly in the past 50 years,
first making El Niños dangerous for corals, and now we're seeing the
emergence of bleaching in every hot summer."
For more, see the full paper at:

C. Mark Eakin, Ph.D.
Coordinator, NOAA Coral Reef Watch
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Center for Satellite Applications and Research
Satellite Oceanography & Climate Division
e-mail: mark.eakin at noaa.gov
url: coralreefwatch.noaa.gov
Twitter: @CoralReefWatch FB: Coral Reef Watch

NOAA Center for Weather and Climate Prediction (NCWCP)
5830 University Research Ct., E/RA32
College Park, MD 20740
Office: (301) 683-3320     Fax: (301) 683-3301
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“You would have to reject the “greenhouse effect” outright to conclude that
human activities pumping millions of tons of CO2 and other greenhouse
gases into the atmosphere every year are having little or no impact on the
earth’s climate. That is simply not a tenable position."
William K. Reilly, EPA Administrator under President George H.W. Bush,
June 18 2014
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