[Coral-List] Carbon offsetting and slowing down

Eugene Shinn eugeneshinn at mail.usf.edu
Tue Jun 11 16:00:04 UTC 2019

      To clarify my position on climate change as requested by Steve 
Mussman, yes I know there is climate change. All geologists know we have 
experienced climate change since the beginning of time. My only concern 
is the present change (it may be going down now) may not be caused by 
“human created” CO2.That is the major question. Through geologic time we 
had many climate/temperature changes and Co2 fluctuated up and down as 
shown by carbon and oxygen isotopes in Pleistocene ice cores. CO2 came 
from natural sources back then because humans were not around. And don’t 
forget fluctuations in the suns radiation and effects on incoming cosmic 
rays that are affected during periods of sunspots. Cosmic rays likely 
influence cloud formation that affects temperature. It is interesting 
that ice core data shows temperature peaked a few hundred years before 
CO2 levels peaked. Should it not be the other way around? As one 
well-known climatologist has pointed out. “You can’t tax the sun”

Earths temperature leveled off after 1940 and by the early 1970s there 
was fear we were headed toward another ice age. At the same time CO2 
levels continued to rise. Why was that?

In 1966, (the work was actually done between 1960-1962) I published a 
small paper on Staghorn coral (/A. cervicornis/) that I transplanted 
from a prolific growth near the outer reef (Grecian Rocks). One colony 
that I transplanted to 6 ft. of water near shore bleached when water 
temperature reached 33.8 degrees C.(The term bleaching had not yet been 
invented) When water temperature subsided back to the same range as at 
Grecian Rocks the coral regained its zooxanthellae and resumed growth.By 
February a cold front dropped near shore temperature down to 13.3 C and 
the coral died. This simple experiment explained why Staghorn coral does 
not grow near shore in the Florida Keys.

Shinn, E.A., 1966, Coral growth rate, an environmental indicator: 
Journal of Paleontology, v. 40, no. 2, p. 233-240.

In 1991, Barbara Lidz and I published a paper showing the effect of sea 
level rise in the Florida Keys and why corals had become established 
where they did. The paper also included maps showing where shorelines 
would be if sea level rose 1 meter. A 1 m rise would put 75% of the land 
in the keys under water.Few people paid any attention. If we published 
the same paper today there might be panic in the Keys and property 
prices might plummet.

Lidz, B.H., and Shinn, E.A., 1991, Paleoshorelines, reefs, and a rising 
Sea (South Florida): Journal of Coastal Research, v. 7, no. 1, p. 203-229.

I hope this background explains my caution in jumping on the climate 
bandwagon at this time. Been there done that. Gene


No Rocks, No Water, No Ecosystem (EAS)
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E. A. Shinn, Courtesy Professor
University of South Florida
College of Marine Science Room 221A
140 Seventh Avenue South
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
<eugeneshinn at mail.usf.edu>
Tel 727 553-1158
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