[Coral-List] Anonymous postings and temp changes

Sheppard, Charles Charles.Sheppard at warwick.ac.uk
Tue Jun 18 09:27:36 UTC 2019

Shielding behind anonymity can perhaps be acceptable if there is good cause.  Maybe this post has good cause.   This one said sea temps in PNG show no upward trend and Gene added “More people should look into the question the way this person did. Gene’.

OK then: Of the half dozen mostly or totally complete runs that I have analysed this year so far from Chagos atolls in the central Indian Ocean, all show (best fit linear) rises between .21 to .52 deg C since 2006 depending on whether they are ocean facing reefs that experience upwelling, or are in lagoons with different degrees of ponding etc.  They all also document the massive marine heat waves that do much of the damage.  These results have been published elsewhere in fact.

With those PNG results though, it was not clear whether the trends derive from a series thousands of data points long, just a couple of dips of a thermometer, or something between.  For PNG and parts of the coral triangle, it is clear that many reefs remain vibrant, and there are several ideas of differing credibility of why this is the case.  While no warming for one site is lovely for that site and may be perfectly correct, it does not negate the point that so many now have rising temps with increasing marine heat waves.  

It is sad if some have been made to feel suppressed or shy about reporting different trends.  I have also experienced huge pressures to say what is not true about this or that site.  So I do have sympathy, but where a site behaves inconveniently or differently to the majority, let’s hear more about it.  It might help reefs if we can figure out why.

Best wishes
Charles Sheppard

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