Not as bad as they thought: Coral can recover from climate change damage

From a University of Exeter press release, another inconvenient truth about our planet sure to be denounced by some who claim that global warming is irreparably damaging reef systems.

A study by the University of Exeter provides the first evidence that coral reefs can recover from the devastating effects of climate change. Published Monday 11 January in the journal PLOS One, the research shows for the first time that coral reefs located in marine reserves can recover from the impacts of global warming.

Scientists and environmentalists have warned that coral reefs may not be able to recover from the damage caused by climate change and that these unique environments could soon be lost forever. Now, this research adds weight to the argument that reducing levels of fishing is a viable way of protecting the world’s most delicate aquatic ecosystems.

Increases in ocean surface water temperatures subject coral reefs to stresses that lead quickly to mass bleaching. The problem is intensified by ocean acidification, which is also caused by increased CO2. This decreases the ability of corals to produce calcium carbonate (chalk), which is the material that reefs are made of.

Approximately 2% of the world’s coral reefs are located within marine reserves, areas of the sea that are protected against potentially-damaging human activity, like dredging and fishing.

The researchers conducted surveys of ten sites inside and outside marine reserves of the Bahamas over 2.5 years. These reefs have been severely damaged by bleaching and then by hurricane Frances in the summer of 2004. At the beginning of the study, the reefs had an average of 7% coral cover. By the end of the project, coral cover in marine protected areas had increased by an average of 19%, while reefs in non-reserve sites showed no recovery.

Professor Peter Mumby of the University of Exeter said: “Coral reefs are the largest living structures on Earth and are home to the highest biodiversity on the planet. As a result of climate change, the environment that has enabled coral reefs to thrive for hundreds of thousands of years is changing too quickly for reefs to adapt.

“In order to protect reefs in the long-term we need radical action to reduce CO2 emissions. However, our research shows that local action to reduce the effects of fishing can contribute meaningfully to the fate of reefs. The reserve allowed the number of parrotfishes to increase and because parrotfish eat seaweeds, the corals could grow freely without being swamped by weeds. As a result, reefs inside the park were showing recovery whereas those with more seaweed were not. This sort of evidence may help persuade governments to reduce the fishing of key herbivores like parrotfishes and help reefs cope with the inevitable threats posed by climate change”.

###

Professor Mumby’s research was funded by National Environment Research Council (NERC) and the Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation.

Reef facts

  • A coral reef is made up of thin layers of calcium carbonate (limestone) secreted over thousands of years by billions of tiny soft bodied animals called coral polyps.
  • Coral reefs are the world’s most diverse marine ecosystems and are home to twenty-five percent of known marine species, including 4,000 species of fish, 700 species of coral and thousands of other plants and animals.
  • Coral reefs have been on the planet for over 400 million years.
  • The largest coral reef is the Great Barrier Reef, which stretches along the northeast coast of Australia, from the northern tip of Queensland, to just north of Bundaberg. At 2,300km long, it is the largest natural feature on Earth.
  • Coral reefs occupy less than one quarter of one percent of the Earth’s marine environment, yet they are home to more than a quarter of all known fish species.
  • As well as supporting huge tourist industries, coral reefs protect shorelines from erosion and storm damage.

To download high quality reef videos by Professor Peter Mumby: www.reefvid.org

The main funding for the research came from Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation and the Natural Environment Research Council.

The Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation (www.livingoceansfoundation.org) is dedicated to conservation and restoration of living oceans and pledges to champion their preservation through research, education and a commitment to Science Without Borders®.

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135 thoughts on “Not as bad as they thought: Coral can recover from climate change damage

  1. During the last glaciation, the Great Barrier Reef was at least 200 feet above sea level and deader than a doornail. It recovered.

  2. Coral reefs have been on the planet for over 400 million years.

    And now little ol’ mankind is the massive threat that can destroy them? We are so powerful that we can do what 400 million years of everything else couldn’t do?

  3. First it’s the urchins, now it’s the parrot fish, with no mention of the urchins.
    Then it’s fishing, with no mention of fish poop that corals eat, and no mention that parrot fish and other herbivores are not a target species.
    Then the fact that marine reserves are the choice spots, no one makes a reserve out of a crappy area to begin with.
    And no mention of all the studies that too many fish, poop too much, and can kill a coral reef. Without herbivores like urchins to eat it, the poop creates hot spots, cyano and algae take over and kill the reef.

    and on and on and on

    Just once I would like to see some “scientist” that actually knows what they are talking about, get funding.

  4. “Coral reefs have been on the planet for over 400 million years.”

    A little longer than that – about 500 million

    Of course the climate has always been “normal” up until now.

    Of and of course, “but it’s changing faster now”

    Nope, it’s changed faster before, just ask a dinosaur

  5. So, let me get this straight:

    If we merely prevent fishing in the reefs, we can expect the reefs to recover from the damage of global warming?

    This sounds a lot like, if we merely prevent hunting, we can expect the polar bear to recover from the damages imposed by global warming?

    So, instead of imposing billions of dollars of taxes on the economies of the world, does it not make better sense to simply ban hunting and fishing in sensitive areas until things settle down?

    Oh for sure, there will be the locals that suffer. Do you suppose they would accept payments equivalent to their entire income from hunting and fishing in
    lieu of the hunting and fishing? Wouldn’t that be cheaper than shutting down all power plants in, say, North America?

  6. They made it through the Holocene, The Medieval, the LIA, so

    sure, that can make it through the Gore effect.

  7. OK finally something I know about and this is pure gibberish and just an anti fishing attempt. Parrotfish are not fished for or harvested, they EAT CORAL for gods sake -not bait. They excrete the coral as sand over the reef and are beneficial. I have seen and fished for 40 yrs in Florida and the Bahamas and not once have I ever seen or heard of anybody hooking a parrotfish. These guys should watch Discovery or National Geo. sometimes.

    Woods Hole recently also did a paper on coral and shellfish and increased amounts of CO2 – they loved it and grew bigger shells until about 2800 ppm which I don’t think is an issue – good article but they still try and spin it at the end with effects at 2800 ppm. Not sure where I found it but I’m sure its available over there.

    Still cold as hell in Florida – my Natural Variation of Scienctists Index poppped up big today as the first printed mention of “Mini Ice Age” is in Prof Latif’s article, thought it would take longer for big guy other than Antoney

  8. “OK finally something I know about and this is pure gibberish and just an anti fishing attempt.”

    Of course it is Egg.

    If you don’t touch it, fish on it, drive a boat over it, dive on it, look at it, or pee on it,
    it will grow back.

    Truth is, it will all grow back any way.

  9. “During the last glaciation, the Great Barrier Reef was at least 200 feet above sea level and deader than a doornail. It recovered.”

    Yep. Even more tellingly, the Great Pyramids are older than the Great Barrier Reef. Coral both grows at very high rates (6″ per year linearly for the principal reef builders) and propagate sexually sending spores long distances to establish new colonies. They’re largely immune to warming, all it would do is extend their ranges to higher latitudes.

  10. When youare diving one of the most prominent noises under water is the constant scraping noise of parrot fish eating coral. I have never seen or heard of a parrot fish eating seaweed. They may scrape some algae with the polyps that they like. They are, however, netted quite frequently in the far Eastern world.

  11. Bad CO2 bleaching the coral due to ocean acidification. What isn’t said is the fact that the ocean pH has HUGE daily swings due to photosynthesis in daylight and shut down at night that makes the CO2 portion nothing but background noise.

    I don’t understand how researchers can ignore the daily pH variation and claim that CO2 is increasing the ocean pH dangerously.

    “Alkalinity in the ocean depends substantially on the plankton balance in which the pH results from autotrophs (plants) using hydrogen ions and driving the pH up, while decomposers return hydrogen ions, thus driving the pH down. The daily rhythm can amount to 0.4pH units (250%), and the difference between estuaries and the open sea as much as 1-2 units (1000-10,000%). It is important to keep this in mind, as one can find healthy calcification in shells in these conditions. When seas become eutrophied (overnourished), they also become more acidic due to high levels of decomposing bacteria and their work. Particularly coastal seas show this.”

    http://www.seafriends.org.nz/issues/global/acid.htm

  12. Not sure what fishing apparatus is used by commercial fishing operations in the warm seas and oceans around coral reefs, but dragging gear and use of otter trawls does considerable damage to the banks fishing grounds off the eastern coast of Canada and North America, tearing up the bottoms and corals in their path. This paper does not give enough information as to what exactly is causing the tropical reef damage in fished areas, and there is a complete disconnect between the discussion of dissolved CO2 and marine protected areas or reserves. What a bunch of non-sequiturs: its like a press-release by someone with the attention span of a minnow. Or perhaps that’s how they gauge public understanding?

  13. CO2 is part of an equilibrium which cannot affect itself by the free protons (acidity) that it produces. Just not happening! Further more, warmer water means lower solubility for calcium carbonate and more stable structures. This study is flawed as it ignores the reports from around the world that coral reefs have been growing at higher rate for the last 30 years and they love higher CO2 as it pushes the equilibrium towards calcium carbonate deposition.

    Unfortunately this paper leans heavily towards accepting the idea of global warming, which is not happening, and acidification, which to date has not been significant in any way and within normal ranges. Photosynthesis during the day can take pH up to 10 in bays and estuaries and less so in reefs.

    Much hogher CO2 is the norm for this planet – the Cliffs of Dover were not built under conditions of low CO2. COral reefs are currently effectively starving for CO2; this also says that acidification is a total non-issue with them.

    What is completely ignored in these studies is that these organisms can adapt or be replaced by species more appropriate for the conditions, while the displaced species find places to survive in the mean time.

    C Higley, Biochem/Marine Biol

  14. Coral evolved back in a non-glacial epoch, with CO2 and tempratures significantly higher than thay are now.

    The notion that regression back to that original environment would be bad for coral has always struck me as bogus.

  15. The basic food supply of corals is sun light and CO2 as they are symbiots, plant and animal colonies. They also feed on plankton, plant and animal. They are not all calcium carbonate structured although reefs are accumulations of cemented coral debris and shells, mostly calcium carbonate. Living reefs are a biomass collection point in the sea and heavy harvest of shell fish, fish and coral as well material dredging can badly effect the total of life supporting biomass in the local area and cause die back of nearby untouched reef. Protected areas recolonize and regenerate quite quickly.

  16. SEA RISE CLAIMS IN COPENHAHEN BOGUS – so says Britain’s Met Office

    CLIMATE science faces a major new controversy after Britain’s Met Office denounced research from the Copenhagen summit that suggested global warming could raise sea levels by more than 1.8m by 2100.
    The studies, led by Stefan Rahmstorf, professor of ocean physics at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany, have caused growing concern among other experts. They say his methods are flawed and that the real increase in sea levels by 2100 is likely to be far lower than he predicts.
    Jason Lowe, a leading Met Office climate researcher, said: “We think such a big rise by 2100 is actually incredibly unlikely. The mathematical approach used to calculate the rise is completely unsatisfactory.”
    The new controversy dates back to January 2007 when Science magazine published a research paper by Professor Rahmstorf linking the 17cm rise in sea levels from 1881 to 2001 with a 0.6C rise in global temperature over the same period.
    Professor Rahmstorf then parted company from colleagues by extrapolating the findings to 2100. Based on the 17cm increase that occurred from 1881 to 2001, Professor Rahmstorf calculated that a predicted 5C increase in global temperature would raise sea levels by up to 188cm.
    Critic Simon Holgate, a sea-level expert at the Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory, Merseyside, has written to Science magazine, attacking Professor Rahmstorf’s work as “simplistic”.
    “Rahmstorf’s real skill seems to be in publishing extreme papers just before big conferences like Copenhagen, when they are guaranteed attention,” Dr Holgate said.
    Most of the 1881-2001 sea-level rise came from melting glaciers that will be gone by 2050, leaving the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets as contributors. But contributions of these sheets to date has been negligible and researchers say there is no evidence to show that will change in the way Professor Rahmstorf suggests.
    Professor Rahmstorf said he accepted many of the criticisms. “I hope my critics are right because a rise of the kind my work predicts would be catastrophic,” he said.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/sea-level-theory-cuts-no-ice/story-e6frg6so-1225817853987

    (It gets worse and worse)

  17. Long ago in my youth I spent many hours studing and skindiving over the reefs of Luzon and Oahu.

  18. Jack Simmons (17:19:57) :

    So, let me get this straight:

    If we merely prevent fishing in the reefs, we can expect the reefs to recover from the damage of global warming?

    This sounds a lot like, if we merely prevent hunting, we can expect the polar bear to recover from the damages imposed by global warming?

    So, instead of imposing billions of dollars of taxes on the economies of the world, does it not make better sense to simply ban hunting and fishing in sensitive areas until things settle down?

    The premise is that damage to the reefs is due to global warming.  However, if we protect the reefs from the effects of fishing the damage is reversed.

    Call me crazy, but why hasn’t someone postulated that the reefs are getting sick due to the effects of fishing?

    Mike Ramsey

  19. Looks like a really poor article to me, or maybe a poor writeup from the U of E. As mentioned above this one phrase, “Coral reefs have been on the planet for over 400 million years” kills the “warming is killing the corals!” argument.

    If they’ve been here for 400+ mil yrs then they’ve seen more warming and more cooling and more acid and more sea level variation than anything seen today.

  20. This is old news here in aus, where the threat of global warming on the reef systems was dismissed. Even the main vocalist for AGW damaging the reef (a queensland professor – i think a professor, and I can’t remember the name), had to back track after the area he was studying, having declared it dead by AGW, made an amazing full recovery.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090423100817.htm

    Even the Guardian, heaven forbid, commented on the reefs recovery – the reporter was no doubt shot after this slip up and a review of the editorial process initiated.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/apr/22/coral-barrier-reef-australia

    Thinking out loud….If AGWarming is now AGCooling, is ManBearPig, now PigBearMan.

  21. No wait, this “research” says global warming is no big deal vis coral reefs. They will recover, unless the seas boil, of course.

    So is this another rat scrambling down the hausers away from the sinking ship? With bows and apologies, for gosh sakes? Or what?

    I don’t know how to interpret “science” any more. What are Mumby’s political affiliations? How is this “research” related to the aspirations of the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia? I don’t think it makes sense, in this case, to check the data or the number crunching. Data are superfluous. It’s more important to deconstruct the “meaning” of post-normal science.

  22. They invent their own version of truth in their imagination….

    It’s always the same story: Fragile ecosystems, irreparable harm, unspeakable catastrophe.

  23. Not as bad as they thought:

    Translation: when we said, last week with great certainty, that coral reefs will fizz into oblivion due to ocean acidity, this week we have to admit that we did not know what we were talking about. However, we are still convinced that, given enough time, our original prognostications will come about, real soon now.

    Another shot in the acid wars is a horror movie from the Natural Resources Defense Council, narrated by Hollywood celeb, Sigourney Weaver.

    http://www.nrdc.org/oceans/acidification/aboutthefilm.asp

    For a bit of objectivity, SPPI has just published a monograph by Craig Idso, supported by over 150 peer reviewed references, showing that the situation is far from dire.

    http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/originals/acid_test.html

    Here is the final paragraph from the conclusions: “… if there is a lesson to be learned from the materials presented in this document, it is that far too many predictions of CO2-induced catastrophes are looked upon as sure-to-occur, when real-world observations show such doomsday scenarios to be highly unlikely or even virtual impossibilities. The phenomenon of CO2-induced ocean acidification is no different. Rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations are not the bane of the biosphere; they are an invaluable boon to the planet’s many life forms.”

    Ocean acidity is the new CO2.

  24. Let’s do a little thought experiment. Let’s say I go to the store and buy two fish tanks and outfit them with the proper uv lights and heater, fill the tanks with fresh water with the chlorine removed and add the perfect amount of salt. I do this in order to grow two of the same, delicate coral specimens in perfect health in this artificial environment.

    Then I take my arm and cover it with sun screen. I then dunk my sunscreen covered arm in one of the tanks. Don’t you think that one coral specimen would have a problem surviving?

    I’ve been to swimming pools where fifty camp kids cover themselves with sun screen and then dunk themselves in a swimming pool. After a half an hour another fifty kids come along and cover themselves with sun screen and dunk themselves in the pool. This goes on all afternoon. By three o’clock the pool is so thick with sun screen you don’t even have to put any on, just dip yourself in the pool.

    Blaming warming for coral bleaching keeps us from finding the real problem.

    My family is from St. Thomas. When I was a child in the late 60′s, the beach near my grandmother’s house was full of urchines and fish and coral. When I went back in the 80′s the urchines and fish and coral were mostly gone. The late 70′s is when every one started using sun screen. Also, there were more motor boats. It had nothing to do with warming.

    Blaming warming for coral bleaching keeps us from finding the real problem.

    One can wear a hat and a big white shirt at the beach instead of sun screen.

  25. The researchers conducted surveys of ten sites inside and outside marine reserves of the Bahamas over 2.5 years.

    Professor Mumby’s research was funded by National Environment Research Council (NERC) and the Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation.

    Professor Mumby discusses his research with his graduate student – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FwTeYSuE0nA&NR=1

  26. Something to take note of, folks. The SO2 out gassing contunues from Nyamuragira volcano in D.R. Congo. As this graphic shows, the plume is currently the largest SO2 plume on the planet. What is interesting is the placement of it. The volcano is practically right on top of the equator. This is an area where the impact of SO2 on solar radiation reaching the surface has the greatest impact.

    The volcano is difficult to observe directly and I am not finding any current information on the daily SO2 flux but judging from that graph and the graph of the past several days, it seems significant.

    So we have two situations at the same time going on. We have significant snow cover over the Northern Hemisphere which increases the albedo and we have a significant amount of SO2 being dumped into the atmosphere in equatorial Africa. This might be an “interesting” spring.

  27. Richard (18:30:47) :
    Professor Rahmstorf then parted company from colleagues by extrapolating the findings to 2100

    There’s your problem right there.

    “Extrapolating”

    This seems to be the main factor for the IPCC and in all AGW. Extrapolating theories and then applying the extrapolation to computer models.

    Green House gas theory
    CO2 /I.R. theory
    Ocean acidification theory.
    Cloud theory
    Sun activity theory.
    etc etc etc theory.

    Great Barrier Reef degradation is Bulldust See this link

  28. Totally agree Mike D, the damage this has done to confidence in science is becoming irreparable. Instead of analysising the facts and data, you check backgrounds, whose payroll, what football team they support?

    Mann, Jones and Santer et all, have destroyed public opinion in science – who isn’t getting fed up with the tit for tat arguments….. it’s warming, it’s cooling, ice is thinning, it’s thickening, the reefs are dying, they’re doing fine….. the politicising and lobbying…… does anybody do actual science anymore for intellectual benefit?

    The only way I can see of solving this crisis is the prosecution of the said “scientists” in the court of law rather than the internal investigations which will amount to f-all.

  29. Australia’s Barrier Reef also shows unexpected resilience. See Prof. Peter Ridd “Scientists ‘crying wolf” over coral”, Jamie Walker, The Australian, December 19, 2009. Ridd shows that a string of reef panics have proved groundless. This is in sharp contrast to much-publicised alarmist claims especially by Prof. Ove Hoegh-Guldberg. See also pieces about the Reef on the net by Walter Starck, another critic of Reef(er) Madness and serial alarmism.

  30. You just have to look at the Great Barrier Reef also. Whereas many marine biologists (including the ultimate marine hysteric Charlie Veron) were shouting out the end of the reef by 2010 at the turn of the last decade due to increasing ocean temperatures. The Barrier Reef is (to the surprise of many) is doing quite well and appears largely resistant to warming oceans. After all the ocean temperatures in the Reef can vary several degrees just from LaNina/ElNino anyhow. Threats to the reef don’t come from CO2, they come from tourism, extreme weather (ie cyclones) eutrophication, siltation and oil spills.

    So rather than research funds going into reducing the amount of nutrient and sediment on reaching the oceans, we’re spending all this money on mindless number-crunching and modelling in desparation to try and prove something that isn’t there…CO2 as the primary driver of global climate.

  31. From what I can find, the “Super El Ninos of first of 1982/1983 followed by 1997/1998 completely wiped out the the Coral of the Galapagoes Islands. Sustained high temperatures in the sea water accomplished the “foul deed”
    Recently migration from another colony has started a Coral colony there again.
    The Greatr Barrier Reef suffered about 25 % damage from the 1997/1998 El Nino
    and followed by Las Ninas in 2002 inflicting great damage on the great Barrier reef. Seems Coral exists best in a narrow temperature range. There were two more El Ninos in the 2000/2009 decade to correspond to damage on the Great Barrier Reef.
    The carrier recently scuttled off the Florida Keys was, according to the spokesman, intended to give divers a more attractive target than the Coral.

  32. There is a great deal of nonsense talked about global warming and coral reefs. Coral bleaching and die off along the Great Barrier Reef is often cited as evidence. However the cause is almost certainly agricultural runoff. The second largest coral reef, here in Western Australia, Ningaloo Reef, shows no sign of coral bleaching or die off, but that is because there is no agriculture along that part of the WA coast and hence no runoff.

  33. The nonsense that corals, which have been extant for hundreds of millions of years, cannot handle a fraction of one degree change in water temperatures is one more silly example showing the desperation of the CO2=CAGW believers.

    Skeptics say: prove it. Or, at least show strong empirical evidence that an increase in a tiny trace gas causes widespread coral extinction.

    But of course, the AGW crowd is incapable of proving anything of the sort. Natural coral bleaching occurs routinely — and the coral recovers just as quickly.

    Recent observations of coral bleaching have predictably resulted in the AGW crowd instantly assigning absolute blame for coral bleaching on human emitted CO2 as their conclusion, when instead they should be investigating all possible causes and effects with open minds. But jumping to unwarranted conclusions is a hallmark of the AGW contingent.

    Climate science to climate alarmists is analogous to astronomy to astrologers.

  34. When modern species of corals began to appear, CO2 levels were at least 5x higher than today’s levels.

  35. This quote from the article borders on the insane.

    In order to protect reefs in the long-term we need radical action to reduce CO2 emissions. However, our research shows that local action to reduce the effects of fishing can contribute meaningfully to the fate of reefs.

    You gotta love that all-too-predictable and politically-correct proviso about that demon CO2 and that ephemeral villain called “climate change.”

    And I agree with Vigilantfish, this paper has more that its share of non-sequiturs.

    Interestingly, and, as if through a distant memory regardless of years of brainwashing vis-a-vis the CAGW cult, these researchers, remembering their scientific training from years ago add a “HOWEVER”…with a big fat grain of truth following.

    FACT: Thanks to colossal industrial fishing and reduction-fishing techniques, the level of commercial overfishing in the worlds oceans…is disastrous.

    And, thanks to the country of China, this includes sharks.

    Surviving five mass extinctions through their 450-million-year reign as the kings of the ocean, and evolving only slow reproduction abilities thereto, large sharks, for the first time ever, have a grave predatory threat. And its name is homo sapiens.

    This upset of the balance of top predators in the oceans…is sending CASCADES throughout the oceanic food web.

    This cascade shows up well in the noted imbalances on the coral reef areas (i.e. this paper)… and in explosions of opportunistic species (such as the cownose rays that just wiped out the North Carolina bay scallop fishery in 2004)… and in the profusion of simple, primordial, and biologically DE-volved blooms such as algae and jellyfish.

    And while NOAA and everyone else has their panties in a wad about the myth of ocean acidification and CAGW….real [and reversible] oceanic disasters, are staring them in their blind faces.

    And let’s not blame just China, either. The good ole’ US of A houses corporations like Omega Protein who are raping the oceans of the low-end staples for most predator-fish in the Atlantic: such as the menhaden.

    It burns me up that so little attention is paid to the the problem of industrial overfishing, because, on one side, the elder-Bush-started Omega Protein, like Monsanto, or any other giant corporation, does what it does, BECAUSE IT ******** CAN!

    And on the other side, Al Gore and his cronies can’t make any money off industrial overfishing like they can putting “non-green” businesses (and thus mom-and-pops) out of business through CO2 credits and cap-and-trade….so they DO NOTHING.

    Either way, both sides ignoring the issue, because it does not make them or their corporations any money, is reprehensible.

    Fishing is fine. [I love seafood].

    But we as a species have let huge corporations HIJACK exclusive access to the “free” product in the seas.

    The imbalance created from mechanics of industrial OVERfishing including that of large predator fish, such as sharks, is a DIRECT contributor to the stress of the ocean…and those seen in some coral reefs.

    True….the coral reefs will recover from the stress.

    But there is no reason…WHATSOEVER…that our evolved and literate species, should add to that stress.

    And, unlike the BS of CAGW or the myth of ocean acidification, this is at least an addressable, if not solvable, problem.

    But somebody, somewhere, is going to have to NOT see dollar signs to make it happen.

    http://www.sharkwater.com

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  36. Australia’s Barrier Reef also shows unexpected resilience. See Prof. Peter Ridd “Scientists ‘crying wolf” over coral”, Jamie Walker – david elder (19:57:29) :

    I heard a piece on ABC radio some weeks ago by Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg (who has been living off the imminent death of the Great Barrier Reef for decades) to re-assure us that the GBR would soon be in its death throes and that Peter Ridd, although well meaning didn’t know what he was talking about and was not qualified as a marine biologist anyway.

    True to ABC form, Peter Ridd was not given the opportunity to respond.
    This is the reference David Elder was referring to:

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/scientists-crying-wolf-over-coral/story-e6frg6xf-1225811910634

  37. “Coral reefs have been on the planet for over 400 million years.”

    A rather misleading statement which should be shot down by any reasonable geologist.

    Rugose and Tabulate corals may have been around 400 million years ago but they all died out at the End Permian extinction. All modern corals are Scleractinia which only appeared in the Triassic about 220 million years ago.

    It may be a minor thing but it is like lumping dinosaurs in with mammals and trying to claim some sort of exceptional longevity as a result.

  38. Smokey (20:57:02) :
    I could not agree more with that analysis.

    Thank you Smokey. You gotta wonder. Where is Joel Shore or anybody from RC on this issue. Where is the outrage??

    Nay…they have their heads buried in the troposphere, trying to detect a warming fingerprint (good luck!) while the real world (and its real villains) passes them by.

    Regardless, I remain optimistic. Rational minds WILL prevail. This site is evidence of that.

    All the best,

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  39. Actually Phillip B 20:30:07 the NIngaloo reef is insulated by cold currents from the south.

    http://www.wamsi.org.au/news-and-events-news/changing-wind-and-waves-affect-ningaloo

    “Professor Pattiaratchi said the ecology of the Ningaloo Reef system was closely linked to water motion, which transported and dispersed vital materials such as nutrients and larvae. For example, Ningaloo reef has not experienced coral bleaching because of southerly winds, which bring colder water to the reef which acts as an insulator.”

  40. “Parrotfish are not fished for”

    I beg to differ. They are quite tasty.

    Perhaps not commercially fished, maybe.

    One thing about diving on the reef is the noise of constant pecking by Parrot fish. But diving areas are generally non-fishing areas, so you just have to sit and watch the little buggers.

    The Great Barrier reef is estimated at over 8,000 years old. If you take the ice-core studies at face value, that means they have seen higher and lower temperatures than today, so they must be able to get through it.

    For what it is worth, I would like to see more reef areas protected, particularly in parts of asia where the local tourist operators like to throw rubbish overboard, and drop their anchor anywhere on the coral. They don’t even realise they are killing their own industry.

  41. Also – it is abundantly clear from reading the above report that the WUWT conclusions are pretty much the opposite to the conclusions drawn by the researchers.

    And finally:
    A site detailing decline of parrotfish due to fishing in the cook islands:

    http://www.spc.int/coastfish/Countries/CookIslands/MMR/7Somespecies/Parrotfish.htm

    oh loook a recipe on Waitrose (a British Supermarket suggesting they stock it)

    http://www.waitrose.com/recipe/Parrot_Fish_with_Calypso_Sauce.aspx

    Just to counter some random claims above that parrotfish don’t get fished.

  42. Three Britons charged over €3m carbon-trading ‘carousel fraud’

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/jan/11/eu-carbon-trading-carousel-fraud

    “Last month, the European police agency Europol reported that the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) had fallen victim to fraudulent trading activities over the past 18 months, worth €5 billion for several national tax revenues.

    It estimates that in some countries, up to 90% of the whole market volume was caused by fraudulent activities.”

    Four charged with carbon trading fraud in Belgium

    http://www.risk.net/energy-risk/news/1585509/four-charged-carbon-trading-fraud-belgium

    Four charged with carbon trading fraud in Belgium

  43. I would love to dine upon a gourmet dinner of parrotfish.

    That does not take away…in any shape, fashion, or form…of the bigger-picutre problem of disastrous (and it is disastrous) overfishing in general (but especially of the apex variety) that is a DIRECT contributor to the stress of the oceans today.

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USa

  44. Apparently reef-building coral has only been around for the past 25 million years, however back then CO2 levels were also around 500ppm and the temperature was globally at least 3 degrees Celsius warmer than it is now, so the argument that current conditions will cause damage are questionable, at best

  45. Turns out everyones right……except the guys who did the study. From the
    National Geographic site

    “Their meat is rarely consumed in the United States, but is a delicacy in many other parts of the world. In Polynesia, it is served raw and was once considered “royal food,” only eaten by the king.” Also;

    “There’s its diet, which consists primarily of algae extracted from chunks of coral ripped from a reef. The coral is pulverized with grinding teeth in the fishes’ throats in order to get to the algae-filled polyps inside. Much of the sand in the parrot fish’s range is actually the ground-up, undigested coral they excrete.”

  46. Hey “save the sharks” chris; nice rant! though I’m not sure what sharks have to do with alge and jelly fish. Always looking for new knowlage.

  47. Comment by: ” John A (17:04:11) :

    Another tainted study paid for by fossil fuel funded disinformation companies.”
    —————————————————————–

    … and your proof of this is????

    This type of selective thinking appears to be, any study that supports global catastrophe must be true, BUT any study that supports it’s not so bad, must be a faulty study from an oil company…

    This double standard isn’t very logical thinking.

  48. does what it does, BECAUSE IT ******** CAN!

    I disagree. They do it because they can make money at it. Apparently there is great demand for their product. If people didn’t buy it, they would stop wasting the money required to make it.

    The problem comes in when you attempt to pass laws that are designed to “protect” people against their own stupidity. The notion behind that is “you are too stupid to understand what is good for you so I am going to pass laws to keep you from hurting yourself”. It is a very patronizing approach. An alternative is education. Make the people less stupid. Passing a law that prevents “This Big Corporation” from doing something simply enables “That Little Corporation” to become “A Little Bigger Corporation” or causes them to move offshore out of the reach of the jurisdiction passing the law.

    And “international law” isn’t an option because the people who promulgate international laws aren’t responsible to anyone. You can’t vote the UN out of office.

    You are also incorrect in your assertion that the elder Bush had anything to do with Omega Protein. OP was started by Zapata in the 1980′s. George HW Bush sold out his stake of Zapata in 1966. Bush had no interest in Zapata or Omega Protein. You are redistributing “urban legend”.

  49. p.g.sharrow “PG” (22:45:02) :
    Hey “save the sharks” chris; nice rant! though I’m not sure what sharks have to do with alge and jelly fish. Always looking for new knowlage.

    Thanks for the response.

    Sharks have been apex predators over a majority of the earth’s surface for nearly a half a billion years. That is through…incredibly…five mass extinctions.

    Removing the apex predators (through overfishing) disrupts eons and eons of stasis and relative symbiosis in the oceanic food web.

    This can lead to catastrophic disruption and even failure.

    When the apex evolved predators are removed, the less evolved, primordial, and less-desirable opportunistic species, like jellyfish, and even poisonous algae blooms, take over.

    Think of it as a quantum step BACK in evolution.

    Glad to hear you are open to hearing new stuff.

    It is amazing that we never hear the typical “environmental” cronies….Gore….Holdren…etc. talk about this.

    Answer….there is no money to be made off the subject.

    They would rather concentrate on some ivory-tower ephemeral idea of CO2 “pollution”, at the expense of the real world.

    Meanwhile….the “real world” continues to play out in real time.

    GRRRRRR…..

    PS…..if you are looking for new knowledge….take some time to view Sharkwater. Besides being a font of good information….it is a utterly beautiful work. A masterpiece, really.

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  50. I’m not amazed at how the environment can compensate for significant changes. After all it it didn’t there would be no life on this planet. Yet AGW alarmist are yelling the end of the world is coming simply because CO2 is gone from about 0.03% to about 0.04% now and 0.06% in many years to come (perhaps). How dumb can they get?

  51. crosspatch (22:53:51) :

    [I said] “….does what it does, BECAUSE IT ******** CAN!”

    crosspatch (22:53:51) said “I disagree. They do it because they can make money at it.”

    Uhhhh. Isn’t that pretty much the same damn thing???

    “It is a very patronizing approach. An alternative is education. Make the people less stupid.

    And I don’t disagree with that…at all!

    “You are also incorrect in your assertion that the elder Bush had anything to do with Omega Protein. OP was started by Zapata in the 1980’s. George HW Bush sold out his stake of Zapata in 1966. Bush had no interest in Zapata or Omega Protein. You are redistributing “urban legend”.

    The zapata-omega connection is in no way an urban legend.

    However, you are correct in pointing out my mistaken (now that I look at it) quote “the elder-Bush-started-Omega Protein”.

    However again, my point is that the special interests on both sides are geared towards profit….and not necessarily the best interests for the environment they live in, or the planet they live on.

    As one who voted for the elder Bush and the younger Bush both times (not my proudest moment), I concede that the blame is to be spread across both aisles.

    And I can assure you bro…that, even though Zapata did not necessarily contribute to Omega directly, the climate of that corporation made a ripe breeding ground for the current monster we have before us an its name is Omega Protein.

    Perhaps there are some other wonderful corporations in the same vein that should deserve mention here and i won’t name any names….MONSANTO.

    The point being, and nevertheless, after my pretty damn good layout of the problem in that post, if, in besides your pointing out my technical error (which I concede), in light of the REAL truth of the problems of disastrous (and I mean DISASTROUS) overfishing….then, instead of just offering reactive, carte blanche criticism, you might benefit from the irrefutable bedrock of my post.

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  52. crosspatch (22:53:51) :

    [I said] “….does what it does, BECAUSE IT ******** CAN!”

    crosspatch (22:53:51) said “I disagree. They do it because they can make money at it.”

    That is a red herring.

    Did you ever stop to think that…the reason they can make money at it is because they can do it legally (regardless if it is right or wrong)?

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  53. Omega Protein produces fish meal. The main use for fish meal is for fish food (and cat food but fish food is the primary use). The US was in 2004 the fifth largest producer. OP operates mostly in the Gulf of Mexico. If the US passes a law, they just move to Mexico (or Peru or Chile and get the same fish someplace else).

    What would you suggest as an alternative for fish meal to make into fish food for such things as farmed trout, salmon, and catfish? Why not develop an alternative feed?

    I have a problem with people whose answer to something is a negative. “Stop them from doing this!”, yet offer no alternative path. How do you keep fish farmers in business if you can’t get fish feed? If the fish farmers are out of business then you must harvest more of the fish farther up the chain. It is like squeezing a water balloon. Sure, it sounds emotionally appealing until you start to think it through. Once you begin to look at the larger picture, the overall “system” involved, things get a little more difficult then they appear on the surface.

  54. Now, this research adds weight to the argument that reducing levels of fishing is a viable way of protecting the world’s most delicate aquatic ecosystems.

    Reducing the levels of fishing with cyanide or dynamite is certainly a viable means of protecting it.

    Think somebody might want to clue in the folks who live on all those atolls “threatened by rising sea levels”…?

  55. A scientist at UEA dusting off his reputation in case the gathering storm of opprobrium engulfs him and removes his funding! Or am I being overly cynical?
    ‘Sceptic’ has become such a sneering, derisory term when uttered by the CAGW faithful that I felt I shoud check my dictionary. Yep, a sceptic is ‘not easily convinced’, according to my newish Compact Oxford English Dictionary, purchased at the end of 2009. In my view, owning a sceptical mindset should be required of every budding scientist and selected for as through rigorous testing before each one is accepted to begin their university courses of study.
    Any graduate scientist found to have lost their scepticism and to be ‘cherry-picking’ data to support a theory and therefore not being at all sceptical of the concepts they promote should be drummed out of their profession and retrained in something useful, such as manning a garbage truck or driving a snow plough. And any politician pursuing an agenda by shouting down ‘sceptics’ should be immediately removed from office and fined to the point of real and convincing financial pain.
    Society has always had snake-oil salesmen who prey uypon the non-scpetical, the percentage of whom in the general population are increasing through state education systems around the world which seem designed to dissaude people from questioning the current perceived wisdom and killing off the natural curiosity every child is equipped with that demands to know how the world works.
    Any form of carbon trading is a variation on the age-old snake oil scam; worse, it is closely allied to the concept of selling indulgences which Martin Luther so vigorously opposed during the Medieval period.

  56. Les Francis (19:34:19) comments on applying extrapolation to computer models call for a witty Ronald Searle type cartoon, ” Breakthrough technology, the Climate Science extrapolating machine.”

  57. Like many posters above I am extremely doubtful whether this Professor Mumby has EVER dived on a coral reef. If he had, he would have heard the grinding and crunching of parrotfish eating coral all day long – their mouth has modified teeth which form an impressive ‘beak’ designed to strip the surface of the coral and digest the living material within it. ALL of the sand on a coral reef is derived from parrotfish voiding ground up coral. Finally, I cannot recall ever seeing anything I would describe as a ‘seaweed’ on a coral reef, and I never saw a parrotfish eat anthing but CORAL. Parrotfish are NOT simply vegetarian – they eat the living polyps and the algae within the coral

  58. One wonders how the ocean ‘acidification’ alarmists can explain how corals, molluscs and echinoderms managed to survive the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods (only a 100 my or so ago) when estimated CO2 concemtrations were 4 or 5 times higher than current values and seas were much warmer; or the even higher CO2 levels in earlier periods.
    In his university text book, New Views on an Old Planet: A history of global change’, Professor T.H.Van Andel (University of Cambridge) comments that CO2 actually has been gradually declining in the air and ocean waters because it is removed by natural weathering processes on land. It is now at its lowest concentration for 300 my. ‘Eventually there will not be enough (CO2) left to sustain photosynthesis and life on earth will come to an end’. Food for thought?

  59. How many hundreds of millions of years is it going to take warning scientists to figure out that Carbon is the basis of Life on Earth?
    For all those who are tired of living on a planet that boasts carbon-based Life, please get on over to your broker and enter the Cap & Trade Sweepstakes.
    The lucky winner will get a one-way trip to Pluto.

  60. Google: “coral reef discovered”

    The 1.6 million results will keep you busy for a while.

    Bob Diaz (22:51:48) :

    Comment by: ” John A (17:04:11) :

    Another tainted study paid for by fossil fuel funded disinformation companies.”

    The sarcasm, often exquisite, at the beginning of a thread here is sometimes lost on infrequent visitors. We often use the /sarcasm anchor for just this reason.

  61. Not only can coral recover from climate change ‘damage’, they can largely recover after atomic bomb tests.

    “Five decades after a series of nuclear tests began, we provide evidence
    that 70% of the Bikini Atoll zooxanthellate coral assemblage is resilient
    to large-scale anthropogenic disturbance.”
    more…. (PDF)
    “Coral is again flourishing in the crater left by the largest
    nuclear weapon ever detonated by the United States, 54 years after the
    blast on Bikini Atoll, marine scientists reported…”
    more…
    “Half a century after the last earth-shattering atomic blast shook the
    Pacific atoll of Bikini, the corals are flourishing again. Some coral
    species, however, appear to be locally extinct.”
    more…

  62. photon without a Higgs (19:22:44) :

    Cold records still being broken in US from Texas to Florida.

    NOTE: red dot for record heat continues to show up at Roswell, New Mexico, at the Municipal Airport.

    Obviously the space aliens don’t care for cold weather. They used their UFO heaters to keep it warm.

  63. As mentioned earlier it would seem that it is man’s other activities such as hunting and fishing that affected the polar bears and corals. AGWers like to point to global warming for any adverse effects without asking themselves “could there be any other cause?”

    After over 400 million years corals are still here despite being subjected to much warmer periods, much higher levels of CO2, much higher sea level rises, much lower sea level rises, more acidic oceans, high levels of man-made radiation and so on and so on. Just restrict destructive fishing practices and corals will be here long after we are all gone.

  64. crosspatch “Omega Protein produces fish meal. The main use for fish meal is for fish food (and cat food but fish food is the primary use).”

    More accurately….the oils from the fish are used in cosmetics, linoleum, health food supplements, lubricants, margarine, soap, insecticide, and paints. The meal is in pulverized and shipped out as cat and dog food, farmed fish food, and most of all, food for large commercial farms of poultry and pigs.

    “The US was in 2004 the fifth largest producer. OP operates mostly in the Gulf of Mexico.”

    No, not just the Gulf. Omega Protein also controls the second-largest grossing fishing port in the US (in tonnage). It is located in tiny Reedville Virginia on the Chesapeake Bay.

    The Chesapeake Bay is the spawning grounds for the Atlantic species of Menhaden. Virginia is the only state still which still allows purse seining of the animal within its waters. (Maryland has not allowed such since the 1950s).

    Omega Protein regularly stripmines the Virginia waters of the Chesapeake Bay and the offshore Atlantic Ocean of this important staple food for so many other important species such as the striped bass, and this has caused cascades through the oceanic foodweb, in some cases the collapse of once plentiful fisheries altogether.

    http://www.chesbay.org/

    http://www.pbs.org/now/shows/229/net-losses.html

    Also, a fascinating read: “The Most Important Fish in the Sea”, by Rutgers prof. Bruce Franklin.

    Moreover, the Chesapeake Bay is also one of the most stressed large bodies of water in the world, menhaden, like oysters, are filter feeders. Need i say more there?

    “If the US passes a law, they just move to Mexico (or Peru or Chile and get the same fish someplace else).”

    Reduction fishing industries worldwide are contributing to the world-wide depletions of other fish stock.

    It just so happens that the menhaden spawns in United States waters.

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  65. What would you suggest as an alternative for fish meal to make into fish food for such things as farmed trout, salmon, and catfish? Why not develop an alternative feed?

    Soybeans

  66. “I have a problem with people whose answer to something is a negative.”

    Yeah. i have a problem with that too, like the way you are are being rather negative with the logic of my posts…

    “I have a problem with people whose answer to something is a negative. “Stop them from doing this!”, yet offer no alternative path. How do you keep fish farmers in business if you can’t get fish feed?”

    That is quite the strawman, crosspatch. I usually respect your intense logic, but you are off base here.

    Never in my posts was I talking about putting fish farmers out of business. (Heh heh….but you know the poopy dangers of eating farmed fish…so I prefer that caught in the wild).

    Regardless,that has absolutely nothing to do with the main talk here of the industrial OVERfishing disaster…which is causing ripples through the food web.

    You wanna know why Omega Protein has a virtual monopoly on harvesting this tiny oceanic staple (and not soybeans) for all these products???

    Because its free! They don’t have to pay a dime for the supply.

    But It costs money to grow soybeans…and Omega is too cheap for that kind of venture.

    “If the fish farmers are out of business then you must harvest more of the fish farther up the chain.”

    So you propose solving a problem, with another problem? I don’t get your logic here and i think you are just trying to be argumentative.

    The MAIN problem here….the MAIN causation DIRECTLY attributed to HOMO SAPIENS: Overfishing the natural supply which has caused depletion, and in some cases, collapse. This cascades through the food web and may be stressing the coral reefs as well.

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  67. @Alexander
    please could you leave good ppl ot of the debate.
    If we didnt have rubish collectors or snow plow drivers, we would be in more Sh*t and wouldnt be able to go anywhere.
    Thanks.
    Z.

  68. crosspatch (00:27:46) : “It is like squeezing a water balloon. Sure, it sounds emotionally appealing until you start to think it through.”

    I have a non-emotional assignment for you:

    Watch: The End of the Line

    Watch: Sharkwater

    Watch: Check out the Maryland PBS documentary A Fish Tale

    Talk with Maryland lifelong fisherman and fisheries scientist Jim Price a little bit. http://www.chesbay.org

    You want a technical conversation on Chesapeake Bay fisheries and their stresses?? Give him a call.

    Read Bruce Franklin’s book.

    And after you have done all that, offer your opinion again and see if it has changed.

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  69. crosspatch (00:27:46) : “Once you begin to look at the larger picture, the overall “system” involved, things get a little more difficult then they appear on the surface.”

    Really?? You think?? (LOL)

    Uh huh and if you take the time to read the contents of my posts….that is EXACTLY what is being said throughout!

    Thanks for reinforcing my point and I could not agree more.

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  70. savethesharks (05:32:32) :
    “What would you suggest as an alternative for fish meal to make into fish food for such things as farmed trout, salmon, and catfish? Why not develop an alternative feed?”
    Soybeans

    Opening line from Melville’s epic novel of those intrepid New England soybean whalers:

    “Call me Fishmeal.”

  71. “””Richard Tyndall (21:10:14) :

    “Coral reefs have been on the planet for over 400 million years.”

    A rather misleading statement which should be shot down by any reasonable geologist.

    Rugose and Tabulate corals may have been around 400 million years ago but they all died out at the End Permian extinction. All modern corals are Scleractinia which only appeared in the Triassic about 220 million years ago.”””

    Not misleading Richard.
    The point is, they still used calcium carbonate.
    When CO2 levels were many times higher.

  72. Here is some correspondence on corals that I have had with Dr. Kim Cobb (Realclimate contributor) http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/12/kim-cobbs-view/)

    On Jan 4, 2010, at 4:05 PM, Don & Selina wrote:

    1) When did massive corals first evolve?
    A -Massive reef-building corals of the type that I use for climate reconstruction probably arrived on the scene in the Triassic, about 220 million years ago.

    2) What was the atmospheric CO2 concentration at this time?
    A -Hard to say definitively, but our best guess is something between 2x to 10x present-day (pre-industrial) CO2 levels. This increase was caused by an active tectonic phase which released large amounts of CO2 to the atmosphere.

    3) What was the Global temperature at this time?
    A -Much harder to say, but there is evidence for crocodiles near the Arctic circle, which means temperatures were from 10-15C warmer near the poles. The tropics are harder to pin down – estimates are from 0-4C warmer.

    4) What was the ocean pH at this time?
    A -I do not know of any direct estimates of ocean paleo-pH. However, if I were to guess, I’d say that the pH was probably near what it is today, because the ocean has a huge buffering capacity on those long timescales, involving the dissolution of sedimentary carbonate lining the ocean floor. Probably someone has thought more about this, but I’m not directly aware of that body of work.
    Hope that’s a start.
    Thanks,
    KIM

    Interesting- particularly the last answer as it suggest significant ocean acidification is very unlikely. Bear in mind Kim Cobb is a coral “expert”

    http://shadow.eas.gatech.edu/~kcobb/research.html

  73. It’s very easy for coral reefs to recover from the damage caused by “global warming.”

    Coral reefs like warming.

    Coral reefs like rising sea level.

    Coral reefs even like CO2.

    I took the liberty of modifying the CO2 vs calcification rate plots from Ries et al., 2009. Rather than trying to divine some sort of trend from the data, I just plotted the range calcification rates for each species at each CO2 level tested to see how much CO2 pushed the calcification rate below the “normal” range.

    Coralline Red Algae had significantly higher calcification rates at 606 and 903 ppmv than at 409 ppmv CO2. At 2856 ppmv the range of calcification rates was almost exactly the same as 409 ppmv.

    Temperate Coral exhibited no significant changes from 409 to 903 ppmv CO2. It’s calcification rate did decline from 903 to 2856 ppmv.

    Of course, Ries’ experiment essentially tossed marine species into radically different CO2 environments with no time to genetically adapt and Ries also assumed that a generally linear decline in aragonite saturation would occur in response to elevated CO2 levels. Maybe Dr. Ries slept through his paleontology and historical geology courses… The fossil record is chock full of Jurassic- and Cretaceous-aged critters with aragonitic shells. Atmospheric CO2 in the Jurassic and Cretaceous ranged from 1000 to 3000 ppmv.

  74. Jimbo (04:05:03) : That´s the best example how microscopic are human endeavours on planet earth…perhaps watching downwards to his own big belly navel makes Al Baby believe the contrary.☺

  75. Eggsuckindog (17:28:34) :

    OK finally something I know about and this is pure gibberish and just an anti fishing attempt. Parrotfish are not fished for or harvested, they EAT CORAL for gods sake -not bait. They excrete the coral as sand over the reef and are beneficial

    Indeed, and this very sand is the reason why coral islands exist. The coral reef itself would never be habitable since only parts may be exposed during low tide. It is thanks to this sand together with wave action that these sandy coral atolls are able to stay some two meters above sea level. This same process will help maintain these islands during sea level rise. The Maldives will not drown if only the inhabitants would let this natural process take its course.

  76. Michael (22:19:30) :
    “Macro-economic inflationary pressures and the potential collapse of the carbon credit market are two emerging risks in 2010, according to Lloyd’s of London’s 360 Risk Insight.”

    http://www.canadianunderwriter.ca/issues/ISArticle.asp?aid=1000353924

    From that article:

    On the subject of cutting CO2 emissions, Golding said he is concerned carbon credits are being packaged into increasingly complex financial products — similar to the “shadow finance” around subprime mortgages — that triggered the recent economic crash.
    “As recession slashes output, companies pile up permits they don’t need and sell them on,” 360 quotes Golding as saying. “The price falls, and anyone who wants to pollute can afford to do so. The result is a system that does nothing at all for climate change but a lot for the bottom lines of mega-polluters.”

    Great, now a meltdown triggered by carbon trading. The silver lining is it could hit Big Al. but he’s probably shorting knowing it’s all a big lie.

    More Headlines | Top of Page

  77. Haven’t seen anyone above point to a flaw in the author’s argument: They say that the reef was hurt by “bleaching” due to CO2 acidification, but also Hurricane Frances. The flaw is that they do not quantify the importantance of the two factors—–maybe the bleaching was 10% and the hurricane 90% causal for the damage, or vice versa. Or maybe the bleaching was barely important at all. They also do not quantify how much “fishing” is going on at the poor recovery sites. Also, do they assess whether coral better adapted to CO2 acidification are replacing the old stock–either due to selection of mutations within the old stock or invasion by exotic variants?

    All that is established by the article is that fishing in the region of a reef disturbs its equilibrium toward more grasses and less coral and that this may be reversible if fishing is limited.

    KW

  78. @Kwinterkorn (07:53:19)

    The bleaching events that are often associates with strong El Niño’s occur because the rapid warming of seawater forces the reef to change out its symbiotic zooxantheallae. This is a very temporary phenomena and reefs recover rapidly.

    Hurricanes tend to knock chunks of coral off the reef; often dumping the chunks into deep water. The reef chunks dumped into deep water do not recover. The “holes” in the reef do recover over varying time periods.

    In the Coral Triangle the bulk of the damage is from one of the favored methods of fishing in the area…

    Destructive fishing not only contributes to over-fishing, it also destroys the habitat on which exploited fish depend. Blast fishing, either with home-made or industrial explosives, is perhaps the best known example of destructive fishing. Other examples are bottom trawling, fishing with poisons, and fishing with certain kinds of fish traps.

    The Nature Conservancy

    Coral reefs do not like explosives.

  79. Therefore we may now surmise that savethesharks (aka Chris of Norfolk VA USA) is running in the lead to be a founder of People for Sustainable Techniques of Offshore Fishing for Food (PST-OFF).

    The cats would like to point out that the first three ingredients of their Alley Cat dry food are ground yellow corn, corn gluten meal, and soybean meal. Then the animal products start, with ocean fish meal being number six, followed by tuna meal. This suggests to them that the fish is providing certain essential proteins not found in the first three, and if soybeans could replace the fish meal then the maker would likely have already done so to save money.

    They were also wondering what ingredient number nine, animal digest, could possibly be, but decided they’d rather not know.

  80. OT, but it is the equivalent of global warming causes extreme cold weather

    http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Longer_growing_season_cuts_tree_CO2_intake_999.html :

    Western U.S. sub-alpine forests will soak up less carbon dioxide than they do now as the climate warms and growing seasons lengthen, a university study found.
    As a result, more of the so-called greenhouse gas will be left to concentrate in the atmosphere, the study by researchers at the University of Colorado in Boulder indicated.

    “Our findings contradict studies of other ecosystems that conclude longer growing seasons actually increase plant carbon uptake,” said Jia Hu, who conducted the research as an ecology and evolutionary-biology graduate student.

  81. PST-OFF. I like that acronym. Yeah I checked with a couple of cats I know and they have confirmed your suspicion.

    However, it is not cats that put stress on the demand for menhaden.

    It is the industrial poultry, pork, and even beef industries that are spiking the huge demand.

    Last time I checked…
    Chickens – Herbivores (some omnivorous traits)
    Pork – Omnivores
    Cows – Herbivores

    Why do the industrial animal farms use ground up fish?

    Answer: It is cheap. Rather: Cheap cheep cheep….

    I realize I am OT from coral reefs here, but since I have been throwing out documentaries….watch Food Inc..

    This is the best expose on the industrial food business yet. And you might want to watch it on an empty stomach.

    Again….why do they do it…and get AWAY with it? Because they ******* can!

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  82. Bill Tuttle (06:13:07) : Opening line from Melville’s epic novel of those intrepid New England soybean whalers: “Call me Fishmeal.”

    Nice!

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  83. Very interesting. Does the University of Exeter intend to continue supporting AGW fraud by making false claims about the potential of CO2 to cause ocean acidification.

    Even if CO2 increased by 20+ times, as it has in the past, it still would not cause ocean acidification and would in-fact still only be a trace gas even at 7000-8000 ppm. The fact is that no amount of CO2 in the atmosphere can cause oceanic acidification because the oceans are buffered against acidification by the ocean floor. The University of Exeter knows this of course but it is far too busy conspiring to commit AGW fraud to admit it.

    The most interesting part of this article to me is the information on who is funding this research. What a surprise, its big oil again. The Kahled bin Sulten Living Oceans Foundation is a front for Saudi oil interests. The claim that they are committed to ocean conservation through a commitment to Science Without Borders® should be ringing alarm bells for truth seekers and freedom lovers.

    “Science Without Borders” sounds a lot like “Governments” without borders or “Taxes” without borders, the same kind of rhetoric that we saw at the Copenhagen summit which turned out to be nothing more than a NWO push towards Global border-less Government, an attempted global power grab by none other than the Rothschilds no less.

    The most interesting statement to come out of Copenhagen was from David Mayer de Rothschild when he said that is was proving very hard to activate global governance.

    http://www.disclose.tv/action/viewvideo/35275/Rothschild_regrets_Global_Governance_tough_to_acti/

    When you have a Rothschild, who’s family have and still do, profit from both sides of every war since Napolean, (a family who’s hands are literally wringing with blood and which already control more than half the worlds wealth), talking about global governance then it really is time to start paying attention.

    Let us all be warned that the fraud which is AGW, has nothing whatsoever to do with climate and everything to with world government. Let us not forget that Adolf Hitler himself was a Rothschild and this family have been responsible for most of the suffering that the people of the world have had to endure at least as far back as the battle of Waterloo. So when you see one of these disgusting genocidal money grubbing filth, publicly speaking about global governance, it is time to stop whatever it is you are doing and turn towards these parasites with the nit comb.

    Saudi Prince Kahlid bin Sultan, trained at Sandhurst Military Academy is yet another Rothschild lackey, as are all the Royalty and nobility throughout the world. Most of the economic entities currently throughout the world such as the Federal Reserve, the Bank of England and the World Bank, are Rothschild controlled organisations. So if we hand them global governance on a plate we are all going to be in serious trouble.

    These intergenerational Nazi’s who have funded and profited from every blood bath in modern history have a final solution planned for the ordinary human inhabitants of this heavenly planet. That final solution has many names. More recently it has been referred to as SUSTAINABILITY, ENVIRONMENTALISM and more ominously DECARBONISATION. But this final solution will be more recognisable to most if I use the more traditional and familiar terms of population reduction or more accurately mass genocide.

    If the Rothschilds become the official rulers of the world they will most definitely set about their agenda to exterminate 80% of the worlds human population. AGW has been a key factor in this agenda and was intended to provide the global border-less taxation system needed to fund a global border-less government. The exposure of AGW fraud and the collapse of the Copenhagen summit, revealing this agenda of world government should come as a stark warning to the people of the world. We must pay more attention in future. These people operate through an intergenerational agenda. These blood soaked elitists must be completely and continuously marginalized and their nefarious agenda loudly exposed, otherwise we nor our future generations will ever be safe.

  84. No doubt about it, field work is the most reliable form of scientific study. Suntans! Frostbite! Months alone with the natives and mother nature! How can anyone call themself an environmental scientist who’s never been in the elements? The very least that those who dribble in computer programs and simulations can do is move to Siberia or Northern Greenland and do their calculations in a Gulag environment. I understand the menu is quite basic.

  85. Meanwhile back in (not so) sunny Norfolk UK, global warming COULD be responsible for the remains of an Octopus washed up on a local beach:

    A washed up octopus on a north Norfolk beach could be a sign of global warming – or just a quirk of the currents.

    The common octopus is normally found in the warmer waters off the south coast of England, but a diver recently discovered the battered remains of one at Salthouse.

    Helen Nott from the nature recording site NorfolkSeaquest said: “I have occasionally found the native, smaller curled octopus washed up at Cley and Heacham, but this is a first for me.”

    The larger common octopus could mature to a length of just over one metre, double the size of the curled one, and was identified by having two rows of suckers on each tentacle.

    The find at Salthouse, near Cromer, was confirmed by a marine biologist at Great Yarmouth Sealife Centre, where displays organiser Christine Pitcher said the discovery, along with finds of other warm water creatures such as sun fish and turtles around the East Anglian coast could be a sign of global warming – with animals going farther afield into new areas as seas changed temperature.

    But they could also be the result of creatures being carried by currents – particularly as the octopus was a bit “mangled” and could have been dead for a while.

  86. @Yonason (“Poor Little Things”):

    Of course, they couldn’t resist the obligatory reference:


    Ms Alamaru suggests the discovery reveals not only a food source for the large mouthed coral but also potential further benefits in a changing environment, where due to climate change and anthropogenic disturbances, jelly blooms are increasing in frequency and intensity.

  87. The problem is that I hear a lot of emotional claptrap but not seeing anything of any real substance. Linoleum is made of linseed oil, not fish oil and as far as I know, no fish oil is used in the manufacture of linoleum. (the “lin” in linoleum is from “linseed”). Every time I look into your claims, I find they aren’t true and they seem like emotional hot button rhetoric.

    Are we overfishing the seas? I would say so. We (humans) tend to over-harvest any resource. Would passing a US regulation change that? Probably not. The companies would simply move. And the problem with “world regulation” in general is that those responsible for them are not responsible to anyone else.

    I don’t know what the solution is but I have a good idea of what the solution shouldn’t be. It shouldn’t be about more authoritarian government interference.

    Find a replacement and champion that replacement material.

  88. Well just what is the evidence that proves that it is in fact climate change that is destroying the coral reefs while we watch.

    I imagine that coral reefs, are a great symbiotic system, with zillions of species living in harmony. Any unbalance, such as removing sea urchins, and thus having an explosion of crown of thorns starfish which eat coral, will upset things.

    People who inhabit these coral atoll islands, generally go fishing on those reefs, and then there is the whole coral and tropical fish trade, that unbalances the eco-system. My son’s girlfriend, comes from an outlying Phillipine Island, and when he went out over the reef with the idea of fishing (catch and release) he discovered there basically weren’t any real food fish on the reef. The locals simply fihsed for anything that would take a bait, or they could spear.

    I doubt that the typical coral community would put up with that sort of abuse.

    So why blame climate for simple stupidity. Besides Jane Lubchenk did an experiment to show that corals can survive in ordinary tap water, presumably with chlorine and fluoride in it; but not if you chill it with dry ice.

    And I thought all that calcium carbonate acts as a buffer to regulate the pH of the water.

  89. The problem is that I hear a lot of emotional claptrap but not seeing anything of any real substance. Linoleum is made of linseed oil, not fish oil and as far as I know, no fish oil is used in the manufacture of linoleum. (the “lin” in linoleum is from “linseed”). Every time I look into your claims, I find they aren’t true and they seem like emotional hot button rhetoric.

    That is making a Mount Everest out of a molehill I ever saw it. Your comments are meaningless here

    I think if my statements were ever examined in a court of law or by some “peer-reviewers” it would be found that YOUR dialogue here (at least when it comes to this discussion so far), has far less substance….and far more emotion.

    Not sure what your axe is to grind, but I suggest you stick to the issues at hand.

    You are singling out one little detail on the linseed issue. You can refer to the scholarly little book The Most Important Fish in the Sea [part of your assignment] to dispute the linoleum thing and take it up with that Rutgers author.

    But, given, that it does not look like your ego is too big for you to concede that you are never wrong or mistaken, that will most likely prohibit you from thoughtfully examining all the important links and documentaries I sent you and, yes, from talking to your fellow Marylander and life-time fisherman /scientist, Jim Price, it appears that yours and my conversation with you has hit a dead-end.

    As I said, with exception to my error about Bush-Omega (which I quickly admitted), you have been unable or unwilling to comprehend any salient points I have raised, the good thing is that there are plenty of other very VERY bright minds on this site who a tad more open-minded, and less downright judgmental, biased, and prejudiced in their assumptions.

    And as I said, go back and examine throughly everything I have given you in your assignment, and, after that, if your opinion remains the same, then we definitely have nothing to say to each other.

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  90. crosspatch “I don’t know what the solution is but I have a good idea of what the solution shouldn’t be.It shouldn’t be about more authoritarian government interference.

    Speaking of fish…that is another big fat red herring. And a cop-out answer at that.

    “Find a replacement and champion that replacement material.”

    No problem bro. I’ll make sure I do that. [Thanks for that scientific, non-emotional advice.]

    Why don’t we put you with a panel of oceanic and fishery experts and see how well you do trying to defend your subject-changer:

    “Well I have no solution….but disastrous overfishing even to the point of species and food web collapse…shouldn’t be outlawed because it involves making new laws and government authoritarianism is bad.”

    At that point the feeding frenzy would ensue and you would most certainly lose your argument in a big way.

    Just like you have lost here.

    Cheers.

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  91. Figures around there in East Anglia they would like to quickly pin AGW as the culprit.

    I think the more probable answer is the second one….the currents.

    Chris
    Norfolk (from the other side of the pond)

  92. “Woods Hole recently also did a paper on coral and shellfish and increased amounts of CO2 – they loved it and grew bigger shells…”

    People who keep reef aquariums use CO2 injection into “calcium reactors” to increase the mineral content of their water. Seems like it’s not just the increase in dissolved calcium that’s helping their tanks.

  93. savethesharks — I hope you realize you’re coming off as a fanatic with a rather limited set of knowledge?

    Of course, the first clue was the attempt to blame the Demon Bush for overfishing; the tone and nature of your comments since then have just reinforced the impression.

  94. My wife is a marine biologist (and we’re a scuba-diving family…). The sunscreen connection has been suspected for some time, and recent studies confirm it.

    It is possible that other factors are also involved, but the human-induced bleaching from sunscreen is an effect that can’t be ignored. INCREDIBLY small concentrations can cause tremendous damage.

  95. savethesharks

    Sorry I was away all day and could not participate in your wonderful rants – enjoyed all your comments and could not agree more completely!

    RE sunscreen: interesting to learn about the environmental consequences of which I was not previously aware. I always wondered, however, why the chemical industry gets a pass on certain chemicals and so little scrutiny was done when you could tell that its effects could not be good: all you have to do is get a little in your eyes from sweat and the sting lasts forever.

  96. Rob Crawford (14:49:01) :

    You are entitled to your opinion. If you actually go back and look at the content of what I was saying you will see there is much good information there.

    Granted, I can and do go over the top sometimes….but that does in NO WAY negate the content.

    Also….lets leave the Bush family out of this argument. You are putting words in my mouth in no way shape or form did I ever use the word demon in conjunction with them.

    But that is a side issue, and now I have an assignment for YOU:

    Go back and look at the CONTENT of every post I made in this thread….and if you can refute the majority of my points with FACTUAL evidence to the contrary, then I will concede I am a fanatic.

    [Heh heh is being a fanatic always such a bad thing?]

    If you can not, this is definitely a situation of a fanatic pot calling the ole’ kettle black.

    Cheers.

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  97. I wonder if we will see any reports of bleaching because of this cold.

    Cold temperatures cause corals to bleach just like warm temps do.

    I doubt if we’ll see any reports on it though, no one is stupid enough to go out there right now and look. And who in their right mind would try to make any money off of it by applying for a grant to study cold water bleaching!
    That would take all the fun out of being a expert “coral scientist”. LOL

  98. vigilantfish (16:16:08) : “Sorry I was away all day and could not participate in your wonderful rants – enjoyed all your comments and could not agree more completely!”

    Thank you, vigilantfish. This subject is no doubt a polarizing issue. But hell, the cream always rises.

    Maybe one day we will evolve as a species to where we can maintain sustainable and scientifically-energized fishing practices, and where we don’t pollute our waterways and our oceans.

    Until then….homo sapiens might as well still be swinging from the trees!

    Cheers!

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  99. Jeremy (05:49:00) :

    This video from the University of East Anglia shows a class of third year climate Research Unit students, who are clearly energized by the lecture, proof of the success of the University’s advanced teaching methods – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5qcnzwQt9vI

    ——-
    ROTFL wonderful!

  100. pby (05:32:39) :

    how can reefs recover from global warming when there has been no global warming where is logic ?

    Probably having a nice Brownian Motion Producer with your punctuation.

  101. If corals wouldn’t be able to recover from environmental changes, the would have already become extinct thousands of years ago, not to say millions of years. The earth system is a dynamic, always changing system, and life is adapted to that. Humans as of today are afraid of change, and most of them don’t know it beter and their opinion is quite vulnerable to research results, especially modelling. Scientist should handle those results with care, and not trying to spread panic etc. . Nobody knows whats going on, but we can be sure of a dynamically changing earth and of us humans to be able to adapt to such changes.

  102. For people who can read, a couple of links to peer-reviewed papers about ocean acidification… I should have appended it to the post “Oh snap! CO2 causes some ocean critters to build more shells”, but comments there are closed now… so

    These are freely available…

    http://go2.wordpress.com/?id=725X1342&site=agwobserver.wordpress.com&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.bu-eh.org%2Fuploads%2FMain%2Fdoney_ann_rev_proof.pdf

    http://go2.wordpress.com/?id=725X1342&site=agwobserver.wordpress.com&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.pnas.org%2Fcontent%2F106%2F30%2F12235.full.pdf%2Bhtml

    http://go2.wordpress.com/?id=725X1342&site=agwobserver.wordpress.com&url=http%3A%2F%2Fpondside.uchicago.edu%2Fecol-evol%2Ffaculty%2FPfister%2Fpdfs%2FWootton_Pfister_Forester%2520PNAS%25202008.pdf

    http://go2.wordpress.com/?id=725X1342&site=agwobserver.wordpress.com&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.pnas.org%2Fcontent%2F105%2F48%2F18860.full.pdf%2Bhtml

    http://go2.wordpress.com/?id=725X1342&site=agwobserver.wordpress.com&url=http%3A%2F%2Fquercus.igpp.ucla.edu%2Fpublication%2Fpdf_files%2Forr_nat_05.pdf

    http://media.eurekalert.org/aaasnewsroom/2008/FIL_000000000120/HoeghGuldberg%20et%20al.%202007%20complete.pdf

    http://www.pnas.org/content/105/45/17442.full.pdf+html

    I would be grateful to anyone able to provide me with papers showing that ocean acidification does not affect calcifying organisms… No need to remind me of the paper by Ries et al discussed in “”Oh snap! CO2 causes some ocean critters to build more shells”

    Why ? Because most of you have misinterpreted this paper… Those who would like to see it will find it at :

    http://geology.geoscienceworld.org/cgi/reprint/37/12/1131?ijkey=O79jdQYUdBqN2&keytype=ref&siteid=gsgeology

    You don’t even need to have been a grad student to understand that even if some species may resist to ocean acidification (eg: crustaceans), most are affected as soon as CO2 levels increase…

  103. Laterjuju,

    I’m not an expert on corals, but as to your first requirement, yes, I can read. I can read between the lines, too.

    In reading your first link, it quickly became apparent that it was written by grant hound scientists sniffing around for funding. I didn’t bother with the rest.

    The CO2 alarmism gets stale after a while. Incessatly crying “Wolf!!” will do that. The whole world is starting to get tired of these fake scares.

    As CO2 has risen, the temperature hasn’t, because the putative effect of CO2 on global temperature has been wildly overstated. And in this case, the buffering capacity of the oceans can easily handle much more CO2 without noticeably affecting pH.

    You probably don’t think so. That’s because pH does vary. Problem is, little of the change is caused by CO2. Here, maybe this chart will help: click

    See? pH varies all over the map, while CO2 remains rock steady for thousands of years. That chart trumps all the rent-seeking grant hogs you cited. Those people are unbelievable. They would sell their mothers into a Turkish prison for a juicy grant.

    Also, it turns out that temperature has a much bigger effect on coral than pH does: click

    Anyone who accepts the theory of natural selection must wonder why shellfish couldn’t cope with small changes in ocean pH. In fact, they can, and very easily.

    As someone who raised tropical fish for many years [including aquarium clams and shrimp], I can tell you that changes in pH are the least likely factor to cause any problems. And I mean really big pH fluctuations, like from 8.5 to 6.5.

    The ocean pH “acidification” claim is nonsense. Just like the numerous other CO2=CAGW claims that have been thoroughly debunked. They get debunked because CO2 has a much, much smaller effect on the planet than the AGW hypothesis claims. But the approximately $50 billion that has been poured into AGW studies over the past decade [compared with a few tens of millions for skeptical rebuttal studies] keeps scientists churning out these trumped up scare studies.

    I sure hope you’re not one of them, I pay too much in taxes as it is. You can have the last word here, I’m off to read to the home page articles. But I enjoyed providing some common sense information.

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