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

crosspatch

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

janama

The story about the parrot fish and coral survival is old news.

kadaka

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?

latitude

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.

Ack

Seemed to recover nicely from the mideviel warm period

latitude

“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

Jack Simmons

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?

Gary Hladik

“Coral reefs have been on the planet for over 400 million years.”
Wow, that’s almost as long as Robert Byrd has served in Congress!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_members_of_the_United_States_Congress_by_longevity_of_service

photon without a Higgs

They made it through the Holocene, The Medieval, the LIA, so
sure, that can make it through the Gore effect.

Eggsuckindog

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

KevinM

Immagine that… warmer water might not be bad for tropical fish.

latitude

“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.

Kasmir

“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.

Lutzj

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.

Wayne Delbeke

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

dougmanxx

Hardly the “first evidence” to show this. Same journal about 9 months ago:
http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0005239
“Doom and Boom on a Resilient Reef: Climate Change, Algal Overgrowth and Coral Recovery”
I would suspect an in depth review of the literature would turn up many more of these “firsts”.

vigilantfish

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?

higley7

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

LarryD

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.

p.g.sharrow "PG"

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.

Richard

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)

p.g.sharrow "PG"

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

Mike Ramsey

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

Dave F

I know! Isn’t this great news?! It made the headlines everywhere!

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.

Hazza

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.

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.

CodeTech

They lost me at “devastating effects of climate change”.

Layne Blanchard

They invent their own version of truth in their imagination….
It’s always the same story: Fragile ecosystems, irreparable harm, unspeakable catastrophe.

paullm

Included in Bill Illis’s CO2 / Temp Coorelation post (http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/10/16/searching-the-paleoclimate-record-for-estimated-correlations-temperature-co2-and-sea-level/#more-11753) CO2 concentrations were over 3,000 ppm about 400 Myrs ago and survived. Don’t think I was there then.

Allen Ford

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.

r

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.

Jeremy

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

Has anyone even provided any evidence that reefs anywhere are being damaged by Al Gore, er, Global-Climate-Warming-Change-Catastrophe-Disaster?

photon without a Higgs

OT
Cold records still being broken in US from Texas to Florida.
HAMweather map from yesterday, Jan 10, 2010
http://mapcenter.hamweather.com/records/yesterday/us.html?c=maxtemp,mintemp,lowmax,highmin,snow
NOTE: red dot for record heat continues to show up at Roswell, New Mexico, at the Municipal Airport.

crosspatch

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.

Les Francis

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

Nandie

There has been a number of articles in recent past about coral reefs recovering. This web page has collection of stories like that-
http://www.c3headlines.com/are-coral-reefs-dying/

Hazza

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.

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.

philincalifornia

Maybe some of the more extreme human-haters could volunteer for this program:
http://environmentalism.suite101.com/article.cfm/cremated_ashes_to_artificial_reefs
BTW, parrotfish yummy. On some restaurant menus in the Tahitian Islands, and you can buy it fresh at the fishmarket in Papeete. Great excuse to go there.
http://static.panoramio.com/photos/original/19716927.jpg

Cam

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.

Bruce King

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.

Philip_B

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.

yonason

POOR LITTLE THINGS
http://news.bbc.co.uk/earth/hi/earth_news/newsid_8350000/8350972.stm
See what your consumption of carbon has made them become? Cold blooded killers! uh, well, ok, they already were cold-blooded, and maybe they were already killers, …but it’s still all your fault!

janama

there are some researchers who can honestly assess coral reefs
http://www.nature.org/wherewework/asiapacific/coraltriangle/features/reflections.html
r – you are correct about sun screens
http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/docs/2008/10966/abstract.html

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.

crosspatch

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

savethesharks

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