Study: 99% of Coral Will Bleach Every Year Within a Century

bg coral reef

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Coral survived the Cretaceous / Paleogene extinction event which wiped out the dinosaurs, when a 6 mile wide Asteroid crashed into the Gulf of Mexico 66 million years ago. Coral survived the Permian–Triassic extinction event 252 million years ago, when the Siberian Traps were formed, a colossal series of volcanic eruptions which covered almost three million square miles in lava, contaminating the entire world with toxic fumes and volcanic ash. But apparently its all going to come to an end, if we add a few hundred ppm more CO2 to the atmosphere.

Future of coral reefs under climate change predicted

High-resolution predictions of annual coral bleaching can help prioritize reefs for conservation
Date: January 5, 2017
Source: University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science

Summary:
New climate model projections of the world’s coral reefs reveal which reefs will be hit first by annual coral bleaching, an event that poses the gravest threat to one of the Earth’s most important ecosystems.

New climate model projections of the world’s coral reefs reveal which reefs will be hit first by annual coral bleaching, an event that poses the gravest threat to one of the Earth’s most important ecosystems.

These high-resolution projections, based on global climate models, predict when and where annual coral bleaching will occur. The projections show that reefs in Taiwan and around the Turks and Caicos archipelago will be among the world’s first to experience annual bleaching. Other reefs, like those off the coast of Bahrain, in Chile and in French Polynesia, will be hit decades later, according to research recently published in the journal Scientific Reports.

“These predictions are a treasure trove for those who are fighting to protect one of the world’s most magnificent and important ecosystems from the ravages of climate change,” said Erik Solheim, head of UN Environment. “They allow conservationists and governments to prioritize the protection of reefs that may still have time to acclimatize to our warming seas. The projections show us where we still have time to act before it’s too late.”

If current trends continue and the world fails to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, then severe bleaching will occur every year on 99 per cent of the world’s reefs within the century, according to the study.

Read more: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/01/170105082730.htm

If there is one aspect of the climate scare which deserves utter ridicule, it is the continuous bad news claims about Coral. Coral is the weed species which will survive the end of the world, because it has already survived multiple global extinction events which killed most other life. There is nothing we could do to the planet which would be worse than the series of world wrecking natural disasters which coral has already shrugged off.

Advertisements

101 thoughts on “Study: 99% of Coral Will Bleach Every Year Within a Century

  1. As a person that has been in the reef aquarium hobby for many years, bleaching does indicate stress but does not necessarily indicate imminent death. Bleaching is an adaptive mechanism by which the coral can change the species of symbiotic zooxanthellae living within the coral tissues. I’ve accidentally stressed several corals due to failure of mechanical equipment and other reasons, and I have yet to have one die because of bleaching. Often, the coral becomes more resilient after recovery from the bleaching event. Disease and pest infestation from poor water quality are far more common causes for coral mortality. Also, many unfamiliar with corals don’t realize that corals can tolerate temperature swings of several degrees over 24 hours with no ill effects. Corals are amazing resilient and will probably be around long after H. sapiens is gone.

    • you forgot something important….they are packed in bags and shipped all over the world….even dry
      ..and they do just fine
      Next time you get some in from overseas…drop a pH probe in it….you’ll be shocked

      • Absolutely true! I’ve had corals on Gulf of Mexico aquacultured live rock survive out of water in boxes without heat for 5 days!

    • coral survived quite nicely after the warming after the last ice age.

      water levels rose 100 plus meters so all observable coral on earth grew in the last 14000 years

      also ever wondered why sand on coral islands is so white … dead coral

    • @NavvarreAggie … greetings from an Aussie reefhead! Spot on comments!

      @Latitude … pH in my 500gal sps system swings between 7.65 and 8.2, and that is in a single day! I used to ship a lot of coral frags to people around Australia … 2″ fragment set between 2 layers of damp tissue and posted in a fish food container. Always survived the shipping!

      A few years back, an academic marine biologist from one of our most prestigious universities was gobsmacked how sps coral grew so abundantly and was so ‘coloured up’ in my tank, confiding in me that they can’t propagate corals despite all of the technology, etc., that is available to them. I suppose when your entire career is built around killing coral for ‘research’ you won’t know much about how it grows!

      • Love the last sentence, Street. It says so much about all the “experts” that have multiplied well beyond all practical uses that they can be put to.

  2. Primary Input to the study were global climate models (GCMs) : said GCMs that can’t model actual climate… Nuff said.

    • I had a hard time controlling my laughter upon reading “high resolution projections”
      The authors seem to think that highly detailed fantasy is more useful then simple fantasy.
      And, then to go further and proclaim them a “treasure trove” was just too much.
      “Ones man’s trash is another mans’ treasure.”

    • I strongly suspect you can get a Doctorate in ‘Climate Science’ today by just running the GCMs and coming up with innovative and creative ways of (statistically) interpreting the results but only so long as those results toe the party line.

    • I think we are being hard on snowflakes (the actual ones). I am in northern Alberta drilling a well and it has been snowing for days. Its cold, its slippery and the snowflakes are winning.

      I think they should be referred to as generation rainbow.

    • I think we are being unfair to snowflakes (the real ones).

      I am in northern Alberta drilling a well. It has been snowing for days. My truck got stuck in the snow its so deep. Its cold, its slippery and the snowflakes are winning as they keep coming.

      I think we should refer to them as generation rainbow.

  3. I have dove in Guam, the water is hot, even 88F, and coral is plentiful. Far higher than water ever gets in Hawaii, in which bleaching events have occurred. If we do get warming, why is no one experimenting on using species that are more warm tolerant.

    • Sometimes drought kills weeds. No one is trying to figure out how to adapt weeds from drier climates to the current drought zone. Same reason. The coral circulates in the water column at all depths and worldwide, It will establish itself wherever it can and last as long as conditions permit. If corals were evolved to only prosper in the exact place they start- they would have big, heavy seeds that drop right next to the parent. They don’t. They are evolved to send their little kiddies off by the millions to see what they can find. That is what millions of years of bleaching and stresses has taught their genome. If only we could learn as well.

  4. I like these papers with nice long timescales.

    I predict that Unicorns will be discovered shitting diamonds in 100 years from now, and would like a grant to study the effect of this on de Beers….

  5. Coral bleaching only occurs with near-surface coral reefs. Near-surface reefs do not make up 99% of the world’s coral reefs. In fact, the vast majority of reefs are deeper and are not affected by sea surface temperatures, and there is no physical possibility that waters at 10-20 meters will reach bleaching temperatures, this or any century soon.

    Any one who has explored the coral reefs of the Caribbean knows this from personal experience — diving reefs at 30 to 60 feet for more than a few minutes requires a wet suit for comfort and to prevent hypothermia. Its [relatively] cold down there!

    • “Any one who has explored the coral reefs of the Caribbean knows this from personal experience — diving reefs at 30 to 60 feet for more than a few minutes requires a wet suit for comfort and to prevent hypothermia. Its [relatively] cold down there!”

      Maybe 35 years ago I was diving off American Samoa in water so warm that at 150 feet down we were very comfortable without wet suits.

      • toby ==> Could that be because you were 35 years younger? I get chilled after long exposure to water in the Caribbean deeper than 20 feet or so….but then, I am a “senior”.

    • “Coral bleaching only occurs with near-surface coral reefs.”

      Kip, they have nothing to worry about, then. The sea level rise they predict should put the reefs far enough under to find shelter and cooler waters.
      Problem solved.

    • Just so, Kip! The people at RSMAS should really be hanging their heads in shame, they KNOW better!

      PMK

  6. A bit more complicated than this. Reef building species change considerably over geological time. Modern corals are relatively recent as main reef building animals. However, even if warmist’s predictions true, other reef building species will reasonably quickly replace any removed from that environmental niche.

  7. Summary:

    New climate model projections…
    These high-resolution projections, based on global climate models, predict
    These predictions

    The projections show us where we still have time to act before it’s too late
    (how often will we here this again, over and over, after all has already been too late so many times before? *twinkle*)

    Thanks, read enough crap today.

    • I personally like “for those who are fighting to protect”. It makes them sound so noble that how could we doubt them?

      What a bunch of horse manure.

      • What they fight is any change to what they perceive as a balanced static system (which has no tolerance of human activity). That is completely wrong as change is constant and imminent in nature, regardless of man’s influence.

  8. Coral bleaches when the temperature changes.
    If waters get warmer and stay warmer, the coral will adapt.

  9. Been seeing the term “post-truth” quite a bit lately.

    In the post-truth world,GCMs are factual sources of information and a sound basis for policy making. Truth is irrelevant. Who needs truth any more, when we’ve got emotionally charged news releases to guide us through an uncertain future?

    • In the “post-truth” world, you construct the model to tell you whatever truth you want today.

  10. When the climate models can guess the temperature within a few degrees of the observations, I will start paying attention to Coral predictions. Just sayin……..

  11. Wasn’t it determined that chemicals in sun screen from divers had a greater impact than temperature changes?

    • Probably not. Personal dive Observation from the coral reef 300 yards offshore the Fort Lauderdale beach, now covered with sunscreen slathered snowbirds who frolick in the surf– reef is fine, sunscreen poisonous to coral an urban myth. Of course, never tried putting sunscreen on coral. For sure, overfishing and runoff pollution are deadly.

      • The biggest threat to coral in well touristed areas is mechanical destruction by simple contact. Every time you touch a living coral you will kill the surface creatures. That slimy ooze you feel on your fingertips after touching coral are dead polyps. In may marine preserves, use of gloves by divers is discouraged if not outright prohibited in an attempt to keep the divers from grabbing onto coral as they bumble about.
        I have scuba dived about the world and can attest to seeing many areas with extensive bleaching. I have also noticed bleaching down to depths below 150 ft.

      • “… overfishing and runoff pollution are deadly …”.
        ================================
        Similar story with the Great Barrier Reef.
        The climate alarmists piggyback on unrelated environmental concerns.
        That can be seen in recent news stories about air quality in Chinese cities for instance, conflating genuine chemical pollution and CO2.

      • That slimy ooze you feel on your fingertips after touching coral are dead polyps.
        ====
        Nope..it’s mucus they use for chemical defense…not polyps at all

      • rocketscientist ==> I doubt dead coral at 150 feet was caused by high temperature surface waters — meaning that whatever caused the “bleaching” certainly wasn’t water temperatures. In my experience, in the Caribbean, waters below 10 meters are relatively cold and do not change temperature throughout the year.

        What did you find? Do you think the water at 150 ft was above 29-30 degrees C?

      • I have done some snorkeling around Virgin Gorda and Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands. I remember snorkeling through a large bleached area in 1991. The next time I was there was 20 years later, and the coral looked great. I would like to go back, but not just to look at the coral. :–))

  12. But ” high resolution projections” say…”

    See 4 k projections are much more “robust” ( yesterday’s catch phrase) then standard high resolution.

  13. “They allow conservationists and governments to prioritize the protection of reefs that may still have time to acclimatize to our warming seas”

    Apart from the statement seemingly arguing on both sides of the fence, how do they expect conservationists and governments to ‘prioritise the protection of the reefs’?

    • Last time I checked, even the alarmists were putting the warming of the oceans at something like 0.002C per decade,
      I think we got lots of time before we reach any crisis points.

  14. The stupid…it hurts!

    Coral has been around for hundreds of millions of years. During most of that time, the CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere have been much higher than they are today. Temperatures have also been warmer and cooler than today. Bleaching is a reaction to short term stress, not long term, gradual changes, like those predicted by the climate models. From year to year, the predicted change would be imperceptible to the coral, therefore…not stressful.

    So how does one make a model that predicts annual bleaching of all coral? One would have to completely ignore the obvious adaptability of coral. Come to think of it, the adaptability of all life forms is generally ignored in the climate scare models. If it wasn’t ignored, the models would not be scary!

    • Oh no but the unprecedented speed of AGW will let corals no time to adapt! The bleaching proves the speed is too much, so there will be more unprecedented bleaching omg!

      I need my medication.

    • ‘So how does one make a model that predicts annual bleaching of all coral”

      One would have to start with the mistaken belief that coral bleach because of high temperatures, as opposed to sudden high temperature.

      A theory based on a mistake is inherently flawed.

  15. “Climate” scientists are completely ignorant of any historical occurrences or literature prior to 1990. Hence their continuous use of the word “unprecedented” when describing recent weather events while linking them to “climate change”.

  16. The cult of CAGW’s prediction of future bleaching of corral ignores the fact that global warming is not global. The majority of the warming in the last 150 years has been in high latitudes.

    There has been almost no warming in the tropics which is a paradox.

    An underlying temperature trend of 0.062±0.010ºK/ decade was estimated from data in the tropical latitude band. Corrections to this trend value from solar and aerosols climate forcings are estimated to be a fraction of this value. The trend expected from CO2climate forcing is 0.070g ºC/decade, where g is the gain due to any feedback. If the underlying trend is due to CO2 then g ~1. Models giving values of greater than 1 would need a negative climate forcing to partially cancel that from CO2. This negative forcing cannot be from aerosols.

    A paradox is an observation that indicates there are one or more fundamental errors in a theory. There are at least 10 independent observations and analysis results that support the assertion that AGW has been over estimated by a factor of roughly 15 (0.2 C warming for a doubling of atmospheric CO2 rather than a warming of 3C for a doubling of atmospheric CO2. No amplification and the 1 dimensional calculation ignored the overlap of spectral emission of CO2 and water vapor in the lower atmosphere and assumed there would be no increase in convection.)

    A) Latitudinal Warming Paradox
    The warming in the last 150 years is primarily at high latitudes which does not match the latitudinal pattern of warming that the general circulation models predict. As changes to atmospheric CO2 are quickly equalized in the atmosphere the potential for the CO2 to increase the temperature of the earth should be the same by latitude, if all other factors were the same.

    As the actual increase in forcing due to the increase in atmospheric CO2 is directly proportional to the amount of long wave radiation that was emitted at the latitude in question before the increase in CO2, the largest forcing change and the greatest increase in temperature should have occurred at the equator.

    What is actually observed is there almost no warming in the tropics.

    Comment: There are cycles of high latitude warming in the paleo record which match the pattern of warming observed in the last 150 years and correlate to solar cycle changes.

    http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/0809/0809.0581.pdf

    Limits on CO2 Climate Forcing from Recent Temperature Data of Earth
    The global atmospheric temperature anomalies of Earth reached a maximum in 1998 which has not been exceeded during the subsequent 10 years (William: Now 19 years as 2016 is a statistical tie with 1998).

    The global anomalies are calculated from the average of climate effects occurring in the tropical and the extratropical latitude bands. El Niño/La Niña effects in the tropical band are shown to explain the 1998 maximum while variations in the background of the global anomalies largely come from climate effects in the northern extratropics. These effects do not have the signature associated with CO2 climate forcing. (William: This observation indicates something is fundamental incorrect with the IPCC models, likely negative feedback in the tropics due to increased or decreased planetary cloud cover to resist forcing).

    However, the data show a small underlying positive trend that is consistent with CO2 climate forcing with no-feedback. (William: This indicates a significant portion of the 20th century warming has due to something rather than CO2 forcing.)

    ….The effects in the northern extratropics are not consistent with CO2 forcing alone.

    An underlying temperature trend of 0.062±0.010ºK/ decade was estimated from data in the tropical latitude band. Corrections to this trend value from solar and aerosols climate forcings are estimated to be a fraction of this value. The trend expected from CO2climate forcing is 0.070g ºC/decade, where g is the gain due to any feedback. If the underlying trend is due to CO2 then g ~1. Models giving values of greater than 1 would need a negative climate forcing to partially cancel that from CO2.

    This negative forcing cannot be from aerosols.

    These conclusions are contrary to the IPCC [2007] statement: “[M]ost of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations.”

    • Substantial corals have recently been discovered off the coast of Nova Scotia, in the North Atlantic. These things live everywhere, with different species adapted to live at different temperatures, depths and probably ph and salinity as well. They’ve been around so long they have a genetic trick for every eventuality. One species dies off and another takes it’s place. This paper reveals the utter ignorance of these specialists regarding their claimed field of expertise. Or else they’re lying?

  17. Annual bleaching? This makes no biological sense. Bleaching is a response to a long term (e.g. many months, as there is no observed seasonal bleaching–I use personal dive experience on the three tier coral reef off Fort Lauderdale for reference) temperature change on the order of >1C. Since corals live in many different water temperatures (3 off Fort Lauderdal), Bleaching gives them the ability to adopt new better adapted symbionts. It takes 1-2 years for polyps to starve to death if they are not recolonized with better symbionts; they can still filter feed. There are also egigenetic changes in the polyps; shallow corals are more adaptible than deeper corals when two populations of the same species have their locations swapped, as experiments in the Florida Keys have shown. That is because they are used to more seasonal water temperature and pH change. So annual bleaching implies delta ~1C per year at a specific reef. That cannot be monotonic temperature increases; the result soon becomes ridiculous. And if it is temperature rise followed by temperature fall, then there is no warming over time. Silly bad models.

  18. Silly study, warmth does not kill coral. Cold does. If the oceans were to warm the habitable range of coral would expand. The presence of coral, in the rock record, means water temperature was above 19 degrees C. There is no known upper limit to what water temperature coral can withstand, but some species do fine at 40 degrees C, in the lab.

  19. My above comment included a link that shows the location of coral reefs. This comment is to add the notes there were missing in the above comment.

    As noted below coral reefs are located in warm tropical waters 30 degrees north and south of the equator.

    As also noted in my above comment there has been almost no warming observed in the tropical region which is a paradox for the greenhouse warming theory/modeling.

    The majority of the observed warming in the last 150 years has been in high latitude regions which is the same region that was warmed cyclically in the past. In ever case in the paleo record the warming cycle has followed by a cooling cycling, the past high latitude warming and cooling correlates with solar cycle changes.

    The majority of reef building corals are found within tropical and subtropical waters. These typically occur between 30 degree north and 30 degree south latitudes. The red dots on this map show coral reefs

  20. ‘so even if there was bleaching, wouldn’t the coral move towards the poles? Of course it would. Linear thinking on a dynamic system is the terminal illness of doomsters in the past present and future. I have a theory that humans cannot do more than local harm to the planet and even that is temporary no matter what mechanism is contemplated. Warming the planet 2C categorically wouldn’t do it and achieving the 2C by man’s efforts isn’t even worth considering. This planet has survived everything and the temperature hasn’t varied but a couple of percent. The planet’s DNA is ready for anything we’ve got.

  21. Models of models of models. It just goes from sad to stupid. Is anything based on scientific FACTS anymore?

  22. Prediction: within 100 years 99.99% of all the people currently living on earth will be dead

    • …and yet, for some strange reason, there’s a 99% probability that the population will have increased!

  23. Good one George , personally when I see ” can” , “might”, “predict” , ” model” I also see the word bullshite.

  24. I think that corals did go extinct during the Ordovician–Silurian extinction event, and new corals evolved during the Triassic to occupy that ecological niche.

    • …so what you’re saying is that if Climate Change completely wipes them out, no big deal? I agree! (Them little buggers will be back!)

  25. “The Climate system is a coupled non-linear chaotic system and future predictions of climate are not possible”-UN IPCC TAR 2001.

    • “A coupled system is formed of two differential equations with two dependent variables and an independent variable.”
      Sorry if it’s a dumb question but a tripled or quadrupled system is….?

      • …is basically one that has an indeterminate solution. (Or, take your pick–something will be going on.)

  26. There really needs to be a penalty for writing the nonsense in this kind of article. I suggest putting the author’s heads into wet paper bags until they can think their way out.

  27. The absolutely true statement: “These predictions are a treasure trove for those who are fighting to protect one of the world’s most magnificent and important ecosystems from the ravages of climate change”

    Whether the predictions are accurate or not doesn’t matter – the predictions are great for the propaganda machine.

  28. Reblogged this on Climatism and commented:
    Corals evolved during the Cambrian era when atmospheric CO2 levels were at 6,000-7,000 ppm, around 4,000 percent or 20 times higher than today’s “CO2-starved” environment of 400 ppm. With atmospheric temps 10 times higher then today.

    Corals have survived millions of years of dramatic and “massive” climate change, yet climate crisis experts want us to believe a few hundred ppm more CO2 to the atmosphere is going to end us?!

    Historical climate data simply does not support this claim.

    More taxpayer funded “fake climate news”…

  29. You know the story is a crock when this line appears in the University press release:

    “The need to act is clear. Between 2014 and 2016, the world witnessed the longest global bleaching event ever recorded, which killed coral on an unprecedented scale. In 2016, bleaching hit 90 per cent of coral on the Great Barrier Reef and killed more than 20 per cent of the reef’s coral.”

    I covered this nonsense in “Modern Scientific Controversies Part 2: The Great Barrier Reef Wars“. The claims of “90% bleaching” were false. There was heavy mortality only in the very northern portions of the GBR, much of that already recovering.

  30. “New climate model projections of the world’s coral reefs reveal which reefs will be hit first by annual coral bleaching”

    Models “reveal” nothing.

  31. Local stressors (overfishing, pollution) are responsible for the decline in Caribbean coral reefs; warming events are insignificant. See page 20 in Executive Summary of the document Status and Trends of Caribbean Coral Reefs, 1970-2012: https://tinyurl.com/jd2vvdq

  32. High resolution projections which will no doubt yeild very low resolution reality. As all the projections inevitably do.

  33. Interesting – no, very important – read here from report out this past year from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego.

    The results — published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B — show that coral reefs surrounding remote islands were dramatically healthier than those in populated areas that were subject to a variety of human impacts.

    “There are still coral reefs on this planet that are incredibly healthy and probably look the way they did 1,000 years ago,” said Jennifer Smith, lead author of the study and a professor at Scripps’ Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation.

    “The scientists were practically in tears when we saw some of these reefs,” she added. “We’ve never experienced anything like it in our lives. It was an almost religious experience.”

    Teeming with sharks, manta rays, jellyfish and sea turtles, these remote locations contrasted starkly with the heavily populated areas, which were encircled by coral reefs covered in murky seaweed and lacking much.

    Here’s the article: Remote reefs thrive despite climate change – http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/sdut-sd-me-scripps-coral-reef-health-2016mar20-story.html

    Study is here: https://scripps.ucsd.edu/labs/coralreefecology/wp-content/uploads/sites/84/2010/09/smith-et-al-2016.pdf

  34. Future of coral reefs under climate change predicted

    High-resolution predictions of annual coral bleaching can help prioritize reefs for conservation

    Date: January 5, 2017

    Source: University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science

    Summary:

    New climate model projections of the world’s coral reefs reveal which reefs will be hit first by annual coral bleaching, an event that poses the gravest threat to one of the Earth’s most important ecosystems.

    New climate model projections of the world’s coral reefs reveal which reefs will be hit first by annual coral bleaching, an event that poses the gravest threat to one of the Earth’s most important ecosystems.

    These high-resolution projections, based on global climate models, predict when and where annual coral bleaching will occur.
    ___________________________________________

    Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science is lucky to get away with global climate models:

    – Australian Government ain’t happy with doomsayers on ‘coral reefs’ because of tourism;

    – as Austrian Ski-Tourism isn’t happy about ‘our children won’t know what snow is.’
    ___________________________________________

    Rosenstiel’s high-resolution projections, based on global climate models, are just another pain in the ass of tourism industry.

Comments are closed.