Not cooperating with climate alarm: Marine ecosystems show resilience to climate disturbance

A survey of 97 coastal ecosystem experts revealed impacts of climate disturbance but also instances of resilience in all ecosystem types evaluated and at multiple locations worldwide

From the AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES

Climate-driven disturbances are having profound impacts on coastal ecosystems, with many crucial habitat-forming species in sharp decline. However, among these degraded biomes, examples of resilience are emerging. Writing in BioScience, Jennifer O’Leary, a California Sea Grant Marine Biologist based at Polytechnic State University, and her colleagues describe these recoveries and highlight the possible implications for ecosystem-sparing management.

These are fish congregating on the Kitutia Reef. CREDIT Jennifer O'Leary

These are fish congregating on the Kitutia Reef. CREDIT
Jennifer O’Leary

To gain insight into disturbed coastal habitats, the authors surveyed 97 marine experts about their observations of climate-induced perturbations, including extreme storms, temperature changes, and ocean acidification. Eighty percent of those who had witnessed climate extremes also identified evidence of habitat resistance or rapid recovery.

According to O’Leary and her colleagues, the survey results indicated that “bright spots of ecosystem resilience are surprisingly common across six major coastal marine ecosystems.” In some cases, resilience was marked by striking recoveries. In one bleaching event in Western Australia, up to 90% of live coral was lost as a result of severe bleaching. Despite reaching a low of 9% unbleached area, the healthy reef surface recovered to 44% within 12 years. According to the survey of experts, the factors enabling resiliency were varied, but areas of remnant tridimensional habitat and high connectivity were the most frequently cited contributors. Sound management practices were also considered important, particularly the control of additional human stressors.

The authors hope that by elucidating the causes of resilience, they can “uncover local conditions and processes that may allow ecosystems to maintain their structure and function and continue providing ecosystem services to humans.

” They argue that if marine protected areas “are spaced appropriately given the reproductive output and dispersal potential of species,” it may be possible to mitigate the damage caused by climate disturbance events. Nevertheless, O’Leary and her colleagues caution that local bright spots do “not contradict the overwhelming evidence that climatic impacts present a major stressor to coastal ecosystems,” although they do provide “optimism that we can indeed identify and manage for conditions that facilitate resilience to climatic stress.”

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The paper: https://academic.oup.com/bioscience/article/doi/10.1093/biosci/biw161/2900174/The-Resilience-of-Marine-Ecosystems-to-Climatic

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96 thoughts on “Not cooperating with climate alarm: Marine ecosystems show resilience to climate disturbance

  1. Pure baloney. These are the type of little insidious stories that the climate loons pepper the leftist media with. There’s no global warming caused problem with coastal ecosystems. Any disturbances must be attributed to global warming, and not the ambiguous and meaningless “climate change” term. But there has been no significant global warming for decades.

    No net warming since 1990:

    • Eric,

      Not that I disagree with you, per se, but I think it’s fair to point out that “no net warming” doesn’t mean that the locations with coral reefs haven’t experienced warming. Or, to get rid of the double-negatives, locations with coral reefs may have experienced warming, even though the globe, as whole, hasn’t experienced significant net warming.

      rip

      • “””””….. These are fish congregating on the Kitutia Reef. CREDIT
        Jennifer O’Leary …..”””””

        The hell you say !! I thought it was a bowl of shrimp over Vietnamese noodles.

        g

      • Yes, so what exact “climate disturbance” are we discussing? Is there a vernacular here which would be better explained to his honor as a Derby? (apologies to Jerry Horowitz)

  2. As I read it, tgey are saying:

    1. We did tbings that saved these reefs from dying. They would have died without our intervention. Give us more Control & Money.

    2. Glbal Warming still did more damage than we prevented. Give us more Control & Money.

  3. “A survey of 97 coastal ecosystem experts revealed impacts of climate disturbance but also instances of resilience in all ecosystem types evaluated and at multiple locations worldwide”

    97? 97? Has that become 666 or 999 or something? LOL After that, the content kind of just faaaddes away.

    • Yep, nice subtle way to get the alarmist message in there. Keep banging the magic “97” alarm bell.

      To gain insight into disturbed coastal habitats, the authors surveyed 97 marine experts about their observations of climate-induced perturbations, including extreme storms, temperature changes, and ocean acidification.

      How does “climate” induce ocean acidification? The author seems to be getting their climate-induced buzz words mixed up.

  4. 97 is the number you use when you don’t know the correct figure and just wish to pick something out of the blue, like “97% of climate experts think global warming may be bad” or 97% of policemen think criminals should be locked up.” It may just be coincidence if they did in fact find 97 marine experts who actually had done some marine research. I hope so.

    • Pew Research: Only 27% of Americans Believe The 97% Consensus of Climate Scientists Claim.

      Yes. Only 27% believe in the 97%!!!

      A consensus of ideology, not of science.

      IE a consensus of leftists. Politicized science is NOT science. It’s advocacy & propaganda.

    • Gee… what ever happened to the 99 and 97/100ths percent figure, initially used by Ivory soap to denote their ‘purity’? That use to be the standard value for specifying a very high percentage. Guess it was just too unbelievable, even for the climate mafia. But, that may be assuming too much intelligence… wouldn’t want to embarrass ’em too much.

      • rocketscientist , Perhaps sodium stearate ?
        One of my first memories of being a “skeptic” is when my 4th grade math teacher made some comment about it being water itself . I pondered that for years before concluding my ( a ) math teacher could be wrong .

        It’s interesting the 97 is the complement of 3 — which provides a sense of completion in so many common rhythms .

      • Point of info., please (and apologies if I missed the answer already): How does “reef-bleaching” come about: 1. Is it purely as a result of, say, sponge-fishermen ‘harvesting’ the reef? 2. Is this a natural cyclical phenom; if so, how & why? 3. A mix of both? Please elaborate … I’m confused.

        Ross King, MBA, P.Eng. (ret’d) 1453 Beddis Road, SaltSpring Island, B.C., V8K2E2, Canada (250) 537-0666

        “The older I get, the better I was….”

        On 4 February 2017 at 08:28, Watts Up With That? wrote:

        > greymouser70 commented: “@rocketscientist: Ivory Soap is 99 and 44ths% > pure soap. Probably sodium stearate.” >

  5. Ask 1000 used car salesmen, sorry, salespersons, if there should be more cars on the road.
    I am sure that the response from 97% will be yes.

  6. Artificial reefs are man made structures like sunken ships. They are typically populated quickly with marine biota. In that light, it is unsurprising that bleached corals are quickly repopulated.

    The main problem for reefs isn’t global warming.

    The study provides compelling evidence that proximity to a large human population spells bad news for the survival of reefs. link The results indicated that the number of people in close proximity to the reefs was the main factor governing declines in coral reefs.

    We can’t deal with the problem until we start to describe it accurately. Having to give lip service to CAGW just keeps us from dealing with it properly. We can do something about things like agricultural runoff and over-fishing. Blaming everything on CAGW just keeps us from doing that.

    • “commieBob February 3, 2017 at 12:59 am”

      And talking artificial reefs, I am not entirely sure when, maybe circa 70’s or summat, a solution for used tires was to strap a bunch together and dump them off a coast, I think concrete was used to sink them. Almost instantaneously populated by marine life. Small fish could shelter from larger predators. Soon after all manner of marine life grew, like a rash, all over the tires rendering the tires almost unrecognizable. Similar with ships.Off the south coast of Wellington, New Zealand, a few years back, an ex-warship was sunk. Dramatic images of the sinking. It’s now a “reef” and a tourist dive attraction.

      • Many such reefs have broken up due to tides and ended up killing dolphins and the like, and millions have been spent ripping them out.

      • That’s a new one, ClimateOtter.

        I am not aware of any man made reefs getting destroyed then pulled out of the sea.

        The sea garden folks are still thrilled when they get access to old trains, buses, destroyers or larger to make new reefs.

        Most of these are placed in deeper water offshore, 40 to 80 fathoms.

        Near shore reefs are emplaced to capture sand and silt.
        I spent part of a winter heling Louisiana’s DNR fencing bayous off and then tying old xmas trees to the fence to help catch silt.

      • “ClimateOtter February 3, 2017 at 1:53 am”

        I am sure if that were the case the lame stream alarmist media would be blasting it across the airwaves. I am not saying it has not happened, but not read anything as you suggest.

      • Climateotter is quite correct. Tires were and are a bad choice for artificial reefs and they are being removed. Shallow water reefs require heavy objects that stay in place during storms.

      • Sinking old ships to make artificial reefs is, I think, a lot more common than many people are aware of, though not flashy so not commonly reported. Whether they are actually effective or not may be another matter.

        “I have an old ship I need to get rid of.”

        “Oh? That’s going to cost you a lot of money.”

        “I was thinking of sinking it and calling it an artificial reef.”

        “Well, That’s different! There’s lots of federal grant money for that.”

      • How a broken up piece of a reef kill a dolphin ?? Well unless a dolphin tries to eat it.

        But then dolphins don’t usually eat reefs anyway. And why do we say reefs instead of reeves, and roofs, instead of rooves, or wharfs instead of wharves, of hoofs instead of hooves ??

        “Change the f to a v an add es.”

        g

      • george e. smith February 3, 2017 at 3:02 pm

        … And why do we say reefs instead of reeves …

        Same reason we say goats instead of geet. link

        With the introduction of the printing press, the language got a lot more standardized. link

      • george e. smith February 3, 2017 at 3:02 pm

        And why do we say reefs instead of reeves, and roofs, instead of rooves, or wharfs instead of wharves, of hoofs instead of hooves ??

        Actually, we do say “wharves” and “hooves.”

      • “DHR February 3, 2017 at 5:32 am”

        Natural reefs are broken up by storm too. But I appreciate what your point.

    • ====
      The USS Gulfpenn was transporting 90,000 barrels of gasoline when it was torpedoed by German submarine U-506 on May 13, 1942. Twenty-five crewmembers survived the attack, but thirteen men died. The ship now lies at 550 m [1800ft] in the Gulf of Mexico,encrusted by an amazing community of Lophelia pertusa coral, fish, and invertebrates.
      ====

    • ” Blaming everything on CAGW just keeps us from doing that.”

      Yes, this is the huge own goal of the “carbon” zealots. Their obsession with CO2 is doing grave damage to attempts to deal with REAL pollution issues.

    • It should be noted that bleached coral is not dead. It has merely ejected the algae that had grown on its surface.

      • I thought I’d read that somewhere. The coral get their color from the algae in symbiosis with them, and if stressed, the coral kicks them out which causes them to lose their color.

        I always found it hard to believe that just a couple of degrees of warming (and cooling?) could kill a life form that’s been around for half a billion years and survived every major extinction event that ever occurred.

  7. One wonders if they bothered to look around and see what else was going on, such as heavy fishing, industry, pollution….. In fact one wonders if they chose such areas specifically for the purpose of pointing to it as ‘climate change.’

    • The portions of the report reproduced in the article use the term “climate driven change” not “climate change” Reefs are often damaged by storms and storms are “climate driven” or “weather driven,” take your choice. Its all semantics. A modern “climate” scientist will always choose to liberally use the word “climate” throughout each report to ensure it gets published and to help get future funding. Otherwise if the word “weather” or “storm” is used, you are a weather scientist and will get no respect. Its the way the system works now.

  8. Another perfect example of warped thinking. Why are we seeing & reporting on *so* many of these?

    They had utterly convinced themselves there was/is an effect from ‘Climate Change’ but when they didn’t find it, rather than using the KISS principle and saying Climate Change never happened, it turns into ‘resilient ecosystems’

    They are effectively passing the buck, onto the hapless marine critters this time.

  9. If there’s this large rock,which comes from space and wipes out most of all species.There would still be coral.

  10. Found on the Guardian and quoted here before it gets moderated out of existence….

    Yes indeed. Nothing else really matters. Temperatures are rising faster than they ever have in the history of the planet. We have only a few months to save the planet from crossing the tipping point which will mean the end of civilisation. You can see that there are more extreme weather events than there ever have been ever before. The Hockey Stick showed just how bad things are getting. And the Zika virus which was a taste of things to come.

    It is worse than we thought. We have to think of the children and follow the Precautionary Principle and build as many wind farms as we can.

    Nothing else matters, nothing I tell you. Do not listen to the Trumpetarians and denialists and Koch Brothers funded ant-evolution tobacco lobbyists and their neo liberal fossil fuel lobbyist friends. Leave it in the ground. All of it.

    We are threatened with nothing less than the extinction of all life on earth, except maybe cockroaches. Everything else fades into insignificance when we understand this rightly.

    Just read the IPCC reports, and look at how fast it is warming. The models are right. If life on earth survives beyond 2050 with this rate of warming I shall be astonished. You see how little snow there was this year. Well, get used to it. There is going to be none pretty soon. We will not even be able to tell our children about what it was like because we will all be dead.

    And why all these corrupt denialists resist following the heroic example of China, I do not know. The Chinese, at great sacrifice to themselves, are giving us a lead in tacking global warming by increasing their CO2 emissions by 50%. Whereas we are proposing to lower ours by 80%, thus threatening the planet even more than we did by the industrial revolution.

    Why is this neoliberal Tory government so blind? Why is it not willing to join with the Chinese in saving the planet? It must be because they are short term oriented and do not care what happens as long as they make some short term profits.

    It is really dire.Yes indeed. Nothing else really matters. Temperatures are rising faster than they ever have in the history of the planet. We have only a few months to save the planet from crossing the tipping point which will mean the end of civilisation. You can see that there are more extreme weather events than there ever have been ever before. The Hockey Stick showed just how bad things are getting. And the Zika virus which was a taste of things to come.

    It is worse than we thought. We have to think of the children and follow the Precautionary Principle and build as many wind farms as we can.

    Nothing else matters, nothing I tell you. Do not listen to the Trumpetarians and denialists and Koch Brothers funded ant-evolution tobacco lobbyists and their neo liberal fossil fuel lobbyist friends. Leave it in the ground. All of it.

    We are threatened with nothing less than the extinction of all life on earth, except maybe cockroaches. Everything else fades into insignificance when we understand this rightly.

    Just read the IPCC reports, and look at how fast it is warming. The models are right. If life on earth survives beyond 2050 with this rate of warming I shall be astonished. You see how little snow there was this year. Well, get used to it. There is going to be none pretty soon. We will not even be able to tell our children about what it was like because we will all be dead.

    And why all these corrupt denialists resist following the heroic example of China, I do not know. The Chinese, at great sacrifice to themselves, are giving us a lead in tacking global warming by increasing their CO2 emissions by 50%. Whereas we are proposing to lower ours by 80%, thus threatening the planet even more than we did by the industrial revolution.

    Why is this neoliberal Tory government so blind? Why is it not willing to join with the Chinese in saving the planet? It must be because they are short term oriented and do not care what happens as long as they make some short term profits.

    It is really dire.

  11. Quote: the authors surveyed 97 marine experts about their observations of climate-induced perturbations, including extreme storms, temperature changes, and ocean acidification

    Yeah right. A scientist would have looked for empirical evidence of each of these “observations”. What do these people do? Interviewed people. Bah humbug!

  12. Off Topic but…

    SunEdison Shareholder Uncovers Billions Of Dollars In Taxpayer Money Hidden In Bankruptcy

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/4042276-sunedison-shareholder-uncovers-billions-dollars-taxpayer-money-hidden-bankruptcy

    Summary

    Congressional investigators are examining the use of tax incentives for solar-power companies.

    SunEdison has received “the vast majority” of a $1 billion credit line the Export-Import Bank of the U.S. extended to India.

    SunEdison has been successful in bypassing Sarbanes-Oxley regulation that should be a tool to avoid a new Enron scandal.

    • john,

      From the article:

      The company reported back then that the $992,000 grant was issued for a 443-kilowatt photovoltaic system at Owens Corning’s facility in Kearny, N.J.

      Following the award notification by the Department of Treasury, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Energy Secretary Steven Chu invited Carlos Domenech, COO of SunEdison, to participate in a White House roundtable meeting of select industry executives. They discussed expanding development of clean, domestic sources of energy. Domench was quoted as saying, “We were honored to participate in the roundtable discussion. SunEdison’s initial application was approved less than 3 weeks after we submitted our request.

      A $992,000 grant in less than 3 weeks? H*ll, I can’t even refinance my mortgage, with my house as collateral, in 3 weeks!

      • Talk about feeding at the trough. This is the next sentence.

        Given the streamlined application process, we expect to submit new projects from our pipeline almost weekly.”

  13. Shareholder Voice: SunEdison (SUNE) is the new Enron!

    https://www.equities.com/news/shareholder-voice-sunedison-sune-is-the-new-enron

    \A group of shareholders for SunEdison requested attention to their investment

    I am writing to you to bring attention to the current SunEdison Chapter 11 Bankruptcy, SunEdison Prime Clerk case docket (16-10992) filed April 21, 2016 Honorable Judge Stuart Bernstein.

    We are group of over 1000 shareholders both U.S and International. We are seeking justice. We are actively searching for media’s help to get our voices heard. SunEdison is the new Enron!

    SunEdison hid its toxic financial state while granting hundreds of millions of dollars in benefits to its most powerful lenders before filing for bankruptcy. In an attempt to put off financial collapse and hide mismanagement, SunEdison gave a “sweetheart deal” to its first and second lien creditors. SunEdison replaced the lenders unsecured notes with secured debt that would give those lenders a leg up in the bankruptcy. Reference Docket # 1454

    In late March 2016, the DOJ announced that it was investigating SunEdison intercompany transactions and various financing activities. The SEC also announced that it was investigating the accuracy and transparency of the SunEdison financial statements, including as to the accuracy of the cash-on-hand reported in 2015. As of Jan 2017 DOJ and SEC have done nothing. In fact SunEdison is being allowed to sell off valuable assets for pennies on the dollar all without submitting a 10-K or 10Q since the 3rd quarter of 2015.

    To date Hundreds of shareholder letters have been written to Judge Bernstein, members of the SEC and DOJ outlining numerous inconsistencies and questions, regarding executive statements, shared financial number claims etc. with no response.

  14. I haven’t read the other responses (it’s late Friday night and there are other nice things to do here in balmy Adelaide) but the article was garbage. “Climate-driven disturbances are having profound impacts on coastal ecosystems”, the implication being that human induced climate disturbances are the cause. But they won’t actually say that because they have no scientific proof which is what we should expect given that temperatures have changed by a very small amount in recent years. “…climate-induced perturbations, including extreme storms, temperature changes, and ocean acidification. Eighty percent of those who had witnessed climate extremes…” Extreme! FFS, that word is bandied around as if no-one has to demonstrate it has been extreme. Give me proof of extreme and I might read with an open mind. “Sound management practices” rolls out of the authors’s mouth as if we have total control of everything. The author must have bought their degree or got it out of a corn flakes packet – what planet are they from? 63 years on planet earth, 40 as an engineer, has taught me that nature, and everything in it, is tough; far tougher than these clowns think it is. I wish I hadn’t logged on, this sort of stuff spoils my night. And there’s that magic number 97 again – they’re addicted to 97.

  15. “….climate-induced perturbations, including extreme storms, temperature changes, and ocean acidification”?
    Yes, clear indicators that another extreme junk paper has hit the journals!

  16. It just happens to be a very common number in our world today. That great Japanese movie “97 Ronin” is a good example. And “Ocean’s 97” was excellent entertainment. And how can we forget that wonderful Disney classic, “Snow White and the 97 Dwarfs”? The list goes on. And of course there is the music too. Eg “97 ways to leave your lover” by Paul Simon, “Love potion number 97” by The Searchers. You get the picture.

    • That’s nothing. One of Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s papers listed in his CV has 55 authors, listed in alphabetical order. He’s in spot #50.

      His entire CV only lists 13 papers, and he’s lead or solo on only five of them, all from 1993 or earlier, and all on optical telescopy. Hard to believe he’s America’s “scientist laureate” these days.

      How far we’ve fallen from Einstein, Feynmann, and Sagan.

      • [Wish we could edit]

        Four of Tyson’s listed papers don’t even have his name on them; I presume he’s included in the “et al” that follows the author’s name. Two papers from 2007 and 2008 paper have the most unusual attributions I’ve ever seen: it lists the author and participants, and then ends with “and Tyson N.D.”

        All of the other papers just list the author and all participants. These have the sound of a TV series with a “Special Guest Star,” who’s not in the usual cast but is important enough to get special recognition. I suppose by 2007 NDT was famous enough to give a paper prestige just by having him sign off on it.

  17. So many individuals living today have no grasp of the threat to the environment WW2 had on the worlds oceans. If it survived all those ships sunk it can survive anything we could do.

  18. Oceans are about 0.023% of Earth’s mass, atmosphere about 0.000085% and atmospheric CO2 about 0.0000034%. Scifisists’ obsess with the latter. Yet atmosphere has a vast interface with space at about 2K and ocean interface with the ocean floor remains largely a mystery.

  19. My thought exactly. With science, the 97 might be fine, but using it now is more political. And it’s use did seem to make me immediately care far less about the article contents.

  20. More fun… the ‘expert’ sampling/survey method has its issues. In the identified 6 domains of knowledge, they selected the top 50 published authors in each domain, as determined by count of published papers, giving a total of 300 potential ‘experts’. They sent the survey (on surveymonkey) by email to the 300, with a 2-month response window. Only 97 responded, 32.3% response rate.

    Oh, my.

  21. “The Texas fishing industry suffered a tremendous blow in January when fish estimated in excess of 8000 tons were killed by cold. Trout, redfish, and drum littered the shore of the bays for 300 miles… The bottoms of the bays and the Laguna were covered with fish…. and for miles in the upper Laguna Madre, a boat was never out of sight of floating trout, huge sows, 20 inches to two feet in length.” This was the freeze of 1947, From Texas Game and Fish, March, 1947. Last severe one1989.

  22. Sham article and is not research. At best this is a report on a poll taken by any number of people then culled for the “right” kind of responders. To put it in a proportedly “Science” journal speaks volumes about what our current spate of editors know about research.

  23. What goes on in oceanic flora and fauna is far more damaged by overgrowth under static conditions. Better to have regular spates of devastation similar to forests and other land based ecosystems to maintain optimal averaged health. Idiots.

  24. ” remnant tridimensional habitat ” …..brought to us by those who live in the elite world of academia ….
    er …those who don’t get out much ?

  25. I keep reading of reemergence of coral. Is the supposed bad climate becoming good again! Rhetorical,

  26. The article used the top 50 cited “experts,” another misuse of “Impact Factors.” If they had asked those of us in the bottom 50 they would have known about this a long time ago. The oyster coverage, which I know a bit about, is very poor, with the Texas paper cited not even directly examined, and the Beck crisis article has problems, some acknowledged, some not.

  27. Another proof that CAGW is a thing of creationists. Only creationists could had thought that resilience to changing conditions didn’t matter.

    • While I don’t entirely agree with your statement, it IS worth pointing out that Greenie philosophy mirrors Christian genesis, painted over with day-glow green, complete with false prophets, expiated sin, pardoners, and the whole cast. Since the Progressive Left has killed God as a means of social control, they have to fill the gap of all that Catholic guilt with something… and they already had a template.

      • It took me years to realize and appreciate this, but the “Foundation” series written by arch-atheist Isaac Asimov is nothing but more than a reconstruction of the dilemma between God’s omniscience and the principle of Free Will. Consider: God is omniscient, but we have free will to act on our own; so how could He possibly know everything if at any instance, one of our decisions could change the flow of history?

        Yet in the series, Asimov creates a God-figure, psychohistorian Hari Seldon, who devises a new mathematical system that allows him to predict the behavior and path of billions of Galactic Empire citizens as a whole, which granting each of them the agency to act on their own beliefs.

        The plan is only interrupted when a mutant, unpredictable by even the super-math of psychohistory, arises to challenge Seldon’s Plan for the blueprint of the future Galactic Empire. However, the priesthood that Seldon established long ago against such a disruption rises to the occasion, and hijinks ensue.

        I wonder if anyone ever asked him about that at a SF convention, ever?

  28. “According to O’Leary and her colleagues, the survey results indicated that “bright spots of ecosystem resilience are surprisingly common across six major coastal marine ecosystems.” In some cases, resilience was marked by striking recoveries. In one bleaching event in Western Australia, up to 90% of live coral was lost as a result of severe bleaching. Despite reaching a low of 9% unbleached area, the healthy reef surface recovered to 44% within 12 years. According to the survey of experts, the factors enabling resiliency were varied, but areas of remnant tridimensional habitat and high connectivity were the most frequently cited contributors. Sound management practices were also considered important, particularly the control of additional human stressors.”

    Ain’t that good news, man ain’t that news!

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