Eunicella verrucosa with Styela clava in Saint-Quay-Portrieux. This photo has been taken by Matthieu Sontag (User:Mirgolth) and released under the licenses stated below. You are free to use it for any purpose as long as you credit me as author, Wikimedia Commons as site and follow the terms of the licenses. Could you be kind enough to leave me a message on this page to inform me about your use of this picture. - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, link

The Guardian: Global Warming is GOOD for Rare Coral?

Essay by Eric Worrall

A rare Guardian good news climate change story.

One of UK’s rarest corals set to expand its range as climate change warms seas

Pink sea fan, at risk from bottom-trawling, predicted to spread northwards around coast up to Scotland as sea temperatures rise

Karen McVeigh @karenmcveigh1 Fri 27 May 2022 21.00 AEST

It is one of Britain’s rarest and most threatened species, primarily due to bottom-trawling fishing, but researchers have found that the pink sea fan coral could expand its range in the climate crisis.

A slow-growing coral found in shallow waters from the western Mediterranean to north-west Ireland and south-west England and Wales, the pink sea fan (Eunicella verrucosa) is classified as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

But a study by researchers from Exeter University found that the species is likely to spread northwards – including further around the British coast as far as Scotland – by 2100 as global temperatures rise.

Dr Tom Jenkins, from Exeter University, said: “We built models to predict the current and future habitat of pink sea fans across an area covering the Bay of Biscay, the British Isles and southern Norway.”

Using a global heating model called RCP 8.5, the researchers predicted that by 2100 there would be suitable habitats for pink sea fans north of the current range. Successful colonisation, the study found, would depend on several factors, including dispersal and competition.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/may/27/one-of-uks-rarest-corals-set-to-expand-its-range-as-climate-change-warms-seas

What I find fascinating is The Guardian writing about a positive benefit of climate change – this doesn’t happen very often.

I don’t take the predictions of warming too seriously. RCP 8.5 is a rather extreme climate scenario, >1000ppm CO2-equiv by the year 2100 (up from around 420ppm today), so I suspect the professors may be overestimating the rate of change.

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May 27, 2022 10:16 pm

Why not stop trawling these rare colonies? Ban bottom trawling off the UK!

Reply to  Martin Hovland
May 28, 2022 9:37 am

There was no trawling or corals when there was Doggerland. It is proof that the corals are not necessary.

Kazinski
May 27, 2022 10:44 pm

It’s worse than we thought:

“Using a global heating model called RCP 8.5, the researchers predicted that by 2100 there would be suitable habitats for pink sea fans north of the current range.”

They’re using RCP 8.5 to make the prediction, so the coral isn’t going to recover after all.

Mike McMillan
Reply to  Kazinski
May 28, 2022 12:07 am

If they have to use 8.5 to get a positive, I fear for the pink sea fans. After all, RCP 8.4 is the one where the heating is caused by a dinosaur-class asteroid hitting the earth.

PCman999
Reply to  Kazinski
May 28, 2022 1:22 am

“RCP 8.5 refers to the concentration of carbon that delivers global warming at an average of 8.5 watts per square meter across the planet. The RCP 8.5 pathway delivers a temperature increase of about 4.3˚C by 2100, relative to pre-industrial temperatures.
Sept 22, 2019
RCP 8.5: Business-as-usual or a worst-case scenario? – Climate Nexus
climatenexus.org › climate-change-news”

So 4.3°C by 2100 (don’t you love how precise they are about an imprecise science making predictions for 78 years in the future!?) – is about an extra 3°C from today – the scientists counting the low temperatures of 1800 as pre-industrial, not the high temperatures of ~AD1000, or AD100 or 1500BC or the really balmy temps of 6000BC as pre-industrial.

Alastair Brickell
Reply to  PCman999
May 28, 2022 3:17 am

“(don’t you love how precise they are about an imprecise science making predictions for 78 years in the future!?)

Yes, that always amuses me…all these idiots must have remarkably clear crystal balls! Or a very healthy imagination. Or just be full of it…

Actually the really worrying thing is that I do believe they actually believe what they say! There’s no doubt in their blinkered minds.

Alan Robertson
Reply to  Alastair Brickell
May 28, 2022 6:32 am

I’ll go with door #3.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  PCman999
May 28, 2022 10:03 am

Coal burning is definitely going to be greater than they thought when they invented RCP8.5. They thought that the West was going to be successful at preventing Africa and poor nations of Asia from rising out of poverty (knowing this would be impossible without fossil fuels fired power).

They assumed that China was on their program and never would have guessed they’d be building coal electrical plants all over Asia and Africa as well as several hundreds of plants in China. India is developing very large coal resources and it turns out that Africa has huge gas reserves.

Kenya went gangbusters on windmills and solar, becoming a crash test dummy for renewables (h/t to Rud for this colorful term) to their chagrin and, with this abject lesson to fellow Africans, the decision to go for coal and natural gas across Africa ensued.

I hope we do reach 1000ppm CO2. The “CO2 Temperature Control Knob” has been soundly debunked. With temperatures turning cooler despite a 50% increase in CO2 in the air, finally key players have been forced to admit that models are “running a way too hot and we don’t
know why” (Gavin Schmidt, NASA’S GISS modeler). Feverish manipulation of the temperature record to make it fit CO2 rise wasn’t enough to save the meme even over a decade ago. Ending of debate became their new strategy.

When they couldn’t point to a continuing rise in temperatures, storms, floods, droughts even with their thumb on the scale, they searched out ‘new records’ in rainfall or temperatures or floods or droughts hither and yon around the world as a substitute. With tens of thousands of individual stations/metrics you are guaranteed to find grist for the meme, even with temperatures going down!

It is clear that a decent bet is that we won’t exceed +1.5C by 2100 with CO2 at 1000ppm.

TonyL
May 27, 2022 10:58 pm

News Flash!
Poor fishing practices cause coral wipeout. Lack of Global Warming prevents spread of coral. A usually fast growing, soft coral was vulnerable due to slow growth in areas at the lower limit of it’s temperature range. The so called “extinct” coral is still abundant in warmer waters.

Once again, climate models of the oceanic environment are shown to be all wet.

Chaswarnertoo
May 27, 2022 11:25 pm

Has the Graun had a small attack of sanity? Nope, based on models…

fretslider
May 28, 2022 12:50 am

It’s always ‘by 2100’

Funny that

UK-Weather Lass
May 28, 2022 2:20 am

Why does this study assume the Pink Sea Fan coral will spread or expand?

Is it rare because it needs to be at a depth of between 10 and 50m and not savaged by scallop dredgers (see The Wildlife Trusts)?

https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/wildlife-explorer/marine/anemones-and-corals/pink-sea-fan

If climate change causes a significant (to the coral) degradation of conditions would it not move in tune with those changing conditions and die off where it cannot survive any longer? Isn’t that what happens with most life forms over given periods of time, adaptions, and appropriate reactions? Did this particular model consider this? Did the researchers look for evidence of this coral in warmer or colder waters? Do any models consider what nature changes every moment in time by whatever process evolution is driven because it just happens that way?

Richard Page
Reply to  UK-Weather Lass
May 28, 2022 4:43 am

Evidence? Observations? Don’t be silly, they used models!

UK-Weather Lass
Reply to  Richard Page
May 29, 2022 2:56 am

Having a little look at this informative set of mapped data suggests this coral was already able to reside in all the places mentioned in the article in 2019 as per its native range!  See for yourself by clicking on the right hand map found under this link and spot the difference in 2050. There is no map for 2100 to be found on the site despite the labels on the pre-link.
 
What did Exeter University actually do?  In one word … perhaps.
 
https://www.sealifebase.se/summary/Eunicella-verrucosa.html

Rod Evans
May 28, 2022 2:20 am

A recent study using modelling carried out by the RE institute of sensible strategies, has reported it is possible to reduce your QRISK score by not reading the Guardian and avoiding any contact with the BBC. The study found a direct correlation between high blood pressure and biased reporting agencies such as the Guardian/BBC…..

fretslider
Reply to  Rod Evans
May 28, 2022 3:00 am

Did they check for apoplexy?!

Rod Evans
Reply to  fretslider
May 28, 2022 4:47 am

That is work in progress. fretslider. So far the research shows those unable to break the habit of compulsory bias are several hundred ££pounds/year worse off than those who have kicked the habit of background propaganda.

DHR
May 28, 2022 4:55 am

Of course, North Atlantic Ocean temperature seems to have reached its peak recently and is now declining as is its cyclic nature. What now?

Ed Zuiderwijk
May 28, 2022 5:22 am

Every silver lining has its cloud. I’m sure the Guardian will come up with a scare story shortly.

Matthew Schilling
May 28, 2022 5:33 am

And that ought to be enough to ramp up the coal plants! I mean, they have shut down massive projects over a couple rare fish in a stream, right? Put a little bit of rare stuff at the fulcrum point and we can move the entire planet!

May 28, 2022 7:46 am

but researchers have found that the pink sea fan coral could expand its range in the climate crisis.

Wrong grammar.

researchers have found that [noun] could [verb]

Um – no.
Find and could don’t go together.
For “find” you need to observe something, not just predict.
This should be corrected to:
“researchers have predicted (or modelled) that [noun] could [verb]”
or
“researchers have found/observed that [noun] has [verb]-ed.

“Found that … could” LOL!!

Last edited 1 month ago by Phil Salmon
Andy Pattullo
May 28, 2022 8:10 am

Another academic position devoted to wasting public resources by playing with models. Some people never left preschool.

ATheoK
May 28, 2022 6:47 pm

Here is another example for University of Exeter’s utterly blind bias and delusions.

But a study by researchers from Exeter University found that the species is likely to spread northwards – including further around the British coast as far as Scotland – by 2100 as global temperatures rise.

Dr Tom Jenkins, from Exeter University, said: “We built models to predict the current and future habitat of pink sea fans across an area covering the Bay of Biscay, the British Isles and southern Norway.”

Ocean temperatures, even shallow ocean temperatures are not sea surface temperatures.

Below several feet of water depth, ocean waters are rising at a very glacial rate. Just ocean waters increasing a degree Celsius takes several decades.

Unlike the specious models that literally have magical temperature increases for ocean waters. Especially models based upon the absurd RCP8.5.

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