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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Science has doubts about global warming harming coral reefs

Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, director of the Coral Reef Research Institute at University of Sydney, has alarmed the people of Australia with a 48-page essay on the Great Barrier Reef, which is a national treasure. However scientists say that while 93 percent of the 911 reefs that make up the 1,400-mile formation are undergoing a bleaching, El Nino is to blame.

From Professor Hoegh-Guldberg:
There is little doubt among coral reef biologists that an increase in the frequency of bleaching events of this magnitude will have drastic consequences for coral reefs everywhere. Arguments that corals will acclimate to predicted patterns of temperature change are unsubstantiated and evidence suggests that the genetic ability of corals to acclimate is already being exceeded. Corals may also adapt in evolutionary time, but such changes are expected to take hundreds of years, suggesting that the quality of the world’s reefs will decline at rates that are faster than expected. Every coral reef examined in Southeast Asia, the Pacific and Caribbean show the same trend. The world’s largest continuous coral reef system (Australia’s Great Barrier Reef) was no exception and will face severe bleaching events every year by the year 2030. Southern and central sites of the Great Barrier Reef will be severely effected by sea temperature rise within the next 20-40 years. Northern sites are warming more slowly and will lag behind changes in the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef by 20 years. In summary, however, the rapidity of this change spells catastrophe for tropical marine ecosystems everywhere and suggests that unrestrained warming cannot occur without the complete loss of coral reefs on a global scale.
However, there is more to this than global warming killing the reefs. Jim Steele, director emeritus of the Sierra Nevada Field Campus of San Francisco State University posted this:
There are 4 widespread misconceptions about bleaching propagated by tabloid media hyping climate doom and researchers like Hoegh-Guldberg. To clarify:
  • Bleaching is not always driven by warming temperatures
  • Bleaching is not responsible for most coral mortality.
  • Coral can rapidly respond to disturbances and replace lost cover within a decade or less.
  • Bleaching, whether or not it results in coral mortality, is part of a natural selection process from which better-adapted populations emerge.
And there is this:
In contrast to researchers like Hoegh-Guldberg who emphasizes coral bleaching as a deadly product of global warming, bleaching is a visible stage in a complex set of acclimation mechanisms during which coral expel, shift and shuffle their symbionts, seeking the most beneficial partnership possible. Bleaching can be induced by stressful interactions between temperatures, disease, heavy rains, high irradiance from clear skies and competition with seaweeds. Indeed abrupt warm water events like El Nino have induced widespread bleaching and high mortality. But cold winters or La Nina induced upwelling of colder waters have also induced bleaching.
Bleaching apparently is cyclical, just like the weather and even what is now referred to as climate change.

Now obviously, this is beyond my powers of comprehension, but I do know this: the science is not settled. I also now call scientific studies essays, because scientists today pick and choose which facts to present and in which light to cast them.

As long as the only solution to global warming is more government control of my life, the only logical conclusion is that global warming is a crackpot theory designed to advance socialism.


  1. The quoted section after "And there is this" has a double cut-and-paste.

    - Mikey NTH

  2. I may have something to write about the extent of coral bleaching at the end of the year, after my wife and I take our dive trip to Indonesia and the southern part of Australia's GBR.

  3. Just like The Shadow, AlGoreBullWorming clouds the minds of men.