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Coral Reefs In Grave Danger, Say Climate Simulations 313

Posted by timothy
from the it's-only-a-model dept.
sciencehabit writes "Nearly every coral reef could be dying by 2100 if current carbon dioxide emission trends continue, according to a new review of major climate models from around the world. The only way to maintain the current chemical environment in which reefs now live, the study suggests, would be to deeply cut emissions as soon as possible. It may even become necessary to actively remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, say with massive tree-planting efforts or machines."
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Coral Reefs In Grave Danger, Say Climate Simulations

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  • Re:Who cares? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Sunday December 23, 2012 @01:59AM (#42373523)

    So what if all the Coral Reefs die,

    Most of the sea life in the ocean will die. The reefs are a critical component of the food chain for fish of all sizes, including plenty that don't directly live on the reef itself.

  • RT (WHOLE) FA (Score:4, Informative)

    by scanman1 (763052) on Sunday December 23, 2012 @02:02AM (#42373531)

    "There is a very wide coral response to omega—some are able to internally control the [relevant] chemistry," says Rau, who has collaborated with Caldeira in the past but did not participate in this research. Those tougher coral species could replace more vulnerable ones "rather than a wholesale loss" of coral. "

    I guess his views were not in line with the study, so his results were not included.

  • by NoMaster (142776) on Sunday December 23, 2012 @03:20AM (#42373755) Homepage Journal

    it is not CO2 which is causing the coral to bleach and die. It is really a coral disease which is causing the issue ... The immediate problem is a coral disease - no matter what CO2 does, the reef will die.

    I guess that's why your link says " disease is not considered a major threat to the Reef ."

    this particular issue requires biologists and scientists to go do some really hard research ...

    Although apparently simply reading their own links is too hard for some people...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 23, 2012 @03:22AM (#42373765)

    And from the abstract of the actual paper [nature.com] referred to by the wuwt page :

    "...Our empirical data from this unique field setting confirm model predictions that ocean acidification, together with temperature stress, will probably lead to severely reduced diversity, structural complexity and resilience of Indo-Pacific coral reefs within this century."

    Remember when non-experts would actually listen to scientists rather than cherry pick what they wanted to hear? Good times...

  • meh (Score:3, Informative)

    by rs79 (71822) <hostmaster@open-rsc.org> on Sunday December 23, 2012 @04:00AM (#42373863) Homepage

    They overlooked the part in their model where more acidic seas dissolve existing carbonate faster. Nature recycles. How do you think coral survived 7000ppm CO2?

    http://rs79.vrx.net/opinions/ideas/climate/.images/Evo_large.gif [vrx.net]

    They've overlooked simple biomechanics before: "8th December 2010 13:24 GMT - A group of top NASA and NOAA scientists say that current climate models predicting global warming are far too gloomy, and have failed to properly account for an important cooling factor which will come into play as CO2 levels rise.
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/12/08/new_model_doubled_co2_sub_2_degrees_warming/ [theregister.co.uk]

    See also: There are winners and losers among corals under the accumulating impacts of climate change, according to a new scientific study. In the world’s first large-scale investigation of how climate affects the composition of coral reefs, an international team of marine scientists concludes that the picture is far more complicated than previously thought - but that total reef losses due to climate change are unlikely. Ref: http://www.cell.com/current-biology/abstract/S0960-9822(12)00255-2 [cell.com]"

  • Re:RT (WHOLE) FA (Score:5, Informative)

    by Gadget_Guy (627405) on Sunday December 23, 2012 @04:43AM (#42373931)

    If you want to RT (WHOLE) FA then why did you stop quoting him before the end of the paragraph where he said:

    "[But] an important point made by [Caldeira] is that corals have had many millions of years of opportunity to extend their range into low omega waters. With rare exception they have failed. What are the chances that they will adapt to lowering omega in the next 100 years?"

    QT (WHOLE) FQ! Did the last note of warning and agreement with the study not fit with your message of excluding the dissenting scientist? What is more likely: that the part about them working together previously was some hidden way of saying that Rau was censored or that he was giving full disclosure of a prior relationship? Conspiracy theory or standard (and best) practice?

  • by Gadget_Guy (627405) on Sunday December 23, 2012 @04:56AM (#42373969)

    And yet your linked article says that the increase of disease is thought to be due to the water being warmer. Yes, this is going to really put a dampener on the Global Warming campaign. And where did you get the idea that scientists will stop studying the reef just because it is thought to involve climate change?

    Science doesn't work that way. The different disciplines don't go take a holiday when another group makes a discovery.

  • Re:Who cares? (Score:0, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 23, 2012 @06:05AM (#42374125)

    In the meantime the oceans bioversity would be decimated

    So....reduced by 10% then?.

  • Re:Who cares? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 23, 2012 @06:14AM (#42374151)
    Wrong, decimated means every tenth soldier executed to encourage the others. Only 10% die.
  • Re:Who cares? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Sunday December 23, 2012 @07:11AM (#42374281)

    So....reduced by 10% then?

    That's an anachronistic definition. Modern definition, as defined by the OED:

    kill, destroy, or remove a large proportion of [oxforddictionaries.com]

  • Re:A wake up call (Score:1, Informative)

    by narcc (412956) on Sunday December 23, 2012 @08:04AM (#42374375) Journal

    Can you show that people have been "almost always" wrong on every issue?

    Yeah, you can. It's not difficult. (see below) Of course, it doesn't matter as this is clearly a trap.

    You can point to individual anecodatal points

    This is why it's a trap. If the parent can't give a complete run-down from 500 BCE onward, you'll shout some nonsense about anecdotes. Let's see if I'm right.,,

    On gravity, the laws of thermodynamics, on quantum mechanics, on the atom theory of nature, on evolution,

    Quantum mechanics is a bit new -- including it in your absurd list is dishonest as it hasn't had time to fail spectacularly like history suggests it will. Gravity: obvious examples are obvious. If you're particularly thick, just google "history of gravity". Atomic theory: dramatically changed several times pre and post Einstein. The atom today is so dramatically different from the atom in, say, 1850 that I'd say the science of the time was "spectacularly wrong". Thermodynamics: phlogiston, caloric theory, need I go on?

    Shoot, I took the bait! Did I spring the trap?

    , but "almost always" and "spectacularly wrong" on every issue is a very strong statement.

    It's a strong statement, and you can object to "spectacularly" if you want to split hairs. Of course, that doesn't make the statement any less true. It's also an important part of what makes science work. See, you're operating under this superstitious delusion that science progresses toward "truth" through a process of refinement. It should be obvious to anyone with even a passive understanding of science, or even the history of science, that this simply isn't true, has never been true, and would be a complete disaster if science operated on that assumption!

    Also, "faith" has no place in science.

    That depends on what you mean by "faith". Particle physics seemed to get on just fine with faith that the Higgs boson would be "found". While I understand there are some (less than ideal?) Higgs-free models on the ready, it seems that the consensus is that the Higgs will be found and that it would mean a big change for the field if they can't find it.

    I provisionally accept lots of things, based on the scientific consensus of my colleagues

    Why don't I believe for an instant that you're any sort of scientist? Hell, my background is in the social sciences and even I have a better grasp of this than you do! This is pretty thin mix of basic science and popular science here. How can you possibly fail this so spectacularly?!

    Contrary evidence trumps consensus, , but in the case of climate change, it isn't there.

    You've looked at it all and found that every bit of available data points decisively to AGW? Yeah, you're definitely not a scientist of any sort.

  • Re:A wake up call (Score:5, Informative)

    by amck (34780) on Sunday December 23, 2012 @10:29AM (#42374829) Homepage

    I mean, come on, how many atomic models have we already been through since the mid-1800s?

    Many, but only one atom theory.

    The atom theory is that matter is made up of atoms, finite quanta that cannot be infinitely subdivided.
    Hence, you cannot have less than one atom of sodium, etc. The antithesis was that you could, that you could
    infinitely divide the amount of a substance and still maintain that substance.

    That atoms have subdivisions in themselves (protons, electrons, neutrons), does not negate the theory as originally stated.

  • Re:Who cares? (Score:5, Informative)

    by samoanbiscuit (1273176) on Sunday December 23, 2012 @11:27AM (#42375109)
    I have a degree in biology from a uni in a tropical island country - there are so many non endangered yet critical species the mind boggles to drill down to specifics, the example I gave of monographs and journals was relayed from actual experience and not speculation; but if I must satisfy your laziness, then I shall provide as my example: the family of crustaceans generally known as krill. They are a cornerstone of the food web in sub-temperate and polar waters, with a diverse array of species feeding directly or indirectly from them, such as salmon, blue whales and penguins. They are also not nearly close to being endangered, yet if they did become endangered, the food security of several temperate and sub-arctic countries could be called into question.

Nothing is more admirable than the fortitude with which millionaires tolerate the disadvantages of their wealth. -- Nero Wolfe

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