in Friends of Science, December 2017
|This study gives irrefutable evidence on the persistence of atoll reef islands in French Polynesia over the last five decades, as 92% of the 111 islands studied exhibited either areal stability or expansion since the 1960s. Only 8% of the 111 islands showed contraction in area. Tropical cyclone waves contributed to island upward growth, which reached up to 1 m in places, through the transfer of sediments up onto the island surface.
by P. Blanchon et al., October 12, 2017 in Front.Earth.Sci
Predicting the impact of sea-level (SL) rise on coral reefs requires reliable models of reef accretion. Most assume that accretion results from vertical growth of coralgal framework, but recent studies show that reefs exposed to hurricanes consist of layers of coral gravel rather than in-place corals. New models are therefore needed to account for hurricane impact on reef accretion over geological timescales
by Alan Jones, interviews peter Ridd, July 28, 2017 in JoNova
Corals have a little thermometer built in them, when you take a core of them from many years ago we know what the temperature of the water was back when Captain Cook sailed up the coast, it was actually about the same temperature then. It was colder 100 years ago, but it has recovered from that. The temperatures on the reef are not even significantly warmer than average on a hundred year timescale.
Corals that bleach in one year will be less susceptible to bleaching in following years
by James Cook University and Université Catholique de Louvain, July 3, 2017, in ScienceDaily
Professor Wolanski said the study was subjective to the extent that there was a lack of oceanographic field data in the Great Barrier Reef itself for the 2016 el Nino event. By contrast, the amount of oceanographic field data in the Torres Strait and the northern Coral Sea was very good.
“What we presented is our best-informed attempt to reveal the mechanisms involved in causing the event, based on the available oceanographic data combined with the existing body of knowledge on the water circulation in and around the Torres Strait/Northern Great Barrier Reef region.”
by Clives James, The Australian in GWPF, June 6, 2017
Actually, a more illustrative starting point for the theme of the permanently imminent climatic apocalypse might be taken as August 3, 1971, when The Sydney Morning Herald announced that the Great Barrier Reef would be dead in six months.
After six months the reef had not died, but it has been going to die almost as soon as that ever since, making it a strangely durable emblem for all those who have wedded themselves to the notion of climate catastrophe.
by N.R. Evensen and P.J. Edmunds, 2017, J. Exp. Biology
Regardless of the actual mechanism responsible for the densely aggregated corals to maintain calcification rates in the face of ocean acidification, the study of Evensen and Edmunds, in their words, offers “a compelling case for differential densities of branching coral colonies (i.e. aggregation types) mediating the sensitivity of coral communities in at least some habitats” and it further supports “recent indications that neighboring organisms, such as conspecific coral colonies in the present example, can create small-scale refugia from the negative effects of ocean acidification” And that is more good news for those concerned about the future health of these important marine ecosystems.
by Rutgers University, June1, 2017 in SienceDaily
Stony corals may be more resilient to ocean acidification than once thought, according to a Rutgers University study that shows they rely on proteins to help create their rock-hard skeletons.
“The bottom line is that corals will make rock even under adverse conditions,” said Paul G. Falkowski, a distinguished professor who leads the Environmental Biophysics and Molecular Ecology Laboratory at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. “They will probably make rock even as the ocean becomes slightly acidic from the burning of fossil fuels.”
See also here
by Eghbert Elvan Ampou et al., 2017
The clear link between mortality and sea level fall also calls for a refinement of the hierarchy of El Niño impacts and their consequences on coral reefs.
by Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, March 21, 2017
Dead zones affect dozens of coral reefs around the world and threaten hundreds more according to a new study. Watching a massive coral reef die-off on the Caribbean coast of Panama, they suspected it was caused by a dead zone — a low-oxygen area that snuffs out marine life — rather than by ocean warming or acidification.
Journal Reference: Andrew H. Altieri, Seamus B. Harrison, Janina Seemann, Rachel Collin, Robert J. Diaz, Nancy Knowlton. Tropical dead zones and mass mortalities on coral reefs. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2017; 201621517 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1621517114