Some scientists and media have gotten much attention claiming that the world’s coral reefs could disappear in as little as 20 to 30 years – all because of humans consuming fossil fuels and whatever.
Now the Financial Times Germany reports on a study that claims this is all exaggerated.
The world’s largest coral reef off the east coast of Australia is not going to disappear as fast as once previously thought, according to a new study. Warnings that the Great Barrier Reef could die off due to climate change over the next 20 to 30 years are exaggerated says Sean Connolly of the James Cook University.”
This comes to no surprise for skeptics. How many millions of years and through what ranges of temperature swings have the coral reefs survived so far? Indeed a few tenths of a degree Celsius of change over decades will have no impact on the reefs. And I seriously doubt the reefs are going to do what the models tell them.
The James Cook University Press release here says:
…some current projections of global-scale collapse of reefs within the next few decades probably overestimate the rapidity and uniformity of the decline.”
Again, if the relatively sudden transition from ice age to optimum did not kill them, why would a few tenths of a degree over decades or centuries do it?
Wikipedia writes that coral reefs in the Persian Gulf have adapted to temperatures of 13 °C (55 °F) in winter and 38 °C (100 °F) in summer, i.e. 25°C change in 6 months. Like any species on the planet, reefs are always threatened by something. The press release writes:
However reefs are naturally highly diverse and resilient, and are likely to respond to the changed conditions in different ways and at varying rates.”
The James Cook press release, despite its obvious findings, still tries to convey an aura of alarm (for funding) yet admits that climate change is a natural process that has occurred time and again in the past.
Past extinction crises in coral reef ecosystems appear to coincide with episodes of rapid global warming and ocean acidification, they say. This has led some to predict rapid, dramatic, global-scale losses of coral reefs.”
The rapid changes they mention here were measured in degrees per decade and century, and not tenths of a degree as is the case with today’s relatively boring rate of change.