Saturday, January 09, 2010

"Global Warming," El Niño or Over-Fishing?

The headline says: "Coral reefs can recover from devastating effects of global warming"

But the text says "...reducing levels of fishing is a viable way of protecting the world's most delicate aquatic ecosystems."

"Increases in ocean surface water temperatures subject coral reefs to stresses that lead quickly to mass bleaching. ... The problem is intensified by ocean acidification, which is also caused by increased carbon dioxide (CO2)."

But did "global warming" really cause the coral bleaching? Apparently not. Doug L. Hoffman reports in The Resilient Earth that coral bleaching is largely a result of the 1997-98 El Niño event that raised surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean causing the coral bleaching observed.

And ocean acidification, predicted by global climate models, has never been documented other than locally. (See A New Propaganda Film By The NRDC Fails The Acid Test of Real World Data/)

Does this means that climate change is all a scam and global average surface temperature is not increasing? No, of course not. At least until 1998, global average surface temperature has been increasing slowly and steadily, with periodic up and down swings, since the close of the Pleistocene, 12,000 years ago.

And, it also does not mean that human produced CO2 is sending the atmosphere into an "irreversable" global warming spiral that will destroy the planet.

As usual in complicated natural systems, the science lies somewhere in between the extremes, in the complex interplay of climatological cycles that produce a dynamic climatic equilibrium across the globe. Ever changing, slowly accommodating environmental changes from the cosmic to the microscopic, the Earth abides.