Disappearance of coral reefs, drastically altered marine food web on the horizon

Aug 05, 2013
Coral Gardens: A school of surgeonfish cruise coral reefs near Palmyra Atoll.

If history's closest analog is any indication, the look of the oceans will change drastically in the future as the coming greenhouse world alters marine food webs and gives certain species advantages over others.

Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, paleobiologist Richard Norris and colleagues show that the ancient greenhouse world had few large reefs, a poorly oxygenated ocean, tropical surface waters like a hot tub, and food webs that did not sustain the abundance of large sharks, whales, seabirds, and seals of the modern ocean. Aspects of this greenhouse ocean could reappear in the future if greenhouse gases continue to rise at current accelerating rates.

The researchers base their projections on what is known about the "greenhouse world" of 50 million years ago when levels of in the atmosphere were much higher than those that have been present during human history. Their review article appears in an Aug. 2 special edition of the journal Science titled "Natural Systems in Changing Climates."

For the past million years, atmospheric CO2 concentrations have never exceeded 280 parts per million, but industrialization, forest clearing, agriculture, and other human activities have rapidly increased concentrations of CO2 and other gases known to create a "greenhouse" effect that traps heat in the atmosphere. For several days in May 2013, CO2 levels exceeded 400 parts per million for the first time in human history and that milestone could be left well behind in the next decades. At its current pace, Earth could recreate the CO2 content of the atmosphere in the greenhouse world in just 80 years.

Changing marine life characteristics: Comparison of present, past, and future ocean ecosystemstates. Credit: Science

In the greenhouse world, fossils indicate that CO2 concentrations reached 800-1,000 parts per million. Tropical ocean temperatures reached 35º C (95º F), and the polar oceans reached 12°C (53°F)—similar to current ocean temperatures offshore San Francisco. There were no polar ice sheets. Scientists have identified a "reef gap" between 42 and 57 million years ago in which complex largely disappeared and the seabed was dominated by piles of pebble-like single-celled organisms called foraminifera.

"The 'rainforests-of-the-sea' reefs were replaced by the 'gravel parking lots' of the greenhouse world," said Norris.

The greenhouse world was also marked by differences in the ocean food web with large parts of the tropical and subtropical ocean ecosystems supported by minute picoplankton instead of the larger diatoms typically found in highly productive ecosystems today. Indeed, large marine animals—sharks, tunas, whales, seals, even seabirds—mostly became abundant when algae became large enough to support top predators in the cold oceans of recent geologic times.

"The tiny algae of the greenhouse world were just too small to support big animals," said Norris. "It's like trying to keep lions happy on mice instead of antelope; lions can't get by on only tiny snacks."

Within the greenhouse world, there were rapid warming events that resemble our projected future. One well-studied event is known as the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) 56 million years ago, which serves as a guide to predicting what may happen under current climate trends.

That event lasted about 200,000 years and warmed the earth by 5-9° C (9-16° F) with massive migrations of animals and plants and shifts in climate zones. Notably, despite the disruption to Earth's ecosystems, the extinction of species was remarkably light, other than a mass extinction in the rapidly warming deep ocean.

"In many respects the PETM warmed the world more than we project for future climate change, so it should come as some comfort that extinctions were mostly limited to the deep sea," said Norris. "Unfortunately, the PETM also shows that ecological disruption can last tens of thousands of years."

Indeed, Norris added that continuing the fossil fuel economy even for decades magnifies the period of climate instability. An abrupt halt to fossil fuel use at current levels would limit the period of future climate instability to less than 1,000 years before climate largely returns to pre-industrial norms. But, if fossil fuel use stays on its current trajectory until the end of this century, then the climate effects begin to resemble those of the PETM, with major ecological changes lasting for 20,000 years or more and a recognizable human "fingerprint" on Earth's climate lasting for 100,000 years.

Explore further: Climate change occurring 10 times faster than at any time in past 65 million years

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NikFromNYC
1.8 / 5 (15) Aug 05, 2013
CLAIM: Apples are oranges.

REALITY: Apples are not oranges. On multimillion year timescales there is little correlation between CO₂ levels and temperature.

http://www.biocab...cale.jpg

BACKGROUND: The greenhouse effect of CO₂ is logarithmic so it requires a full doubling of concentration to achieve yet another doubling of old school greenhouse effect temperature rise and an increase from today's 400 parts per million (up from pre-industrial 280 ppm) to their claimed 1000 ppm represents less than two doublings. Minus the now falsified massive water vapor feedback of the classic greenhouse effect that all supercomputer model climate alarm relies on, mild enhanced warming or retarded cooling is predicted over the next century and after that all bets are off as the accelerating pace of new invention makes today's problems moot.
VendicarE
3 / 5 (6) Aug 05, 2013
"On multimillion year timescales there is little correlation between CO₂ levels and temperature." - NikkieTard

We simply don't have good time series for global temperatures from multi-millions of years ago. But as Richard Alley indicates in his presentation, the evidence against NikkieTard's claim is rapidly accumulating.

http://zfacts.com...Temp.gif

http://www.wunder...al03.gif

http://www.klima-...atur.gif

http://www.scienc...Gore.jpg

And finally.... The best....

http://vimeo.com/34099316
Howhot
3.1 / 5 (7) Aug 05, 2013
The truth is Coral Reefs do not like warm water. In fact Coral hates warm water. And man made global warming (also know as AGW) has slowly increased the temperatures of the ocean. Given that 400 ppm (parts per million) of CO2 has accumulated since the 1950s and correspondingly temperature have gone exponential like a hockey stick, Its a common issue to understand how heat effects sea life. How will coral and the coral reef echo-systems survive in the future high temperature environment? When heated quickly, like the oceans are, water tends to form layer of stratification. This blocks oxygen from mixing with deep water and leads to extinctions.

Then you have cold water fish like Tuna, Sardine, Anchovy, haring, etc that will die in a hot ocean. That is a food source for major portions of the human population.

I will wait for the global cooling to save the world.
Humpty
1.7 / 5 (9) Aug 05, 2013
Jesus wasn't a jew, he was an israeli.

Thus the oceans shall not warm.

Blessed be the name of Yoni.
VendicarE
3.1 / 5 (7) Aug 05, 2013
As to NikkieTard's graphic...

http://www.biocab...cale.jpg

... comes from just a handfull of data points and has is hand drawn. The graphic is a hand waving generality that doesn't even provide a vertical scale for temperature or Co2 levels.

No one in the scientific community takes it as a serious representation of temperatures or Co2 levels. It is illustration only in the same way as a cartoon of a dinosaur is a stand in for a all Dinosaurs.

ReTards like NikkieTard on the other hand, think it is a real and accurate assessment.

Richard Alley will set those in doubt straight. Unless they are willfully ignorant like NikkieTard

http://vimeo.com/34099316
NikFromNYC
1.9 / 5 (14) Aug 05, 2013
VendicarE is linking to long discredited hockey sticks that the IPCC and lately even Al Gore have abandoned.

Gore's cherry picker presentation that so strongly linked CO₂ to temperature visually concealed the fact that most of those swings show quite clearly that the T swing caused the CO₂ bursts since they occur about 800 years *before* them.

The latest hockey stick that Michael "Hockey Stick" Mann celebrated over a dozen times on Facebook, who he was a likely reviewer of, is the clearest case of brazen fraud ever published in recent climate science memory:

http://s17.postim...tick.jpg

Namely, Marcott re-dated his input data to allow spurious data drop off at the end to create the hockey stick blade and this is not a controversial claim, just the facts of the case, and yet it has not been retracted from the journal Science. This is the best ever smoking gun that peer review and later public review in climate "science" is utterly corrupted and broken.
VendicarE
3.1 / 5 (7) Aug 06, 2013
VendicarE is linking to long discredited hockey sticks that the IPCC and lately even Al Gore have abandoned." - NikkieTard

Which hockey stick are you referring to TardieBoy? Dozens of climate studies using dozens of different data sets and different methods have produced the same results?

Which resulting hockey stick are you referring to?
Gmr
2.9 / 5 (10) Aug 06, 2013
A lot of ocean productivity depends on cold nutrient-rich water and ocean circulation. Disruption of that will have consequences, from fisheries to other habitats, and since corals are sessile (they don't move once they cement down) they have no means of migration. Even if another environment comes available that is appropriate, it is unlikely that coral would be able to exploit it, certainly not at its current diversity.

Only a few animal types are set up to exploit feast-and-famine rapidly changing environments, such as colonizers of "whale-falls" in the deep ocean. Corals are not among these.
VendicarE
3 / 5 (6) Aug 06, 2013
First you claim that there is no correlation and now you claim that there is one.

"Gore's cherry picker presentation that so strongly linked CO₂ to temperature visually concealed the fact that most of those swings show quite clearly that the T swing caused the CO₂ bursts since they occur about 800 years *before* them." - NikkieTard

Are you so stupid that you can't keep your story straight between 2 or 3 posts?

Moron.
VendicarE
3.1 / 5 (7) Aug 06, 2013
NikkieTard posts the following graphic as "proof" that global warming isn't happening.

http://s17.postim...tick.jpg

It looks like unlabeled incoherence to me. A montage produced by a child.

And what is NikkieTard trying to cover up by literally covering up the end of the hockey stick with a picture of some guy holding a pole?

Laughably this meaningless child's montage is what NikkieTard things science is.

Moron.

NikFromNYC
1.9 / 5 (14) Aug 06, 2013
Do I really have to take a weekend off to destroy Marcott's hockey stick and drag Mann's support into it as a new infographic? Now that Republicans are on board, I think I'll wait for popular book writers to explain it instead. In the meantime, this month Antarctic ice extent is setting a record since records began 33 years ago:

http://arctic.atm...ive.html

Arctic ice has jumped about 50% compared to last year too:

http://arctic.atm...ive.html

That headlines only cherry pick spurious events and obscure studies that support alarm while ignoring events and studies that cancel out that alarm, is a clue that propaganda has replaced journalism.

Hockey sticks rely on tree rings that fail to actually work in the present day! Remember "Hide The Decline"? The oldest real thermometer records utterly falsify claims that history is a hockey stick:

http://s24.postim...nous.gif
NikFromNYC
1.9 / 5 (13) Aug 06, 2013
VendicarE's character is here revealed, that being the true face of Global Warming activism as they lose the scientific debate:

http://tinypic.co...&s=5

http://s18.postim...AT_2.png

http://oi44.tinyp...9fmc.jpg

http://s10.postim...at_4.png

VendicarE
2.8 / 5 (6) Aug 06, 2013
NikkieTard fears being convicted of treason against nature and man.

This is because he knows he is guilty.

VendicarE
2.8 / 5 (6) Aug 06, 2013
Yup.. NikkieTard is actually concluding from the following unprecedented sea ice extent anomaly that everything is normal.

http://arctic.atm...ive.html

He also is advised from the voices he hears in his head, that there are no voices in his head, so all is well in Tinfoil Cap land.
Howhot
3.1 / 5 (7) Aug 06, 2013
Wow. The Nikkietard guy is a total tool. He begs for scientific debate, but has nothing to offer that hasn't already been slammed into the canvas like a pro-wrestler's face being sat on by Andre the Giant! Global warming is real, rapidly occuring, and has the potential to be an extinction without the USA intervening.
runrig
3.5 / 5 (6) Aug 06, 2013
Minus the now falsified massive water vapor feedback of the classic greenhouse effect


Really Nik (again): This from a contemporary thread.....

http://www.nasa.g...ing.html

Scientists using AIRS data have removed most of the uncertainty about the future role of water vapor. Temperature and water vapor observations have corroborated climate model predictions that rising carbon dioxide levels will lead to warming and increased water vapor. The increased water vapor greenhouse effect will roughly double the warming effect of carbon dioxide alone. The AIRS data are the strongest observational evidence to date showing the response of water vapor to a warming climate. These studies demonstrate that if greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase the earth's climate is virtually certain to warm by several degrees Celsius in the next century -- unless a strong, negative, and as yet unknown feedback mechanism emerges./
runrig
4.3 / 5 (6) Aug 06, 2013
VendicarE is linking to long discredited hockey sticks that the IPCC and lately even Al Gore have abandoned." - NikkieTard

Which hockey stick are you referring to TardieBoy? Dozens of climate studies using dozens of different data sets and different methods have produced the same results?

Which resulting hockey stick are you referring to?


Including the BEST study which was funded specifically to prove a falehood.
alfie_null
4 / 5 (5) Aug 06, 2013
Nik - For some reason you don't seem to be getting your points across. Have you tried using ALL CAPS?
NikFromNYC
1.9 / 5 (13) Aug 06, 2013
runrig is doing my work for me, very thankfully. Here you *see* mainstream science invoking water vapor feedback indeed to turn boring CO₂ blanket effects into a disaster scenario. His link is to a study that brings down the theoretical amplification of the normal greenhouse effect from the headline grabbing IPCC value of 3X to only 2X. That is minus the now realized negative influence of the entire rest of the biosphere!

So what do the latest headlines now announce? Wild speculation about Rube Goldberg worthy climate disasters and odd claims that our recent near record low wildfire season and records low hurricane lull (the lowest of any President in history) represent newfangled "Climate Change" which indeed it may be since anybody can understand how more warming influence from CO₂ itself is naturally counteracted by a system that has billions of years of experience regulating itself, as pro-nuclear scientist James Lovelock who popularized the term Gaia has suggested for years.
NikFromNYC
2 / 5 (12) Aug 06, 2013
"James Lovelock, the maverick scientist who became a guru to the environmental movement with his "Gaia" theory of the Earth as a single organism, has admitted to being "alarmist" about climate change and says other environmental commentators, such as Al Gore, were too. / Lovelock, 92, is writing a new book in which he will say climate change is still happening, but not as quickly as he once feared."

His book and others like it were inspiring reading to me as an adolescent with each new Whole Earth Catalog as my reference bible.

https://www.googl...lovelock

The creator of the Catalog, Steward Brand, who dedicated it to anti-Malthusian inventor Bucky Fuller is strongly pro-nuclear too:

https://www.googl...+nuclear

A small group of activist climatologists scammed everybody with hockey sticks and after Climategate revealed peer review corruption and "Hide The Decline" policy advice deception, conservatives ditched, but liberals doubled down.
runrig
4 / 5 (5) Aug 06, 2013
runrig is doing my work for me, very thankfully. Here you *see* mainstream science invoking water vapor feedback indeed to turn boring CO₂ blanket effects into a disaster scenario. His link is to a study that brings down the theoretical amplification of the normal greenhouse effect from the headline grabbing IPCC value of 3X to only 2X. That is minus the now realized negative influence of the entire rest of the biosphere!

Nik: One of these you're going to get your facts right.

The TOTAL feedback(s) is ~x3
For WV (RH kept constant) it is ~x2

From: http://en.wikiped...sitivity

"CO2 climate sensitivity has a component directly due to radiative forcing by CO2, and a further contribution arising from feedbacks, positive and negative. "Without any feedbacks, a doubling of CO2 (which amounts to a forcing of 3.7 W/m2) would result in 1 °C global warming, which is easy to calculate and is undisputed......

cont
runrig
4 / 5 (5) Aug 06, 2013
The remaining uncertainty is due entirely to feedbacks in the system, namely, the water vapor feedback, the ice-albedo feedback, the cloud feedback, and the lapse rate feedback";[8] addition of these feedbacks leads to a value of the sensitivity to CO2 doubling of approximately 3 °C ± 1.5 °C, which corresponds to a value of λ of 0.8 K/(W/m2)."

From this...
http://www.ipcc.c...-14.html
It can be seen that the range of estimated forcing for WV(RH constant) ALONE is ~ 1.6 - 2.2 W/m2

So taking 1.9 as a mean then 3.7/1.9 = ~2 ..... Geddit?
runrig
4.2 / 5 (5) Aug 06, 2013
*Correction* (senior moment)
From this...
http://www.ipcc.c...-14.html
It can be seen that the range of estimated forcing for WV(RH constant) ALONE is ~ 1.2 - 2.4 W/m2 and WV+LR ~0.8 - 1.7 W/m2 = ~2.0 to 4.1W/m2

So ~x2
NikFromNYC
2 / 5 (12) Aug 06, 2013
runrig, the very concept of "climate sensitivity" represents the highly speculative hypothesis that climate is not what it obviously really is: a heat system dominated by *chaotic* ocean dynamics on decade and century time scales, such that natural variability has not in fact been ruled out at all as a dirt simple explanation of recent warming and the more recent lull in that warming. That's the null hypothesis that Kevin "Missing Heat Travesty" Trenberth publicly sought to have reversed:

"Humans are changing our climate. There is no doubt whatsoever," said Trenberth. "Questions remain as to the extent of our collective contribution, but it is clear that the effects are not small and have emerged from the noise of natural variability. So why does the science community continue to do attribution studies and assume that humans have no influence as a null hypothesis?"

The value I offer to the debate is being a well seasoned Ph.D. empiricist and not just a theory guy, a mere programmer.
Gmr
2.5 / 5 (10) Aug 06, 2013
You forgot "Pompous self-important blowhard."
VendicarE
2.8 / 5 (6) Aug 06, 2013
"CLAIM: Apples are oranges." - NikkieTard

Oh. NikkieTard is reporting on what is said by Faux news anchors and guests.

Faux news claim. Ronmey wins the election.

Reality is somewhat different.

VendicarE
3 / 5 (6) Aug 06, 2013
"The value I offer to the debate is being a well seasoned Ph.D. empiricist and not just a theory guy, a mere programmer." - NikkieTard

You must have gotten your PHD in lying.

I know of no university that offers such a degree. Perhaps Heartland or CATO provides them with every copy of "The Bell Curve" they flog.
antigoracle
1 / 5 (8) Aug 19, 2013
Another "sky is falling" bit of AGW Alarmist propaganda to feed the gullible chicken littles.
Howhot
5 / 5 (1) Aug 20, 2013
Another "sky is falling" bit of AGW Alarmist propaganda to feed the gullible chicken littles.

Another hockey stick denier that just can't understand what an exponential function is.
antigoracle
1 / 5 (6) Aug 24, 2013
Another "sky is falling" bit of AGW Alarmist propaganda to feed the gullible chicken littles.

Another hockey stick denier that just can't understand what an exponential function is.

Hmmm....exponential function, that would be your increase in stupidity with each passing day. Now that was too easy.