Bummer: Climate Change Stalls Reef Growth


Everybody panic!!!!!!!!

(Time) A study published Thursday says our coral reefs could be in danger. Toth and her co-writers say in the study that El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) caused reef ecosystems in the tropical eastern pacific to collapse thousands of years ago, and pollution combined with global warming changes could now repeat the process. The sea temperature changes associated with El Niños are the main cause for the coral reefs dying off from bleaching.

Around 4000 years ago reef growth began to shut down. The collapse lasted about 2500 years. Scientists came to this conclusion after analyzing coral reefs on Panama’s Pacific coast. They inspected cross-sections of the reefs using radiocarbon dating and mass spectrometry techniques to find the “hiatus” in the reef’s growth, as it was described in the report. Coral reefs in Japan and Australia experienced similar hiatuses in growth. Scientists believe that the widespread distribution of the hiatus suggests that it was caused by historical changes in ENSO.

(MSNBC) Coral reefs along Panama’s Pacific coast completely collapsed for 2,500 years due to natural climate cycles, researchers reported in a study Thursday, adding that there’s a lesson in the data for man-made climate change: ease up on greenhouse gasses and reefs will restore themselves.

(Phys.org) Climate change drove coral reefs to a total ecosystem collapse lasting thousands of years, according to a paper published this week in Science. The paper shows how natural climatic shifts stopped reef growth in the eastern Pacific for 2,500 years. The reef shutdown, which began 4,000 years ago, corresponds to a period of dramatic swings in the El Niño—Southern Oscillation (ENSO). “As humans continue to pump greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, the climate is once again on the threshold of a new regime, with dire consequences for reef ecosystems unless we get control of climate change,” said coauthor Richard Aronson, a biology professor at Florida Institute of Technology.

Notice that in each and every story, and you can find more (study is here behind paywall), says that “hey, this was all natural” but “this could be happening now!!!!!!!” Say, what happened around 4,000 years ago?

(graphic via Deneen Borelli)

Now, can anyone see what happened around 4,000 years ago? Hint for Warmists: it wasn’t getting warmer.

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