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Example of 'Unknown Unknowns,' Study Detailing 'Almost Instant Mortality of Corals' Suggests Crisis Worse Than Previously Understood

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/08/09/example-unknown-unknowns-study-detailing-almost-instant-mortality-corals-suggests

Devastating. I was fortunate to snorkel in the red sea many times when i lived in egypt. The ras mohamed coral reef is a beautiful sight to behold. Beauty disappearing worldwide before our eyes. As we stand helplessly looking on.

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At least the science is consistent, and by that I mean consistently wrong.
Every time they tell us something will happen in thirty years, fifty years, hundred, it seems to happen in five.
Now that the feedback loops have started it will all accelerate at a pace that normally conservative and prudent scientists just won’t be able to keep up with.
Most coral will be gone by 2030. The base of the ocean food chain will collapse. The ocean will be way too acidly for any species to come back. By 2050, most or all life in the worlds oceans will be gone.
That may seem dire, but that’s the pace we find ourselves on.

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I snorkeled there as well 23 years back, wings.

A favorite memory that my wife and I have is looking at a book about tropical fish as we rode a bus to Sharm El-Sheikh and saying over and over “I hope we see that fish…and that one… and that one.”

Ten minutes in the water and we’d seen them all and then some. Simply stunning.

The death of coral reefs is nothing short of heinous.

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I recognise the world I grew up in less and less every day. It’s so tragic. The great nonlinear-unraveling of everything is upon us. Today here in St. Paul, MN there was an eerie light cast apon the landscape as the smoke from Siberian fires is passing overhead in the jetstream. We are literally killing ourselves… and taking down so many other beautiful life forms with us.

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I used to feed the parrot fish by hand. That’s when i became vegetarian. I couldnt bear to see them in the market with all their colour faded, thinking they might be ones i had fed. The red sea is marvellous.

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The reason is that science tends to be very conservative about predictions. So they usually take the best case scenario when they make their predictions.
And yes it is happening faster than predicted. I fear the same thing, that events will come faster and faster.
I am writing a book where things start falling apart by 2030 as starving people flood the richer countries and a world war starts and by 2050, most life is dead. I wonder if I am being too conservative.

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Hi wingsofadove:

And 70% of the planet is ocean----a warming ocean, an ocean where fish still swim past Fukushima; and an ocean where today, on the west coast, whales are beaching themselves. An ocean that supports so much human life, but an ocean being plasticized by commerce and industry. I wonder how much plastic I have in me?
Tiny pieces of plastic, microscopic in the water, in the ocean life, and sadly, the throughout the oceans, the land , the sky—our protective covering that makes life so livable-----------
It seems like T.S. Eliot will be right:
“This is the way the world ends—not with a bang—with a whimper.” : (

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From the Bleached House to the bleached coral, the bleached ocean, the plastic fantastic ocean, the screaming ghosts of fish drifting in the dark dead tide. Yes sir. Capitalogenic humans have done a mighty fine job of mucking up the works beyond all hope of redemption.

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No, I fear you may be spot on. Most periods of human pestilence had a pivotal year or two, when the effects really started to multiply.
My guess for that fateful day used to be 2030. I now fear it may be closer to 2022. Hell, by 2030 we may no longer experience winter in much of the northern hemisphere anymore.

A question Dove. What are the water temps like there? How long ago?

Hello RonR.

You can check out temps at seatemperature.info.com. Looks like current water temps in the Red Sea are 82F/28C in the north to 88F/31C at Jeddah. Running about 2C above normal. I hope this helps. Take care.

It was 1982 to 1991. The water was perfect. Even far off shore. Now there is a problem on the coast as sharks are coming further in and there have been many attacks on humans. This is attributed from animal transport ships from australia bringing live sheep. When a poor sheep dies they throw it over the side. So the sharks smell them and come further in (to the shipping lines) and thereby spot the humans too. The sea is very calm too so snorkeling is a joy.

Hi stardust. Jacqes Cousteau said before his death many years ago that because of the state of the oceans (this man lived his whole life at sea) the earth has 50, 100, maximum 150 years before …(what is happening now). I think his 50 year estimate is probably right.

There are also terms in science, particularly science that can pertain to ecology, that in include nonlinearities and strange attractors in chaos theory, just to name two, that vex the conservative (proper use) view. These are so abstract to the reptilian (read junior high school) brain as to be easy fodder for derision. When earth scientists get their wonk on their reports are often sanitized so that they will not be Hannitized. The RWNJs have done humanity and life in earth in general great harm with their fealty to all things money and fear of all things beyond their personal comprehension.

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Here an article from deep time paleontologist Peter D. Ward on the relationships between past mass extinctions and the world oceans as they warm and stratify. Lucky to get a free pdf of this 2006 article so easily:

IMPACT FROM THE DEEP, Peter Ward, Scientifc American, 2006

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It is becoming impossible to keep reading such articles that include such drivel as the following:
" ‘And the death of corals would come with a steep cost for humans: flood protection that’s worth tens of millions in the U.S. alone, plus an estimated value of almost $30 billion each year globaly in tourism, fishing, and other benefits.’ "

As if what is happening to this precious and irreplaceable planet has any relation to or can be measured in monetary terms. The blindness is staggering. Who are these braindead people who can’t see they are enthusiastically destroying themselves?

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Because of the greed by powerful people running the world

The Sixth (and perhaps last) Mass Extinction is growing in intensity and consequences daily - while we are governed by a corrupt ignorant and utterly uncaring fool and his criminal regime.
It was wonderful to experience the beauty and wonder of nature during my life, before the dark times - countless creatures great and small are being exterminated before our eyes and we are helpless for the most part to stop it or alter the direction of greed as the prime-mover of government as participant in the crime against nature…

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I was curious as to whether the temps there were a problem for coral. Are they different, as those temps are quite warm.