A new paper published by the Global Warming Policy Foundation refutes alarmist claims about the state of the world’s coral reefs.
According to the author, eminent reef scientist Peter Ridd, the official data show no signs of any long-term trends in reef health. Indeed, the best records – for Australia’s Great Barrier Reef – suggest that coral cover is at record highs.
Dr Ridd said: “The public are constantly told that reefs are being irreparably damaged by global warming, but bleaching events, about which there is so much doom-mongering, are simply corals’ natural response to changes in the environment. They are an extraordinarily adaptable lifeform, and bleaching events are almost always followed by rapid recovery.”
Dr Ridd suggests that rather than being seen as under threat from climate change, corals should actually be recognised as one of the organisms least likely to suffer harm in a warming world.
“Corals get energy from a symbiotic relationship with various species of algae. When environmental conditions change, they can rapidly switch to a different species that is better suited to the new conditions. This shapeshifting means that most setbacks they suffer will be short-lived.”
Dr Ridd says that the real risks to reefs come from overfishing and pollution.
The GWPF invited responses to this paper from authors likely to dissent from its conclusions. None of the authors who were contacted accepted this invitation.