Climate change and coral reefs: Trojan horse or false prophecy? A response to Maynard et al. (2008)

Hoegh-Guldberg, Ian O. (2009) Climate change and coral reefs: Trojan horse or false prophecy? A response to Maynard et al. (2008). Coral Reefs, 28 3: 569-575. doi:10.1007/s00338-009-0508-6

Author Hoegh-Guldberg, Ian O.
Title Climate change and coral reefs: Trojan horse or false prophecy? A response to Maynard et al. (2008)
Journal name Coral Reefs   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0722-4028
Publication date 2009-09
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s00338-009-0508-6
Volume 28
Issue 3
Start page 569
End page 575
Total pages 6
Place of publication Heidelberg, Germany
Publisher Springer
Collection year 2010
Language eng
Abstract Maynard et al. (Coral Reefs 27:745–749, 2008a) claim that much of the concern about the impacts of climate change on coral reefs has been ‘‘based on essentially untested assumptions regarding reefs and their capacity to cope with future climate change’’. If correct, this claim has important implications for whether or not climate change represents the largest long-term threat to the sustainability of coral reefs, especially given their ad hominem argument that many coral reef scientists are guilty of ‘‘popularising worst-case scenarios’’ at the expense of truth. This article looks critically at the claims made by Maynard et al. (Coral Reefs 27:745–749, 2008a) and comes to a very different conclusion, with the thrust and veracity of their argument being called into question. Contrary to the fears of Grigg (Coral Reefs 11:183–186, 1992), who originally made reference to the Cassandra syndrome due to his concern about the sensationalisation of science, the proposition that coral reefs face enormous challenges from climate change and ocean acidification has and is being established through ‘‘careful experimentation, long-term monitoring and objective interpretation’’. While this is reassuring, coral reef ecosystems continue to face major challenges from ocean warming and acidification. Given this, it is an imperative that scientists continue to maintain the rigour of their research and to communicate their conclusions as widely and clearly as possible. Given the shortage of time and the magnitude of the problem, there is little time to spare.
Keyword Climate change
Ocean acidification
Cassandra syndrome
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: 2010 Higher Education Research Data Collection
Centre for Marine Studies Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 17 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 21 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Wed, 21 Apr 2010, 09:44:41 EST by Hayley Ware on behalf of Centre for Marine Studies