The Center for Biological Diversity contends that staghorn coral and elkhorn coral are “the first, and to date only, species listed under the Endangered Species Act due to threats from global warming.” Kieran Suckling, the policy
director of the Center, “We think this victory on coral critical habitat actually moves the entire Endangered Species Act onto a firm legal foundation for challenging global-warming pollution.”
The Center for Science & Public Policy has published a report taking a closer look at the scientific evidence, which reveals that the impact of global warming on the overall health of coral species is likely to be positive–towards increased species diversity and richness and habitat expansion–and there is evidence that these changes are already underway.
The hope that this endangered species designation will somehow become a tool for global warming legislation is grossly misplaced. Global warming will likely be a benefit to elkhorn and staghorn corals, especially along the
Florida coast where increasing ocean temperatures should encourage coral reef development further and further northward.
The report is available at http://ff.org/images/stories/sciencecenter/coral_reefs_and_global_warming.pdf
Paul Georgia, Ph.D.
Center for Science & Public Policy
Frontiers of Freedom