When bad news is good

by Rud Istvan

The crescendo of climate change ‘bad’ news leading up to release of problematic AR5 SPM continues.

For example, a new paper [1] from the University of East Anglia is upsetting according to its own UEA PR:

Climate change will upset vital ocean chemical cycles    

Lead researcher Dr. Thomas Mock, said: “Phytoplankton, including micro-algae, are responsible for half of the carbon dioxide that is naturally removed from the atmosphere. As well as being vital to climate control, it also creates enough oxygen for every other breath we take, and forms the base of the food chain for fisheries so it is incredibly important for food security…Previous studies have shown that phytoplankton communities respond to global warming by changes in diversity and productivity. But with our study we show that warmer temperatures directly impact the chemical cycles in plankton, which has not been shown before.”

In just 24 hours this UEA PR headline was repeated many times, for example by NERC, ScienceDaily, and the Times of India. Often with little twists like:

Warming Oceans Could ‘Upset Natural Cycles’ And Kill Carbon-Storing Plankton; Would Lead To Vicious Cycle’ Of Climate Change

The paper’s abstract (below) shows this PR transmogrification is utter nonsense, the opposite of what the UEA paper actually found.

The IPCC maintains that CAGW will raise 2100 average surface temperature by 3.4°C (AR4) to 3.7°C (AR5 leaked FOD Table SPM.2 scenario RCP8.5). Phytoplankton only thrives in the upper mixed ocean layer (since sunlight only penetrates a few tens of meters into the ocean). The ocean mixed layer equilibrates with surface temperature because of, well, mixing.

There is no doubt that a +3.5 temperature rise beneficially affects cold water phytoplankton metabolism.[2] With even a moment’s thought about the real world, it is not credible that ‘climate change will upset vital ocean chemical cycles’ for the whole world. If conditions change phytoplankton just bloom elsewhere. For example…

The seasonal Atlantic swing along Fort Lauderdale beaches is from 71°F (brr) to 86°F, about Δ8°C.  I should know, I have lived in a building located right on this beach for over a decade.

These shallow coastal waters contain one of the only coral reef systems along the continental US. It lies about 0.3km offshore from the beach, at depths of about 5-30 meters in 3 reef bands. You can just make them out by the second ocean color change (a little further out than the buildings are tall at that point). You can kayak/snorkel to them from the beach if you don’t scuba. This local ecosystem’s coastal phytoplankton are already adapted to more temperature variation than 3 something degrees. FLL phytoplankton thrives in summer heat. Shallow reef winter (brr) visibility is better than during summer’s maximum phytoplankton bloom. Just Mark I Eyeball dive observations…

This reef system only extends about 60 miles further north to Palm Beach. By Daytona Beach, the seasonal sea temperature swing is from 61°F (Brrrrrrrrrr) to 80°F, consistently ≥3°C lower than FLL throughout all seasons. As great a difference as IPCC’s prognosticated ≈3.5°C climate change by 2100. Any ‘overheated’ Fort Lauderdale phytoplankton could adapt by ‘moving’ to Daytona Beach–if the IPCC were right, which they probably aren’t.

Perhaps my perspective is unfair, since it is only about shallow coastal seas. What about the North Atlantic north of Florida? Here is a July surface temperature map for a portion of it.

presentation2There is a lot more July temperature variation in this limited latitude/longitude section than annually along the Florida coast. Lots of different temperature zones for different phytoplankton to thrive, even if there were a +3.5°C change.

That still might not be fair since the Gulf Stream is a famous warm current just 7 miles offshore FLL, which eventually crosses the entire North Atlantic. That Atlantic snapshot shows an appreciable part of the Gulf Stream influenced Atlantic in July… So here is the entire world in NH winter. That ‘cold’ ≈22°C water off FLL (≈75W long, ≈25N lat) is typical for the winter season when South Florida welcomes the northern snowbirds that flock to its beaches.

presentation2

Anybody who thinks a possible +3.5°C anomaly could adversely upset global marine phytoplankton biology cannot be thinking at all. They are ignoring the ocean’s enormous natural seasonal and geographical variation.

They also have not bothered to read the unpaywalled abstract of this new paper, which says (emphasis added):

Marine phytoplankton are responsible for ~50% of the CO that is fixed annually worldwide, and contribute massively to other biogeochemical cycles in the oceans. Their contribution depends significantly on the interplay between dynamic environmental conditions and the metabolic responses that underpin resource allocation and hence biogeochemical cycling in the oceans. However, these complex environment–biome interactions have not been studied on a larger scale. Here we use a set of integrative approaches that combine metatranscriptomes, biochemical data, cellular physiology and emergent phytoplankton growth strategies in a global ecosystems model, to show that temperature significantly affects eukaryotic phytoplankton metabolism with consequences for biogeochemical cycling under global warming. In particular, the rate of protein synthesis strongly increases under high temperatures even though the numbers of ribosomes and their associated rRNAs decreases. Thus, at higher temperatures, eukaryotic phytoplankton seem to require a lower density of ribosomes to produce the required amounts of cellular protein. The reduction of phosphate-rich ribosomes in warmer oceans will tend to produce higher organismal nitrogen (N) to phosphate (P) ratios, in turn increasing demand for N with consequences for the marine carbon cycle due to shifts towards N-limitation.

This is good news for two reasons. First, warmer temperatures increase phytoplankton bioactivity (protein synthesis) all over the globe. Mark 1 Eyeball observations of FLL seasonal reef visibility are true everywhere. It is in the phytoplankton genes. That means more oxygen, more marine food chain food, and more carbon sequestration if waters warm. Second, temperature up-regulated gene expression shifts phytoplankton metabolic pathways away from phosphorus and toward nitrogen. This is a marvelous example of evolutionary adaptation. Phosphorus is a growth-limiting factor in most ocean regions, provided primarily by upwelling deep water. A shift toward ‘N-limitation’ with more bioactivity avoids the phosphorus growth constraint. Oceans have their own nitrogen fixation mechanisms (e.g. cyanobacteria like Trichodesmium) that would also get more productive. Less phosphorus consumed by phytoplankton means more is available to N-fixing cyanobacteria. [3], [4]

Iron is the usual rate limiting phytoplankton and cyanobacteria micronutrient in all oceans at all latitudes.[5], [6] Iron is provided by upwelling deep water or by atmospheric dust. Oceans are mainly fertilized by desert dust. Speculative ocean geo-engineering involves iron (not N or P) fertilization. Little gets biochemically ‘upset’ by Δ temperature. Except in the UEA PR.

According to this paper, Fort Lauderdale’s reef phytoplankton would thrive right there over a longer warmer summer season, sequestering more CO2 and producing more food for the reef’s corals, fish, spiny lobster ‘bugs’, and other beautiful creatures. We might have to sink some more iron ships near the reef to help it out and provide more dive destinations. But I think I’ll hang here rather than panic and move away. Not worried about ice sheet collapse. Not worried about the reef. Not worried about CAGW increasing hurricanes. Worried about MSM and IPCC credibility, and that can be done from anywhere.

This upsetting PR is actually doubly good news. And not just for FLL.


[1] Toseland et. al., The impact of temperature on marine phytoplankton resource allocation and metabolism, Nature Climate Change (2013). Paywalled.

[2] Rose et. al., Synergistic effects of iron and temperature on Antarctic phytoplankton, Biogeosciences 6: 3131-3147 (2009)

[3] Sanudo-Wilhelmy et. al., Phosphorus limitation of nitrogen fixation by Trichodesmium in the central Atlantic Ocean, Nature 411: 66-69 (2001).

[4] Straub et. al., Changes in North Atlantic nitrogen fixation controlled by ocean circulation, Nature 501: 200-203 (2013)

[5] Behrenfeld et.al., Confirmation of iron limitation of phytoplankton photosynthesis…, Nature 383: 508-511 (1996)

[6] On a vast planet, there are always exceptions. The Mississippi provides abundant iron (silt) to the Gulf of Mexico waters around its mouth. N and P would become rate limiting, except that agricultural runoff into the river provides overdoses of both. This causes massive coastal blooms, which in turn deplete seafloor oxygen when the phytoplankton die, sink, and decompose (using up seafloor dissolved oxygen). This creates an annual summer hypoxic/anoxic bottom water zone as the water warms and phytoplankton bloom. This is a terrible seasonal problem for shrimp, crab, and other coastal bottom dwellers. The NOAA 2013 image shows this year’s extent.

JC comments:  Rud Istvan submitted this post to me via email.  Rud has contributed numerous posts to Climate Etc.  Since this is a guest post, please keep your comments relevant and civil.

121 responses to “When bad news is good

  1. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Rud Istvan hints darkly “The crescendo of climate change ‘bad’ news leading up to release of the problematic AR5 SPM continues.”

    And for this there can be only one explanation:

    This must be the product of a great conspiracy, a conspiracy on a scale so immense as to dwarf any previous such venture in the history of man. A conspiracy of infamy so black that, when it is finally exposed, its principals shall be forever deserving of the maledictions of all honest men.”

    Seriously Rud Istvan, doesn’t the best available climate-change science clearly indicated that IPCC5 is understating long-term global-scale ocean-warming risks, precisely as Naomi Oreskes has accurately foreseen, for the reasons that Wendell Berry has clearly explained?

    These considerations are pure ordinary-citizen common sense, eh Rud Istvan?

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    • More PR transmogrification nonsense?

    • To rephrase:

      “Winter will upset vital ocean chemical cycles”
      “Summer will upset vital ocean chemical cycles”

      So?

      It happens. The annual temperature range is already far larger than the temperature change (predicted by useless models) due by 2100.

      Phytoplankton: Oh woe is me. I can’t adapt in 100 years.

      Phytoplankton’s Mom: Quit whining. You’ve already adapted.

    • No conspiracy needed. Newspapers have exaggerated events for hundreds of years in order to increase readership. When a majority of people in the news industry and in the environmental movement and in academia seem to be touchy-feely progressives who think with their emotions just a bit more than with their brains, it makes sense. No conspiracy needed except that of “good intentions” which as we know can often put us on the road to – well you know the rest.

    • Matthew R Marler

      A fan of *MORE* discourse: Seriously Rud Istvan, doesn’t the best available climate-change science clearly indicated that IPCC5 is understating long-term global-scale ocean-warming risks, precisely as Naomi Oreskes has accurately foreseen, for the reasons that Wendell Berry has clearly explained?

      The short answer is “No”.

      This post presents a straightforward report of the science related to the responses of marine micro-organisms to temperature fluctuations in the ocean. On this line of evidence the rise in temperature on the scale forecast will be largely beneficial, though the benefits will be limited by the shortages of iron and phosphorus. The author cites peer-reviewed primary scientific reports. A debate about whether he has cited them accurately might be informative. I have not been able yet to access the originals. Your comment is irrelevant.

      And for this there can be only one explanation:

      Don’t forget the “invisible hand” of the marketplace. There is a lot of fame, money and honor for promoting AGW extreme alarmism. More modest evaluations of evidence result in insults, accusations of committing a crime against humanity, and so forth, accusations of being in the pay of someone (a counter-conspiracy, so to speak.)

      • > There is a lot of fame, money and honor for promoting AGW extreme alarmism.

        You may imagine how much more fame, money and honor there would be to disprove AGW.

      • “You may imagine how much more fame, money and honor there would be to disprove AGW.”

        You’d have to imagine it, because no one is offering any of that currently.

        Andrew

      • Quick, Willard, name the person or persons who disproved The Population Bomb and who are honored by the New York Times and Washington Post for the accomplishment.
        Last I saw, both papers were still “honoring” the author of that tome.

      • David Springer

        JeffN – good one!

      • willard,

        So who was it who just received an award from the National Wildlife Federation?

        O yeh, Michael Mann.

      • Thanks for playing, guys.

        Will be back later.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Willard(@nevaudit): You may imagine how much more fame, money and honor there would be to disprove AGW.

        I merely pointed out that “conspiracy” was not the only explanation. Yet a third reason for the appearance of acting in cahoots is messianic religious zealotry.

        AGW can not be disproved. It is a theory about the equilibrium effect of accumulated CO2. If there should not be catastrophic climate change, that merely means that we have not allowed enough time to pass. Right now, for example, the apparent non-warming of the earth surface may be because the increased downwelling IR radiation is causing heat to accumulate in the deep ocean. There can always be mechanisms adduced to account for the non-attainment of the predicted rise in temperature, should the climate never get close to the predicted equilibrium..

    • There is a lot of fame, money and honor for promoting AGW extreme alarmism.

      Good thing that there’s no fame, money, and honor for promoting fossil fuel usage, eh? ‘Cause if there were, we might really be in trouble.

      Selective reasoning is selective.

      • Selective reasoning? Perhaps more like faulty logic. People can always get rich providing a useful service vital to the public’s well-being. Takes and entirely different type to get rich scaring the hell out of people. Kind of admirable for someone like Steven King, but for publically funded folks, not so much.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Joshua: Selective reasoning is selective.

        You don’t seem to have noticed that I posted my comment in response to a comment by FOMD, who cited Naomi Oreskes. There was no need for me to present her side. As usual, your objection to selectivity is biased.

  2. Climate change will upset vital ocean chemical cycles

    Natural ‘climate change’ or does ‘climate change’ throughout the Earth’s geophysical record bear a human fingerprint?

  3. Anybody who thinks a possible +3.5°C anomaly could adversely upset global marine phytoplankton biology cannot be thinking at all.

    Yes. It isn’t possible that they were thinking and came up with a different analysis than you.

    It isn’t possible that they are just wrong.

    It is only possible that they cannot be thinking at all.

    Such a calm, dispassionate, clear-thinking, careful, precise, and un-biased analyst you are, sir. Not to mention polite.

    There is no other choice. You must be correct, and as a result, we know that anyone who might differ from you just isn’t thinking at all.

    • “that they are just wrong”

      Interesting possibility, eh Josh?

      Andrew

      • Of course it’s possible, Bad. I assume that Rud makes a good case to that effect. I look forward to seeing if any smart and knowledgeable people provide evidence and arguments otherwise.

        That doesn’t justify his laughably facile conclusion or his poorly justified and completely unvalidated suggestions of victimization at the hands of a completely undefined “MSM.”

        One would think that skeptics wouldn’t get upset about pointing that out.

        “Skeptics,” “Skeptics” everywhere and not a drop of skepticism to drink.

      • Joshua,

        Given that Rud made a complete hash of his last effort (paleo-reconsruction of old reefs in Oz), I wouldn’t be surprised if he has this totally wrong too.

        I’ll have a look at it tomorrow and we’ll see if serial incompetence is at work here.

      • PS – his absurd focus on the work “upset” doesn’t bode well.

      • > Given that Rud made a complete hash of his last effort […]

        Help potential readers, Michael: provide links. Quotes might be nice too. Suggested presentation:

        [Sir Rud] [L]owering ( tectonic subsidence) over such a geologic short time span is a real problem for the coastline stability asserted in the paper. QED.

        [Michael] Er, no it’s not. They are referring to sea-level, not coastline stability, and it notes the ‘tectonically stable’ nature of the Australian coastline.

        https://judithcurry.com/2013/08/30/ice-sheet-collapse/#comment-372338

        Hope this helps.

    • I think you are missing the point that global warming alarmism has never been supported by science but alarmists’ misrepresentation of scientific findings for the sake of a few phony headlines goes beyond unscientific and into the realm of psychosis.

    • “It is only possible that they cannot be thinking at all.”

      Correct.

    • Can someone find a plot of the temperatures of the top
      50 meters of the ocean with time? SST’s are not what
      is relevant and the 0-700 meter band may be too wide.

      Since the heat is going into the deep oceans according
      to Trenberth, then the deep oceans must mix with the 0-700
      meter band much more efficiently than thought. Otherwise
      it could not have shown up over just a ten year period (just as the
      new temp. system was introduced coincidentally). Therefore
      I suspect that it will take thousands of years for the ocean
      to equilibrate and raise by a few degrees C, let alone 3.5 C.

      • The algae do not live at a specific depth, they bob up and down depending on light flux; when flux is high they sink down to get the highest amount of light for photosynthesis and least amount of damaging blue/uv. Movement also depends on how close they are to reproducing, if you are fixing CO2 you are best dropping in depth away from the CO2 denuded surface.

      • Doc,
        That sounds a bit contradictory. There’s always more radiation near the surface. Blue and near UV penetrate much deeper in water than red that doesn’t penetrate more than a few meters even in totally pure water.

        Both red and blue light and even near UV are important for photosyntesis, while green and yellow are ineffective for that.

        It’s certainly possible that weaker blue and UV is better for some phytoplankton, if the damage from strong radiation weights more than the amount of radiation available for photosyntesis.

      • Pekka, the don’t live in pure water, they release sunscreens, sporines and Mycosporine-like amino acids, to soak up uv. The path length of sun light at noon is a lot shorter than in morning or afternoon.
        They have photosynthetic antenna tuned to have peak efficiency at about 80-90% of maximum light flux, so they are efficient either side of the peak light flux. When flux is about to cause excessive photo-bleaching the dip to attenuate the flux. UV can chew through their antioxidants and antenna quite quickly.
        This dipping also helps them have access to CO2 as they actively pump in both CO2 and bicarbonate anion denuding the area where they are photosynthesizing.

    • How about logic?

      “Under warmer temperatures, marine micro-algae do not seem to produce as many ribosomes as under lower temperatures. Ribosomes join up the building blocks of proteins in cells. They are rich in phosphorous and if they are being reduced, this will produce higher ratios of nitrogen compared to phosphorous, increasing the demand for nitrogen in the oceans.”

      In an average cell there is protein and their is RNA/DNA and Pi.
      On warming cells require less ribosomes, so their need for RNA drops, an increase in efficiency.
      A rise in the N/P ratio does not mean each cell require MORE nitrogen; the authors are explicitly stating that the number of ribosomes (made of both protein and RNA) per cell, drops.
      The individual cells have less requirement for a house-keeping ribosome and so can use more of the energy they harvest to fix more carbon and make more daughter cells.
      The consequence of increases translation efficiency is more biomass, hence more fixing of CO2.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Joshua: It isn’t possible that they are just wrong.

      I agree: it’s possible that they are “just” wrong. However, the alternatives are not mutually exclusive. They are “wrong” because they are not “thinking” about very many details together. Also, they “unthinkingly” concluded that all the changes that they modeled ( there were no actual measurements here) would be bad.

      Remember that these are huge populations of small, rapidly growing organisms with huge numbers of diverse offspring each. One thing we know about such populations is that they adapt to small environmental changes: resistance to DDT among mosquitoes, resistance to antibiotics among TB bacilli, and so on.

      • There is actually more to it than that; all the biotic you observe are the decedents of survivors of previous mass extinction events. The ‘brittle’ members of the biosphere are the specialists. Marine algae are not primitive, they are highly sophisticated organisms that are adapted to changes that can occur in geological time scales. They, as a species, are equipped to survive large foreign body impacts or volcanic events that wipe out species like our own.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Doc Martyn: There is actually more to it than that; all the biotic you observe are the decedents of survivors of previous mass extinction events.

        You mean “descendents” for “decedents”. But yes, you anticipate my followup: all the populations that are observed today survived the Medieval Warm Period.

      • “You mean “descendents” for “decedents””
        I have a 3D, not 2D, brain and have real difficulty with some letter sequences.

  4. Whereas “The rapid decline of the world’s coral reefs appears to be accelerating, threatening to destroy huge swathes of marine life unless dramatic action is swiftly taken, a leading ocean scientist has warned.”

    http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/coral-alert-destruction-of-reefs-accelerating-with-half-destroyed-over-past-30-years-8835480.html

    • Louise wants everyone to get out of the pool. Right away. Or else?…

    • Louise

      Do you believe that AGW is the dominate cause of the decline in coral reefs? What leads you to that conclusion?

    • Louise, the threat to coastal coral reefs is water pollution. Decomposition of runoff organic matter creates very small amounts of hydrogen sufide, to which most marine organisms are very sensitive.
      The 2011 Austrlian paper you link refers to was diddled. All three reef seep transects were at Milne Bay, Papau New Guinea. One of the three was seeping 163ppm hydrogen sulfide. It had a dead zone at pH 7.7 caused by the H2S. Other seeps at pH 7.8 without H2S were doing OK, although species diversity changed. Dr Walter Starck, famous marine biologist, visited Milne Bay in 2010 and concluded the reefs were doing fine at pH at or below what AR4 projected for 2100.
      Ocean pH is a complicated story, and is the subject of a future post on NOAA PMEL and oysters.

  5. Study the history of the world, remember Carthage?

    http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/37

    The best minds of Rome, were put to work on this pressing problem.
    It what we do.

  6. Anybody who thinks a possible +3.5°C anomaly could adversely upset global marine phytoplankton biology cannot be thinking at all. They are ignoring the ocean’s enormous natural seasonal and geographical variation.

    Depends on what you mean by “adversely” and “upset“. We probably shouldn’t expect a massive decline in bio-activity, but the part of the marine “food pyramid” used by humans is only at the very top, and sudden eco-reorganizations could easily lead to drastic drop of human-harvestable biomass.

    Personally, I suspect the direct effect of higher atmospheric pCO2 is more likely to cause such reorganizations than temperature changes. With ocean acidification somewhere between. But that’s just a guess, I could easily be wrong. (Not that any scientific “proof” either way can reasonably be expected in the next couple decades, unless it happens.)

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Rud Istvan claims [wrongly and ignorantly] “Anybody who thinks a possible +3.5°C anomaly could adversely upset global marine phytoplankton biology cannot be thinking at all.”

      Rud Istvan is helping Climate Etc readers to an appreciation of the willfully naked scientific ignorance at the heart of climate-change denialism.

      Rud Istvan, why do you not better acquaint yourself — and acquaint Climate Etc readers too — with the extensive paleo literature in regard to past mass extinctions from heat-stress?

      The world wonders!

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      • Matthew R Marler

        A fan of *MORE* discourse: Rud Istvan, why do you not better acquaint yourself — and acquaint Climate Etc readers too — with the extensive paleo literature in regard to past mass extinctions from heat-stress?

        The temperature change discussed here (3.5C is already at the upper end of the projections) is well within the natural range of temporal and geographic variability of the populations that are extant, and they thrive more at the higher end of the distribution as it is (maybe you have evidence to the contrary that you’d like to cite?) Evidence about those mass paleo extinctions is irrelevant to this case.

  7. Judith, could you please delete my comment at 10:54 regarding coral.

  8. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Peter Lang asks [rhetorically yet ignorantly] “If warming is such a problem for coral, why was there so much more coral around when the planet was warmer and so much less when it was colder?”

    Thank you Peter Lang, for posting this outstanding example of the naked, willful, absurdly self-confident faux-scientific ignorance that is at the heart of climate-change denialism!

    Please let me vote to leave Peter Lang’s comment in place!

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    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Not to mention, removing Peter Lang’s 10:54 post broke the threading!

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      • It’s OK we have an abundance of filler today,…

        ” “The most favored explanation at the moment is that more of the heat absorbed by the oceans is being sucked down into deeper waters than before.”

        that sucks.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        It goes without saying that I am motivated to find it hugely – if immaturely – funny to blame it all on you FOMBS.

        Take it as a distorted mirror image of your smarmy, unctuous, pejorative, non-responsive and utterly worthless comments.

      • David Springer

        More like teleporting. The heat doesn’t so much pass through the mixed layer as it does vanishing from the surface and magically reappearing over 300 meters deep.

        Beam me up Scotty there’s no intelligent life in alarmist climate science.

  9. To the global warming alarmists there is no God, only Leftists’ creatures, all of which are as delicate as hot house flowers and all doomed to extinction absent the Leftists’ hectoring the productive like gadflies.

  10. Rud Istvan

    Thanks for exposing another alarmist “blooper” from the UEA.

    What with their failed predictions of “BBQ summers”, “record hot years”, “snow-free winters”, etc., these guys are a real hoot.

    (At least Fanny still believes in them, if that’s any solace.)

    Max

    • Max, the paper is actually quite interesting. It is the UEA PR spin that is the blooper.

      • It’s often said that scientists should be more active in presenting scientific findings to the public. If the typical press releases are any indication on what that would mean, they should not move to that directions.

        University press releases are all too often a disservice to science.

      • The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse


        University press releases are all too often a disservice to science.

        Hand the research dossier over to James Delingpole, interpreter of interpretations.

    • Rud Istvan
      Thanks for the notes on a absurd paper. How that can get any attention is unbelievable. The earth abides. Sea level in San Diego was 120 meters above current levels demonstrated by the flat terraces of beach remnants. Plus it has been 100 meters lower when the Farallon Islands were connected to dry land northern California and the San Franicisco Bay was a river valley. Sea level changes but in this case 7 inches a century allows addaption. What are thses people thinking.

      ScottBut thanks Rud for the articla.

  11. Sometimes reading this blog, I get the feeling we’re all individual birds, singing the same song over and over without variation.

    Someday it might be interesting exercise to try arguing the opposite position to some post, i.e. warmists would argue as skeptics and skeptics as warmists.

    I’m not even sure we could do it, which is telling in itself.

    • Sometimes reading this blog, I get the feeling we’re all individual birds, singing the same song over and over without variation.

      Sometimes?

      • Fine Joshua. But importantly,do you hear your own song? Do you hear how tonally and stylistically similar to one other, your comments tend to be? How similar in basic content… or perhaps purpose would be a better word.

        The Joshua song is well-known forest wide, and instantly recognizable by all the other birds in the woods

        And yes, the answer is yes. I do hear my own song.

      • PG –

        But importantly,do you hear your own song?

        Yes, I hear my own song. But no, I don’t think that it is “important.” In fact, I’m surprised to read that you think it is. Such a belief would seem to be in contradiction to one of the refrains from your song, which is insignificant I am.

        And yes, the answer is yes. I do hear my own song.

        PG – why would have thought I would play the Mommymommyism game? I leave that for the “skeptics.” (well, except occasionally when I screw up).

      • pokerguy,

        Are you referring to the repetative warbling of the non-biased pecker headed nit picker?

        I hear there is a conspiracy afloat among the other birds to drive him from the forest. But i don’t believe it.

    • > Sometimes reading this blog, I get the feeling we’re all individual birds, singing the same song over and over without variation.

      +1

      There are variations, as with birds:

      Given as much time as birds, we Denizens could become as relaxing.

      ***

      Julian Treasure suggests we listen to birds every day:

      • David Springer

        As long as we’re on the subject of wildlife I saw a Tarantula Hawk

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarantula_hawk

        dragging a small Tarantula yesterday. It was too big to fly away with it. I got a few hasty pictures that didn’t turn out well then it fell off the deck into the weeds.

        Tarantula Hawk reputedly second-most painful sting in the insect world. I don’t think Tarantulas are any slouches in the painful sting department but they’re arachnids not insects.

      • What have you, magpie to celebrate?
        Such glorious chortling in an arid landscape,
        Leaves of eucalypts hanging motionless
        In the breathless mid-day heat. It isn’t
        That you can’t, or won’t complain in some
        Scenarios, but rather that, by your very song,
        You are constrained from self-reflexive musing.
        For magpie, you may sing only the songs
        Passed down the line by those first ancestors.

        Songster extraordinaire, you are programmed
        To voice stanzas of liquid affirmation,
        Your concert repertoire scarcely allowing
        For lamentation.

        bts

    • yes,

      even the comment about singing the same song is singing the same song.

      There is a reason why people sing the same song. they are possessed.

      in some way it is loosely tied to this

      “Languages differ essentially in what they must convey and not in what they may convey.”

      What many say here is a matter of commitment, that is it is governed by a system outside their control or even outside their awareness. They think they are having these thoughts when actually the thoughts are having them.

      If you want to change your song learn a new language or study philosophy.

      and weirdly even when you do that you will find the same songs, the same stories, over and over again. They dont get old for a reason. and we enjoy them for a reason.

      • The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse

        We humans don’t love little babies because they’re cute.
        Little babies are cute because we love them.

      • Rev,
        your parents where built to enjoy the way a baby looks. Which was a stroke of good luck for you.

        http://uglybabiesrus.tumblr.com/post/54887645236/reader-submission-looks-like-this-baby-is-sucking

      • The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse


        your parents where built to enjoy the way a baby looks.

        Thank you for understanding the point of my comment.

        In return, I am compelled to understand why you linked that picture.

      • David Springer

        puppies and kittens are cute human babies are hard to look at and even harder to listen to

      • They mewl and puke
        And burp and poop
        And pee and pee and pee,
        And then grow up, up, up.
        ==============

      • David Springer

        I’m sorry kids are mostly great but anybody that thinks babies are cute is a woman and I suspect most of those are just being polite. ;-)

      • “What many say here is a matter of commitment, that is it is governed by a system outside their control or even outside their awareness. They think they are having these thoughts when actually the thoughts are having them.”

        Where do the clips of young female Korean pop stars fit in this theory?

      • David, David, David, if you understood the screams of a human (or dolphin) baby means about your species you would rejoice.
        Take the young of almost any species and frighten it, it will be still and quite. Frighten a human or dolphin baby and they scream, they scream at frequencies matched to heir species peak hearing.
        When a human or dolphin baby screams it is saying “All adults come and help me”.
        Basically, all dolphins and humans are friends to newborns, newborns have no fear of anything, because an adult will come and save the day.
        Now that is a loving species.

  12. Rud, Thank you for a very educational read.

  13. The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse


    With even a moment’s thought about the real world, it is not credible that ‘climate change will upset vital ocean chemical cycles’ for the whole world.

    I’ll meet your argument from incredulity, and raise you a straw man…

    Sure – Fort Lauderdale will have excellent reefs for diving – but, rather inconveniently, the business district will be underwater too.

    • > I’ll meet your argument from incredulity, and raise you a straw man.

      Reverend wins the Internet.

    • Rev,

      Thanks for the cartoon!

      Andrew

    • Jeb,

      Two words:

      Dikes

      Levees

    • Will we still be able to SCUBA?

      Robert Edmister – This 95 foot Coast Guard cutter was built in 1953 and was resold at in auction in Fort Lauderdale to a businessman who renamed her Robert Edmister after a friend who had passed away. The newly named Robert Edmister was sunk on Dec. 11, 1989 and sits upright in 70 feet of water. The Edmister has already attracted a good variety of marine life including coral.

      Get Wet!

  14. Rud said

    ‘The seasonal Atlantic swing along Fort Lauderdale beaches is from 71°F (brr) to 86°F, about Δ8°C. I should know, I have lived in a building located right on this beach for over a decade.’

    Here on the south West coast of Britain our Atlantic beach water temperature will range from around 8C to 19C-approx 46F to 68F. In an extreme year perhaps 5C at its lowest and 21C at its warmest , around 41F to 70F.
    Plenty of variation from one side of the Atlantic to the other.

    I saw the figure of a change in the average surface anomaly of 3.4C by 2100. Is that related to LAND surface? If so what does that equate to in the ocean?

    tonyb

  15. Despite our very chilly waters there is a wonderful diversity of corals and other marine life in the seas outside my window.

    https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=lyme+bay+coral+reefs&rlz=1T4DSGL_enGB415GB416&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=orpBUvWALcuh7AbkhoGwDg&ved=0CEYQsAQ&biw=1366&bih=589&dpr=1

    The biggest problem to them isn’t climate change but the dredging techniques carried out by Fishermen. This resulted in a recent exclusion ban which seems sensible although hard on the fishermen
    tonyb

    • For a data point, I used to scuba dive in the Persian Gulf and Red Sea and both places were bathtub warm with massive Coral Reefs. So we have some time before slight increases in Temperatures start impacting viability of the worlds Coral reefs.
      Scott

  16. “The reduction of phosphate-rich ribosomes in warmer oceans will tend to produce higher organismal nitrogen (N) to phosphate (P) ratios, in turn increasing demand for N with consequences for the marine carbon cycle due to shifts towards N-limitation.”
    Firstly, N2 is abundant and is fixed by these organisms whereas phosphate is a growth limiting nutrient.
    Secondly, the reduction in ribosomes and mRNA, which is a result of increases efficiency in translation, means that you have higher metabolic efficiency. This in turn means that low nutrient areas where phosphate and light flux are low support much higher population densities.
    Thirdly, the only way to know if your postulate is correct is to do the damned experiment. Marine biologists have tanks designed for exactly for this type of study.

  17. Amazing piece on the benefits of ocean warming considering it followed a post on “Unintended Consequences”.

    Who is writing these great comedic scripts?
    Good news for gag writers.

  18. Matthew R Marler

    Rud Istvan, thank you for a good post.

  19. Thanks, Rud.

    In broad terms, this argument also applies to the “ocean acidification” scaremongers. For some reason, alarmists seem to think that the chemical properties of the ocean are evenly distributed and unchanging over large areas, when in fact they can change significantly in a 24 hour period over a small area. The critters seem to manage OK with it.

    • Johanna, Judy has a separate draft post on that, which she said she will post ‘soon’. My only regret is that due to her blog image limitations, it covers only one of the two main examples currently echoing around the Internet. I could write up the other, but planned it just for my next book. If you want to see the entire acidification essay in its current draft form, figure out how to get your email to me. I am not hidden. Hint, check out LinkedIn, or just email Judy.
      Regards

  20. “With even a moment’s thought about the real world, it is not credible that ‘climate change will upset vital ocean chemical cycles’ for the whole world. If conditions change phytoplankton just bloom elsewhere. For example…”

    Surely that IS upsetting vital ocean chemical cycles. Shuffling them all around into different positions! Don’t you understand the significance of what you are saying?

    “This local ecosystem’s coastal phytoplankton are already adapted to more temperature variation than 3 something degrees.”

    You don’t get it. A sustained change is different from seasonal change.

    Wildlife in the UK is adapted to survive an annual variation of about 12C, with winter averaging about 4C. That doesn’t mean they would survive an 4C drop in UK annual temperature.

    • The difference between wildlife in the UK and ocean plankton is that the wildlife cannot travel freely (the snowhare for instance cannot go more to the north then Scotland where it already lives). Plankton however… But that is not were this article is about. Rud is not talking about seasonal changes as the differences at one lattitude in the warm season are already more then that 3,5 degrees temp rise projected for this century.
      Still for me this isn’t the most important clue of this article. The fact that the temperature rise would improve ocean productivity isn’t either. Though it is nice to see the biochemical base for it as shown in the original research and which could lead to a shift from P to N limitation.

      The real point is that you can have an alarmistic press release from the University itself based on research that is basically not biased (reading the abstract) and well done. If it is good news or bad news is depending on your own beliefs. In my view it is good news and I have yet to see a good argument against Rud’s reasoning.

      • Part of the problem here is that Rud hasn’t read the article.

        So his claim that the press release is at odds with the article is just a guess – and it’s wrong.

        What the paper points out, is that the changing N:P ratio will favour cyanobactria over larger phytoplantkon – most of our fisheries species are far more dependent on phytoplankon than cyano-bacteria.

      • In reply to Michael: I would be very surprised if Rud hadn’t read it. I can’t judge that however (unlike you). Having done research in ecotoxicoloy and microbiology (on N-fixation by Rhizobium) and having raised up quite a lot of algae in that time I don’t think his conclusions are far fetched. I didn’t read the article but from the abstract I derive that the writers are probably careful not to stretch their conclusions from test tube to the oceans too far. That in stark contrast to the press release.

        Yes there will probably be a shift to more cyanobacteria but also towards higher biological productivity anyway. Besides cyanobacteria are part of the phytoplankton and an important part of the food cycle too (well in general, they are a diverse group with some toxic proponents but these are not likely in O2 rich environments).

  21. Chief Hydrologist

    Ocean temperatures equilibriate with the atmosphere through increased energy losses. Atmospheric temperature rises with greenhouse gases – all other things being equal – this reduces IR losses from the oceans and the oceans warm. Warming oceans release more energy as IR and as latent heat warming the atmosphere a little more.

    What we get is a maximum sea surface temperature in the tropics that is stable and about 30 degrees C. Willis has done some analysis with ARGO.

    It seems to suggest a maximum sea surface temperature limited by energy losses and greater poleward transport of warm water. As oceans warm the size of the 30 degree pool seems likely to expand.

    The closer to the equator the more stable the sea surface (and hence land) temperature. The warm productive zone is expanded but the oceans don’t warm uniformly.

    e.g. http://geosci.uchicago.edu/~abbot/PAPERS/koll-abbot-13.pdf

    Away from the equator temperature changes much more and IR losses are much greater.

    During the Holocene – cooler than the last interglacial and in a cooling trend.

    http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/AntarcticSeaSurfaceTemp_zps30f136ee.png.html
    http://people.rses.anu.edu.au/dedeckker_p/pubs/4.pdf

    BTW – with atmospheric temperature not changing much in the past decade and oceans warming – there is another mechanism for oceans warming in ARGO that is obvious in CERES and MODIS.

    • Chief:
      “…with atmospheric temperature not changing much in the past decade and oceans warming…”

      With SSTs high as far as I can tell, the Atmosphere seems to be in a conduit phase. Simply passing the increased energy emitted from the Sea Surface level up and out though the TOA. Working at intended.

    • R. Gates the Skeptical Warmist

      Chief said:

      “Warming oceans release more energy as IR and as latent heat warming the atmosphere a little more.”

      _____
      Natural variabililty will dictate when and if the “warming oceans release more energy”, and natural variability may be influenced by the external forcing from rising GH gas concentrations leading to a rather nasty entanglement. Sometimes oceans cycles will be such that the oceans don’t release as much energy and some times they’ll release a huge amount that compounds on top of the longer term anthropogenic signal (i.e. 1998). The point is, given that a large portion of tropospheric energy comes from the ocean, this can cause very strong multi-decadal fluctuations in tropospheric sensible heat, making it a very poor metric or proxy for Earth system sensitivity to anthropogenic GH gas forcing. Given that the troposphere has this very low thermal inertia and makes up such as small portion of the Earth’s energy system relative to the ocean, the best way to track the anthropogenic forcing and climate sensitivity to that forcing is to accurately track ocean heat content. Fortunately, even as we speak new profile floats are being tested that will regularly check down to 6000 meters and deeper.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        It is a simple explanation for why oceans heat with a warming atmosphere. Natural variation on decadal to millennial scales however does dominate the system from abyssal flows to clouds and TOA radiant flux.

        Without any evidence at all are you hoping that yet more heat will be found below 2000m? It’s a joke right?

        https://judithcurry.com/2013/09/24/five-critical-questions-for-the-ipcc/#comment-386366

        The global climate system is composed of a number of subsystems – atmosphere, biosphere, cryosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere – each of which has distinct characteristic times, from days and weeks to centuries and millennia. Each subsystem, moreover, has its own internal variability, all other things being constant, over a fairly broad range of time scales. These ranges overlap between one subsystem and another. The interactions between the subsystems thus give rise to climate variability on all time scales.

      • “… even as we speak new profile floats are being tested that will regularly check down to 6000 meters and deeper”

        And when confirmed empirical data becomes available the issue will be resolved

        Until then, I suggest you stop wanking … even as we speak, so to speak

      • Hey Chief, Thanks for the Michael Ghil link.

  22. David Springer

    willard (@nevaudit) | September 24, 2013 at 1:32 pm |

    “You may imagine how much more fame, money and honor there would be to disprove AGW.”

    Make the check out out to mother nature because she’s the only one who can do it.

  23. One of my several homes was in far north Queensland near Caifns. The description of the water and reef off Florida is remarkably like that at Bramston Beach just South of Cairns, so it is likely that the research on photop;ancton tolerance to temperature referred to applies there as well.

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