Activist Scientists Crying Wolf on Coral Bleaching and Climate Change

THE propaganda from our Great Barrier Reef scientists at the 12th International Coral Reef Symposium is relentless. According to Janice Lough, Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS), the rate of change from anthropogenic global warming is unprecedented and is already having a catastrophic impact on the Great Barrier Reef. Also in front of the TV camera today, Phillip Munday, James Cook University, said the most spectacular of our coral reef fish will disappear. And John Pandolfi, University of Queensland, was begging us to do more to save the reef.[1] Australian Institute of Marine Science research director Peter Doherty told the $10 million symposium of more than 2000 marine scientists from 80 countries of an “alarming and unsustainable decline” in coral over large sections of the Great Barrier Reef in nearly three decades.[2]

But I reckon it’s all a put-on: they are crying wolf.

One of the symposium themes is ‘Climate change and bleaching’.

There have been some spectacular bleaching events in the last 15 years. The reality, however, is that most of the Great Barrier Reef has not bleached, and those areas that have bleached have almost fully recovered. The following are some interesting facts about heat and coral growth: [3]

1. All the species of coral that occur in the Great Barrier Reef also grow in Papua New Guinea where the waters are 2 degrees warmer.

2. Coral growth rates and tissue thickness generally increases with increasing temperature. The only regularly temperature-stressed corals in Queensland are in Moreton Bay, because the ocean water there regularly gets too cold.

3. The short lived Acropora corals which are most susceptible to bleaching make a choice of the symbiotic algae which resides inside them. It is the expulsion of these algae that causes bleaching. It is now known that the some clades of algae make the coral grow very fast but also renders them susceptible to bleaching. On the other hand, other clades of algae make the coral grow slowly but to be less susceptible to bleaching. By selecting different clades of algae, it is now apparent that the corals can easily adapt to major temperature changes, whether these are natural or not.

4. If global warming occurs and the sea-level rises in consequence, there will be a spectacular increase in coral cover on the large areas of reef flat which are now almost devoid of corals due to the fall in sea-level that has occurred in Queensland over the last 5000 years. These areas are presently below the spring low tide level and are thus exposed to the air. Sea level rise will allow these areas to recolonise.

5. High surface water temperatures associated with the two major bleaching events on the Great Barrier Reef in recent decades were a result of periods of extended calm associated with strong El Niño conditions. At such times normal wave mixing ceases as does the normal wave driven currents across shallow reef tops. This permits unusually high water temperatures to develop and the water on top of reefs to become especially warm. There is no evidence to indicate any influence of anthropogenic climate change in these events nor of any increase in the frequency or strength of such events.

Scientists at the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) and various universities depend upon generous government funding to study the supposed threats of climate change and coral bleaching. But rather than reporting their research findings in a scientifically meaningful way they behave as political activists and propagandists and talk nonsense.


Links, And

1. Climate change could make reef boring, Conor Duffy, July 10, 2012.

2. Coral Reef Symposium in Cairns hears of threats to our natural ocean wonders, Peter Michael, July 10, 2012.

3. Interesting facts about heat and coral growth compiled by Professor Peter Ridd, James Cook University.

147 Responses to Activist Scientists Crying Wolf on Coral Bleaching and Climate Change

  1. John Sayers July 11, 2012 at 5:26 am #

    There’s a very good discussion about this from last year on The Conversation site:

    read the comments. That Ove Hoegh-Guldberg is a worry!!

  2. Another Ian July 11, 2012 at 7:06 am #

    Did you happen to hear the interview on ABC radio where Jane Lubchenco gave the whole NOAA nine yards of “converting to the preached”?

  3. mareeS July 11, 2012 at 7:55 am #

    The facts: Nobody knew a thing about the GBR until after WW2 and the Battle of the Coral Sea, after which SCUBA aqualungs became available outside military use and people began to explore coral reefs in any close detail, notably Jacques Cousteau.

    How can so-called experts forecast the future of coral reefs from such fledgling research?

  4. Minister for Truth July 11, 2012 at 9:07 am #

    I totally agree with Jen M

    The behaviour of the so called scientists is absolutely reprehensible.

    Funding being applied to derive politically driven results by a group that was once seen as being beyond reproach is now so shameful. I dont know many people who believe anything these alarmists say any more.

    Much of what they say doesnt even pass a basic common sense smell test…they are even too stupid to get that bit right.

    Its becoming a common occurrecce for some university somewhere putting out press releases and/or getting some half baked scientist to front a compliant ABC lefty journalist for a sound bite.

    Last week it was the University of Adelelaide doing a bit on the Arrabunna natives and causing international guffaws of laughter ..which earned them the title of the University of East Wankerdom,

    …before that it was the University of Melbourne doing its bit through the stuff ups by Karoly and Gergis, that meant a key paper that underscored their alarmist sound bite had to be withdrawn..and with no retraction by theABC as you would expect

    …now its the AIMs and Univ of Qld spreading fear and doubt over the GBR, forgetting that a small reduction in alkalinity doesnt make seawater acidic etc

    …prior to that some academic plod also from the Univ of Qld was also in the press, spreading fear and alarm and saying that systems in ICT are now so complex everyone should join his organisation and be accredited by them….yeah right. They cant even run themselves never mind telling everyone else what to do.

    and on it goes…..


    Co2 remains saturated at 200ppm…but we still get the idiot carbon tax

    Canberra has its coldest spell since 1967

    Yet more evidence that clouds are a small negative forcing, not hugely positive as their silly models are programmed to do.


    BTW: Cliff Ollier has good article on all this and the Carbon Tax in Quadrant

  5. Neville July 11, 2012 at 9:13 am #

    The Bolter is asking for your help. Make sure Juliar has to answer the best three questions.

    Please help if you can and pass on the message.

  6. spangled drongo July 11, 2012 at 9:13 am #

    The GBR in its present state only arrived in the last 10,000 years with global warming and sea level rise.

    With more of the same it will most likely only improve and increase.

    I wonder if these scientists ever feel a litte foolish acting like cargo cultists, witch doctors and doom merchants by trying to turn positives into negatives.

    But I suppose having a great time on the taxpayer dollar to justify your existence, it would be easy to tell yourself how indispensable you are.

    But how stupid are we for inflicting ourselves with it?

  7. Hasbeen July 11, 2012 at 10:42 am #

    In the early/mid 80s I was running a large tourist cruise boat operation in the Whitsundays. This included sending a 325 passenger high speed catamaran out to our instillation at Hardy reef, daily. Three of my regular customers were dive schools from the mainland & 2 resort islands, taking divers out to do a reef dive as part of their dive course. I skippered this boat fairly regularly.

    I also had staff living on our instillation at least 6 nights a week, you wouldn’t believe the amount of bird poo that can build up on a pontoon or boat in 24 hours out there, if unmanned.

    I was supplying accommodation at the reef, transport & the use of our small boats to a number of James Cook marine biology PhD students, & I had personally skippered overnight tourist reef trips to much of that area. With all this experience with a 30/40 nautical miles section of the reef, I knew it better than most. I had also spent quite some time diving there, when choosing where to site our facility.

    I took the board members of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, their hangers on, a bunch from AIMS, & another from James Cook out there one day. On the way the chair of the GBRMP Authority, a lady history professor, was telling me they were very worried at the rate the crown of thorns were disseminating the reef in our area. A number of their marine biologists agreed “things were crook”.

    When I pointed out that all my people combined had found only one crown of thorns in quite some time, [they brought it in to the mainland to show people], I was told that these people mustn’t be able to recognise the things.

    I was about to point out that I & my people had a great deal more experience of marine creatures & the reef than they did, but decided not to waste my time. I had better things to do. Most of their “research” was done in tanks back in Townsville, so their real knowledge of the reef was pretty limited. They were not worth arguing with.

    I was shocked to find that most of these researchers were more interested in the football scores, than what all my people had learnt. It was only the PhD students who would spend hours with these people, & the reef commercial fishermen, learning everything on offer. I used to wonder when these kids would turn into the insular academics we found in Townsville.

  8. John Bennetts July 11, 2012 at 10:58 am #

    It is not principally water temperature that is of concern.

    Progressive acidification is causing greater harm to our oceans and to the reef.

    Perhaps, if the author considered more than one factor, she would be entitled to an opinion, but to base a critique on one factor alone is to demonstrate ignorance.

    The issues are far more complex than have been presented. This is an example of a very sloppily prepared article, which should never have been published.

    Hasbeen clearly has great knowledge of the reef. However, he is 30 years out of date. Things have moved on a long way since his time and some of those eager PhD students are probably amongst the unanimous thousands of scientists who express concern about the reef’s current state and future prospects.

    What is it about modern society that so easily casts aside the collective knowledge built up through thousnads of professional lifetimes of academic endeavour, on the pretext that, because it is science then it must be worthless?

  9. Bill Burrows July 11, 2012 at 11:02 am #

    Jennifer & I live in the same beach side location fronting Keppel Bay. Below us is that sin city of industrial development – Gladstone, which the green zealots claim is being ‘raped & pillaged’ by evil dredges deepening the harbour. It is claimed that turbidity generated by the dredges is going to kill the reef. It is also said it has already led to significant disease outbreaks in iconic fish species such as barramundi. However there is a minor problem – as the dredging has ramped up over the past 12 months the fish disease incidence has fallen back to “normal” levels. This has corresponded with the efflux of time from a major flood input into the Harbour.

    Commercial fishermen are suing the Gladstone Ports Authority for damage to their fishery. To bolster their case they contracted researchers from JCU to show the extent of the dredging plume in the Harbour. Lovely coloured maps were produced of the Harbour highlighting the plume courtesy of NASA’s MODIS sensors. I thought this was a good research tool, but was surprised that the adjacent Keppel Bay was not also depicted. So I went to the site and downloaded my own image (free & not copyrighted) for last Wednesday. See:

    [Gladstone Harbour is in the bottom right corner of the image, Keppel Bay with the Fitzroy river spewing into it is immediately above it].

    Lo & behold the natural turbidity in Keppel Bay (a renowned fishing spot) is well above that in the actively dredged Harbour, both in visual intensity & extent. MODIS Terra sensor imagery is available on a daily basis from October 2004. Random checks of this imagery reveal that the turbidity in the Bay always exceeds that in the Harbour, whether or not the Fitzroy is in flood and whether or not the Harbour is being dredged.

    So I quickly checked Matthew Flinders Journal covering his 1802 exploration of the Bay and discovered he described the waters as “coloured” & “thick”. And Geoscience Australia has recently extensively cored the Bay’s floor and concluded that its sediment input has averaged 136,000 tonnes/yr for the last 6000+ years.

    Meanwhile the local print media have weekly fishing notes and regular photos of great coral trout and red emperor caught on the eastern edge of the Bay. If turbidity is going to damage the reef, there is no evidence of it down this end.

  10. MAGB July 11, 2012 at 11:44 am #

    In reply to John Bennetts, the problem is not that people think “because it is science then it must be worthless”
    Many of us are scientists, and are fully aware of the reasons why research scientists need to keep up the interest of politicians in worthwhile projects. The problem with environmental issues in general and climate change in particular, is the exaggeration of the adverse effects by the likes of Ove Hoegh-Guldberg. He’s been crying wolf for far too long and is doing damage to the reputation of science in general.
    And as for compliant ABC journalists, it is time the ABC charter was changed to make them focus more on educational material, including science and technology, and less on the superficial political gossip that they waste time and resources on.

  11. John Sayers July 11, 2012 at 12:05 pm #

    Ove Hoegh-Guldberg has a blog that no one comments on.

    I’ve tried making comments but he won’t publish them – they sit permanently awaiting moderation.

  12. cohenite July 11, 2012 at 12:19 pm #

    “Crying Wolfe” is not new as Peter Ridd noted in 2009:

    Note the failed predictions by Guldberg; this guy is an alarmist joke.

  13. spangled drongo July 11, 2012 at 12:19 pm #

    John Bennetts,

    If corals evolved when temperatures were ~10c warmer and CO2 levels were ~4,000 ppm, [ten times current] don’t you think you are waffling when it comes to AGW being the problem?

  14. jennifer July 11, 2012 at 1:06 pm #

    John Bennetts

    One issue at a time. I did this post late last night on the issue of yesterday… There was much in the news on coral bleaching n AGW and apparently it’s a key theme at the symposium.

    After I post on acidification, which is a scientifically more complicated issue, no doubt you will have yet another issue.

  15. jennifer July 11, 2012 at 1:07 pm #

    PS The post on acidification will happen in the next day or three.

  16. jennifer July 11, 2012 at 1:10 pm #


    John Bennetts

    Do you accept then that global warming and coral bleaching are not catastrophic issues for the Great Barrier Reef?

  17. hunter July 11, 2012 at 1:58 pm #

    It is like modern scientists look at Lysenko and wonder how they could have built a bigger deceptive politically corrupted science culture.

  18. hunter July 11, 2012 at 2:03 pm #

    My God, ocean acidification is like the zombie that just won’t die: there is no data in the theory, but it trudges on, relentlessly sucking more and more research resources and corrupting more and more weak minded grad students.
    The true cost is that the stupidity factor by pursuing OA as the answer to coral/ocean issues is at the expense of dealing with the things that actually hurt water systems, like putting up barrages across estuary/bay systems and pretending they are environmentally responsible. Or dealing with industrial, urban or ag effluents getting into corals. No, in the age of AGW CO2 is the answer to all questions. What a crock rent seeking excrement.

  19. John Sayers July 11, 2012 at 2:55 pm #

    Here’s a some data.

    “”These biome-specific pH signatures disclose current levels of exposure to both high and low dissolved CO2, often demonstrating that resident organisms are already experiencing pH regimes that are not predicted until 2100.””

    Willis Eschenbach explains it here:

  20. Hasbeen July 11, 2012 at 3:40 pm #

    John Bennetts, some of those PhD students were OK, but you must admit, not very quick on the uptake.

    For example, I had been told, in the lat 60s, or early 70s, by a reef fisherman, who had probably not finished primary school, that the horrible brown/yellow stuff that floated around the inner reef in huge patches in spring was coral spore. The brown stuff stained the topsides of white boats so badly, that every boaty in the area knew about it.

    He had reckoned that the coral released all their spore over a 2 day period. I know some of those students were told of this. Imagine my surprise when about 15 years later marine “SCIENTISTS” breathlessly announced their incredible finding, that coral release their spore on the same night each year.

    You will pardon me if I find most of their ground breaking research produce mostly similarly rather yawn inducing results.

    I spent quite a bit of time closely involved with coral atolls & high island fringing reefs in the northern Solomon islands & PNG, where the water is constantly hotter, & the coral thrives.

    I also spent some time sailing in poorly charted, or uncharted areas. I learnt to look for fresh water outlets, to find suitable entrances through barrier reefs. I also saw the difference in the ecology of lagoons with limited interchange of water between them & & the open ocean. A bit of research on these phenomena would be more use, than bleating about AGW & acidification.

    Of course it is much harder doing pure research, rather than simply trying to find justification for some theory, that attracts grant money.

  21. Robert July 11, 2012 at 4:32 pm #

    Hasbeen, all this talk of vast in situ experience and constant close observation of the natural world…you’re starting to sound like Ben Cropp!

    We all know about those bubbles he’s been emitting underwater for decades. What’s your angle?

    I’ll bet you’re both in the pay of Big Scuba!

  22. Bill Burrows July 11, 2012 at 4:36 pm #

    I have been lucky enough to spend a week fishing the Swain Reefs for a week each year for the past 9 years. Also in the last 2 years I have fished and snorkelled in the Bunker group and coastal fringing reefs between Bundaberg and St Lawrence. In all my sojourns I keep a particular eye out for the Star of Thorns and coral bleaching. Robert Endean was a prominent reader in zoology at UQ when I attended that institution in the early 1960’s. He was a very good self publicist and I think a reasonable lecturer as well. ‘Crying wolf’ was his forte and the Star of Thorns was his ‘little boy’ who he used repeatedly over the years to extract funds for his work and his students. I would have to say the tactic worked brilliantly for him – but after 50 years I’m afraid cries of reef armageddon, courtesy of the Star of Thorns, now go in one ear and out the other like soap suds down the sink.

    In short it is no longer smart to exaggerate. Eventually (and very rapidly these days) truth catches up with you. The knowledge base and the ready access to expertise (with or without a fancy degree) that is now incorporated in the internet is yet to be fully appreciated by huge numbers of so called ‘experts’, politicians, bureaucrats and the general populace. I would guess that in my career I refereed around 150 scientific manuscripts. I was part of the hallowed “peer review” process. But none of the papers I looked at, especially the ‘topical’ ones, ever sustained the scrutiny that the internet readership is capable of exerting to-day. The day of the charlatan is just about over. The wolf is leaving the woods. He won’t be back.

  23. Ray July 12, 2012 at 12:07 am #

    “But rather than reporting their research findings in a scientifically meaningful way they behave as political activists and propagandists and talk nonsense.”

    Shame indeed! Sadly, that is the unprofessional way the pro-AGW scientists behave.

  24. cdc July 12, 2012 at 1:03 am #

    Matt Ridley has written a few pieces about coral reefs, e.g. here :

  25. Colin Henderson July 12, 2012 at 2:01 am #

    To be considered a scientist you have to follow the scientific method, no fancy degree is required. Having a degree does not guarantee that you adhere to the scientific method, i.e. does not indicate that one is in fact a scientist.

  26. Tony Price July 12, 2012 at 3:03 am #

    John Bennetts: “Progressive acidification is causing greater harm to our oceans and to the reef.”

    What harm, exactly, and where?

    “What is it about modern society that so easily casts aside the collective knowledge built up through thousnads of professional lifetimes of academic endeavour, on the pretext that, because it is science then it must be worthless?”

    Rot, tosh and garbage (not necessarily in that order). “Modern society” questions whether it IS knowledge, or whether it’s preconceived notions “proved” by selected data. In general, marine biologists (at least the ones who get the ear of the press) don’t study healthy ecosystems, they study sick ones. Glaciologists study a few dozen of the 150,000+ glaciers, those that are retreating or moving relatively fast to the sea, and extrapolate their results to the whole. Researchers add hydrochloric acid to sea water (to save time and get fast results) and tell the world that the effects of that water on marine organisms foretells what effects “corrosive” sea water will have on those organisms in the future. A scientist (guess who?) testifies to a Congressional committee, and demonstrates the effects of ocean “acidification” by dissolving a bit of chalk in vinegar. “Modern society” is getting sick of “scientists” like her who proclaim “we just produce the data” amidst a stream of statements to the press and exhortations to reduce “carbon pollution”.

    A few square km in total of the GBF are studied and “experts” like Ove Hoegh-Guldberg extrapolate the worst possible interpretation of what is found to the whole reef, and predict (yet again!) its future demise, even total death.

    If “modern society rejects the science” it’s because that portion of the science is a highly distorted view of the truth. It’s the prosecution case, the defence is just beginning its rebuttal, and the jury, “modern society” is beginning to see that the “settled science” is selective, biased, partisan, and far from settled.

  27. Craig King July 12, 2012 at 3:21 am #

    My understanding is that if the pH is higher than 7.0 the substance is alkali. So from 8.1 to 6.9 would be going acidic. It’s a log scale and the change required is not feasible. There is no acidic seawater anywhere and there never will be.

    Corals are simply fine, except where they aren’t. Nature hey, what a tease.

  28. Debbie July 12, 2012 at 8:09 am #

    Phd students who express concern?
    I would expect them to examine evidence.
    Future prospects?
    Sounds like that ‘precautionary principle’ ?
    It is more complex than reported, that’s why people like Jennifer continue to comment.
    After listening to alarming reports about the fragility of the GBR and the numerous different urgent alarming human dangers for AT LEAST 30 years, it seems that it is actually far more adaptable and resilient than ‘the science’ keeps claiming.
    Sometimes it appears that they actually wish for something bad to happen to it.
    So far invasive species, agricultural activity, tourism, acidification, shipping and even clunky dirty war ships have barely made a dent.
    Of course we should all be responsible.
    But seriously?
    Why are we constantly being told we have to be totally alarmed about the state of the GBR?

  29. Minister for Truth July 12, 2012 at 8:12 am #

    Some vg comments above from Bill Burrows and Tony Price etc.

    The really disturbing aspect of all of this though are the parallel steps being taken by this intellectually bankrupt goverment, with the moves to shut down our freedoms of speech.

    Jane Albrechtsens article in yesterdays Australian is well worth reading, as are other commentators on this subject.

    More spite from this incompetent government to add to the totally delusional pseudo scientific babble from the Coral Reefers and their collective hunt for funds to finance their nice trips to exotic places.

  30. hunter July 12, 2012 at 8:40 am #

    John Sayers,
    What an amazing paper: eco-systems are dealing with dynamic pH as a matter of course. Andthe dynamics are greater than the predicted changes (which have as yet no evidence). Yet the fear mongers spin it into more faux evidence of danger.
    And with that, I wish to bid everyone here a nice”so long”. At least for awhile.
    Jennifer, it has been a pleasure to enjoy your hospitality and to read your excellent take on so many issues. This is an important blog. I hope that the moves ahead by the government to squash free speech in the name of AGW are successfully defeated by all freedom loving people. Skeptics are winning because the great cliamte apocalypse is bunk.
    Best regards,

  31. Luke July 12, 2012 at 11:29 am #

    Well as usual it’s not worth commenting is it – but a drive by shooting might improve the non-dialectic. As usual what a bunch of dopey read-it-on-the intertubes comments, concern troll backslapping, Dad’s Army war stories and what some tour operator did 30 years ago. Fishing stories – gawd.

    I had to laugh at Hunter trying to look knowledgeable and suggest that real issues like urban and agricultural pollution is what they should be chasing. You big yankee dope – Jen’s agin that too mate. LOL

    Jen is now way out of date on any of this stuff – peddling the same old tired stuff but I did enjoy “stuff happened 1,000,000 years ago in some time frame so WTF”. And I loved the reference # 3 – P Ridd “down the pub pers.comm”.

    Debs pretending that she’s actually read something on the topic. Tut tutting away as a good anti-science activist should. Probably get 1000 words back for that jibe. zzzzz

    Of course no analysis of the contemporary literature, no analysis of an inkling in Pacific ENSO changes, no analysis of multiple effects, PSII herbicides, local ocean temperature trends, CO2 vents on biodiversity, time frames for adaptation – but snore – who cares – let’s just have a big spewy rant. Yes let’s all just wait for absolute proof and it’s all over.

    Just an inverse mirror of rightist/libertarian political bullshit and reverse inactivisist propoganda masquerading as a science discussion. So tedious. Let’s just ignore what the research has found and talk free-range off the top of our heads.

    Must say though that Neville hasn’t said fraud as much and his press clipping service is slipping.

    Anyway – gotta go – the queue at Centrelink has moved a few along (Sir William Burrows was right about the LNP – shoulda listened !). The Soylent Green line they call it.

    Just reading my tattered copy of Lim, Eun-Pa, Harry H. Hendon, David L. T. Anderson, Andrew Charles, Oscar Alves, 2011: Dynamical, Statistical–Dynamical, and Multimodel Ensemble Forecasts of Australian Spring Season Rainfall. Mon. Wea. Rev., 139, 958–975. (says in there that neural nets are bunk and a big GCM helps and they got a big correlation with CO2).

    But anyway don’t worry yo’all – Abbott and Hockey will be there soon – carbon tax history, Labor wiped away, Julia pensioned off – Workchoices in, age of entitlement over, refugee boats being harvested by Japanese whalers (or maybe Koreans), unions and strikes banned, no gay/lesbian transgender silliness (they’ll be licenced). Caterpillar and Komatsu shares up. Could hand the semi-autos back too I hear and pit-bulls all round. And AC/DC will finally be banned. The good old days back when if you couldn’t find your local knock shop you could always ask your local constable to direct you.

    Wall to wall Tories – born to rule – have to get the blue tweed out.

    Bazza send his disregards.

    P.S. Doing a Neville. Not that I whore around activist sites but for a smile scroll down – they’re so evil those guys If someone could stump my $35 I could go to Donna’s gig.

  32. jennifer July 12, 2012 at 12:18 pm #

    Hey Luke

    What is your best reference on ocean acidification… For my next blog post?

    And I missed what was incorrect about waters around New Guinea being about 2 degrees warmer… Appart from the inconvenience of this truth?

  33. Robert July 12, 2012 at 12:46 pm #

    “Wall to wall Tories – born to rule – have to get the blue tweed out.”

    And yet, have courage and stay true. Wherever there is an aging hipster practicing his trash-talk, wherever there is a doctor’s wife limply striking a tennis ball, wherever a huffy, pouting geek sits torturing data, wherever there is a smug Fairfax or ABC journalist smirking and finger wagging…Posh Green Leftism will go on!

    Jonathan Holmes lives!

  34. Johnathan Wilkes July 12, 2012 at 1:32 pm #

    Some misguided soul commented on your absence with nostalgia.
    He was a fool.

    Once again you have proved that you can write an abusive tirade of a thousand words without saying anything worth reading. Just the same old general platitudes.
    I want my two minutes back please!

  35. Debbie July 12, 2012 at 1:47 pm #

    Not worth even 10 words 🙂
    Still attaching labels and assumptions?

  36. Minister for Truth July 12, 2012 at 2:08 pm #

    Go easy on the poor dear Debbie

    He has to justify his existence to his controllers somehow.

    End of year reporting is now due and he has probably had to take a pay cut because of his poor performance last year.

  37. spangled drongo July 12, 2012 at 2:49 pm #

    To the tune of Brown Girl in the Rain.

    All together now:

    ♪♪Disillusioned, in the queue, la, la la, la lah!♪♪

    ♪♪He looks like a sugar in a plum♪♪

    BTW, big earthmovers don’t need the LNP. Only thing keeping Wayne & Juliar afloat.

  38. John Sayers July 12, 2012 at 3:35 pm #

    I’ll stump up the $35 Luke

    I’m in the Hotel right now 😉

  39. Debbie July 12, 2012 at 4:27 pm #

    Chuckle 🙂
    ‘Dynamical, Statistical–Dynamical, and Multimodel Ensemble Forecasts of Australian Spring Season Rainfall’
    And you keep insisting it’s ‘science’?
    Even the title says it’s statistics and modelling.

  40. spangled drongo July 12, 2012 at 4:48 pm #

    Pacific ENSO changes?

    Round the Ravaged Reef the Ragged Rascal Ran.

    Even when Natural Climate Variation destroys the coral it still bounces back:

  41. Larry Fields July 12, 2012 at 5:05 pm #

    Larry’s Symmetry Puzzle

    I hope that nobody minds a little shameless self-promotion. And please be emotionally prepared for not a single mention about AGW, or about the popular Australian mythological environmental monsters.

    Summary: This article describes a geometric puzzle involving symmetry, and the lack thereof. No specialized mathematical background is needed, just the ability to visualize.

  42. Johnathan Wilkes July 12, 2012 at 6:10 pm #

    “Likewise, the two halves of the human body are mirror images of each other”

    Sorry to be picking nits Larry but strictly speaking that is not true.
    (of course depends how you define “mirror” image?)
    If you create an image of your face using only one side in reverse, you’ll see what I mean.

  43. Larry Fields July 12, 2012 at 6:33 pm #

    Comment from: Johnathan Wilkes July 12th, 2012 at 6:10 pm
    “If you create an image of your face using only one side in reverse, you’ll see what I mean.”

    Yes, good point. Would you believe that my shoe phone has caused a permanent indentation on the left side? 🙂

  44. Luke July 12, 2012 at 6:40 pm #

    John Sayers thanks for you kind offer of sponsorship – alas I note it started at 5:30 and I only logged on at 6:00 after bus trip back from the Centrelink queue – we look forward to your report.

    I notice we still haven’t had a science comment from the inmates. Alas … free range drongosity is easier isn’t it guys.

    But for Hasbeen I do have a reward for endurance. very antisocial and bad for coral but strangely compelling. It’s hard to hear SO TURN IT UP.

    Anyway responding to Jen as I am compelled to do.

    Favourite acidification paper eh? The old pick it off the champ so they’re all dead concept. Really shouldn’t play with Jen as she doesn’t play fair and there’s a whole literature on the subject. Anyway you can rip over to Seafriends or Wattsy now to get the rebuttal. Neville can press clip (link link) it with with the word fraud for us.

    But hey WTF

    (1) love those guys – great scientists



    Debbie DO NOT read these – you will go blind.

    But hey Jen – instead of dwelling on 10 year old memes how about a contemporary lit review and critique on the combination storm of

    (a) agricultural runoff including PSII herbicides (not Duke pullease) +
    (b) regional ocean warming +
    (c) increasing CO2 +
    (d) changes in ENSO – Walker circulation and tendency to Modoki (towards bleaching)+
    (e) interaction of COTS with (a) above

    and some perspective on the speed of change. The tourism industry tends not to hang about for a few millennia waiting for an ecosystem to recalibrate.

    It’s all about how much change and how fast. And what’s left after the recalibrate.

    And some published literature pls not bloke at the pub pers comm.

  45. Ross July 12, 2012 at 7:30 pm #

    Remember in the 1970’s when the Crown of Thorns Starfish was going to destroy the whole Barrier Reef.This was all blamed on people who were taking too many Conch Shells the main carnivore of the Crown Of Thorns.It was another beat up to give research scientists a job.

  46. Luke July 12, 2012 at 7:52 pm #

    OR you could get updated on COTS doing this thing called “research”.

  47. Ian Thomson July 12, 2012 at 8:00 pm #

    This make’s me SICK. White Cliffs with its opal MINES, not mine, looks like someone shot the ground from a spaceship with a giant shotgun, (in the picture at the pub,) AND it has had a real, working, windmill powerstation, forever. And since when did the climate affect the underground motel OR the opals. This is getting out of hand . Bullshit on bullshit.

    O/T Debbie, I fear our State politicians are going to sell us out on the MDBP, not sure if we can fix that.

  48. Tony Price July 12, 2012 at 8:22 pm #

    Creationists see the hand of god in everything. Alarmists see the hand of man in everything, ignore any good news, and believe just the bad. There’s an estimated 37400 billion tonnes of CO2 dissolved in the oceans, and 700 billion tonnes in the atmosphere. I don’t need a calculator, nor a “state-of-the-art” computer model to work out that if ALL the atmospheric CO2 magically dissolved, it wouldn’t make much difference to the pH of sea water.

    If everyone in Oz was presented with a one-metre cube of the GBR as a souvenir before it finally expires, bleached to death by a small temperature change well within the tolerance of the organisms, torn to shreds by a few ship groundings in a few areas, polluted by a comparatively minute trickle of agricultural runoff, and those cubes were removed to a depth of 10 metres, just over 2 square km of reef would have to be removed, from a total area of several hundred thousand

    Alarmists not only lack a sense of proportion, they haven’t got a sense of scale.

  49. Ian Thomson July 12, 2012 at 8:55 pm #

    A bit O/T again,
    Tonight’s SBS news had a little ‘tag’ type story leading into the weather. Specially gathered and designed for the CITYYY. The construction of infrastructure to allow flooding of the redgum forests has been suspended because the “rain” has made it unsafe.

    Hey there in the CITYYY . It is all FLOODED , with a capital F – not too wet to work.
    The “White Mans’ Forest ” is going to get bigger and more dangerous.

  50. Bronson July 12, 2012 at 9:06 pm #

    Great cutting and pasting Luke. You offer so much but deliver so little.

  51. Luke July 12, 2012 at 9:22 pm #

    Tony does the old Alan Jones bullshit bingo shell game. It’s just basic chemistry matey.

    Better chuck that calculator Tony – – Figure 1

    Just amazing isn’t it – without any evidence or data at all Tony knows best. What makes this blog great. He feel it’s teensy weensy so it must be. Gawd – time for an old fogey fishing yarn surely.

  52. Tony Price July 12, 2012 at 9:26 pm #

    Luke wrote:


    Debbie DO NOT read these – you will go blind.

    I’ve been reading that one – thanks for brightening my day, Luke – it’s a HOOT!

    From the preface by

    Dr. Thomas E. Lovejoy
    Biodiversity Chair
    Heinz Center for Science, Economics and the Environment
    Washington, D.C.

    “In this regard, this publication by the CBD on the impacts of ocean acidity is very timely and germane, as it confirms again how great the stakes of sustainability are in the climate change negotiations. It is sadly still true, and ever more evident, that we are in deep trouble biologically and heading into a spasm of extinction of our own making unequalled since the one which took the dinosaurs. It is not an exaggeration to highlight again that the rate at which species disappear is about 1,000 to 10,000 times normal, and a quarter or more of all species could vanish within a couple of decades. Biological diversity must be at the centre of any discussion on sustainability and efforts for climate change mitigation and adaptation.”

    This from someone with the surname LOVEJOY. If there’s any species headed for extinction “within a couple of decades”, it’s lunatics like him. The ocean chemistry depicted within is simplistic and incomplete, and the description of the overall process omits some important factors, like dissolution of calcareous sediments at depth, which adds carbonate to the system. Despite continually stating how little is known about many or most aspects of ocean chemistry, it still manages to make specific predictions, whilst stating in the conclusions

    “Ocean acidification research is still in its infancy, and many questions remain related to its biological and biogeochemical consequences, and the accurate determination of sub-critical levels, or tipping points for global marine species, ecosystems and the services and functions provided.”

    Which would seem to invalidate most, if not all, of its “predictions” IMHO.

  53. Robert July 12, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    “…the rate at which species disappear is about 1,000 to 10,000 times normal”
    Quite a ball park!

    “Ocean acidification research is still in its infancy…”
    For funding purposes, it’s still peeing in its nappies. For mega-ballpark-spasm-of-extinction purposes, it’s in its full maturity!

    Anyway, we were warned. He’s “Biodiversity Chair Heinz Center for Science, Economics and the Environment”. That’s not the same as having the words “major tosser” tattooed on your forehead, but it’s close.

  54. Luke July 12, 2012 at 11:34 pm #

    Looks like the boys couldn’t get past the preface. Oh well. For grade 7 grads this is pretty good.

  55. Phil Spector July 13, 2012 at 7:00 am #

    Many of the experiments reported to apparently show the response of ocean acidification on calcification are fundamentally flawed in their design. They adjust pH levels compared to control systems by adding hydrochloric acid. If you understand some basic chemistry, and examine the series of equilibria involved, it is obvious that adding hydrochloric acid is not equivalent to an increased partial pressure of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The problem with many of the “environmental scientists” is that they lack understanding of fundamental physical and chemical processes. Many, like Climate Commissioner Tim have arts degrees, not science degrees. They dont like mathematics, they dont understand chemisry and they love telling the rest of us what is best based on thier beliefs and what is best for them personally. Go and do an undergraduate degree in chemistry before designing these silly experiments.

  56. Another Ian July 13, 2012 at 7:17 am #

    “Viruses linked to coral bleaching

    Posted on July 12, 2012 by Anthony Watts

    I found this interesting: “If viruses are causing disease or bleaching of colonies, it’s also unknown whether this is happening now more than in the past.” Sort of like ocean acidification, they don’t have any long term data.”

    More at

  57. Luke July 13, 2012 at 7:43 am #

    Phil ignores the broader literature parroting the contrarian talking points from the hymn sheet. Just woeful.

    And the usual denier partial truths – you forgot to mention about Flannery. Master of Science degree in Earth Science at Monash University in 1981. Doctorate at the University of New South Wales on the evolution of macropods. Now I wonder why you forgot that?

    Meanwhile (doing a Neville press clipping service – oh and I forgot “FRAUD” “FRAUD” froth froth ) back in the USA –

  58. John Sayers July 13, 2012 at 8:12 am #

    Wow – you can go from a Bachelor of Arts degree in English straight into a masters in science………. or is that earth science?

  59. Debbie July 13, 2012 at 8:13 am #

    the experiments are not necessarily flawed. They’re just experiments.
    The flaw occurs when the projective statistical models are put together using data from those experiments.
    The projections are really only a statistical representation of what MIGHT happen based on assumptions.
    They also ‘force’ the models by ‘assuming’ that the natural environment will conform to linear trends and arbitary calendar points.
    It becomes further flawed when policy is developed on MIGHTS.
    Despite the incessant bleating otherwise, that’s not ‘science’.
    But it is flawed.

  60. spangled drongo July 13, 2012 at 8:44 am #

    From my previous link on ravaged reefs that reestablished themselves NATURALLY.

    Abstract: “Cores of coral reef frameworks along an upwelling gradient in Panamá show that reef ecosystems in the tropical eastern Pacific collapsed for 2500 years, representing as much as 40% of their history, beginning about 4000 years ago. The principal cause of this millennial-scale hiatus in reef growth was increased variability of the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and its coupling with the Intertropical Convergence Zone. The hiatus was a Pacific-wide phenomenon with an underlying climatology similar to probable scenarios for the next century. Global climate change is probably driving eastern Pacific reefs toward another regional collapse.”

    “Ignoring for the moment the gratuitous last sentence (an obvious allusion to anthropogenic global warming) we should pause for a moment and consider what this means. The first point of interest is that nature, acting without human interference, has caused long periods of reef damage, lasting for extended periods. Aronson and his colleagues, including researchers from an array of institutions, believe that natural climate change was responsible for killing off the coral. Yet nowadays any reef that shows signs of ill health is automatically a victim of human activity. Also note, this was not some small, localized disaster either.”

    As they say about green science: “Ignorance is fixable, stupid is forever.”

  61. Luke July 13, 2012 at 8:58 am #

    Spanglers – of course – so add some extra anthropogenic goodies as well. And established over what time period ? will the tourism industry be waiting around. Like a gap year?

    Debbie – and dat’s why there’s so much interest in seeing how ecosystems near volcanic events equilibrate. Which I’ve posted above – there’s a myriad of effects.

    But it’s not just one single issue is it – it’s the combination of agricultural runoff + increasing CO2 + pH changes + ENSO + in a very short time scale (50-100 years) – it all multiplies.

    So why hasn’t Jen done a tour of the issue instead of cherry picking bits and pieces. I thought this was an “evidence based” blog after all?

  62. Debbie July 13, 2012 at 10:03 am #

    That’s right Luke,
    It most certainly isn’t just one single issue.
    However….are the forcings you have outlined above proving to be the key issues and subsequent key drivers?
    As Jen correctly points out….how come coral reefs thrive in areas that have significant extras of these same forcings?
    I know the models can demonstrate they MIGHT be….but that isn’t the issue.
    If real time data and information from other reef systems is not clearly indicating that those are the key drivers….what MIGHT be the problem?
    It amuses me why I sometimes get asked why Jen has or hasn’t done something.
    I can’t answer for her….I would assume that you have a more personal relationship with Jen than I do (but we always have to watch out for those assumptions don’t we?)
    I will say however….that this is most defintely a blog that looks at evidence….and then tests it in the light of reality and real time data.
    As opposed to ‘virtual reality’ inside projective models.
    And… I’m not usually inclined to be this pedantic…but Luke?
    Isn’t this statement:
    it’s the combination of agricultural runoff + increasing CO2 + pH changes + ENSO + in a very short time scale (50-100 years) – it all multiplies.
    An example of cherry picking?

  63. cohenite July 13, 2012 at 10:18 am #

    “It is not an exaggeration to highlight again that the rate at which species disappear is about 1,000 to 10,000 times normal, and a quarter or more of all species could vanish within a couple of decades.”

    Well, I think he is not only not exaggerating, I think he is not not exaggerating enough; it could be 1,000,000 times normal, or even a zillion or perhaps infinity plus one times normal. There’s no way of knowing so nothing can be exaggerated. It’s that serious it’s beyond exaggeration.

    Good to see you’re on day release again luke; keep up the good work; haven’t had a laugh for a while.

  64. Phil Spector July 13, 2012 at 11:23 am #


    One wonders how these people get PhDs in pseudo-scientific disciplines without ever needing to complete any basic undergraduate science training. Its all environmental waffle and showmanship. We have only just started the much-needed process of clearing away these interlopers – Anna Bigh’s hubby was a good example. As someone who does have a PhD in chemistry, and scientific undergraduate training, my experience of more than 20 years as a research scientist is that if someone does not know the basics, people they end up as one of three things. Government employee, university administrator or “environmental scientist” Which one are you?

  65. cohenite July 13, 2012 at 12:08 pm #

    Janice Lough is a serial offender; her earlier paper ranked 10th in this list:

  66. Luke July 13, 2012 at 6:28 pm #

    Ridiculous response Debbie – I give you empirical field data – you’re on about modelling.

    As for “combination of agricultural runoff + increasing regional SSTs + pH changes + ENSO changes(?) + in a very short time scale (50-100 years) – it all multiplies.” (my typo corrected too) – cherry plucked? hardly when empirical evidence exists for all.

    Self confessed scientist extraordinaire Phil Spectacle banging on about Anna’s unmissed hubby – an utter irrelevance to the topic but more in train with the clueless. Could have made a point but made a spectacle instead.

    As for Cohenite – what a serial creep – fancy libelling a class act like Janice Lough – from whom – some sceptic grub in a regional backwater.

    So Debs there we have it again – a repeat of the neural nets thread – in general stupid boofhead comments. No science. Inane discussion by the uninformed. Just pathetic.

  67. Tony Price July 13, 2012 at 8:30 pm #

    Luke: “Looks like the boys couldn’t get past the preface. Oh well. For grade 7 grads this is pretty good.”

    Luke can’t read english, but he absorbs pseudo-scientific babble like a sponge. I ended “whilst stating in the conclusions….”, having read the turgid whole.

    I particularly liked this bit

    “Ocean acidifcation is irreversible on timescales of at least tens of thousands of years, and substantial
    damage to ocean ecosystems can only be avoided by urgent and rapid reductions in global emissions of
    CO2, and the recognition and integration of this critical issue in the global climate change debate.”

    … in other words “whatever we do now can’t have any effect for tens of thousands of years, but let’s do it anyway, ‘cos it’s what out political masters want and need”.

    “Ridiculous response Debbie – I give you empirical field data – you’re on about modelling.”

    It’s not the empirical field data that’s being questioned, it’s the interpretation of it, and the extrapolation of the interpretation to the future. If you were to plot the areas of coral reefs studied in detail, and over years, not weeks or days, on a map of the globe which filled your monitor screen, none of the dots would be as large as a pixel, and wouldn’t show.

    The median timescale for lab experiments on marine organisms is just THREE days, and we’re expected to accept the conclusions drawn from them. At least researchers have stopped adding hydrochloric acid and sodium hydroxide to sea water in recent experiments, and use more or less CO2 to produce the desired pH. Long-term experiments (weeks to months) show convincingly that for example, corals initially respond negatively to either increased temperature, or increased CO2, or both, but subsequent generations increasingly adapt. There’s a positive adaptation in even the second generation.

    These experiments take time, and cost a lot to perform, which is why so few are done. Short-term experiments are. in my view next to worthless, but it’s these that are relied on for “data” exclusively.

    That paper I’ve been quoting from says

    “The absorption of atmospheric CO2 has, however, resulted in changes to the chemical balance of the oceans (which are naturally slightly alkaline), causing them to become more acidic. Ocean acidity has increased significantly, by 30%, since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution 250 years ago.”

    Hmmm – how do they know that “250 years ago”? From a single reading made in one place in about, I believe, 1760. Apart from the fact it’s a single data point, could pH be measured to an accuracy of less than 0.1 units in the mid-18th century? ALL estimates of long-term pH changes are based on that “measurement”.

    BTW Luke, CALM DOWN DEAR – you’ll reach a tipping point if you’re not careful. Hats off to all here who haven’t stooped to his name-calling and invective.

  68. Tony Price July 13, 2012 at 8:43 pm #

    One measurement is a data-point. Two data-points are a trend, three data-points is the basis for a complete change in society, technology, and global governance. Welcome to the future, to the New World Order.

  69. Luke July 14, 2012 at 12:04 am #

    Mindless Tony – you’ve been given empirical data on much more than that and that’s your myopic analysis.

    The CO2 aquatic pH story is very simple. Ask any aquarist using it to grow freshwater plants of CO2, pH and Ka. Similarly the ocean chemistry is well researched.

    The species responses to radial distance from CO2 emitting volcanic ocean vents and biodiversity changes of coral species around vents well mirror experimental effects in mesocosms.

    The change in pH is borne out through inference from well know chemistry but also measured empirically in the Figure 1 reference I gave above.

    They know sediment entering the Great Barrier Reef reef lagoon is 5-10X pre-European from coral cores. They can trace Burdekin land use change sequences from rare earth sequestration in corals.

    They know the impacts of excess sediment on corals and macroalgae. And how inorganic matter in the sediment makes things much worse. producing H2S and dissolving the coral structures more quickly.

    They know from isotopic signature that fertiliser N and P are being sequestered in corals.

    The fertiliser N issue is a prime contender in the COTS outbreak research.

    Preliminary research shows a reduction calcification rates in a number of reefs. Needs more work.

    Regional SSTs in Coral Sea increasing.

    Extreme wet and dry period showing higher variability in the 20th century (from proxies)

    Possible ENSO changes in frequency (yes unclear) – but are changes in the Walker circulation (but maybe not SOI) and a tendency for ENSO to be central Pacific Modoki mode.

    PS II herbicide levels measured entering the system and ecotoxicity known.

    And much effort working with producers to keep valuable fertiliser and herbicide resources on-farm and not in the waterways. A win win. Better grazing systems and protection of frontage country reducing sediment loss.

    And the coral researchers themselves know corals are somewhat adaptable, occupy a wide range of climates (but which species) and swap zoonathellae. Their discovery !

    But past anecdotes of coral communities adapting (to what exactly) are over geological time. Will our tourism industry hang around for a millenia of adaptation.

    So it’s perfectly reasonable that we want to keep our World Heritage multi-billion dollar tourism asset in good shape against a perfect storm of change. And the speed of that change is the issue.

    Part of that is ocean acidification but also agricultural runoff + ocean temperatures + ENSO caused bleaching

    And we have top flight research scientists collecting data in innervating and dangerous environments to patch the puzzle together.

    The pig ignorant tripe from commentators here is nothing short of disgraceful. Really just a whole pile of toxic waffle.

    You could do well to at least read the measured tones in detailed field studies by top researchers like Katharina Fabricius The findings are not short term (unless you think the vent popped up yesterday).

    While the press releases from the conference may be somewhat hyper – it is as not as if there is no basis for concern. Yes the whole picture have not been unravelled. But those closer to the work seem much more alarmed than those of us at a distance.

    To imply that they simply are making up research to be on some gravy train is nothing short of insulting. There’s much easier ways to get money from fraud.

    Jen’s analysis is a 10 year old out of date position that never quotes the modern literature nor analyses it thoroughly.

  70. Robert July 14, 2012 at 2:51 am #

    The trick is to package CAGW with possibly legit conservation concerns, find some damage and probs – they’ll always be there – and see if you can sell it that way. Add some indignation, claim that gang-reviewed literature of the recent Lysenkoist period of “earth sciences”, “climate science” and “biodiverstiy chairs” is all that’s valid, then go for it. Lots of shrieking, lots of buy-now or else. Oh, and pretend that genuine conservation needs will be met after the trillions drift north into the maws of GIM, GS and the UN. (Lehman Bros will be detained a while, but would you like to talk to their associates? Not all our Great White Sharks were culled after ’08. Please take a seat, Mr. Lunch.)

    Good try. Still not buying.

  71. Luke July 14, 2012 at 7:18 am #

    Off topic recycled sceptic meme speak. I’m sure that what our coral researchers are thinking as they count coral species and take water samples. As they run the isotope samples through the ICP-MS the technicians are cackling “this will stop western capitalism in its tracks”. Like yuh.

  72. spangled drongo July 14, 2012 at 7:32 am #

    How about 2600 overpaid “experts” trying to generate more funds from a shrinking purse and not a dissaster to catastrophise about.

    “How can we spin the possibles?”

    Desperate shit!

    But you do feel sorry for the honest ones who aren’t allowed to speak out.

  73. Tony Price July 14, 2012 at 7:36 am #

    I’ve been saving up some of the best bits from “Scientific Impacts of Ocean Acidification on Marine Biodiversity”

    “Despite the projected increase in dissolution rates and CO2 uptake from the atmosphere, associated with decreasing CaCO3 saturation states, it is likely that the rapid increases in atmospheric CO2 concentrations could eventually overwhelm the natural buffering mechanisms of the ocean, leading to a reduced efficiency for carbon uptake by the oceans over the next two centuries. Reduced buffering capacity of the ocean to take up CO2 will increase the fraction of CO2 retained in the atmosphere, a negative feedback loop leading to further ocean acidification.”

    Get that – a “negative feedback” will lead to a positive response! The “increased fraction” is a result of reduced takeup – how can it lead to increased takeup? These guys clearly don’t understand equilibrium. The paper contradicts itself in several places, and makes other conclusions that totally distort the obvious conclusions from what preceded them.

    “Little published empirical information exists on the dynamics of directly measured ocean pH at temperate and mid-latitudes .”

    …. (reading between the lines) though we won’t let that stop us drawing conclusions and making predictions (in a nutshell), and we have done so.

  74. spangled drongo July 14, 2012 at 8:17 am #

    With current crazy govts, these “experts” have been the growth industry of the world.

    But the times they are a changin…♪

  75. Neville July 14, 2012 at 8:33 am #

    This stuff about Julia won’t go away. Great to see McClelland taking up the fight to Gillard and her old boyfriend Bruce Wilson.

    But just how could this be ignored for the last 15+ years? I’ve known of a case personally where a person was pursued for a few months over the misappropriation of a few thousand dollars.
    They had their day in court and suffered embarrassment and now have to pay back the stolen funds.
    They also must be of good behaviour for a set period of time.

  76. Luke July 14, 2012 at 8:42 am #

    “Little published empirical information exists on the dynamics of directly measured ocean pH at temperate and mid-latitudes .” – yuh and what is is spot on. My figure 1 comment above.

    As for impact on aragonite saturation – well observed

    Concerns about CO2 sinks in oceans

    Jeez Tony at some point you have to realise these people might have some chemistry skills and the empirical evidence from field data (voyages) is starting to mount.

  77. Luke July 14, 2012 at 8:44 am #

    Off topic SD and Neville – go and spray your irrelevant rat dirt elsewhere. We don’t need you continually spamming threads with off topic shit from your press clipping service.

  78. Neville July 14, 2012 at 9:21 am #

    Luke you dummy Jennifer also raised this Gillard story recently on this site and unrelated to that particular post as well.

    I suppose an argument about a persons fitness to be PM doesn’t seem important to a fool who can’t even understand simple kindy maths, but who cares.

    You really are a first class drongo but fortunately a good labor man like McClelland who knows this case from the inside won’t be silenced.

    As I’ve said before the cover up involved in this case is a big story as well and won’t go away.

  79. Debbie July 14, 2012 at 10:23 am #

    Ever so predictably you have drawn an outrageously long bow and succeeded in missing the point.
    Let me remind you that Jennifer’s point was not some type of sceptic meme and ill informed twaddle or any of the other unsubstantiated silly labels that you spray indiscriminately… including your opinion of my literacy skills.
    Read points 1 to 4 above from Jennifer plus her very pointed question to you about an ‘inconvenient truth’.
    The bleeding obvious question is quite simply this:
    If there are already coral reefs that are subjected to higher ocean temps and different levels of acidification and higher concentrations of nutrients and yes…definitely….affected by extreme events such as volcanoes….why aren’t we studying them closely rather than wasting billions over the last 30+ years worrying about and extrapolating what MIGHT happen to the GBR?
    (sorry…I know that’s rhetorical….but sometimes we just have to fight fire with fire)
    Much of the empirical evidence is indeed already available Luke.
    It looks increasingly likely that coral reefs like the GBR are far more adaptable than we give them credit for….
    Same goes for the MDB and quite a number of other ‘environmental issues’.
    But please refrain from stringing that outrageously long bow again and accusing me of not caring or of being illiterate and irresponsible or being anti science or falling for some mantra that emanates from an ill defined type of secret society etc etc etc etc.
    Comments like those say more about you than anyone else.
    As Tony points out….
    It is not the empirical data that is the problem.
    It is the interpretation/extrapolation of the data and the underlying assumptions in those interpretations/extrapolations that is being questioned.

  80. spangled drongo July 14, 2012 at 10:30 am #

    Lukie, if you can’t see the connection between 2600 govt employed scientists looking for somewhere to go and disasters to embellish to raise further funding, the crazy green problem and this thread, well I rest my case.

    I suppose what I could say in your defence is when you are part of the problem rather than the solution you have a somewhat limited view.

    But it’s lovely to have you back. ☺ ☺ ☺

  81. Robert July 14, 2012 at 10:44 am #

    I’ve handled tons of industrial CO2, dissolved it in differing water temps, tested etc. While I would never draw any conclusions of my own re the oceans- the matter being of fantastic complexity, like all matters of climate – it amazes me to read the bits that Tony quotes. It’s like the movie hasn’t been made, but here’s our horror scenario anyway. (Just need to assemble our “mounting evidence”, hockeystick-style. Watch this space.)

    The Lovejoy stuff really is the Abomination of Scholarly Desolation. Yet Luke and others snobbishly insist on being the defenders of science and reason against dank ignorance and superstition. They seem to mentally inhabit some Dan Brown novel where they are the modern empirical heroes, resisting medieval dogmatism. Contradict them and you will be the sinister monk echoing “off-topic skeptic memes”.

    Imagine being the guy who wrote this: “the rate at which species disappear is about 1,000 to 10,000 times normal…”

    Imagine being the guy who links to it!

  82. spangled drongo July 14, 2012 at 10:53 am #

    Robert, maybe it would help Luke if he could hold up some of these:

  83. Luke July 14, 2012 at 11:06 am #

    Debbie – are you that dense. Really I am gobsmacked. I guess we’ve finally got off your virtual reality talking sheet. The ocean vent research clearly indicated species with shells and corals are affected by CO2. So so much for acidification having no effect. Point one. Corals do get nuked by high temperature bleaching and COTS – Point two. The impact of agricultural runoff and coral health now well established in detail. Point three. What is the trajectory of all these issues in the GBR. You’re not a scientist’s bootlace girlie and your ability to obfuscate is legendary.

    Yes different coral species grow in different conditions including water temperature. Yes they have some capacity to swap zooanthellae. In a geological time sense they’re adaptable. We’re not talking geological time – POINT FOUR !

    Yes Spanglers – there’s a great big conspiracy to do all these fancy detailed observations, stats, very complex chemical analyses and haul data from remote and dangerous places to conduct fraud. You numb nuts. It’s easier to see how unpublished inactivists have a political agenda to slander quality research to defend vested interests. NOW THAT IS THE CONSPIRACY. 5th columnist think tanks spreading bullshit. How insidious. And tools like Cohenite drivelling on about a career scientist like Janice Lough being a serial offender.

    Robert’s magnificent ability to obsess over a single issue in an introductory preface and ignore the wider context indicates he can’t read past grade 8 level. And so wanders back to the comfortable zone of philosophical meme speak drivel.

    Neville keep your O/T rat dirt to yourself. You’ll have Abbot and Hockey soon enough so go wait in the corner and suck your thumb.

  84. Robert July 14, 2012 at 11:50 am #

    Reporting from my non-remote, undangerous and comfortable zone of philosophical meme speak drivel (sic), here’s what we mustn’t obsess about.

    Not only is it WORSE THAN WE THOUGHT.



    In this case, “it’ refers to species perishing…but everything is worse than we thought, because that’s the only new finding allowed about anything.

    We’re not sure whether things are a thousand or ten thousand times worse – but you get the point. Nonetheless, don’t obsess about that point, okay? It’s a single issue in an introductory preface. Be cool.

    By the way, if you should happen to say that “it” is twenty thousand times worse than we thought, don’t worry. Nobody ever checks, unless you’re like that Marohasy chick and start dividing instead of multiplying. Don’t make that mistake! Then they check – big time!

  85. kuhnkat July 14, 2012 at 1:21 pm #

    Little Lukey cries wolf,

    “The ocean vent research clearly indicated species with shells and corals are affected by CO2. So so much for acidification having no effect. Point one. Corals do get nuked by high temperature bleaching and COTS – Point two.”

    Umm, would you like to tell me WHEN the temps and CO2 levels in the real world will reach the levels seen around vents even based on the Model projections??

    Would you also like to give us a detailed description of how LITTLE of the thousands of miles of Great Barrier Reef are currently in a deteriorated state due to all the horrible heating and CO2?!?!?

    If you are actually paying attention you could quote a recent paper that claims the reef was actually dormant for about 2500 years and came back to its beautiful self!!!


    Really Luke, I would suggest you are losing it, but, you lost it years ago!!

  86. spangled drongo July 14, 2012 at 2:06 pm #

    “Yes Spanglers – there’s a great big conspiracy to do all these fancy detailed observations, stats, very complex chemical analyses and haul data from remote and dangerous places to conduct fraud.”

    Lukey Luv,

    If they actually were detailed observations instead of mostly assumptions we wouldn’t mind. We could check their analyses.

    When you got 2600 of ’em lined up at the B/S Olympics to see who can throw it furthest…

    And they all SIGNED a conspiracy er, consensus. How science is that??

    And our own Ovie says coral is forming at ever higher lats incl places where it has never been seen before. He just doesn’t say where that is.

    I wonder if it’s further south than Jervis Bay?

  87. sp July 14, 2012 at 2:17 pm #

    Luke ………. “5th columnist think tanks”

    Whats going on inside your head poor boy?

    Where is this 5th column located, in which organisation(s)?

  88. cohenite July 14, 2012 at 3:19 pm #

    Touched a nerve; maybe luke and Janice are an item; in any event Janice is a good company gal; no doubts in her world view: AGW is real!

    luke’s link here is, again, typical:

    I nearly gagged at the parameter for the modelling contained in the intro [the rest of the piece is so mind-numbingly wrong I did not persist]:

    “Here we show that as pH declines from 8.1
    to 7.8 (the change expected if atmospheric carbon dioxide
    concentrations increase from 390 to 750 ppm, consistent
    with some scenarios for the end of this century) some
    organisms benefit, but many more lose out.”

    Apart from anything else repeatedly such ‘scenarios’ ignore many real variables; one such is subduction regulation of atmospheric concentration of CO2:

    Perhaps luke can point to a study where the amount of CO2 being laid down by subduction has been quantified; since the estimates of how much is being released by magna outbreaks are woeful that should be interesting.

  89. Debbie July 14, 2012 at 3:47 pm #

    Ocean vent research?

    Volcanic damage is immediate and often spectacular.
    Like Kuhnkat, I fail to see the correlation…or how the current agenda attached to AGW could possibly prevent the damage that ocean vent C02 cause to corals?
    Are we going to control the ocean vents via a tax too?

    Geological time scale?
    As jen points out…same species coral are happily surviving in ocean environments with all the variables in place…higher temps, higher acid levels, higher nutrient levels….so the empirical data is easy to gather if you want to find it.
    And that’s right…we also have good data re agricultural run off….and science and research has helped to successfully manage that problem….by managing the problem….not by extrapolating it!

    This comment is almost saying the same as Jen but in a strangely upside down manner:

    ‘Yes different coral species grow in different conditions including water temperature. Yes they have some capacity to swap zooanthellae. In a geological time sense they’re adaptable. We’re not talking geological time’

    So she’s right but she’s wrong?

    So what time scale are we talking?

    From now till the next election?… or… maybe from now till the next round of funding?

    I don’t believe coral and sea shells give a flying rip about anything other than geological scales or natural cycles Luke.
    They’re certainly not that interested in arbitary, human invented calendar points.
    They don’t seem to be all that interested in statistical, linear, median trends either.

    And for the zillionth time Luke….I am a fan of science and scientists.
    The problem is NOT lurking in the pure sciences.

  90. Ian Thomson July 14, 2012 at 5:48 pm #

    The end of the World as we know it. Wonder who scared them so much.

  91. Luke July 14, 2012 at 5:54 pm #

    Kuky Kat hasn’t read the papers or thought about it. Off ceating strawmen faster than a Gish Gallop can trot. What a moron. It’s seep you sap. Ignores my Figure 1 with BATS, HOT and ESTOC. And even more loopy – Kookers wants it laid waste before he says “well perhaps you had a point”. Good grief. In the face of data thatch straw.

    Debbie you’re as bad – haven’t read – you simply have missed the whole point of the ocean vent papers. How do you survive down there – does someone do your shopping for you? . Jen pointed out temps that ALL. Why Bazza gave up. I found him chewing arm off after some of your retorts. We’re 50-100 years which is a blink in the geological sense. Debbie these people are top flight career scientists who have spent a lifetime filling in this massive puzzle.

    And fancy some unpublished activist from a regional rust belt going up against J Lough and K Fabricus. Cohers you just have to laugh and laugh. They’ve forgotten more than you know. As Bazza said trying to look all knowledgeable but all bluff and clueless. Hasn’t done his background reading I kindly provided.

    So here it is – I’m not predicting the end of the world but – IMO considering the research, the risk analysis of the combination of ag runoff + acidification ( or better reduction in alkalinity) + SST up + ENSO more + FASTER INTENSER TROPICAL CYCLONES = cause for serious concern and more research. I applaud the current generation’s efforts.

    If Jen and Ridd are seriously concerned its wrong then they should be attempting to influence future reef science consensus statements.

  92. Ian Thomson July 14, 2012 at 5:57 pm #

    You realise, of course that little Joseph is studying all this Pacific stuff from the US and is advertising for funding to go back home in style. Luke , if you really are at a loose end , he may need a driver for his boat mate.

  93. cohenite July 14, 2012 at 6:02 pm #

    From luke’s latest link on the barrier reef consensus:

    “Land-based sources of pollution, sedimentation, overfishing and climate change are the major threats, and all of them are expected to increase in severity.”

    Leave out “climate change” and I won’t disagree. But this is typical conflation of real environmental issues with an imaginary one. It is a despicable tactic!

  94. Debbie July 14, 2012 at 6:10 pm #

    A shopping analogy.
    I could possibly be very worried about driving my car to the supermarket to do my shopping because the statistical extrapolations and the statistical likelihood is quite alarmingly high that my car MIGHT get scratched in the supermarket car park!!!!
    We need to come up with a very expensive management plan, a new department and a tax so that I can feel certain that the likelihood of my car getting scratched is being taken care of….not necessarily lessened or managed….but at least noticed. 🙂
    That way I MIGHT possibly survive and MIGHT feel safe and MIGHT happily do my own shopping.

  95. Tony Price July 14, 2012 at 7:02 pm #

    Luke said:

    “Jeez Tony at some point you have to realise these people might have some chemistry skills and the empirical evidence from field data (voyages) is starting to mount.”

    I don’t deny their chemistry skills; I don’t deny their dedication; I don’t deny the empirical observations and measurements. What I criticize (in many cases, but by no means all) is the distorted analysis and often totally unjustified conclusions, often based on other distorted analyses and unjustified conclusions in other papers.

    Few of the papers I’ve read, and I don’t, like you Luke, confine my reading to those that chime with my views on climate and biosphere in general, have anything in them that convinces me that things are gonna get REALLY bad if we don’t (insert required political goal here).

    Papers like the one I’ve quoted from talk about “corrosive” seawater dissolving shells and killing coral larvae. They leave it up to the reader to check the reference and discover that serious effects don’t occur until the seawater has been equilibrated with air containing 2500 or 3000 or more ppm CO2. The reader is left to conflate the relatively small changes in chemistry and aragonite saturation previously discussed with the extreme effects in the reference. That’s not being selective, it’s fraudulent.

    In a few cases (and in papers on other topics entirely) I’ve found that the references don’t support the arguments and conclusions, in some cases even specifically refute them. I have to say I’ve NEVER found such mis-referencing in what I’d call “pure research” papers, that is those that don’t appear to have any agenda, are very careful in drawing conclusions, contain caveats in both abstract and conclusions, (often) give page references, or quote the source explicitly, and whose authors have never held a press conference.

    Authors that use the term “contamination by anthropogenic CO2” in an outline of seawater chemistry deserve to be ignored. Authors who state (another of Luke’s references) in BOLD “Ocean acidification is happening NOW” have an agenda, and deserve to be treated with scepticism from the outset.

    BTW – where’s the proof of FASTER INTENSER TROPICAL CYCLONES Luke? Logic says that as the temperature gradient from equator to tropics reduces, they’ll decline in both number and intensity. The IPCC says they’ll decline in intensity, and maybe number. Even the CSIRO says that number is declining, that there’s no evidence for increased intensity in the recent past, nor the future, with charts from a number of Pacific Islands to demonstrate what we sceptics and realists call the TRUTH – that which cannot be denied.

  96. Tony Price July 14, 2012 at 7:22 pm #

    cohenite said: “But this is typical conflation of real environmental issues with an imaginary one. It is a despicable tactic!”

    It is indeed, and it’s common practice these days. I read a paper on acidification in Puget Sound (N of Seattle). In the abstract (reported widely in the area, and also national press), the paper listed “climate change”, upwelling CO2-rich coastal waters, and (amongst others) agricultural and sewage effluent runoff, and in that order. In the body, it’s clear that “climate change” has little, if anything, to do with it, that the upwelling colder water has little effect (my interpretation, the sound if fairly enclosed), and it’s the man-made pollution that’s the culprit. In the discussion, the authors say as much, and repeat that in the conclusions. Am otherwise good paper spoiled by agenda and a desire for more funding IMHO.

  97. Luke July 14, 2012 at 8:04 pm #


    Or recently in driving to the supermarket I have noticed that the brakes are not quite as good as they were, I haven’t had a service in 100,000 kms as someone on the internet told me it was crap, and I’ve ignored the recall notice in the mail to fix the steering link pin. (not that I go to rightist capitalist supermarkets myself as I shop at the co-op)

    Tony – dissolution is an old ruse. Not talking dissolution for reef. We’re talking calcification rates. Different physics.

    Ocean acidification no evidence – hmmm wonder what the BATS and HOTS data are then?

    ” The ocean near Bermuda has also become more
    acidic, with a decrease in seawater pH of 0.0012 ± 0.0006
    pH units yr1 (Table 1 and Figure 1). This represents a
    decline of 0.025 pH units (8.125 to 8.100) over the last
    20 years, about one third of the total 0.06 pH unit increase in
    ocean acidity observed since the pre-industrial times [e.g.,
    Caldeira and Wickett, 2003; Sabine et al., 2004a]. The long term
    trends of pH, CO3
    2 ion concentration and saturation
    states of calcium carbonate minerals were statistically highly
    significant (p-values 1500 m), the rate of pH decline is a
    quarter of that observed in surface waters. The surface seawater
    carbonate saturation states () are about 1.5 for aragonite
    and 2.5 for calcite, about half of levels found in subtropical
    surface waters. During 1985–2008, the degree of saturation
    () decreased at an average rate of 0.0072 yr−1 for
    aragonite and 0.012 yr−1 for calcite. The aragonite saturation
    horizon is currently at 1710m and shoaling at 4myr−1.
    Based on this rate of shoaling and on the local hypsography,
    each year another 800 km2 of seafloor becomes exposed
    to waters that have become undersaturated with respect to

    Cyclones – I didn’t say number (although that is highly influenced on multi-decadal time scale). I said intensity as PDI.

  98. Luke July 14, 2012 at 8:15 pm #

    Sorry Tony I muffed my quotations and attribution above:

    Here we report the results of nearly 20 years of time-series measurements of seawater pH and associated parameters at Station ALOHA in the central North Pacific Ocean near Hawaii. We document a significant long-term decreasing trend of −0.0019 ± 0.0002 y−1 in surface pH, which is indistinguishable from the rate of acidification expected from equilibration with the atmosphere.

    The ocean near Bermuda has also become more
    acidic, with a decrease in seawater pH of 0.0012 ± 0.0006
    pH units yr_1 (Table 1 and Figure 1). This represents a
    decline of _0.025 pH units (_8.125 to _8.100) over the last
    20 years, about one third of the total 0.06 pH unit increase in
    ocean acidity observed since the pre-industrial times [e.g.,
    Caldeira and Wickett, 2003; Sabine et al., 2004a]. The longterm
    trends of pH, CO3
    2_ ion concentration and saturation
    states of calcium carbonate minerals were statistically highly
    significant (p-values 1500 m), the rate of pH decline is a
    quarter of that observed in surface waters. The surface seawater
    carbonate saturation states () are about 1.5 for aragonite
    and 2.5 for calcite, about half of levels found in subtropical
    surface waters. During 1985–2008, the degree of saturation
    () decreased at an average rate of 0.0072 yr−1 for
    aragonite and 0.012 yr−1 for calcite. The aragonite saturation
    horizon is currently at 1710m and shoaling at 4myr−1.
    Based on this rate of shoaling and on the local hypsography,
    each year another 800 km2 of seafloor becomes exposed
    to waters that have become undersaturated with respect to

  99. Luke July 14, 2012 at 8:23 pm #

    Obviously some bad HTML interactions – apology for that – the middle reference abiove is from Bates, N. R. (2007), Interannual variability of the oceanic CO2 sink in the subtropical gyre of the North Atlantic Ocean over the last 2 decades, J. Geophys. Res.,

  100. spangled drongo July 14, 2012 at 9:40 pm #

    I thought that if the oceans were warming as you say they are, that they would be out-gassing CO2 and becoming less acidic.

    And according to Scripps, if the oceans fluctuate by a lot more than your figures on a regular basis, where’s the problem?

  101. cohenite July 14, 2012 at 10:01 pm #

    Cyclones, luke’s link, once again to Emanuel [2005], rebutted here:

  102. Luke July 14, 2012 at 11:58 pm #

    But what cheek – fancy quoting my own discovery paper back to me (Oh I hate it when he does that).

    Hardly rebutted at all my good fellow. More like nicely supplemented.

    Of course Callaghan and Power – such an excellent paper. But alas all aspects true – decadal influences very heavy in cyclones MAKING LANDFALL in eastern Australia – too true. Of course those decadal influences you would tell me have now reversed.

    And so good to see sceptics advocating a paper listing the decline in the Walker circulation (vis a vis SOI) “These and other considerations outlined below lead the authors to conclude that (i) both external forcing and internally generated variability contributed to the observed weakening of the WC over the twentieth century and (ii) external forcing accounts for approximately 30%–70% of the observed weakening with internally generated climate variability making up the rest.”

    But dear dear Cohenite – let us not get distracted – I might suggest Emmanuel’s result still stands. Who can forget such intense systems as Ingrid (Top End to Kimberley). Vance (WA), Nancy and Zoe (Pacific) – and the coast crossing Larry and the unforgettable and massive Yasi first coast crossing Cat 5 since 1918.

    What damage did Yasi do to the reef from it’s sheer Cat 5 intensity and scale – – patchy – mild to severe – lots od detail in the report – but of course just another factor in my list of factors.

    Ag runoff + acidification + ENSO + SST increase + cyclones + COTS

    What does CSIRO’s modelling of cyclone future suggest – “Tropical cyclone days are projected to decrease in frequency in the Australian region, but it is expected that a greater percentage of total cyclones will be in the stronger categories. That is, we may have fewer cyclones but the ones we do have will be stronger.”

  103. Luke July 15, 2012 at 12:02 am #

    Well it about nett isn’t it Spangles – do we know that CO2 is sinking into the ocean (nett) and to depth.

    Oh I think so ….

    All about DIC and Revelle factors you see.

  104. Robert July 15, 2012 at 12:36 am #

    Our sea levels rising after 1820: Mahina, the mother of all hurricanes and storm surges in 1899 (whew): that dry-tending half century after the Fed Drought – till the mega-drenching of1950…

    Always something going on, isn’t there? You just need some clever chaps to explain it all and tell you why it’s going to get worse, like those wet, chilly 1970s or the baking, dusty 1930s.

    At least one thing is constant: there are always clever chaps.

  105. Debbie July 15, 2012 at 9:24 am #

    Even if my car MIGHT get scratched I’m now simply NOT PERMITTED to feel less concerned about going to the supermarket and shop for family supplies anyway because that is an obvious RIGHTIST CAPITALIST thing to do?
    Further….silly, silly me…..I apparently ignored that someone FAR MORE INTELLIGENT AND KNOWLEDGEABLE AND LITERATE AND CARING AND NOBLY LEFTIST CO OPERATIVE than me had decreed that my car has faulty brakes even though I regularly service my car and always make sure that it is in tip top condition????
    I know THEY said the brakes were faulty, but truly, they’re not…really…they’re fine.
    For some reason, THEY know my car better even though they have never driven it. They don’t even know what COLUR OR MAKE it is or whether it is a LEFT hand or RIGHT hand drive.
    HOWEVER….just to make sure that I don’t point out the bleeding obvious, there is a new statistical analysis available that has proved that my car is in danger from something and I need to be told that I need to be worried.
    Further, I’m not PERMITTED to question the statistical analysis because someone IMPORTANT(etc) has decreed that it’s no longer statistics or anything to do with what side the steering wheel is on… It’s actually SCIENCE!!!!!
    And Also….although it had nothing whatsoever to do with the statistical analysis that caused me concern in the first place….it has also been decred there is ALSO a fault in my steering.
    Silly me….what I’m not understanding is….
    It’s FAR FAR WORSE than I thought.
    Looks like my family is just going to have to starve because I need to be so alarmed about the fact that we’ve tripped that ‘driving to do my shopping’ related precautionary principle and we can’t do anything about it because it MIGHT cause something else to happen. 🙂
    There is a new statistical analysis that has extrapolated this a settled fact.
    Also…THEY can’t figure out how I could possibly survive anyway and I MUST pay someone else to do my shopping and all my worrying for me in the future.

  106. Luke July 15, 2012 at 10:24 am #

    And because Debbie DENIED all the evidence she hit a semi-trailer bound for Woolworths and was turned inside out. All the warning signs were there – stress cracks, trend lines, and routine check-ins ignored but Debbie decided to wait and see if something really catastrophic would happen first instead of taking remedial action.

    BTW I was just pandering to your fears with the co-op quip. i.e. joke

  107. el gordo July 15, 2012 at 11:22 am #

    Roger Bradbury picked up the hymn book and sang a song to the NY Times.

    Where is due diligence?

  108. Robert July 15, 2012 at 11:39 am #

    The New York Times has an ignoble history of climate alarmism, going right back to the nineteenth century. It really is the Journal of Reference…for impressionable snobs.

  109. Debbie July 15, 2012 at 12:18 pm #

    Oh silly me….I missed the REAL problem and it WAS associated with the steering after all.
    And even SILLIER me…I can’t recognise jokes.
    Those identified problems and the ability or the intelligence to make jokes ONLY apply to LEFT HAND drive cars….and very ALARMING is the fact that in Australia from the moment cars were a part of our lives….they have been right hand drives!:-)
    People who are suspected (but not actually proven) of using right hand drive cars do not posses a sense of humour and are so busily minding their own business that they are BLIND! They also wear tweed jackets and attend secret tea parties.
    We can’t have that anymore….it is totally alarming….people MIGHT drive in a non decreed direction and the wrong side of the road because it has been decided that there is an alarming and future catastrophic fault in allowing the steering wheel to be on the right hand side.
    No wonder we’re having a problem.
    I drive my car every day and the steering works just fine. But some of my farm vehicles do actually have left hand drive and amazingly the steering works fine on those too. Not perfect mind you….never perfect…because that would mean we have ascended and gone to heaven.
    So in my very deniable life, I’m fairly comfortable with the basic mechanics and engineering that makes the steering work (as long as I maintain the equipment and repair the inevitable errors that occur and responsibly update as I learn more about safe and efficient steering mechanisms). The actual SIDE the steering is on isn’t an issue for me….because I regularly drive both….but that left hand drive one sure costs me a heap more to own and drive.
    And don’t forget that my FEARS need to be pandered to. Something CATASTROPHIC like a Woolies semi trailer is heading straight for me because I just keep DENYING the fashionable and heavily funded concept that the only way to solve my steering problem (and avoid that scary wooliies semi trailer) is that my steering needs to happen from the LEFT side of my car.
    By the time I finally understand the problem (and the humour) I’ll likely be too alarmed to even get out of bed let alone drive my right hand drive car to the supermarket OR my left hand drive truck to the co op.
    We’ll need a new department and a new tax to solve that problem too.
    It will be called the ‘Bedroom change department’ and the tax will be the ‘bed tax’
    (Oh wait a minute….isn’t there already a tax on beds?)
    Never mind….we’re taxing it again because it isn’t really beds, it’s bedrooms AND there is a new alarming social problem that has developed and it is caused by too many people spending too long staying in their bedrooms, selfishly defending and worrying about the steering mechanisms on their cars.
    And the steering problem is now fixed too….because no one is courageous enough to drive their cars from now on…because don’t forget….there are Woolworth semi trailers out there!
    In the meantime while we sort this out….my family MIGHT starve to death!
    So…we now need a new dept and a new tax because there is a new social problem developing because people are too afraid to get out of their beds to go shopping and there are more starving families out there and …….never mind….I think you MIGHT get the joke.

  110. Luke July 15, 2012 at 2:00 pm #

    Yes but in this the case the cumulative effect of degrading brakes (Acidification and temperature rise) , failing to have the care serviced and so air bags weren’t working (but you don’t notice until needed), (ag runoff) which ended all being cumulative when presented with a sudden failure of power steering. (Big MFO ENSO)

    So you might have taken some prudent risk management, read what you’d been given, but you didn’t.

    This video will explain all Debs – note what you have to do make sure you study it in detail

  111. Debbie July 15, 2012 at 2:32 pm #

    🙂 🙂 🙂
    It’s even WORSE than I thought AGAIN???

  112. Tony Price July 15, 2012 at 6:57 pm #

    Luke is waving decreasing pH statistics about as if they’re needed to PROVE that higher atmospheric CO2 decreases ocean pH and aragonite concentration. It’s called the “weight of evidence”, and it’s supposed, by its very mass, to stifle disagreement. However, this is a “no-brainer”, it’s actually “settled science”. What isn’t “settled science” is how exactly those rates will correlate with increasing atmospheric CO2 in the future, and what effect those rates will have on corals, other small marine organisms, and ultimately, the ocean food chain.

    Ocean pH varies over a range of at least 0.1 units across the oceans, on coarse-resolution maps, equivalent to the supposed 0.1 units increase since 1760 (the latter measured at one location without the vital temperature information). Local variation can be several times that, with diurnal, seasonal, and annual cycles. Many ocean organisms that are subject to variations on those scales are said to be at risk due to permanent changes of a tiny fraction of those ranges. Prove it, and don’t wave the “precautionary principle” at me.

  113. Luke July 15, 2012 at 9:46 pm #

    Well we seem to have moved from pH changes are not happening. I’m then prepared to take ecological response to outgassing CO2 ocean seeps as proxy for changes we might expect elsewhere. And changes there are !

    You know very well that is no proof to satisfy you until it’s happened. Even then you’ll deny it.

    And as I said – that’s one of many forcing factors at work.

  114. jennifer July 15, 2012 at 11:32 pm #

    Hi Luke

    I looked at the first three references you provided (following my initial request for best articles on acidification) – many comments ago. No evidence there for pH change. Have you posted a link to something since that shows evidence for an actual pH change in the oceans?

    I agree theoretically it is all possible including significant reductions in calcification rates. But why its not happening… probably relates to the inherent buffering capacity of the ocean and the temperature component meaning that the oceans may in fact be liberating, not requesting carbon dioxide at the moment. Anyway I’m building up to a series of posts on this issue.

    In the meantime… if you have something that shows an actual change in ocean pH I would be interested in reading it.

    Thanks, Jen

  115. Luke July 16, 2012 at 1:10 am #

    See my discussion just above. Luke – July14, 8:15 and 8:23. And that was a very lazy look.

    Also important classic paper on CO2 sinking to depth and why DIC and Revelle are important concepts. Luke July 15, 12:02


    But there are complex issues in the southern ocean which is a major sink –

  116. cohenite July 16, 2012 at 10:19 am #

    I don’t want to distract from luke’s blizzard of CO2/ocean acidity papers but in respect of the Walker weakening:

  117. Luke July 16, 2012 at 12:05 pm #

    Keep telling ya Cohers – your “critique” is old silliness.

    Do get updated with Journal of Climate, December 2011, Vol. 24, No. 24 : pp. 6501-6514

    What Caused the Observed Twentieth-Century Weakening of the Walker Circulation?
    Scott B. Power and Greg Kociuba
    (doi: 10.1175/2011JCLI4101.1)

    One does need to keep up !

  118. Larry Fields July 16, 2012 at 12:22 pm #

    I posted the first two paragraphs plus a link in a few places, including free-associationdotnet, a small social networking site. Here’s the comment that I added:

    Larry’s comment: Dr. Marohasy is the top expert on evidence-based environmental policy in Australia. (Her academic specialty is in biology.) She’s taken a lot of flack from hired-gun ‘scientists’, for whom funding, and the requisite Political Correctness, are more important than telling the truth.

  119. Luke July 16, 2012 at 12:23 pm #

    Oh and even more important and a further paper by the great Scott Power.

    Of course Jen could do well the read the warning contained therein (but alas she ignores me)

    “Thus, statistical prediction schemes which use the SOI will need to be either modified or replaced by climate model-based prediction schemes in the years ahead, as the global warming signal in the SOI (and the quantity being predicted) becomes larger.”

  120. Robert July 16, 2012 at 3:45 pm #

    “Thus, statistical prediction schemes which use the SOI will need to be either modified or replaced by climate model-based prediction schemes in the years ahead, as the global warming signal in the SOI (and the quantity being predicted) becomes larger.”

    Not only is it worse than we thought. It will be worse than we will think.

  121. Tony Price July 16, 2012 at 3:53 pm #

    Luke is as usual very selective in his many quotations. Perhaps he hopes we won’t actually read his sources, despite his continual (becoming continuous) exhortations to just that.

    (ref. Luke July 14th, 2012 at 8:15 pm)

    Here’s the full Conclusions section from “Rate of Iceland Sea acidification from time series measurements”, Olafsson et al. 2009

    “The anthropogenic increase of atmospheric carbon dioxide affects the Iceland Sea both at the surface and at depth. In the surface, the pH has decreased from 8.13 to 8.08 between 1985 and 2008, and the aragonite saturation , which is naturally low anyway, decreased from 1.6 to 1.5 between 1985 and 2008. In the deep-water, the aragonite saturation horizon, currently at 1710m, is shoaling at a rate of about 4m/yr . This shoaling results from extensive vertical mixing which transmits atmospheric signatures to waters as deep as 1500m (Messias et al., 2008). Large areas of the benthos are thus undergoing a rapid transition from being exposed to waters that are supersaturated to being exposed to waters that are undersaturated with respect to aragonite. There is an urgent need to clarify the effects of these changes on associated benthic ecosystems, especially at shallower depths, where the population of carbonate forming benthic biota are much greater.

    “There is an urgent need to clarify the effects of these changes on associated benthic ecosystems” – need anything more be said?

  122. Tony Price July 16, 2012 at 4:06 pm #

    A reminder about Icelandic coastal waters: “the aragonite saturation, which is naturally low anyway, decreased from 1.6 to 1.5 between 1985 and 2008”.

    “Opening the Conference Iceland Mussel 2007 – Opportunities and Future Prospects for a New Seafood Industry in Iceland”

    “Members of Iceland’s Association of Shellfish Cultivators recently announced plans to begin cultivating the shellfish in Iceland’s waters. The association has experimented with blue mussel cultivation in Iceland in recent years with good results, and members now feel it is time to start producing blue mussels in large quantities for export.”

    “the aragonite saturation, which is naturally low anyway, decreased from 1.6 to 1.5 between 1985 and 2008”.

  123. cohenite July 16, 2012 at 5:58 pm #

    “Oh and even more important and a further paper by the great Scott Power.”

    The “great” Scott Power!?

    Your game is down luke. From your “great” man’s paper:

    “Our results also indicate that the observed decline in the SOI in recent decades has been driven by natural, internally generated variability.”

    The escape route for the “great” man is that natural variability is now and will be increasingly caused by AGW.

    We had this discussion before on Jennifer’s extended thread; there you quoted from Power’s 2007 paper:

    “[18] On the other hand, there is currently no consensus amongst climate models concerning change in the behaviour of ENSO in response to global warming [Cane, 2005; Collins et al., 2005; Guilyardi, 2006; Nyenzi and Lefale, 2006; Philip and van Oldenborgh, 2006; van Oldenborgh et al., 2005; Zelle et al., 2005; Meehl et al., 2007]. Yet if ENSO events are defined as years in which the magnitude of the June–December SOI exceeds 5 then El Niño events appear to have been more dominant in 1977–2006 than in any other 30 year period on record.

    [19] However, if global warming is largely responsible for the observed decline in the average value of the SOI over the period 1977–2006 then the threshold values used to define ENSO events need to be lowered (by approximately 3 SOI units). Under the new thresholds the apparent dominance of El Niño disappears. This simple interpretation gives a result that is consistent with modelling results: global warming weakens the Walker Circulation and warms the tropical Pacific Ocean, but has little impact on tropical ENSO-driven variability about the new mean-state [Meehl et al., 2007]. While plausible, further research is needed to help quantify the extent to which global warming has in fact driven the unprecedented recent decline in the 30-year average value of the SOI.”

    I replied:

    “Point 19 of the paper is simply S-F:

    “However, if global warming is largely responsible for the observed decline in the average value of the SOI over the period 1977–2006 then the threshold values used to define ENSO events need to be lowered (by approximately 3 SOI units). Under the new thresholds the apparent dominance of El Niño disappears.”

    What they are saying is that AGW not only warms but it also suppresses natural warming; the threshold for the natural warming mechanism, El Nino, drops , so that all the warming is AGW and little natural. This in fact was the main point of the cacophony against McLean et al; that natural factors merely oscillated and contributed nothing to trend.

    Now luke, just think about that for an instant; AGW warms while suppressing natural warming; and you wonder why there are sceptics out there pulling their hair out at the utter gibberish produced by our so-called top scientists.

    And you have totally ignored the Wentz paper:

    The significance of this paper is that it shows that natural processes rather than decreasing due to warming are compensating; increased rainfall of course removes extra warming from the system. And it also shows the Walker is not weakening.”

    Now tell me how Power’s 2010 effort is different from 2007?

  124. Luke July 17, 2012 at 9:33 am #

    Tony – the QUESTION asked was is there any evidence of oceanic pH changes made in the world. So I provided some. Changing the goal posts is typical sceptic stuff.

  125. cohenite July 17, 2012 at 9:54 am #

    Don’t complain luke, the thread, like fate, takes us where it wants.

    Ocean pH in a historical context:

    Here’s a further link which provides graphs from the above paper:

    Carry on; thanks for the Power papers; you are trying to send me insane, aren’t you?

  126. Luke July 17, 2012 at 12:50 pm #

    Someone has to update you and be nice to you. You see I am a nice person really.

    Those CO2 denier links aren’t up to date! It’s 2012 by my clock.

  127. Debbie July 17, 2012 at 3:07 pm #

    It’s 2012 by my clock too Luke,
    Can you therefore explain why in the closely related MDB debate and also much of the AGW debate we are all still having projective climate & socio-economic models/graphs/reports that go no further than 2009 ‘real time data’ jammed down out throats?

  128. Luke July 17, 2012 at 4:35 pm #

    That’s good ! In fact normal – as data prep and complex model runs take to perform and analyse and then write up and get published. All that takes time Debs – 2009 is quite good.

  129. Debbie July 17, 2012 at 5:41 pm #

    Why would we be basing far reaching social policy and loads of tax payer funding on something that can’t keep up?
    Especially since it claims to predict the future?
    As Jen does clearly point out….that data re reefs is already available….at other reef locations.
    I realise at this post Jen has mainy pointed out the ‘warming’ data is available….but we all know that much of the rest is too…don’t we?

  130. Luke July 17, 2012 at 9:18 pm #

    Duh – why is critical to have the last couple of years – adds what? just silly nonsense Debs

  131. Lars Jonsson July 18, 2012 at 1:38 am #

    I red the paper from 2009 in Pnas and certainly think that we should be very careful about what might happen with the changinh pH values. However the abstract starts with the proclamation “Atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) is increasing at an accelerating rate”. You have looked at 20 years and according to the following grapg from NOAA there is at present no accellerating rate. The last ten years the rate of increase is rather decellerating. This is not said to downplay the the consequences of future acidification, but obvioulsy the fraction of air molecules are at present not accellerating although this could be said for the period on the whole. It is a bad sign of a scientific paper if one of the first scentences is not correct

  132. Tony Price July 18, 2012 at 4:38 am #

    Luke said “Tony – the QUESTION asked was is there any evidence of oceanic pH changes made in the world. So I provided some. Changing the goal posts is typical sceptic stuff.”

    I didn’t move the goalposts, I also provided precise evidence of pH changes, and more importantly, a significant drop in aragonite saturation (from one of your linked papers – is quoting from it “changing the goalposts”?), countered by an apparent lack of impact on mussels in the same area. There’s no evidence for any impact on clams either. Ignoring a whole, large chunk of what I posted is a typical opposition tactic.

  133. Debbie July 18, 2012 at 7:35 am #

    you are managing to contradict yourself.
    The projections are not passing the harsh judgement of reality.
    I have no probs with continuing work that is prepared to update correctly.
    My point was that this work is not good enough and therefore it is not appropriate to use it to dictate social policy or to pour further copious funding into trying to justify behaviour that is not delivering on stated goals.
    As you also point out, the process is so bleeding cumbersome it can’t keep up and becomes a burden and an obstruction.
    Your comment to Cohenite was that he wasn’t updated and that it is now 2012.
    When exactly the same criticism is made about closely related issues how does it magically morph into ‘just silly nonsense’?

  134. Luke July 18, 2012 at 11:35 am #

    Lars on the contrary put a trend line through your quoted growth rate in CO2 figure.

    Tony – and yes for the period involved would you expect major effects on biota?

    Debbie – a great many AGW predictions are turning out spot on. But you wouldn’t know a you don’t read anything but blog bilge. Otherwise you wouldn’t make such comments.

    Your comment about updating is simply utter drivel. I’ve never heard such nonsense. Is Jen’s paper up to date – nuh ! All serious science has periods of experimentation, periods, of analysis, periods of writing, getting review and then publishing. Takes time ! 1-2 years

    But when you’re 10 years out – that’s another matter.

  135. Debbie July 18, 2012 at 12:25 pm #

    Debbie – a great many AGW predictions are turning out spot on.
    That’s a rather broad statement Luke?
    What % fig is that ‘great many’?How USEFUL is that particular % as a basis for dictating rules and policy?
    And you of course realise that I can easily say ‘ a great many’ have not been even close to ‘spot on’.
    Which may mean that your continued & totally unsubstantiated claims that I don’t read anything would also not be ‘spot on’ either.
    You appear insanely obsessed with calendar points Luke….and failing to see that the natural environment is not interested in the repeatedly failing attempts to formulate social policy based on % of precautionary mights and then come up with infallible sets of bureaucratic rules.
    I watch the RESULTS of that behaviour every day in my patch.
    It leads to insane procedures that result in water authorities dumping water from dangerously low storages at the top of our flooding river systems…straight into those flooding river systems….in the name of ‘paying back’ to the environment because the rules based on the out of date models said the water had to be released.
    The further ‘knock on’ effects are even more unrealistic.
    2 years can make a hellava difference to the people and communities who just want to get on with it Luke.
    Actually ONE WEEK can make a difference!
    In the face of the massive flooding that occured here in March….we found ourselves continually obstructed because the ‘rules’ did not allow it….rules that were put in place to manage a millenium drought and the continuation of popularly followed projective models.
    Which leads me back to the point that we should not be basing far reaching social policy on stuff that can’t possibly keep up with what’s really happening.
    I have never said this work is BAD…I have always said that projective modelling is a very useful TOOL.
    Nearly everybody uses the TOOL Luke….but you seem to think it’s SCIENCE….and that it’s above reproach?????
    And seriously…considering you have a total obsession about ‘serious science’
    what does this silly comment have to do with anything?
    Is Jen’s paper up to date – nuh !
    Where did Jen claim that her paper was the answer to all our woes?
    (and yes I have read)

  136. Luke July 18, 2012 at 11:27 pm #

    You are upset with the climate change modellers coz your weather forecast is wrong? Good grief.

  137. Debbie July 19, 2012 at 8:49 am #

    What planet do you live on and what language do you speak?
    That question and comment has absolutely nothing to do with my point.
    BUT Luke, while it is NOT what upsets me you are at least correct that the forecasting is often wrong.

  138. sp July 19, 2012 at 2:30 pm #

    Luke – answer the question:

    What % fig is that ‘great many’?How USEFUL is that particular % as a basis for dictating rules and policy?

  139. Luke July 19, 2012 at 10:41 pm #

    84.762% and yes

  140. sp July 20, 2012 at 9:04 am #

    Question: What % fig is that ‘great many’?How USEFUL is that particular % as a basis for dictating rules and policy?

    Luke Response: 84.762% and yes

    Luke either provide a link to support your response or simply admit you are wrong.

  141. Debbie July 20, 2012 at 9:49 am #

    May I also point out that YES is NOT an answer to the second half of the question?

    The question was clearly ‘how’ useful….NOT ‘is it’ useful as a basis for dictating rules and policy.
    Along with sp….and considering you’re such a stickler for ‘serious science’….I believe a reference is in order Luke.
    May I also point out that you did not answer the question about your snipe at the Marohasy/Abbot research paper?
    From my reading, that research is aimed at contributing to our ability to make ‘informed’ decisions using tools that are already available to most of us and (IMHO) a sensible use of the increasingly impressive data bank of raw data….particularly on our Eastern Seaboard. ….and it shows some early promise.
    In particular businesses like mine and also the mining industry would definitely find this research USEFUL if (repeat IF!) it delivers on its early promise.
    This research also did NOT give C02 and ‘Climate Change Theory’ a prominent forcing yet still it shows at least equal success at ‘projecting’.
    It does not in anyway suggest that it is a tool to DICTATE social policy.
    And further… in relation to the topic of this post….you have not answered the question about why same species coral thrives in other areas that ALREADY have warmer ocean temps etc.

  142. roberts August 20, 2012 at 11:37 am #

    Why is it that under water volcanism is always ignored.
    Fault lines caused where tectonic plates meet stretch around the globe for something like 86,000 kilometers.
    Most of these faults are under water.
    Is it beyond the realm of impossibility that these vents could be sources of heat and very acidic compounds that could actually add to the water’s temperatures and ph in different locations.


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