The Incredible Voyage of Neodenticula Seminae

Guest Post by David Middleton

This article from a publication called DW-World was recently brought to my attention as iron-clad proof of unprecedented Arctic melting due to AGW…

Seems pretty cut and dried… But, I had never heard of DW-World, so I looked for some sort of confirmation of this startling discovery. My first stop was Nature

Nature Reports Climate Change Published online: 18 October 2007 | doi:10.1038/climate.2007.61

Atlantic invaders

The melting of Arctic sea ice is blurring the biological boundaries between Pacific and Atlantic.

It was in May 1999, during routine monitoring, that the tiny diatom was first found drifting in the ocean currents. Not an unusual observation on a plankton survey, only the species was in the wrong ocean. The north-west Atlantic was thick with phytoplankton of a Pacific species on its first visit for 800,000 years.

[...]

Reid’s explanation — based on analyses of sea ice coverage — is that Neodenticula seminae migrated from the Pacific to the Atlantic via the Arctic as a direct consequence of the Arctic’s diminishing ice cover. Melting of ice is now opening up the Northwest Passage between the Arctic and Pacific Oceans during summer and could result in a seasonal ice-free state in the region as the climate continues to warm.

[...]

Since its arrival, the diatom, commonly found in the most northerly reaches of the Pacific and the Bering Sea, has colonized the Labrador Sea between Greenland and Canada, as reported by Reid and colleagues in the September issue of Global Change Biology 2. “An [ice] gate was opened in 1998 which has probably been closed for thousands of years and then it closed again immediately afterwards,” he explains. “[The plankton] would have moved through the Bering Strait, through the [normally icy] Canadian archipelago and [south] into Baffin Bay.” The completely open seawater in the summer months of that year — blown by winds accelerating the general east-west current flow — would have provided ideal conditions for the phytoplankton to grow and proliferate, he argues.

[...]

But there is another potential explanation for how Neodenticula made the trans-Arctic trip into Atlantic waters: as a stow away in a ship’s ballast water on a route that took the Zebra Mussel and many other invasive species to world domination. Reid and colleagues are confident that this is not the case, though they cannot completely discount the route. They argue that few ships take the Northwest Passage and any ice breakers using the route are unlikely to risk exchanging their ballast water in transit or in the open waters of the Labrador Sea.

[...]

Neodenticula’s journey may also reveal new evidence for the unprecedented nature of today’s warming climate. Fossil records show the only other time the species appeared in the north Atlantic was between 1.2 million and 800,000 years ago, introduced during an interglacial period. “It died out probably because of severe cooling,” explains Reid, adding that oddly there is also no evidence of its presence in the north Atlantic during the Pliocene ‘trans-Arctic interchange’ of about 3.5 million years ago, when there was a huge extinction as Pacific species invaded the Atlantic. Martin Head, a palaeoclimate expert from Brock University in Canada, points out that it hasn’t appeared in the last 800,000 years despite plenty of interglacials during this time. The Eemian interglacial of about 130,000 years ago was thought to have been much warmer than today, for example. “It is telling us that something very unusual is happening during this [current] interglacial,” says Head. “The reason could be those interglacials were not as warm as now.”

Zoe Corbyn is a freelance science writer based in London, UK. Nature

The paper, Reid et al., 2007, is behind a paywall. The abstract says that the “the exceptional occurrence of extensive ice-free water to the North of Canada” enabled N. seminae to be “carried in a pulse of Pacific water in 1998/early 1999 via the Canadian Arctic Archipelago and/or Fram Strait;” arriving in the North Atlantic for the first time since the mid-Pleistocene. The incredible voyage of N. seminae was also hyped up in this “plenary paper” by Burkhill & Reid. The obvious Warmist conclusion was that “interglacials were not as warm as” the present day. This one little diatom obviously trumps all of the evidence that the last interglacial was significantly warmer than the current interglacial.

Three questions came to mind:

  1. How strong is the evidence that the Arctic climate was significantly warmer during the last interglacial?
  2. Could N. seminae have transited the Arctic in one melt season?
  3. Did N. seminae really go extinct in the North Atlantic 800,000 years ago?

Evidence of Eemian/Sangamonian Warmth

The last interglacial stage (often referred to as Marine Isotope Stage 5, the Sangamonian or the Eemian) was considerably warmer than the current interglacial and sea level was 3-6 meters higher than modern time. The Sangamonian was particularly warmer in the Arctic. Oxygen isotope ratios from the NGRIP ice core indicate that the Arctic was significantly warmer at the peak of the last interglacial (~135,000 years ago). If N. seminae could be blown from the Bering Sea through the Chukchi Sea, the Beaufort Sea, the Canadian Archipelago and Baffin Bay, without leaving any evidence of its transit, during one warm summer, it would have done so many times over the last 800,000 years. It also appears that it was significantly warmer in the Arctic during the Holocene Climatic Optimum (~7,000 years ago) than modern times. The Arctic was routinely ice-free during summer for most of the Holocene up until about 1,000 years ago. McKay et al., 2008 demonstrated that the modern Arctic sea ice cover is anomalously high and the Arctic summer sea surface temperature is anomalously low relative to the rest of the Holocene…

Modern sea-ice cover in the study area, expressed here as the number of months/year with >50% coverage, averages 10.6 ±1.2 months/year… Present day SST and SSS in August are 1.1 ± 2.4 8C and 28.5 ±1.3, respectively… In the Holocene record of core HLY0501-05, sea-ice cover has ranged between 5.5 and 9 months/year, summer SSS has varied between 22 and 30, and summer SST has ranged from 3 to 7.5 8C (Fig. 7).

McKay et al., 2008

 The evidence against the modern warming being anomalous in the context of the Quaternary Period appears to be overwhelming.

You Can’t Get There From Here

Could N. seminae have transited the Arctic in one melt season? The short answer is no.

If N. seminaerecently migrated into the Atlantic from through the Northwest Passage and Canadian Archipelago, there ought to be some evidence of their transit in the Beaufort Sea and Baffin Bay; but there isn’t…

There’s not much evidence of anything transiting the Northwest Passage and Canadian Archipelago.

Driftwoodtakes the long route from the Pacific to the Atlantic because it follows the prevailing circulation patterns. The transit time from the Bering Strait to the Labrador Sea is about 6 years.

Driftwood takes the long route and about 6 years to transit the Arctic.

It’s amazing that the authors and uncritical commenters in the Nature article simply discounted the possibility that maritime activity might just have carried N. seminae into the North Atlantic… While proposing a preposterous scenario in which N. seminae traveled on the winds and currents from the Bering Sea through the Chukchi Sea, the Beaufort Sea, the Canadian Archipelago and Baffin Bay into the Labrador Sea, without leaving any evidence of its transit, during one warm summer.

But there is another potential explanation for how Neodenticula made the trans-Arctic trip into Atlantic waters: as a stow away in a ship’s ballast water on a route that took the Zebra Mussel and many other invasive species to world domination. Reid and colleagues are confident that this is not the case, though they cannot completely discount the route. They argue that few ships take the Northwest Passage and any ice breakers using the route are unlikely to risk exchanging their ballast water in transit or in the open waters of the Labrador Sea.

“Reid and colleagues” must be unfamiliar with nuclear submarines… Not to mention bilge pumps.

In 1969, the modified oil tanker SS Manhattan made a Northwest Passage round-trip, accompanied by two icebreakers… 10,000 nautical miles in 90 days… ~100 miles per day. Most Arctic currents have a surface velocity of 1-2 miles per day. If N. seminae drifted on ice-free summer currents, it would have taken at least 6 summers to travel from the Bering Sea to the Labrador Sea, spending nine months in hibernation each year. Yet the Warmists are confident it made the trip in one summer and didn’t hitch a ride on a ship or other anthropogenic vessel.

“I’m not dead yet!”

Did N. seminae really go extinct in the North Atlantic 800,000 years ago?

N. seminae did not just appear in the North Atlantic during an interglacial and then disappear due to “severe cooling.” It spanned several full glacial cycles during the mid-Pleistocene transition.

N. seminae is an important mid-Pleistocene biostratigraphic marker in the North Atlantic. Enhanced N. seminaeproductivity is associated with a transition to “cool, low-saline, surface waters” in the mid-Pleistocene…

Raymo, M.E., Jansen, E., Blum, P., and Herbert, T.D. (Eds.), 1999 Proceedings of the Ocean Drilling Program, Scientific Results, Vol. 162 51

4. HIGH-RESOLUTION PLEISTOCENE DIATOM BIOSTRATIGRAPHY OF SITE 983 AND CORRELATIONS WITH ISOTOPE STRATIGRAPHY

Nalân Koç,2,3 David A. Hodell,4 Helga Kleiven,2 and Laurent Labeyrie5

ABSTRACT

High accumulation rates and the presence of well-preserved, abundant diatoms in Site 983 sediments from the Gardar Drift gave us the opportunity to refine the Pleistocene diatom biostratigraphic resolution of the high- latitude North Atlantic. Eight Pleistocene diatom datum events are identified and, for the first time, tied directly to the oxygen isotope record and paleomagnetic stratigraphy of Site 983. These datum events are (1) the last occurrence (LO) of Proboscia curvirostris at 0.3 Ma, (2) the LO of Thalassiosira jouseae at 0.3 Ma, (3) the LO of Nitzschia reinholdii at 0.6 Ma, (4) the LO of Nitzschia fossilis at 0.68 Ma, (5) the LO of Nitzschia seminae at 0.84 Ma, (6) the first occurrence (FO) of N. seminae at 1.25 Ma, (7) the FO of Proboscia curvirostris at 1.53 Ma, and (8) the FO of Pseudoeunotia doliolus at 1.89 Ma. Most of these datums are found to be synchronous between the middle and high latitudes of the North Atlantic and the North Pacific. On the basis of these datums, four high-latitude North Atlantic diatom zones are proposed for the Pleistocene. The record of diatom abundance and preservation at Site 983 gives evidence for the influence of fluctuating Pleistocene climatic conditions on diatom productivity in the high-latitude North Atlantic.

[...]

Presence of significant diatom production during glacial stages 18, 20, and 30 indicates open-marine conditions over Site 983 during these times. High diatom production during glacial stages 18 and 20 is also recorded from Site 919, which suggests that the North Atlantic was free of sea ice during these glacial periods (Koç and Flower, 1998). These glacial stages are within the first 100-k.y. cycles after the Mid-Pleistocene Transition. As indicated by the benthic oxygen isotope records, they were not as severe as the late Quaternary glacials (Mix et al., 1995). Neodenticula seminae is part of the modern diatom assemblage of the middle- and high-latitude North Pacific (Barron, 1981; Sancetta, 1982). Our results indicate that this species is limited to the interval 0.84–1.26 Ma in the North Atlantic. Baldauf (1986) had interpreted the occurrence of N. seminae in the North Atlantic as the presence of cool, low-saline, surface waters in the central North Atlantic during the early Quaternary. The interval of N. seminae in the North Atlantic straddles the transition from the dominance of 41-k.y. cycles in the climate records to the dominance of 100-k.y. cycles. It is, therefore, possible to interpret the first occurrence of N. seminae in the North Atlantic as a sign for cooling, which started at 1.26 Ma, leading to the establishment of the 100-k.y. cycles with severe glacial periods. The presence of N. seminae in the North Atlantic is, therefore, attributable to the unique conditions related to the Mid-Pleistocene Transition.

[...]

LINK

Now here’s the million dollar question. If N. seminae first evolved ~1.2 million years ago in the North Atlantic and then became locally extinct 800,000 years ago… Where was N. seminae from 800,000 years ago up until 250,000 years ago?

Did it re-evolve in the North Pacific 250,000 years ago? Was it truly extinct? Or was its productivity so low that it wasn’t noted in the fossil record?

The answers are no, no and yes.

N. seminae has been present in the North Pacific since at least the beginning of the Pleistocene (~2.6 MYA). The N. seminae biostratigraphic zone starts with the last occurrence of P. curvirostiris. So, it did not reappear in the North Pacific 250,000 years ago.

Shimada & Tanimura, 2005 noted that “N. seminae has been reported in subtropical gyres in the Indian Ocean and the North Atlantic, its occurrences there seem to be quite sporadic and episodic. Semina (1981) reported fewer than 100 specimens/L from low latitudes in the North Atlantic, in contrast with up to 3.3×10^7 specimens/L in surface seawaters from the subarctic North Pacific Ocean and its surrounding seas.”

I’m not 100% certain… But, I think that N. seminae was named after G. I. Semina… The researcher who noted N. seminae’s presence in the Indian Ocean and North Atlantic back in 1981.

Conclusions

  • Neodenticula seminae did not go extinct in the North Atlantic 800,000 years ago.
  • Neodenticula seminae could not have transited the Arctic in one melt season.

About these ads

About David Middleton

I have been a geoscientist in the evil oil and gas industry for almost 30 years. My favorite hobby is debunking the junk science of the radical environmentalists...Particularly the junk science of anthropogenic global warming.
This entry was posted in Arctic and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

59 Responses to The Incredible Voyage of Neodenticula Seminae

  1. Steve Oregon says:

    Then there are all the reports of a ice free northwest passage going back 100 years. Which obviously means there have been many ice free northwest passages during the last 800,000 years.

    Why would the authors of this paper be so stupid as to hang their entire thesis on a known false claim that only “now” or recently is the northwest passage ice free in summer?

    I just don’t get it.

  2. Latitude says:

    This is really stupid…….and explains why so many marine animals are not called circum-tropical……./snark

  3. Dan in California says:

    On one hand there are environmental groups sponsoring multiple ship crossings to “prove” the northwest passage is easier now than ever before, and on the other hand we discount the possibility that the critters hitched a ride on a ship. Isn’t it nice that all observations prove AGW?

    Of course ship transits are easier using the new technologies of GPS and satellite photos to navigate around ice, but we can’t ever acknowledge there might be other reasons for increased shipping.

  4. John S says:

    What about critters hitching a ride on cargo ships from the Pacific to the Atlantic via ship’s ballast water?

  5. Douglas DC says:

    Dan-exactly. Look at the problems with shipping in the Great lakes, Heck even Coos Bay Oregon
    has worries from invasive critters from Ballast…

  6. dtbronzich says:

    Erm…wouldn’t it be easier for the plankton to stow away in ballast water in a ship going from say, Portland, Oregon to New York, via that little thing called the Panama Canal?

  7. Richard111 says:

    Apologies for my ignorance. I thought the Atlantic and Pacific oceans were connected through the Arctic UNDER THE ICE.

  8. Gee, I wonder if there might be some factor other than temperature affecting its prevalence in certain bodies of water. I guess we’ll never know.

  9. crosspatch says:

    I wish I had the knowledge and resources to do it myself but I wish papers like these would be actively challenged to the point of having to retract them. When opinion is presented as research, it doesn’t exactly do the world any service.

  10. Steeptown says:

    Darn those nuclear submarines going under the ice and pumping out all that hot water.

  11. DJ says:

    In a burst of naivety, after reading the foregoing, I’m left with some curious questions about this aggressive and dangerous little diatom, who has either been unwillingly transported, or has fought the many perils of the arctic to it’s long lost Atlantic home…

    What depths does it survive, reproduce, or flourish at? I’m gathering from the research that it only exists at the very surface of the sea, which explains in part why it has never traveled east before, not even back in 1922 when the arctic has a free passage on the surface.

    I’m assuming that pure water temperature isn’t a hindrance, since it survived the arctic passage on it’s own..and not in the comfort of a heated and sheltered bilge. (..those with sailing knowledge will attest to large ships never intaking and expelling water from their bilges while underway../sarc)

    We’re left with the premise that the creatures are unable to survive passing UNDER any amount of surface ice (based on the premise that most ice floats on the surface), and if covered by ice for some unspecified period of time, they perish. No current running under the ice would save them.

    …Therefore, there must be evidence of their carcasses scattered along the sea bed in the arctic, as testimony to the quest to reach their original spawning grounds.

  12. Joe Crawford says:

    Considering the state of our high school education system today, with most of the teachers having poor science skills but absolute belief that man is destroying the environment, and showing several movies on global warming each semester, it’s no wonder that we now turn out a new crop of enviro-activists each year that don’t know how to think for themselves. It’s pathetic the garbage that is now being presented as science today. This article wouldn’t have pass as a high school term paper not many years ago. It doesn’t pass the smell test, much less the fermi test (re. Fermi problem).

  13. ferd berple says:

    Dan in California says:
    October 29, 2011 at 8:40 am
    On one hand there are environmental groups sponsoring multiple ship crossings to “prove” the northwest passage is easier now than ever before, and on the other hand we discount the possibility that the critters hitched a ride on a ship. Isn’t it nice that all observations prove AGW?

    No way that the scientists could be unwittingly spreading the algae contamination. That is as unlikely as the scientists that were blaming AGW for killing frogs were actually killing the frogs themselves, by carrying contamination from frog to frog.

  14. ferd berple says:

    “The Eemian interglacial of about 130,000 years ago was thought to have been much warmer than today, for example”

    So, let me get this straight, the interglacial 130k years ago was much warmer due to natural causes, and this interglacial is colder due to humans and CO2? I thought CO2 was supposed to cause warming, but if it causes warming, how come this interglacial is colder?

    And if warming is so bad that it is sure to lead to a “tipping point”. how come there wasn’t a tipping point 130k years ago when things were warmer? And if warming is so bad, why didn’t a massive extinction of life take place 130k years ago during the interglacial?

  15. The first sentence: “The oceans are getting warmer……” And my mind closes like a steel trap. Not “Pacific species found in North Atlantic” or “Explanation sought for anomalous occurrence of Pacific Diatom”…no, “The oceans are getting warmer….” It doesn’t take a dullard’s lack of imagination to see where the article is headed……

  16. Doug Danhoff says:

    It appears to many AGW folks that there is no natural warming…only anthropromorphic.
    For them everything is “proof” of their beliefs

  17. Jim Barker says:

    Just wondering exactly how large a diatom population must become to even be noticed in either ocean? How long do they need to exist in one place to leave a discoverable record? Couldn’t they be just about anywhere, waiting for the right circumstance to cause a bloom, noticed or not?

  18. Many scientists are like many priests. Once they fall in love with an imagined scenario they acquire complete faith in that scenario and can never ever be dissuaded.

  19. Steve from Rockwood says:

    Mike Bromley the Kurd says:
    October 29, 2011 at 9:30 am
    ——————————————–
    Exactly. I was going to mention all the unintentional introductions of invasive species, such as the zebra mussel, but they beat me to it. Thirty years from now I’m tempted to run the streets (in my walker) with a sign “Beware the priests of global warming”. Only problem is by then no one will have ever heard of it.

  20. John F. Hultquist says:

    For context, I found this interesting:

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

    This is about all the water and material collected and dispersed on a large ship as it goes about its appointed rounds and duties.

  21. TedK says:

    Whenever someone makes a claim that ships do not release ballast water or other silly romantic era story lines; like “catch the next tide out of port”, you automatically know that you are talking to someone with no clue about modern ships or ocean tides.

    Ballast water is used to adjust a ships trim and float level. Yes, there are major dumps or intakes of ballast water when a ship takes on or delivers cargo; but there are continual adjustments to ballast as a ship consumes fuel, changes in deck activity, weather conditions, etc… There are some modern ballast designs where ballast water is moved from compartment to compartment, but this generally minimizes external ballast water exchange and usually only for in course adjustments. Not for major changes in ship load.

    And as someone else mentioned, consider submarines, just how do subs dive, rise and surface? Not to mention that when supertankers load up or discharge their cargos, think phenomenal ballast exchange.

    Start with a dunce idea, build a case around it, use storyland fantasies to buff and bolster and romanticize then boom, go public. Wanna bet that this one gets in the next IPCC AR# TP-roll?

  22. cassandraclub says:

    So much for peer-review

  23. “Reid and colleagues are confident that this is not the case,”
    I’m crushed by the evidence of their refutation.

    BTW a short internet search that any gradeshool kid can do informs one of the many ships that passed through the Northwest Passage last century. It contradicts their silly notion of an ice gate “closed for thousands of years.” The gate wasn’t closed for Henry Larsen who transitted in 1944 in record time.

    What do you have to do to be fired for incompetence from a university? If I made gaffs like these in my work I’d be out on my can.

  24. Ivor Ward says:

    Ships re-trim many times during a voyage. Bunker fuel is held in aft wing tanks, double bottoms and forepeak tanks. Fresh water is transferred from for’d to aft and all these movements require ballast to be pumped in and out. Tankers are even worse because they clean tanks and move ballast at alarming rates. It is far more efficient to pump ballast overboard with one pump and ballast a different tank from the sea than to try and transfer within the ship. These idiot scientists should try actually stepping aboard a ship and see how complicated it is. “Unlikely to change ballast water in transit.” What absolute bo**ocks.

  25. Kelvin Vaughan says:

    If storms can transport frogs and fish and dust through the air over great distances I’m sure Neodenticula Seminae isn’t a problem.

  26. Julien says:

    I’d like to understand how it can be a problem. From what I read, this plankton is a phytoplankton, it’s a 0 buck CO2 sink organism. And now what, we’re complaining that we get a free carbon sink bacteria coming over from the pacific to sink CO2 in the Atlantic? Shouldn’t we see a wonderful proof how mother nature can wonderfully balance itself very well, with or without us like most of the past geological ages?

    It’s geo-engineering and it’s for free. wow. :-)

    But it’s also worrying. Is it a sign that we’re heading towards a global cooling?

  27. RoyFOMR says:

    Has anyone actually checked lists of passengers, ballast and crew for N. seminae?

  28. AnonyMoose says:

    If this stuff is so sensitive to cold that it was wiped out by cold, how does it survive in the northern oceans, much less survive the colder Northwest Passage waters?

  29. DocMartyn says:

    So aquatic biotic is mobile in the biosphere, how shocking.
    Nature is becoming a rag.

  30. don says:

    Well, if it’s any consolation, it’s nice to see the methodological pejorative about the social sciences–you find what you look for– applies to the hard sciences too when it comes hypothesis selection.

  31. Scenario: AGW “eco-warriors” secretly transport n. seminae to the Atlantic and their co-conspirators then herald the alarming news as proof of AGW. /paranoia

  32. johanna says:

    Apart from the many practical and theoretical objections to this piece of crap paper spelled out by PPs, more generally it falls into the ‘steady state’ trap which underlies so much of the so called science emanating from the environmental mindset, including in relation to climate.

    There is an unquestioned assumption that the researcher’s starting point is the optimum state for whatever is being examined, and that any change can only be for the worse.

    How anyone with even the faintest understanding of, in this case, biological science, could support this proposition is unfathomable.

  33. Nick Shaw says:

    A lack of ice in the Northwest Passage for hundreds of thousands of years?
    If I know about the letters to the Admiralty regarding the surprising lack of ice in the Arctic, (and me with but a small part of a high school education), how come these learned scholars and researchers, not to mention the highly educated members of Nature’s staff, know nothing of the Northwest Passage being free of ice numerous times?
    Don’t they ever go into the archives of the esteemed New York Times either?
    Sheesh!

  34. Steve Keohane says:

    So the water flowing around S. Africa from the Indian Ocean, which would be replaced with water from the Pacific, into the Atlantic from the south, doesn’t count as Pacific water flowing into the Atlantic?

  35. Luther Wu says:

    So, the Atlantic has been N. seminae- ted?

  36. Ken Harvey says:

    Would one of you northerners take the trouble to catch a compatible pair of those diatoms and send them to me? I’ll then let them loose in the Indian Ocean and that should confuse future researchers.

  37. ferd berple says:

    johanna says:
    October 29, 2011 at 12:02 pm
    There is an unquestioned assumption that the researcher’s starting point is the optimum state for whatever is being examined, and that any change can only be for the worse.

    Under the steady state assumption, the earth was better before the researcher was born. By upsetting the delicate balance of nature they have caused the imbalance and the algae bloom and should take the responsible step to restore the balance..

  38. JJ says:

    “Reid and colleagues are confident that this is not the case, though they cannot completely discount the route.”

    Reid and collegues are adhering well to the Trenberthian scientific method: When faced with explaining a problem, first eliminate all possible mechanisms that do not involve AGW. What ever remains, however improbable, is exactly what happened.

  39. ralphg says:

    DW-Welle (Deutsche Welle or German Radio) is the state broadcaster for Germany, and is very left wing. They are pro-abortion, pro-AGW (anthropogenic global warming), pro-EU, anti-war, and the list goes on. Their reports are usually one-sided. http://www.dw-world.de/

  40. Peter Plail says:

    Richard111 says:
    October 29, 2011 at 9:04 am
    Apologies for my ignorance. I thought the Atlantic and Pacific oceans were connected through the Arctic UNDER THE ICE.

    Richard, they are tiny little blighters and can’t hold their breath long enough to swim all that way under the ice, they can only make it on the surface,

  41. jorgekafkazar says:

    crosspatch says: “…When opinion is presented as research, it doesn’t exactly do the world any service.”

    In the world of Pöst Nörmal ‘siunce,’ wishing makes it so.

  42. phlogiston says:

    The list of lazy errors in this paper, as exposed in this great piece of research by Dave Middleton, is long:

    1. N seminae is supposed to be new to the N Atlantic. But instead it was found there decades ago as probably attested by it very name.

    2. A single anecdotal finding of N seminae in the N Atlantic in a supreme act of wishful thinking is taken as evidence that the current temperatures are the warmest for 800,000 years, overturning a mountain of existing palaeo data to the contrary. Temperatures have not only been clearly higher in previous interglacials, along with sea level, such as during the Eemian, but even our current Holocene interglacial jas been warmer that the present for most of the last 10,000 years.

    3. The authors glib assertion that the diatom could have come on sea currents via the Arctic from Pacific to Atlantic in one season is shown by Dave to be impossible – six years would be needed.

    4. The central assumption of the paper – that N seminae in the Atlantic is a marker of warmer conditions – is shown by reference to the existing literature on the diatom to be probably the opposite of the reality: N seminae in the Atlantic 1 million years ago probably signified cooling conditions and a transition in glacial cycles.

    On this final point, Bob Tisdale’s meticulous oceanographic analysis shows clearly that both the Arctic and N Atlantic oceans have been cooling in the last decade or so.

    Thus it is even possible that the presence of growing numbers of N seminae in the N Atlantic could signify the exact opposite of what the authors assert – not anthropogenic warming, but a cyclical transition to cooling, significant on a scale of a million years.

    Or it could mean nothing if N seminae has always been in the N Atlantic and is not really increasing.

  43. Kohl says:

    ralphg reckons that DW-Welle (Deutsche Welle or German Radio), the state broadcaster for Germany, (… is very left wing. They are pro-abortion,…).

    Are you suggesting that being ‘pro-abortion’ indicates that one is also ‘very left wing’?

    The basis of your characterisation of ‘left wing/right wing’ seems to be at least naive if not wholly misguided.

    Why could one not be pro-abortion and completely skeptical of AGW?; or again anti EU and pro-war (whatever that might mean)?

    What is true is true and generalisations about people having left/right wing views just don’t have a bearing on that. Such generalisations are most often associated with ad hominem arguments which do not further the discussion either way

  44. Dave Springer says:

    So according to environmentalist whackos (EWs) it’s environmentalist whackos of the past that did it.

    See, in the 1960’s the EWs got laws passed to scrub aerosol emissions from smokestacks and tailpipes. As it turns out those aerosols were countering the warming effect of CO2 emissions. So the CO2 melted the ice that made the path that the agae used to migrate across the Arctic ocean.

    The same EWs also got laws passed that made nuclear power plants far more expensive to operate than coal & natural gas power plants. So from the fossil fuels plants used in place of nuclear power plants came the CO2 that melted the ice that made the path the algae used to migrate across the Arctic ocean.

    Those dang EWs. It’s all their fault. Everything they do turns into a disaster because of unintended consequences. If Archie Bunker were around I think he’d tell them to stifle themselves.

  45. Streetcred says:

    Dan in California says:
    October 29, 2011 at 8:40 am
    On one hand there are environmental groups sponsoring multiple ship crossings to “prove” the northwest passage is easier now than ever before, and on the other hand we discount the possibility that the critters hitched a ride on a ship. Isn’t it nice that all observations prove AGW?
    ============
    ferd berple says:
    October 29, 2011 at 9:15 am
    No way that the scientists could be unwittingly spreading the algae contamination. That is as unlikely as the scientists that were blaming AGW for killing frogs were actually killing the frogs themselves, by carrying contamination from frog to frog.
    =============

    Reminds me of a certain French marine explorer and his Mediterranean aquarium that were the cause of introduction and infestation by Caulerpa Taxifolia.

  46. Gail Combs says:

    ERRRrrr What about barnacles and all the rest of the crud that fouls up the bottom of a ship?? You would not even have to include ballast water as the source of introduction. Just provide a place they can hitch a ride.

    This photo shows what I mean.
    http://www.rozsavage.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/fouling.jpg

  47. higley7 says:

    We have to understand that, although their hypothesis has no real or plausible evidence to support it, it’s the spirit of the conclusion that counts.

    Who are we to expect that facts should stand in the way of research and grant funding trying very hard to support a political agenda?

  48. mike g says:

    If I wasn’t already a skeptic, this simple analysis would prove to me without doubt there is something really fishy going on with the scientific method on the AGW side of the argument.

  49. Rational Debate says:

    re: Peter Plail says: October 29, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    wrt: Richard111 says: October 29, 2011 at 9:04 am
    Apologies for my ignorance. I thought the Atlantic and Pacific oceans were connected through the Arctic UNDER THE ICE.

    Richard, they are tiny little blighters and can’t hold their breath long enough to swim all that way under the ice, they can only make it on the surface

    Well, I don’t know about this specific species of diatom, but apparently the majority of diatoms do just fine far under the surface, and sink there on purpose frequently during “bust” conditions (limited nutrients, espec. silica) or to ‘rest,’ and they can stay pretty deep under the surface for at least a good part of a year (maybe far longer too for all I know). They are also frequnetly found in large conglomerations under the polar ice. They hitch a ride on almost anything, several of which are relevant to this discussion; e.g., barnacles, plankton, whale skin, mussel shells, etc. From: http://tinyurl.com/3tyuj94 see page 2, diatoms:

    “diatoms also form a brown coating under polar ice flows or on whale skin…”

    And from (the notoriously inaccurate but oh so handy starting place): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diatom

    “…When conditions turn unfavourable, usually upon depletion of nutrients, diatom cells typically increase in sinking rate and exit the upper mixed layer….Sinking out of the upper mixed layer removes diatoms from conditions unfavourable to growth, including grazer populations and higher temperatures (which would otherwise increase cell metabolism). Cells reaching deeper water or the shallow seafloor can then rest until conditions become more favourable again. In the open ocean, many sinking cells are lost to the deep, but refuge populations can persist near the thermocline….

  50. Richard111 says:

    “”Rational Debate says:
    October 29, 2011 at 10:28 pm””

    Thank you. Applying common sense makes understanding easier. Would the present PDO/AMO conditions have any bearing on the matter. Can these little critters survive six months without sunlight even if the water is warm enough?

  51. Brian H says:

    A foin blend of data collection, hand-waving, selective statistics, imaginary biology, and WAGs. A premiere AGW product, for sure.

  52. John Marshall says:

    Ships regularly sail the NE passage, via the northern Siberian coast, so ballast water is still a possibility. It may be possible for an under ice trip by ND.

  53. Chuck Nolan says:

    ralphg says:
    October 29, 2011 at 2:15 pm
    DW-Welle (Deutsche Welle or German Radio) is the state broadcaster for Germany, and is very left wing. They are pro-abortion, pro-AGW (anthropogenic global warming), pro-EU, anti-war, and the list goes on. Their reports are usually one-sided. http://www.dw-world.de/
    ————————————————
    We have radio and TV stations like that in America, They don’t do well with most advertisers or listeners. Just as in Germany, these stations require taxpayer money to continue to transmit. The primary people listening are political junkies.

  54. Chuck Nolan says:

    Peter Plail says:
    October 29, 2011 at 2:31 pm
    Richard111 says:
    October 29, 2011 at 9:04 am
    Apologies for my ignorance. I thought the Atlantic and Pacific oceans were connected through the Arctic UNDER THE ICE.

    Richard, they are tiny little blighters and can’t hold their breath long enough to swim all that way under the ice, they can only make it on the surface,
    ——————–
    I don’t think they can actually swim. I think they just float on their backs so they can breathe while making headway across the Arctic.
    So you see they must remain on their backs, on the surface and cannot go under the ice.

  55. David Middleton says:

    @Rational Debate, October 29, 2011 at 10:28 pm

    I haven’t been able to find any conclusive information on N. seminae‘s ability (or lack thereof) to encyst. I don’t think they know if N. seminae can “hibernate.”

    It’s long life as a species, adaptability and ability to rapidly evolve its morphology (possibly seasonally), tend to make me think it can encyst for long time periods.

  56. Spector says:

    As I recall, pilots of some float planes have to pump out their floats periodically because they can take on water– I am assuming this is due to pressure equalization vents on the top. I wonder if these small marine creatures could be hopping rides by air?

  57. Julien says:

    But to be honest, a more rational hypothesis for the passage of N seminae to the Atlantic is through the canal of panama, simply… The link with the melting Arctic is very intriguing in all this.

Comments are closed.