Another meme bites the dust – jellyfish and global warming

WUWT readers may recall seeing news stories like this one:

click image for full story

From the CSIC, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas , it seems like we are just noticing these things more. They find no “conclusive evidences” that point to global increase in jellyfish population.

A research challenges the theories on the global increase in jellyfish population

An international research, involving the participation of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), provides a new perspective on the jellyfish proliferation in world’s oceans. This phenomenon has noticeably impacted on beaches around the world in recent years and has provoked the concerns of fishermen and bathers. However, according to the group of experts leading this new research, there are no “conclusive evidences” that point to global increase in jellyfish population.

The news rise in Mass Media on jellyfish blooms and the discrepancies in climate and science reports have motivated the article, published in the latest issue of the BioScience magazine. According to the experts, jellyfish population has increased in several regions but has decreased or fluctuates through decades in others. They believe that the key to solve this question relies on understanding the data obtained in the long-term.

Carlos Duarte, CSIC researcher, states: “The significance of this work lies in putting data in common from now on so we will be able to support theories with contrasting scientific data and not speculations”. Duarte is one of leaders of the Global Jellyfish Group, a consortium of 30 experts in gelatinous organisms, climatology, oceanography and socioeconomics.

Global database

In order to monitor the evolution of jellyfish populations, the scientists are already working on a global database with the information compiled since 1750. This future catalogue will comprise about 500.000 data. The Global Jellyfish Group’s initiative develops within the framework of the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, associated to the University of California, in Santa Barbara (USA).

The analysis of this repository will enable scientist to evaluate key aspects such as the relation between human activity and jellyfish blooms, knowing if these are caused by natural causes, or finding out if more attention is paid to this phenomenon due to its direct impact on sectors such as fishing or tourism.

Duarte adds: “it is fundamental to get the right answer in order to make decisions about tourism, fishing and marine ecosystems management”.

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24 Responses to Another meme bites the dust – jellyfish and global warming

  1. Bloke down the pub says:

    If a century ago there had been a net full of jellyfish caught, who would the fisherman have told and why?

  2. Scarface says:

    You could file these failed observations also under Climate FAIL files.
    These scare-stories get debunked one after another.

  3. Stephen Skinner says:

    Obviously the fact that the Black sea has suffered a jelly fish population explosion, which has been attributed to a number of factors including overfishing, and Jelly Fish coming in via ships ballast.
    Fishing ‘destabilises Black Sea’
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/6719965.stm

    Battle of the Black Sea Jellies
    http://www.imagequest3d.com/pages/general/news/blackseajellies/blackseajellies.htm

    No mention of global warming. Obviously the way Jelly fish have thrived in the Black Sea doesn’t happen anywhere else?

  4. the fritz says:

    Two more problems related to global warming

    After sexual problems of potential breeding partners among birds
    http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0032311
    and Global warming is having an effect on the dive behaviour and search for food of southern elephant seals.
    http://www.awi.de/en/news/press_releases/detail/item/global_warming_makes_elephant_seals_to_dive_deeper/?cHash=cb48033c95f42f352a3b139055b8f6ae
    Like the birds above, I too have problems with my wife due to global warming because she told me to cut more wood for the next winter, and spend less time in front of my PC

  5. Lew Skannen says:

    So add ‘memes’ to the species endangered by global warming. It is worse than we thought…

  6. I live close to the sea, on the west coast of Cumbria, UK, and we walk the dog regularly on our local beach. Last time we lived here was in the early 1980s; we returned to the area in August 2009.

    Back then we would regularly see large numbers of jellyfish washed ashore, but we have remarked more than once recently that we see far fewer jellyfish on the beach than in the 80’s. Sure, it’s only anecdotal and so doesn’t constitute “evidence”, but nowadays we only see the odd individual and not the tens or hundreds at a time we became used to seeing back then. If anything, it seems to me that there musty be far fewer jellyfish in the Irish sea than there were back then.

    Obviously, “It’s worse than we thought!”

  7. N says:

    ‘They believe that the key to solve this question relies on understanding the data obtained in the long-term.’
    Says it all really.

  8. Mark Bowlin says:

    I was on a US warship off the east and west coasts of Korea during the late summer months in 2004-2006, and I had never seen more jellyfish in my life. I guessed at the time that the number was in the millions, and not the little ones that I was used to on the beaches of south Texas growing up, but monstrous orange-red-purple jellyfish that were several feet in diameter. Our ship’s passage must have chopped up thousands per day, and it wouldn’t have begun to make a dent. The jellyfish swarm (herd/flock/covey) was one of the most amazing things I saw in twenty years in the navy.

  9. Jimbo says:

    I remember the story about lots of birds suddenly falling from the sky. Some pointed to global warming. As it turned out these events are not unusual and have happened for eons. Media just went looking for these events thus giving the impression that these events were on the increase. Similar to ‘more’ hurricanes due to ‘global warming’ being caused by better observations / equipment.

    http://news.discovery.com/animals/bird-animal-die-offs-110106.html
    http://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/2011/0103/Search-for-clues-is-on-after-birds-fall-from-sky-in-Arkansas

  10. Pipedream says:

    Its well known that sea turtles have declined due to development in beach areas where they breed. Sea turtles consume vast quantities of jellyfish in their diet. There are some studies on this which can be searched using: “sea turtles and jellyfish”

  11. son of mulder says:

    Jellyfish eat plankton. Plankton eat carbon dioxide.

  12. Matthew W says:

    I was at the Shedd Aquarium ( http://www.sheddaquarium.org/ ) last Monday and they have a whole special room currently set up for “Jellies”.

    There was a section about jellyfish blooms. While they said that they do NOT know why they occur, they suspect that “climate change” is a suspect !!!

    http://www.sheddaquarium.org/jellies.html?utm_source=notify-bar&utm_medium=homepage&utm_campaign=jellies%22

    There were a few more “Climate Change” alerts that I noticed while we were there.

  13. Baa Humbug says:

    An international research, involving the participation of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)…..They find no “conclusive evidences” that point to global increase in jellyfish population.

    So the headline should read “SPANISH INQUISITION INCONCLUSIVE”

  14. Bob Diaz says:

    Anthony, I hope you don’t mind this…

    Anthony’s Law: Everything bad, whether real or imagined, can be blamed on AGW!

    The Jellyfish story seems to fit that law. :-))

  15. Michael Penny says:

    So the CSIC wants to put “data in common from now on so we will be able to support theories with contrasting scientific data and not speculations.” Now if the dendrochronologists would only do that.

  16. Cam_S says:

    Jimbo says:
    February 23, 2012 at 6:58 am
    I remember the story about lots of birds suddenly falling from the sky.

    Birds were poisoned, because they were a nuisance.

    U.S. takes responsibility for “aflockalypse”
    http://www.thestar.com/printarticle/926127

  17. Brian says:

    That scared the spit out of me Jimbo… Yeah, I know… Call me a pansy but lots of people were freaked out/upset when we started hearing about this.

  18. Ben Wilson says:

    Amazing the pearls you can pick up from around here. .. .

    I never would have imagined that too much carbon dioxide was causing jelly fish to move away from Ireland and infest the ocean off Korea — and the Black sea!!

    Who would have thunk it?????? ;-)

  19. A. Scott says:

    There was a section about jellyfish blooms. While they said that they do NOT know why they occur, they suspect that “climate change” is a suspect !!!

    THAT is the one word that best sums up everything about the whole AGW situation …. SUSPECT

    It is suspect whether any significant anthropogenic global warming is actually even occurring.

    AGW scientists can not tell us with certainty that human activity is causing global warming – they only suspect it is – because they cannot find another cause.

    And as we’ve seen this last week and in the Climategate affairs and others, if you are a global warming proponent, there is a likelihood, you may also BE a suspect….

  20. Norman Gleason says:

    Did anybody actually read the comments. You wouldn’t believe the insipid mewling and self admiration. They’re really fun to read. Gives you a good insight to the “loving and caring” type of people that believe that stuff

  21. Geewhiz, I would REALLY like to see a picture of that “pulsating mass” of huge jellyfish. I guess Mr. Casey was so shocked by the sight that he somehow screwed up his camera.

  22. The jellyfish / global warming meme has always been mistaken….because of the global warming error. The grain of truth there is that there may be some link to industrial overfishing and jellyfish blooms.

    When efficient natural predators are removed, the older, more primitive creatures creep back in.

    This is a practical explanation…but has nothing to do with the “warming world warming ocean” drumbeat propoganda so often echoed in the mainstream media and the CAGW scientific “Establishment.”

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  23. Matt G says:

    Difficult to blame a explosion of jellyfish on warming SST’s when there has been no recent warming around Japan’s adjacent seas. Have to go back to the early/mid-1990’s for the last increase in regional sea temperatures here.

    NOTE – one region has had declining SST’s since the early 1970’s.

    http://ds.data.jma.go.jp/tcc/tcc/news/tccnews09.pdf

    The lifespan of an average jellyfish is less than a year, so this sudden very recent boom would have had to occur around the late 1990’s for there to be any link.

    Peak SST’s at the end of each Summer (below) since 2006 show wild changes around Japan during the time with 2010 very warm. (mainly down to dominating weather patterns at the time)

    To the south of Japan peak SST’s generally cool until 2011 for the time of year.

    http://weather.unisys.com/archive/sst/sst_anom-060924.gif
    http://weather.unisys.com/archive/sst/sst_anom-070930.gif
    http://weather.unisys.com/archive/sst/sst_anom-080928.gif
    http://weather.unisys.com/archive/sst/sst_anom-090927.gif (awful colour scale)
    http://weather.unisys.com/archive/sst/sst_anom-100926.gif
    http://weather.unisys.com/archive/sst/sst_anom-110925.gif

    NOTE – 2006/2007 was down on values compared to the mid-late 1990’s. (first link)

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