Climate Craziness of the Week: Global Warming to cause ocean to lose its distinctive smell, and clouds, and maybe some other stuff

Stones on a Rocky Ocean Beach

Stones on a Rocky Ocean Beach (Photo credit: epSos.de)

Over at Grist, where “burnt out” David Roberts just threw in the towel, the craziness continues with a new alarmist writer:

Vanishing ocean smell could also mean fewer clouds

By John Upton

Next time you’re at the beach take a deep, long sniff: That special coastal scent might not last forever. While you’re at it, put on some extra sunscreen: As that smell dwindles, cloud cover could, too.

The unique oceanside smell that flows over your olfactory organs is loaded with sulfur — dimethylsulfide, to be exact, or DMS. It’s produced when phytoplankton decompose. And it’s a fragrant compound that’s as special as it smells: In the atmosphere it reacts to produce sulfuric acid, which aids in the formation of clouds.

But it’s a smell that’s endangered by climate change. Experiments have linked the rising acidity of the world’s oceans to falling levels of DMS.

Gosh, it’s just double plus terrifying. Marc Morano quips:

New Warmist Fear: Global warming causing the oceans to lose their smell! Oceans unique odor is a ‘smell that’s endangered by climate change’ — ‘The real horror might be raising kids in a world where the only place you can smell the ocean is Bath & Bodyworks.’

Kramer’s fragrance “The Beach” might also be a last refuge.

About these ads

62 thoughts on “Climate Craziness of the Week: Global Warming to cause ocean to lose its distinctive smell, and clouds, and maybe some other stuff

  1. Reblogged this on CACA and commented:
    Morano: New Warmist Fear: Global warming causing the oceans to lose their smell! Oceans unique odor is a ‘smell that’s endangered by climate change’ — ‘The real horror might be raising kids in a world where the only place you can smell the ocean is Bath & Bodyworks.’
    hehe

  2. …it’s a half degree
    that was discovered through adjusting past temps to show a greater slope in increase

  3. There’s a seemingly endless supply of fibs that the climate liars can come up with. They just love to double-down on their “threats”, one playing on people’s emotions (ocean smell going away), the other just your ordinary everyday positive feedback loop “threat”. What have they got to lose now, though? In for a penny, in for a pound. Might as well go whole hog.

  4. OT Anthony, Seems the USCGC Healy is on a research mission to the North pole, Teachers on the Ice
    This teachers on the ice to the N pole expedition is taking place,
    This is what they say :
    The purpose of this research is to “prove or disprove a theory of the Little/Mini Ice Age”, and much more, which will be explained to me as the cruise continues.

    http://www.dannyblas.com/search?updated-max=2013-08-21T11:17:00-07:00&max-results=7

    http://www.dannyblas.com/

    My tweet before digging and found out why the USCGC Healey is burning Tax Payer $$$

    photo/1

    If the USCGC Healey goes to the North pole then it will be the Second Ice/Destroying Breaking ship to visit the N pole this summer

  5. Did he just say what I thought he said? “In the atmosphere it reacts to produce sulfuric acid, which aids in the formation of clouds.” Aren’t companies spending tons of money to remove sulfur from their emissions because it forms sulfuric acid which is supposedly a bad thing? Which is it? Good if produced by oceans, but bad if produed by evil corporations?

  6. At times like these, it is difficult to find an appropriate response, except to say the obvious that the CAGW crowd is getting rather desperate now that global temperatures have remained flat for the last 15 years, and they need to divert the public’s attention away from this fact as much as possible.

    However, picking up from a comment to this same article elsewhere, I am still chuckling over it as it bears repeating: “Good! Perhaps the new ocean smell will cover up the stench of CAGW.”

  7. But it’s a smell that’s endangered by climate change. Experiments have linked the rising acidity of the world’s oceans to falling levels of DMS.

    Would somebody please tell these dip$#!^$ that ocean acidity is not climate.

  8. So the ocean has gone from being described as becoming “more acidic” to “the rising acidity of the oceans”. One may be able to make the argument that the first is technically true although “less alkaline” is a more correct description, however the second directly implies that the oceans are presently acidic.

  9. Ok, so global warming will affect DMS. But, I think more importantly is the question, ‘how will it affect PMS?’

  10. I visited the beach at the NJ Shore after Sandy to help a friend and the ocean/bay smelled like Crap.
    I found out latter that is because they were dumping 1 billion of gallons of Raw sewage into the water ways a day because power was out and no back up Generators were in place to run the sewage treatment plants.
    I was back at the beach last week and the ocean smelled fine again.

    It is amazing all the BS the warmist will come up with to keep the funding going.

    I have noticed lattley the wording has changed some, the Could and It’s are going missing from their so called studies. That means one thing to me, the warmist are getting desperate.

  11. DMS production can be altered by many things, not just an unmeasured change in pH. Nutrient variation is an obvious one, with dissolved silica being an example. When the ocean blooms after the winter it first grows diatoms which dominate until they hit the silica buffer. Then the calcareous phytoplankton take over. Farming has upped the run-off of dissolved silica.

    It’s going to be very amusing if the global warming scare is all the fault of farming or sewage run-off.

    JF

  12. Tallbloke’s Tim Channon noticed something odd; the Belgians have sense of humour.
    No, I don’t think so.
    SIDC is the world’s Solar Influences Data Analysis Center.
    Note words Solar Influences
    Could it possibly be the climate?
    Now, most of us are aware of something called ‘solar polar magnetic field reversal’ subject that SIDC is currently preoccupied with.
    We all also heard about plight of the polar bears and penguins in current global warming epoch.
    So SIDC illustrates their front page (http://sidc.oma.be/) with an extremely happy snoozing polar bear with no shortage of snow and ice, and accompanied with an unlikely prop-powered penguin.

    The actual article page illustration is even more intriguing, http://sidc.oma.be/news/211/Picture6.png
    to me it suggest ‘snowball earth’ with polar bear greeting penguins somwhere in the mid Atlantic, holding Hansen’s model of overheated globe as a reminder of now instinct humans and their climate science folly.
    SIDC and you and I know that solar activity is winding down, the Earth will cool somewhat, but ‘snowball Earth’, that is overdoing it a smidgen.
    I wonder if SIDC knowws something about Solar Influences the rest of us don’t.
    :)

  13. Steve says: @ August 28, 2013 at 9:13 am

    Did he just say what I thought he said? “In the atmosphere it reacts to produce sulfuric acid, which aids in the formation of clouds.”….
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    It is even funnier than that.
    From The WUWT Hot Sheet for Monday August 26th, 2013

    It’s baaaaaaack….

    Eastern US water supplies threatened by a legacy of acid rain
    Noted ecologist Gene Likens, founding director of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies and a co-discoverer of acid rain, was among the study’s authors. The extent of alkalinity change in streams and rivers exceeded his expectations: “This is another example of the widespread impact humans are having on natural systems. Policymakers and the public think that the acid rain problem has gone away, but it has not.”

    So do we get to tell ecologist Gene Likens, founding director of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies that he has the WRONG Villian? After all it MUST BE TRUE if it is publist at GRIST!

  14. How less can be more.

    Abstract
    …….The GCM was run in transient mode under the IPCC/IS92a radiative forcing scenario. By 2086, the change simulated in annual integrated DMS flux is around 20% in ice-free waters, with a greater increase of 45% in the seasonal ice zone (SIZ). Interestingly, the large increase in flux in the SIZ is not due to higher in situ production but mainly because of a loss of ice cover during summer–autumn and an increase in sea-to-air ventilation of DMS……….

    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2003TellB..55..966G

    I wonder how the oceans smelled when co2 was 2,000ppm?

  15. The unique oceanside smell that flows over your olfactory organs is loaded with sulfur — dimethylsulfide, to be exact, or DMS. (…)

    But it’s a smell that’s endangered by climate change. Experiments have linked the rising acidity of the world’s oceans to falling levels of DMS. (…)

    Dimethyl sulfide? That’s found in flatus emissions. From the cutting-edge science experts at the Australian Broadcasting Commune:

    http://www.abc.net.au/spark/smelly/begone/begone04.htm

    They found that the smell of flatus comes from various sulphur-containing compounds. The compounds in a typical flatus are hydrogen sulphide (1.06 micro mol/L) methanethiol (0.21 micro mol/L) and dimethyl sulphide (0.08 micro mol/L). The judges thought that hydrogen sulphide smelt like “rotten eggs” and methanethiol like “decomposing vegetables”, while dimethyl sulphide actually smelt “sweet”.

    Thanks to global warming, the ocean will smell less like a sweet fart?

  16. Next article to grab headlines: CO2 Shall Cause Oceans To Become Rotting Cesspits.
    These authors reveal a certain panic mixed with infantile one-upsmanship and a great deal ill education in the areas they profess expertise.

  17. So, if decomposing plankton, etc. don’t give off dimethyl sulfide anymore what WILL they be off gassing?

  18. @pat
    An animal in the headline always grabs more attention, e.g., “Climate Change Is Destroying Penguin Population in Antarctica.” The content of such an article would be about how the collapsing ice from global warming is falling on the penguins’ heads and killing them all. Maybe I should submit something like this to The Onion. LOL!

  19. JimS says:
    August 28, 2013 at 10:13 am
    “Maybe I should submit something like this to The Onion.”

    The Onion has outlived its usefulness as it is no more capable of producing content that differentiates itself from mainstream news.

  20. Here is the paper in Nature that was conveniently not referenced in the above article

    http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nclimate1981.html

    Global warming amplified by reduced sulphur fluxes as a result of ocean acidification
    Katharina D. Six, Silvia Kloster, Tatiana Ilyina, Stephen D. Archer, Kai Zhang & Ernst Maier-Reimer
    Nature Climate Change (2013) doi:10.1038/nclimate1981 Received 18 September 2012 Accepted 17 July 2013 Published online 25 August 2013
    .

    Here we establish observational-based relationships between pH changes and DMS concentrations to estimate changes in future DMS emissions with Earth system model climate simulations. Global DMS emissions decrease by about 18(±3)% in 2100 compared with pre-industrial times as a result of the combined effects of ocean acidification and climate change. The reduced DMS emissions induce a significant additional radiative forcing, of which 83% is attributed to the impact of ocean acidification, tantamount to an equilibrium temperature response between 0.23 and 0.48 K. Our results indicate that ocean acidification has the potential to exacerbate anthropogenic warming through a mechanism that is not considered at present in projections of future climate change.
    .

    -unless you knew already, sulfur compounds in the atmosphere help to reflect sunlight away from the earth and lead to increases in cooling. This is the reason that the earth gets colder after a stratospheric volcano eruption.

  21. Well given the observation that the highest ocean surface temperatures achievable are ~31C (equatorial zone) as a result of the Eschenbach Effect, the sea down there should not smell at all. I spent some time in the equatorial zone in Africa and I recall a pretty universal smell to the sea.

  22. @DirkH
    “The Onion has outlived its usefulness as it is no more capable of producing content that differentiates itself from mainstream news.”

    Given the magic of dry humour and the heading under which these comments come, I appreciated that comment beyond imagination.

  23. From jai mitchell on August 28, 2013 at 10:35 am:

    Here is the paper in Nature that was conveniently not referenced in the above article

    You forgot to co-bitch about not providing the link to the originating Grist article, where that paper’s link is found:

    http://grist.org/news/vanishing-ocean-smell-could-also-mean-fewer-clouds/

    Where it’s mentioned there was also an “explainer article” in Nature:

    http://www.nature.com/news/rising-ocean-acidity-will-exacerbate-global-warming-1.13602

    From which was quoted:

    On a global scale, a fall in DMS emissions due to acidification could have a major effect on climate, creating a positive-feedback loop and enhancing warming. …

    In a ‘moderate’ scenario described by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which assumes no reductions in emissions of heat-trapping gases, global average temperatures will increase by 2.1 to 4.4 °C by the year 2100.

    The model [used for the new research] projected that the effects of acidification on DMS could cause enough additional warming for a 0.23 to 0.48 °C increase if atmospheric CO2 concentrations double. The moderate scenario projects CO2 doubling long before 2100.

    Could, positive-feedback loop, IPCC, “increase by 2.1 to 4.4 °C by the year 2100″, the model projected…

    All this good juicy and obviously-truthful stuff in the main article, and you “conveniently” don’t provide the link?

  24. jai mitchell says:
    August 28, 2013 at 10:35 am

    -unless you knew already, sulfur compounds in the atmosphere help to reflect sunlight away from the earth and lead to increases in cooling. This is the reason that the earth gets colder after a stratospheric volcano eruption.

    That’s not the point of the reduced DMS emissions, anything they turn into will be washed out of the atmosphere long before they can get to the stratosphere.

    DMS is involved with one of the several steps behind the Svensmark hypothesis.

    Plankton die, rot, release DMS. DMS leaves the water, transforms into sulphate. Cosmic rays trigger showers of muons, which reach the lower atmosphere and ionize air and suphates, which bind together and grow to form condensation nuclei in what otherwise is clean, supersaturated air. Clouds form and reflect sunlight.

    Much more information is available elsewhere, but that’s the capsule summary.

  25. vukcevic says August 28, 2013 at 9:47 am

    So SIDC illustrates their front page (http://sidc.oma.be/) with an extremely happy snoozing polar bear with no shortage of snow and ice, and accompanied with an unlikely prop-powered penguin.

    Maybe the penguin is clanging a pair of cymbals, trying to wake up the snoozing polar bear field strength. Or someone’s gorged one too many chocolate liqueurs.

  26. ‘dimethylsulfide, … it’s produced when phytoplankton decompose. And it’s a fragrant compound.’
    “Fragrant” is an understatement.
    It has been identified as one of the primary odorants in feces: “Volatile organic compounds from feces and their potential for diagnosis of gastrointestinal disease”, Garner, et al., June 2007
    The FASEB Journal vol. 21 no. 8 1675-1688

  27. “While you’re at it, put on some extra sunscreen: As that smell dwindles, cloud cover could, too.”
    ??? Who chooses to go to the beach when it’s cloudy as I don’t ever recall anyone I know saying “great, it’s cloudy, lets go to the beach”.

  28. Funny, I’ve always disliked that “ocean smell” along shoreline, and I’ve long associated it with “rotting seaweed” although I didn’t have a scientific knowledge of what causes it….. Anyway, I wouldn’t miss that smell one bit…. However, like many Alarmist memes, this one is probably more fragrant b.s.

  29. “But it’s a smell that’s endangered by climate change. Experiments have linked the rising acidity of the world’s oceans to falling levels of DMS.”

    Since ocean acidity HAS NOT BEEN RISING as they claim and has remained within the normal range, this “research” must be either bogus or poorly done. Just bad science

  30. More CO2 means more biota which leads to more rotting which leads to more SO2 which leads to more nuclei which leads to more precipitation. Problem fixed.

  31. The beaches of my northern youth were much more “ocean smelling” and that was sixty or more years ago. The reason may have been phytoplanktons but i’m more inclined to the belief that it was rotting seaweed. And of course there was less CO2 around. Last week I spent a few days on the Outer Banks of NC. No rotting seaweed and no “ocean smell” even when one actually entered the water. But there were plenty of clouds – some days 10/10ths all day (and night). I think I need a government grant to spend a lot more time on the Outer Banks to study this hypothesis as the evidence right now seems tenuous and contradictory. I’d promise to spend most of the time in or near the water…..

  32. Next you know someone will get a government grant to research how CAGW increases the flatulence of rodents.

  33. Another one putting the cart before the horse.

    Warming occurs when cloud cover over the oceans decreases. Warming
    reduces or cooling begins as cloud cover increases. It’s not the other way
    around.

    A good analogy is the process by which temperature in green houses is
    managed by drawing curtains over the glass roof panels to cool the green
    house (akin to more clouds) or drawing them back to further warm the
    greenhouse (akin to fewer clouds).

    Cloud cover over the oceans has been steadily increasing most of this decade,
    indicating a cooling trend. Graphs of ocean cloud cover are maintained by Bob
    Tisdale at his great blog

  34. Whenever I go to the beach that beach scent is heavily compounded with the smell of the Bromide series.
    Since seaweed is full of Iodine I always thought the scent was from rotting seaweed.

  35. @tadchem

    “Fragrant” is an understatement.
    It has been identified as one of the primary odorants in feces

    BYO nat. gas?

  36. Just think. Nobody will be able to find the sea. Oh woe! This pales by comparison with the recent caterwauling about Fukushima now making its rounds….and employing (first) an NOAA tsunami-amplitude map to represent radiation and (second) a supposed satellite image of radiation plumes in the NW Pacific, all the while ignoring the mass balance by equivocating between 300 tons of contaminated water per day and 300 tons of fissionable material. Fukushima is far more nasty than ocean stink, but not by much. You might as well cancel your surfing trip to Hawaii. /sarc

  37. Chris Moffatt says:
    August 28, 2013 at 4:26 pm
    Last week I spent a few days on the Outer Banks of NC. No rotting seaweed and no “ocean smell” even when one actually entered the water. But there were plenty of clouds – some days 10/10ths all day (and night). I think I need a government grant to spend a lot more time on the Outer Banks to study this hypothesis as the evidence right now seems tenuous and contradictory. I’d promise to spend most of the time in or near the water…..
    ————————————————————————————————————————–
    I was part of a research effort studying the effects of sea level rise (and fall) on aquatic fauna on the Outer Banks in late April. Additional data collection will be done by the group in 30 days. These are very intense efforts into aquatic research and probability theory. I’m sure there is a government grant to support this volunteer effort. We can certainly add global warming and odor analysis.

  38. The modeling by Six et al. was based on a Norwegian experiment that showed a decrease in DMS when CO2 was increased.
    “Recently, experiments in seawater enclosures (mesocosms) showed that concentrations of dimethylsulphide (DMS), a biogenic sulphur compound, were markedly lower in a low-pH environment4″
    4. Hopkins, F., Nightingale, P. & Liss, P. in Ocean Acidification, 2011

    However, Six did not use the result of another field experiment by Kim et al. who found enhanced DMS production. In addition to a control group, Kim used exposure conditions of 900ppm and 900ppm+3°C warmer. Total DSM production increase 80% and 60% respectively.

    It would be interesting to see the results of Six’s modeling with Kim’s experimental results.

    Enhanced Production of Oceanic Dimethylsulfide Resulting from CO2-Induced Grazing Activity in a High CO2 World

    http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/es102028k

    http://www.climatewiki.org/wiki/Dimethyl_sulfide

  39. Soon we will be seeing articles by warmists further down warmist the food chain that state the fact that oceans are losing their smell and how that is more proof of AGW.

  40. To me the oceans, Atlantic, Pacific, Caribbean, have always just smelled… fishy. How do you get rid of that smell without getting rid of the fish?

  41. They are ignoring the results of studies too numerous to mention about the response of ocean algae to uv radiation (which everyone knows has been increasing slightly)

    In a newer study of this phenomenon, Toole and Siegel (2004) note that it has been shown to operate as described above in the 15 percent of the world’s oceans “consisting primarily of high latitude, continental shelf, and equatorial upwelling regions,” where DMS may be accurately predicted as a function of the ratio of the amount of surface chlorophyll derived from satellite observations to the depth of the climatological mixed layer, which they refer to as the “bloom-forced regime.” For the other 85 percent of the world’s marine waters, they demonstrate that modeled surface DMS concentrations are independent of chlorophyll and are a function of the mixed layer depth alone, which they call the “stress-forced regime.” So how does the warming-induced DMS negative feedback cycle operate in these waters?

    For oligotrophic regimes, Toole and Siegel find that “DMS biological production rates are negatively or insignificantly correlated with phytoplankton and bacterial indices for abundance and productivity while more than 82 percent of the variability is explained by UVR(325) [ultraviolet radiation at 325 nm].” This relationship, in their words, is “consistent with recent laboratory results (e.g., Sunda et al., 2002),” who demonstrated that intracellular DMS concentration and its biological precursors (particulate and dissolved dimethylsulfoniopro-pionate) “dramatically increase under conditions of acute oxidative stress such as exposure to high levels of UVR,” which “are a function of mixed layer depth.”

    These results—which Toole and Siegel confirmed via an analysis of the Dacey et al. (1998) 1992-1994 organic sulfur time-series that was sampled in concert with the U.S. JGOFS Bermuda Atlantic Time-Series Study (Steinberg et al., 2001)—suggest, in their words, “the potential of a global change-DMS-climate feedback.” Specifically, they say that “UVR doses will increase as a result of observed decreases in stratospheric ozone and the shoaling of ocean mixed layers as a result of global warming (e.g., Boyd and Doney, 2002),” and that “in response, open-ocean phytoplankton communities should increase their DMS production and ventilation to the atmosphere, increasing cloud condensing nuclei, and potentially playing out a coupled global change-DMS-climate feedback.”

    http://www.climatewiki.org/wiki/Dimethyl_sulfide

    An antioxidant function for DMSP
    and DMS in marine algae W. Sunda*, D. J. Kieber†, R. P. Kiene‡ & S. Huntsman* * Beaufort Laboratory, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration,
    Beaufort, North Carolina 28516, USA
    † State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry,
    Chemistry Department, 1 Forestry Drive, Syracuse, New York 13210, USA
    ‡ University of South Alabama, Department of Marine Sciences, Mobile, Alabama
    36688, USA ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. The algal osmolyte dimethylsulphoniopropionate (DMSP) and
    its enzymatic cleavage product dimethylsulphide (DMS) contrib-
    ute signicantly to the global sulphur cycle1–3, yet their physio-
    logical functions are uncertain4. Here we report results that,
    together with those in the literature5,6, show that DMSP and its
    breakdown products (DMS, acrylate, dimethylsulphoxide, and
    methane sulphinic acid) readily scavenge hydroxyl radicals and
    other reactive oxygen species, and thus may serve as an anti-
    oxidant system, regulated in part by enzymatic cleavage of DMSP .
    In support of this hypothesis, we found that oxidative stressors,
    solar ultraviolet radiation7, CO2 limitation8, Fe limitation, high
    Cu21 (ref. 9) and H2O2 substantially increased cellular DMSP
    and/or its lysis to DMS in marine algal cultures. Our results
    indicate direct links between such stressors and the dynamics of
    DMSP and DMS in marine phytoplankton, which probably
    inuence the production of DMS and its release to the atmos-
    phere. As oxidation of DMS to sulphuric acid in the atmosphere
    provides a major source of sulphate aerosols and cloud conden-
    sation nuclei3, oxidative stressors—including solar radiation and
    Fe limitation—may be involved in complex ocean–atmosphere
    feedback loops that inuence global climate and hydrological
    cycles1,2.

  42. Hmmm… Global Warming decreases the ocean’s scent?
    That’s the exact inverse of what happens when I get warmed up…

  43. JJ says:
    August 28, 2013 at 9:24 am
    But it’s a smell that’s endangered by climate change. Experiments have linked the rising acidity of the world’s oceans to falling levels of DMS.

    Would somebody please tell these dip$#!^$ that ocean acidity is not climate.

    …thank you for that! You beat me to it! It truly is an inaccurate description – acidification is more akin to a toxicological phenomena.

    Ocean acidification has often been described as the “other problem” of climate change, or “global warming’s evil twin.” Now that the scientific case for warming is falling apart, watch for an avalanche of stories to erupt, all touting the immediate and deadly effects of ocean acidification.

    To wit: http://science.time.com/2013/08/26/ocean-acidification-will-make-climate-change-worse/

    Mind you, I’ve been studying this issue of acidification since about 1974 (undergrad at University of Illinois), and there could be some effects, particularly to calcium-utilizing phytoplankton in the ocean’s euphotic zone.

    However, I don’t relish the thought of desperate rent-seeking academics and politicians like Al Gore wrapping themselves with the newest catastrophic effect of atmospheric carbon dioxide deposition.

Comments are closed.