Climate Craziness of the Week: Fish living near the equator will not thrive in the warmer oceans of the future

Basic premise of this paper: 1. let’s take fish out of their natural ocean environment, 2. put ‘em in a tank where they are stressed, 3. crank up the temperature, 4. see if any fish die, 5. count dead fish,  6. assume natural adaptation is impossible 7. report news of future doom to the world via press release.

Via Eurekalert:
According to an international team of researchers, the rapid pace of climate change is threatening the future presence of fish near the equator. “Our studies found that one species of fish could not even survive in water just three degrees Celsius warmer than what it lives in now,” says the lead author of the study, Dr Jodie Rummer from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University.

Chromis fish swim amongst coral in the Indo-Pacific, along with a Pomacentrus moluccensis (the lemon damsel). These fish are important food sources for larger coral reef fish. Image credit: D. Dixson

Dr Rummer and her colleagues studied six common species of fish living on coral reefs near the equator. She says many species in this region only experience a very narrow range of temperatures over their entire lives, and so are likely adapted to perform best at those temperatures.

This means climate change places equatorial marine species most at risk, as oceans are projected to warm by two to three degrees Celsius by the end of this century.

“Such an increase in warming leads to a loss of performance,” Dr Rummer explains. “Already, we found four species of fish are living at or above the temperatures at which they function best.”

The team measured the rates at which fish use oxygen, the fuel for metabolism, across different temperatures – at rest and during maximal performance. According to the results, at warmer temperatures fish lose scope for performance. In the wild, this would limit activities crucial to survival, such as evading predators, finding food, and generating sufficient energy to breed.

Because many of the Earth’s equatorial populations are now living close to their thermal limits, there are dire consequences ahead if these fish cannot adapt to the pace at which oceans are warming.

Dr Rummer suggests there will be declines in fish populations as species may move away from the equator to find refuge in areas with more forgiving temperatures.

“This will have a substantial impact on the human societies that depend on these fish,” she says.

A concentration of developing countries lies in the equatorial zone, where fish are crucial to the livelihoods and survival of millions of people, including those in Papua New Guinea and Indonesia.

In an era of rapid climate change, understanding the link between an organism and its environment is crucial to developing management strategies for the conservation of marine biodiversity and the sustainable use of marine fisheries.

“This is particularly urgent when considering food security for human communities.”

Life on the edge: thermal optima for aerobic scope of equatorial reef fishes are close to current day temperatures’ by Jodie Rummer, Christine Couturier, Jonathan Stecyk, Naomi Gardiner, Jeff Kinch, Goran Nilsson and Philip Munday, appears in Global Change Biology.

Abstract

Equatorial populations of marine species are predicted to be most impacted by global warming because they could be adapted to a narrow range of temperatures in their local environment. We investigated the thermal range at which aerobic metabolic performance is optimum in equatorial populations of coral reef fish in northern Papua New Guinea. Four species of damselfishes and two species of cardinal fishes were held for 14 days at 29, 31, 33, and 34 °C, which incorporated their existing thermal range (29–31 °C) as well as projected increases in ocean surface temperatures of up to 3 °C by the end of this century. Resting and maximum oxygen consumption rates were measured for each species at each temperature and used to calculate the thermal reaction norm of aerobic scope. Our results indicate that one of the six species, Chromis atripectoralis, is already living above its thermal optimum of 29 °C. The other five species appeared to be living close to their thermal optima (ca. 31 °C). Aerobic scope was significantly reduced in all species, and approached zero for two species at 3 °C above current-day temperatures. One species was unable to survive even short-term exposure to 34 °C. Our results indicate that low-latitude reef fish populations are living close to their thermal optima and may be more sensitive to ocean warming than higher-latitude populations. Even relatively small temperature increases (2–3 °C) could result in population declines and potentially redistribution of equatorial species to higher latitudes if adaptation cannot keep pace.

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UPDATE: from comments -

Jimbo says:

Even relatively small temperature increases (2–3 °C) could result in population declines and potentially redistribution of equatorial species to higher latitudes if adaptation cannot keep pace.

But what’s this I see? Acclimatization of the damselfish mentioned above! Good grief, we can’t have this.

Abstract – 2013
Evidence for developmental thermal acclimation in the damselfish, Pomacentrus moluccensis
Tropical species are predicted to have limited capacity for acclimation to global warming. This study investigated the potential for developmental thermal acclimation by the tropical damselfish Pomacentrus moluccensis to ocean temperatures predicted to occur over the next 50–100 years. Newly settled juveniles were reared for 4 months in four temperature treatments, consisting of the current-day summer average (28.5 °C) and up to 3 °C above the average (29.5, 30.5 and 31.5 °C). Resting metabolic rate (RMR) of fish reared at 29.5 and 31.5 °C was significantly higher than the control group reared at 28.5 °C. In contrast, RMR of fish reared at 30.5 °C was not significantly different from the control group, indicating these fish had acclimated to their rearing temperature. Furthermore, fish that developed in 30.5 and 31.5 °C exhibited an enhanced ability to deal with acute temperature increases. These findings illustrate that developmental acclimation may help coral reef fish cope with warming ocean temperatures.
http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00338-012-0949-1

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116 thoughts on “Climate Craziness of the Week: Fish living near the equator will not thrive in the warmer oceans of the future

  1. Is there any evidence that tropical oceans are going to warm?
    First off the tropics are predicted by the models to warm the least.
    Secondly, as water warms, evaporation increases rapidly.

  2. There’s one problem with all this…since the 1998 El Nino, equatorial Pacific temperatures have never exceeded that high, in fact, they’ve somewhat cooled off with a La Nina bias ever since. I remember keeping a fish tank at 27C, except when I went on vacation when w/o aircon, the water temp zoomed up to 34C…not a single fish died, even when that went on for 3 weeks straight…

    …BUT I DO RECALL PLENTY OF TROPICAL FISH DYING OF COLD WATER TERMPERATURES IN BRAZIL, THE CARIBBEAN, ETC… or do tropical fish deaths due to cold water leave the global warmists cold (if you’ll excuse the pun).

  3. I don’t know under what condition their test could ever be duplicated in the real world. I suppose molten lava may increase nearby ocean temps that quickly, but I’m at a loss on how the oceans can increase their heat content so quickly in only a two week period.

    This appears to be a very foolish and wasteful study.

  4. “Chromis atripectoralis, is already living above its thermal optimum of 29 °C.”
    Are they claiming that in recent history, the tropical oceans were 2C cooler?

  5. I’m confused – I thought the ocean depths were warming, suppressing surface warming and causing the “pause”. So where is the 3c of upper ocean heating supposed to come from?

  6. No. What the study actually found was that, given virtually no time to adapt to changing conditions, certain fish were … wait for it … unable to adapt.
    I think we have a candidate for the igNoble prize here.

  7. My experience with tropical fish at home has taught me that the rate of temperature change is a lot more important than the absolute temperature – when talking about a few degrees up or down.

  8. “Our studies found that one species of fish could not even survive in water just three degrees Celsius warmer than what it lives in now”

    The thermal mass of the oceans is immense. Is a 3 degree increase even remotely realistic?

  9. As any fisherman knows, fish will live in substantially different water temperatures but must have time to adapt to the varying temperatures. Here is a quote on black bass showing the range of adaptable temperatures.
    start paste
    Largemouth bass inhabit lakes, reservoirs, ponds, and medium to large rivers primarily, yet because they are so adaptable they can also thrive in ditches, creeks, canals, and sloughs. Their adaptability is due in large part to the large temperature range in which they can live, which extends to waters above 90 F down through the mid-30s F. The ideal temperature for largemouth bass is between 65 and 85 F.
    end paste

  10. And I always thought that the temperature of the ocean reduced with depth.
    I must be wrong because the fish would swim down a few inches if the water seemed too warm for them as they have no doubt done for millions of years.
    Never mind. These scientists are very clever people – much cleverer than fish.

  11. Fish control their surrounding water temperature by swimming upwards or downwards, just a few inches can make a big temperature difference.

    The climate scientists studying these fish would have been right at home on the Ship of Fools.

  12. Resting and maximum oxygen consumption rates were measured for each species at each temperature

    I’ve done those tests – horrible, running on a treadmill while wearing a mask – bet the fish hated it.

  13. 1. Was there a control – to prove that the “scientist” knew how to keep fish alive in a tank? that the fish would not have died anyways? What about oxygen content in the tank versus a real coral reef.
    2. as already pointed out, in past periods of warming, it was the high latitudes that warmed significantly, the equatorial regions only had minimal warming. So what is supposed to warm the tropics?

  14. “In an era of rapid climate change, understanding the link between an organism and its environment is crucial to developing management strategies for the conservation of marine biodiversity and the sustainable use of marine fisheries.”
    Rapid climate change? Like NO WARMING in over 17 years??

  15. Oceans have warmed overall by 0.09 degrees since the 1950s. Yet they assume that the oceans are suddenly going to catapult into hundreds of times as much warming over the next 80 years? I think I spot one of many major flaws in that research.

  16. David Chappell says:
    “Given the craziness, should that university perhaps be re-named John Cook University?”

    If they keep raising the testing temperatures, it should be the Fish Cook University and Seafood Restaurant.

  17. Fish swim.
    Fish use this mode of locomotion to move from one place to another place.
    Fish use this freedom of motion to go wherever the hell they want.
    Fish use this tactic to try and evade the top predator (man).

    Fish will do ok.

    PS. The greatest threat to fish populations is the rape of the bait fishes, to make snake oil like omega-3 magic potion.

    My local super green grocery store charges double price for “organic” milk (contains carbon, but NO trans-Uranic elements); but you can then go to the next corner of the store and buy just about any kind of chemical food poison you want, to add to your milk; and 57 brands of squished baitfish oil.

  18. Since when have the people indigenous to that area relied on the Damselfish or Cardinal fish Industry? Are they involved with Big Aquarium? Think of all the energy we’ll save when that heat comes roaring back! The fish will cook and wash up on shore for easy eating! If tiny tropical fish are even edible….sorry…this study is a joke…right? Right???

  19. Talk about junk, stupid science. The number of unproven (not to mention implausible) asumptions here is more than a dozen. Just as an example, fish have a fast breeding ccle, which allows for
    rapid evolutionary change, when required, although here there is no valid reason to assume one is needed. The idea that “some fish are not at their optimal activity level” presumes these clowns can provide a good reason why that makes any practical difference, even if it turns out to be true by the distant time when the water increases that claimed 2 degrees. And why ignore the probability that if these equatorial fish are reduced, other populations of higher latitude fish populations are enhanced by the warmth heading their way? I believe that comercial fishing is heaviest at the higher latitudes.

  20. Let’s see, the cloud thermostat kicks in to keep ocean water no warmer than about 30-31C (I may have that number wrong by 1 or 2 degrees). When water gets warmer than that, thunder storms form and cool it back off. Their thermageddon will never happen in the tropics. Now if they were to check and see if some of the temperate and arctic fishes were to have a problem if their habitat warmed by 3C over a 100 year period (what is that about 50 generations?), they might have a study, but they would also have to show that the fish could not migrate north to cooler temps as this warming occurred.If the CAGW meme had any truth to it at all, the warming would be seen in the Arctic Ocean and then slowly farther south, but still would likely never exceed 30-31 C due to the thunderstorm effect, and would not get to that level globally for thousands of years if then. Methodology: FAIL. Logic: FAIL, Conclusion: FAIL.

  21. • Corals can migrate north or south.
    • Fish can swim north or south.
    • 87 years to acclimatize & adapt – is that possible?
    • Evolution is still occurring I suspect.

    I thought most of the warming was supposed to be at the poles or is that just the surface?

  22. I am beginning to actually think the world is indeed only a few thousand years old! After all, how could species of any kid evolve to become so pathetically genetically weak & not be able to survive gradual changes in ocean temperatures, atmospheric temperatures, etc. Must be true! ;-)

  23. Bookmark it. I doubt you will see a finer example of Girly Science this century. And they are going to take over the world and everything are they ?

  24. I have found the key word – “IF

    Four species of damselfishes and two species of cardinal fishes were held for 14 days at 29, 31, 33, and 34 °C, which incorporated their existing thermal range (29–31 °C)……….

    Even relatively small temperature increases (2–3 °C) could result in population declines and potentially redistribution of equatorial species to higher latitudes if adaptation cannot keep pace.

    IF” global surface temperatures do rise 2–3 °C.

  25. Hm, the thermal capacity of oceans is about 1118-times greater than that of the atmosphere. So if “oceans are projected to warm by two to three degrees Celsius by the end of this century”, what quantity of thermal energy is “projected” to be generated by global warming? Let’s try a quick-and-dirty back-of-the-envelope calculation: about 1789-2683-times the thermal energy that increased atmospheric temperatures by 0.8 C during the 20th century.
    That can’t be right, can it?

  26. Curious George says:
    February 11, 2014 at 8:02 am
    They may become a James Kook University. Keep up the hard work.

    Please don’t insult the kooks.

    Now, move along kook, no waves here.

  27. Amazing how belief in climate change trumps belief in evolution by natural selection. These guys are effectively creationists!

  28. Even relatively small temperature increases (2–3 °C) could result in population declines and potentially redistribution of equatorial species to higher latitudes if adaptation cannot keep pace.

    But what’s this I see? Acclimatization of the damselfish mentioned above! Good grief, we can’t have this.

    Abstract – 2013
    Evidence for developmental thermal acclimation in the damselfish, Pomacentrus moluccensis
    Tropical species are predicted to have limited capacity for acclimation to global warming. This study investigated the potential for developmental thermal acclimation by the tropical damselfish Pomacentrus moluccensis to ocean temperatures predicted to occur over the next 50–100 years. Newly settled juveniles were reared for 4 months in four temperature treatments, consisting of the current-day summer average (28.5 °C) and up to 3 °C above the average (29.5, 30.5 and 31.5 °C). Resting metabolic rate (RMR) of fish reared at 29.5 and 31.5 °C was significantly higher than the control group reared at 28.5 °C. In contrast, RMR of fish reared at 30.5 °C was not significantly different from the control group, indicating these fish had acclimated to their rearing temperature. Furthermore, fish that developed in 30.5 and 31.5 °C exhibited an enhanced ability to deal with acute temperature increases. These findings illustrate that developmental acclimation may help coral reef fish cope with warming ocean temperatures.

    http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00338-012-0949-1

  29. So we have been sorta kinda accurately measuring temperatures of the oceans for ten years. According to the measurements, the temperature of the ocean has fallen. But once you add in some adjustments, it has risen 3/100 of a degree. (I know, it sounds better if you say the oceans have absorbed the heat equivalent of 4 abps (atomic bombs per second)) And now he wants us to worry about the oceans warming 3 degrees? (Or 400 abps) That will take a heck of an adjustment, but never underestimate these guys. The desperation continues to show.

  30. When in a fish tank fishes often find it difficult to swim north as the sides of the tank inhibits their movements to just a few feet. Can I get paid for this?

  31. Isn’t most of the warming supposed to take place at the poles? Don’t ocean currents generally carry the warmer water away towards the upper latitudes?

    Besides, fish can swim to cooler waters, rights?

  32. MattS says:
    February 11, 2014 at 7:45 am
    “Our studies found that one species of fish could not even survive in water just three degrees Celsius warmer than what it lives in now”

    The thermal mass of the oceans is immense. Is a 3 degree increase even remotely realistic?
    ——————————————————

    From the back radiation of Beer-Lambert Law-neutered CO2 going from 400 to say 600 ppm in the presence of 3 – 4% water vapor ? I can’t be bothered to do the calculation, but they might be off by a 100 orders of magnitude.

  33. Will someone with an hour or so of life to waste that they will never ever ever get back please read the study and report on it? I already lost too much time out of my life reading the abstract.
    TIA

    (Harrumph! More like a ‘Centre For Culinary Beginners.’ Broiling or grilling is far superior to poaching. Oh! and BTW, these fish were poached, but were they obtained legally?)

  34. As an Australian all I can echo is Jo Nova’s comment in her post regarding the English et al paper, ” It is time to turn off the tap to unskeptical scientists.”

  35. What if they increased the temperature slowly over 50 years, would the results be different?

    Damselfish are more resilient than we previously thought.

    Abstract
    Elevated CO2 enhances aerobic scope of a coral reef fish
    The uptake of anthropogenic CO2 by the ocean has been suggested to impact marine ecosystems by decreasing the respiratory capacity of fish and other water breathers. We investigated the aerobic metabolic scope of the spiny damselfish, Acanthochromis polyacanthus, from the Great Barrier Reef, Australia when exposed for 17 days to CO2 conditions predicted for the end of the century (946 μatm CO2). Surprisingly, resting O2 consumption rates were significantly lower and maximal O2 consumption rates significantly higher in high-CO2-exposed fish compared with control fish (451 μatm CO2). Consequently, high-CO2-exposed fish exhibited an unexpected increase in absolute (38%) and factorial aerobic scopes (47%). Haematological and muscle water changes associated with exercise were not affected by CO2 treatment. Thus, contrary to predictions, our results suggest that elevated CO2 may enhance aerobic scope of some fish species.

    http://conphys.oxfordjournals.org/content/1/1/cot023.short

    I wonder what the post

  36. Sounds about as scientific as going up in the air over the ocean, counting things that look like dead polar bears, then extrapolating it over a region the size of the arctic…

  37. Proof positive that anything that blames man-made climate change will get funded and pass peer review no matter how illogical or stupid it is. I can blame my headache on AGW, create a computer model that shows headaches increase as temperatures warm, and get funding. Didn’t sleep well last night? AGW causes more restless nights, my model says so. Where is my money? Oh, you sleep well last night? AGW causes you to sleep better, my model says so. Where is my money?

  38. What I learn from this study is that if you own a tropical fish aquarium, don’t let the temperature rise too fast or your fish will die.

  39. The main fail is the assumption that the tropics warm the same as global temperatures even if it did occur. The scientific evidence that these alarmist claims never use, shows that the tropics hardly change over millions of years compared to the poles and mid-latitude regions. The difference between the tropics during the last major ice age and now was around 1 c warmer.

    Therefore shows global temperatures warm around 7 times greater than the tropics. So if global temperatures were to warm 2-3 c then the tropics would warm about 0.36 c. It is amazing and not surprising these days how many ifs/maybes occur in supposedly science, where are the scientific evidence/facts? They have failed to acknowledge that most of the warming even with AGW theory occurs at the poles. if they stuck to science then a claim like this would never look robust, It is the new political environmental spin based on pseudoscience. (unfortunately its been happening for years)

  40. “Already, we found four species of fish are living at or above the temperatures at which they function best.”

    Doesn’t this statement negate their hypothesis?
    Right now it’s about 15F here-darn sure not my optimum.

  41. I personally think they are on to something.

    I have seen similar trials carried out on prawns/shrimp in boiling water, and observe that they do not last long at all.

    They are, however, delicious.

  42. For those worried about heatstroked fish in higher latitudes here is evidence of their swimming abilities.

    Abstract
    The regime shift of the 1920s and 1930s in the North Atlantic
    During the 1920s and 1930s, there was a dramatic warming of the northern North Atlantic Ocean. Warmer-than-normal sea temperatures, reduced sea ice conditions and enhanced Atlantic inflow in northern regions continued through to the 1950s and 1960s, with the timing of the decline to colder temperatures varying with location. Ecosystem changes associated with the warm period included a general northward movement of fish. Boreal species of fish such as cod, haddock and herring expanded farther north while colder-water species such as capelin and polar cod retreated northward. The maximum recorded movement involved cod, which spread approximately 1200 km northward along West Greenland. Migration patterns of “warmer water” species also changed with earlier arrivals and later departures. New spawning sites were observed farther north for several species or stocks while for others the relative contribution from northern spawning sites increased. Some southern species of fish that were unknown in northern areas prior to the warming event became occasional, and in some cases, frequent visitors. Higher recruitment and growth led to increased biomass of important commercial species such as cod and herring in many regions of the northern North Atlantic……

    http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pocean.2006.02.011

  43. … premise of this paper: 1. let’s take fish out of their natural ocean environment, 2. put ‘em in a tank where they are stressed, 3. crank up the temperature, 4. see if any fish die, 5. count dead fish, 6. assume natural adaptation is impossible 7. report news of future doom to the world via press release.

    Haaarump!

    Reminds one of the Texas Aggie-scientist-and-the-frog joke … goes like this:

    Scientist is conducting an experiment on how far a frog is able to jump. For the first trial he places the frog on the table and says, “Jump frog jump!” The frog jumps four feet and two inches.

    The scientist takes out his notebook and writes in it, “With four legs, frog jumps four feet and two inches. The scientist then takes out a knife, cuts off one of the frogs legs and places him back on the table. Again, he says, “Jump frog jump!”

    The frog now jumps two feet and one inch. The scientist takes out his notebook and writes down, “With three legs, frog jumps two feet and one inch.” The scientist takes out a knife again and cuts off another one of the frogs legs. He places the frog back on the table and yells, “Jump frog jump!”

    The frog jumps one foot. The scientist takes out his notebook and writes down, “With two legs, frog jumps one foot.” He takes out his knife and again cuts off another leg. He places the frog back on the table and yells, “Jump frog jump!”

    The frog jump 5 inches. The scientist takes out his notebook and writes down, “With one leg, frog jumps 5 inches.” He takes out his knife and cuts off the last remaining leg of the frog. He places the frog back on the table and yells, “Jump frog jump!”

    The frog doesn’t move.

    “Jump frog jump!!” The scientist yells a bit louder, but the frog still doesn’t move. “JUMP FROG JUMP!” The scientist says screaming at the top of his lungs. The frog still does not move.

    The scientist takes out his notebook and writes down, “With all four legs cut off, frog goes deaf.”

    – – – – – – – – – – –

    Haaarump!

  44. Reminds me of two of my favorite studies.

    In one, they took future temperature changes (from models) and plugged them into another model for tracking fish migrations. Conclusion? The fish can’t swim fast enough to escape warmer waters.

    The the other, they were Andean birds. They had good field data from research a couple of decades previously. They took temperature data, which I believe tracked reasonably with model projections, then surveyed the bird populations and ranges. Finally they matched the field data against their modelled data. The first surprise was in finding that the ranges of the various birds had changed little – i.e. they were not moving up in elevation as predicted by the model, as temps increased. The second surprise was with their conclusion – the birds were at risk of extinction because they were not adjusting their range. In other words, they were doomed because they were too stupid to listen to what the model predicted.

    This was one of the many examples which helped convince me that something has gone off the tracks. Seeing scientists who, when their field data doesn’t match their models, automatically assume the problem is not with the models but the data.

  45. “Dr Rummer suggests there will be declines in fish populations as species may move away from the equator to find refuge in areas with more forgiving temperatures.”

    Even if that proved to be the case, Dr Rumpole also knows that one or more niches would be opened up.

    Life finds a way

  46. Jimbo says:
    February 11, 2014 at 9:48 am

    Jimbo, thanks for the links to studies done by real field working marine biologists. Real observational data always trumps these fake conditions paper This read to me like the sort of study we would assign undergraduates to just for the experience of collecting data and observing trends.
    I really wasn’t worried about the fish (and I doubt anyone else here was seriously). First, the ability of the fish to migrate is well known, though I was glad my memory is backed up by actual studies you cited. I was beginning to think that the entire ocean biology field had gone off the rails. Second, the scenario cited in the study for warming is ridiculous in the extreme even in accordance with worst case cited by the IPCC. I don’t understand how these folks can even perform an experiment like this without relating it to real world conditions at all. This is so artificial that it has no bearing on anything.

  47. Humanoid: most adaptable species on the planet next to blood sucking mosquito. Build expensive swimming pool. Heat one end to 82F, heat other end to 112F. Insert humanoid researchers into warmer end of pool. Do not allow them to migrate to cooler section of pool. Come back the next day. Count dead humanoid researchers.

  48. Who on the planet eats and relies on damselfish and cardinal fish? I’m pretty sure the rest of humanity could spare them a few cases of Spam…

  49. D Long says: @ February 11, 2014 at 7:41 am

    My experience with tropical fish at home has taught me that the rate of temperature change is a lot more important than the absolute temperature – when talking about a few degrees up or down.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Yes, the fastest way to kill your fish is to change the temperature too fast. That is why when you bring the little fishies home from the pet store you set the bag of water plus fish in the aquarium and allow the temps to equalize.

    Where is PETA when you need them. /sarc

  50. sunshinehours1 says: @ February 11, 2014 at 9:24 am

    Fish, in 350F oil, covered with a nice tempura batter, will not survive…..
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Darn, you just made me hungry.

  51. markx says: @ February 11, 2014 at 9:47 am

    I personally think they are on to something.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    There fixed it for you.

  52. Alan the Brit says:
    February 11, 2014 at 8:56 am
    I am beginning to actually think the world is indeed only a few thousand years old! After all, how could species of any kid evolve to become so pathetically genetically weak & not be able to survive gradual changes in ocean temperatures, atmospheric temperatures, etc. Must be true! ;-)
    ——————————————————
    So true!!! I would expect this type of fear from creationist that feel the planet is only a few thousand years old, God put everything here, and we were to be the keepers of the garden until we screwed that up.

    The evolutionists they shouldn’t fear changes one bit, they should embrace it. Changes are the engines that drive evolution. The species best adapted to it’s environment is the one that survives. Why is is that these same people panic about every little change and want to save every single species?

    They may say that it’s because “man” is scewing everything up. So which way is it? Are we special, put here by God, and need to take care of this garden, or are we part of nature, a product of evolution, and have every right to make this place as nice for ourselves as possible. And if that means our environment doesn’t suit a few fish and polar bears then that’s just too bad for them.

  53. From the age of fishing. When water is hot, fish dive to deeper waters. When water is [cold], fish rise towards solar heated water. Colder currents come out tributaries. Fish love atomic plant’s warm waters in winter. I guess we will have to shut them down.

    Don’t fish in a full Moon period. Big fish feed on smaller fish above. If cattle are laying in field and a full moon, forget it.

    Maybe if the study used dynamite in parts of the experiment they might get a higher “confidence” level in their study .

    Paul

    [Then again, old water doesn't heat up much. Mod]

  54. Do they have any idea what it means a raise in temperature of 2-3 oC. Assuming the same relative humidity, cloud cover etc, from where comes the required vast amount of energy?
    What a waste of money.

  55. First there was the Prof Turney trip to the Antarctica,then the Prof England theories on a mechanism of ocean heating in the Pacific,now this study that shows that if you heat stress fish, they die.
    All this is so embarrassing for this Australian.
    What is happening to provenance at Uni NSW and James Cook?

  56. Gail Combs says:
    February 11, 2014 at 11:53 am
    sunshinehours1 says: @ February 11, 2014 at 9:24 am

    Fish, in 350F oil, covered with a nice tempura batter, will not survive…..
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Darn, you just made me hungry.
    ****
    Yeah I just bought some tuna steaks – on sale none the less.

    Now, if I did not have 16″ of global warming covering my grill I would not be stuck using a cast iron skillet. OH well. MY gf will eat them any way.

  57. We laugh (rightly so) when 9/11 “Troofers” conduct amateurish experiments that “prove” one thing or the other of one of their ridiculous claims.

    But we DON’T call it science…

  58. After extensive studies with fish in aquariums we have discovered that allowing nitrogen wastes to build up in a period of time that is 100,000 times faster than what occurs in nature general kills the fish.

    After extensive studies with SST we have observed that 4-6 degree tempurature swings from El Nino to La Nina have not killed off reef fish in Papua/New Guinea and observational evidence indicates that Dr. Rummer needs to read the above analogy.

  59. I think Dr Rummer has drunk to much rummer from that well known sauce bundy op rum made just up the road from her.They say if you drink to much of it you will end up with a addled brain.And i think they are right.

  60. > coral reefs near the equator

    Anyone know what the natural variation is in those waters? How stable is the temp where they live?

    Just curious

  61. According to the HADSST3GL data set SST’s 1C in 100 years. Assuming that data set is correct, how many fish species have been driven extinct due to that global warming? (And rather curiously 2/3rds of that warming occurred before its been claimed CO2 could have had a measurable effect, i.e., post 1950’s.)

  62. could result in population declines and potentially redistribution of equatorial species to higher latitudes if adaptation cannot keep pace……

    roaring laughing……the fish move

  63. This is the same kind of tank experiment they tried out for ocean acidification on shelled creatures. They pumped in huge amounts of co2 in a short period of time, published their results then got paid. What a pile of bat droppings – not realistic, not real world.

  64. Maybe if PETA knit them all little sweaters….
    Oh, wait a minute. The problem is heating?
    Maybe the PETA people should get in touch with the people that make “Mrs. Paul’s Frozen Fish Sticks”?

  65. I first went to Lagos Nigeria in February 1966. The temperature then was the same as now ~29C Historical Sea Temperature average with variance since 1984: averages ~27 with a high of just below 30C

    http://www.surf-forecast.com/breaks/Tarqua-Bay/seatemp

    Link and scroll down a bit to the graph. This is particularly why Willis’s Thermostat Hypothesis resonates with me. The fishes will NEVER have to worry about 3-4 C warmer in tropical waters and I say this with betters than 99% confidence with almost 50 years of observation – Willis has shown that the max SST (in open waters) is 31C. The fish are 100% confident that they won’t have to cope with 3-4C warming – they’ve had thousands of years of observation.

    Now cooling is something else! The Latin American Herald had this story today

    http://www.laht.com/article.asp?ArticleId=361753&CategoryId=14919

    “Cold Wave Kills 6 Million Fish in Eastern Bolivia

    LA PAZ – Authorities in the eastern Bolivian province of Santa Cruz declared an alert following the death of 6 million fish from the unusually cold weather gripping the country in recent weeks. The provincial government said the fish died in the Grande, Pirai and Ichilo rivers that run through the tropical region. This is an “environmental catastrophe” brought on by the lowest temperatures registered in Santa Cruz in nearly half a century, Gov. Ruben Costas told reporters.

    He said that environmental personnel who visited the disaster areas found that the three rivers are highly polluted by dead fish, and he warned locals not to use those waters.”

    What has happened to the once unherdable cats called Australians! Nearly every global warming article published these days comes out of this country, while the Team in US and Europe are sitting in shock with the pause and even Dr. Suzuki has thrown in the towel. It seems that the Ship of Fools has triggered a bonanza of this nonsense. You Ozzies are going to have to form a mobile protest unit to crush this embarrassing craziness! I’m serious. National pride demands it.

  66. added note: I believe this frenzy of publication has been “ordered” by the lefties who got kicked out of office. It has suspicious numbers and timing.

  67. I kept Maintained some very successfull Reef tanks in Phoenix Arizona where my only method of cooling was an evap. Just try to keep the temps under 35. Dang, my water temps sometimes went to 40! The only organism I ever needed to get rid of because of temp was a Sebae Anemone.

  68. This paper is complete nonsense, because THERE ARE NO DAMSELFISH!! They went extinct in the last glacial period when the water temperature fell below their thermal range.

  69. ‘One species was unable to survive even short-term exposure to 34 °C.’

    That one statement alone, shown above, might give the game away. I doubt these scientanistas have diddly squat in the way of experience keeping fish. Almost no fish (maybe goldfish can) can survive a rapid change of temperature of more than 2-4 degrees Fahrenheit. That change won’t usually kill them right away, but rest assured they’ll be dead within 2 days. Moreover, aquarists have known for probably 100 years that tropical fish, freshwater or marine, do not live in water temperatures that are considered tropical. Tropical freshwater fish live in temperatures of 68-74 degrees Fahrenheit. Marine tropicals generally live in water of about 78-82 degrees Fahrenheit. 34 degrees centigrade is equivalent to 93 degrees Fahrenheit. Yeah, right. We’re gonna see those temperatures in the reefs – not in our lifetimes. If they’re going to make claims about living organisms they damn well ought to learn how to keep
    them in captivity first.

  70. FIRST… So, er, I thought the warming at the equator was supposed to be minor as compared to the mid and high latitudes. So fish living near the equator will not experience near the temperature rise (if you even believe in CAGW) than fish at mid- and high-latitudes.

    SECOND … fish have fins and can swim to colder / deeper water, shade etc. Not in a pot heated by a Bunsen burner, mind you. Details, details.

  71. Is this serious research or is someone trolling? Whoever funded this might be interested in my frog/saucepan/boiling water project.

  72. Gary Pearse says: @ February 11, 2014 at 3:06 pm

    added note: I believe this frenzy of publication has been “ordered” by the lefties who got kicked out of office. It has suspicious numbers and timing.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    That was what the Ship of Fools was about. A PROPAGANDA MISSION. Chris (Tmas) Turkey disappeared for 2 1/2 hours after being ordered to return to the ship. Any bets it was for photo Ops of Green party elect Janet Rice by the BBC and Guardian reporters?

    So far this year we have had two idiotic papers from the University of New South Wales and the Penguin paper and now this one.

    Luckily Mother Nature stomped all over the propaganda mission that was to tie all the papers together and she has kept on stomping here in the USA and Canada and parts of Europe, China, Middle East and else where.

  73. Jimbo says:
    February 11, 2014 at 9:05 am

    I have found the key word – “IF”

    Four species of damselfishes and two species of cardinal fishes were held for 14 days at 29, 31, 33, and 34 °C, which incorporated their existing thermal range (29–31 °C)……….

    Even relatively small temperature increases (2–3 °C) could result in population declines and potentially redistribution of equatorial species to higher latitudes if adaptation cannot keep pace.

    “IF” global surface temperatures do rise 2–3 °C.

    ——————

    Ah, these gals put the IF in “scientIFic”.

  74. What are the annual and diurnal temperature variations in a reef environment? Do they really never vary more than 4C?

  75. The temperature transect goes from 0°C at 90° Latitude to 30°C at 0° latitude. A distance of 10,000 km. To avoid a thermal shock of 3°C the fishies must move 1000 km over 86 years. Over 11 km per year. This should be the easiest thing in the world to track. The reefs should give up their dead in short order.

  76. the highest recorded water temp was Darwin at 29.2….they start there and go up

    92F is used to clear out some parasites

  77. vigilantfish says: February 11, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    “IF” global surface temperatures do rise 2–3 °C.

    This was probably a primary school biology experiment, or at least proposed and designed by a primary class.

    But they neglected a few things: Global surface temperature is not tropical ocean temperature. And as the world supposedly warms, the tropics remain at much the same temperature, just expanding in extent.

    Bearing also in mind the heat capacity of the oceans: Supposedly Trenberth’s ‘missing heat’ has managed to heat the top 2,000 metres of the world’s oceans by 0.065 °C over a period of 55 years, if you can accept such precision in measurement exists. And supposedly 1 °C of ocean warming is equivalent to 60 °C of atmospheric warming ( “..if all that energy was suddenly released to the atmosphere… etc etc”)

    So it’s gonna take a helluva long time* to heat those tropical seas by 2-3 °C, more so if you consider Willis’ tropical thermostat mechanism.

    (*well known scientific unit of measure of time)

  78. Kevin Kilty says:
    February 11, 2014 at 7:30 am
    A self-named Center of Excellence. Indeed.
    —-
    As someone familiar with this University, I can confirm that they call themselves a Centre of Excellence for the same reason that North Korea calls itself a Democratic People’s Republic ….

  79. One of the few things warmists, sceptics and models all seem to agree upon is that any GW will be greatest in polar regions and least in equatorial regions. A three degree rise in equatorial regions would suggest an average warming well outside the 95% confidence limits of the IPCC’s predictions.

  80. What i want to know is what effect rising ocean temperatures will have on the number of Sharknadoes.

    Eugene WR Gallun

  81. It doesn’t really matter! Evolution is ‘adapt or die’. If some species die others will replace them. It is what life is all about.

    It would be absurd for Mankind to say we must stop evolution at all costs and that no species should ever go extinct. Unfortunately this kind of attitude has some powerful adherents. Eg. The ‘Federal Endangered Species Act’ can ruffle a few feathers, such as the dunes sagebrush lizard – see link.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/14/us/rare-lizard-is-protected-but-not-put-on-endangered-list.html?_r=0

    Some creatures may adapt to the ecology of an area and become a sub-species. This does not mean they should be preserved forever, they are rare for a reason.

    There are exceptions when creatures are critical to the environment, such as the rhinoceros in parts of Africa for their nitrogen fixing bacteria. Also their problem is poaching not a changing environment.

  82. Anthony ,
    For a laugh see “They’re usually so peaceful” , Daily Telegraph Tim Blair Blog,December 4,2009.
    The researchers were” torturing “damselfish then and claimed that warming coastal waters caused by climate change would also enrage sharks around Australia!
    An oldie but goodie.

  83. As I recall, when I studied comparative animal physiology in the 1960’s, the leading reference texts were using terms such as stenothermal (organisms that only survive in a narrow temperature range) versus eurythermal (survived in a wide range of environmental temperature); and poikilothermal (“cold-blooded” organisms whose internal temperature tracked that of their environment) or homeothermal (organisms that regulate their internal temperature within a narrow range–such as mammals and birds). Analogous terms were used for other environmental stressors ( e.g., stenohaline v. euryhaline for salt tolerance). Experiments exploring the details of thermal adaptation and regulation were “classic” even then.
    It is disconcerting to see long-established, basic principles of animal physiology being republished with copy-cat science-fair experiments and results packaged as harbingers of thermal doomsday. As if it hasn’t been clarion clear that stenotherms will have a tough go of it outside their physiological survival range. I’m sure there are “countless” other fish and sea creatures that have stenothermal “vulnerabilities.” The reseacher’s can enjoy several lifetimes meticulously documenting such species and notifying the world of the impending danger. Imagine length of the CV’s–possibly Nobel Prize worthy.

  84. I imagine they used sea water, and didn’t just add sea salt to fresh water. Not reading instructions properly my son killed his Oscar by adding too much aquarium salt. The temperatures around reefs fluctuate but the lower depths are quite cold even after 10 feet. If it gets too hot, they just move away. I have kept cold water, tropical and marine fish in aquariums. And marine fish have to have a balance of of salt that is measured by a hydrometer in the tank. As the sea water evaporates, the salt content is increased, so you add just plain old fresh water or rain water to balance it. Once established tropical marine fish are usually very happy. Yet they are difficult to establish as most are not bred in captivity and when caught from the wild, stress badly, and won’t eat the food we give them. But using unpolluted sea water you stand it in black containers for a month to kill off any bacteria or plankton that will not live in an aquarium. As far as temps well any fish will not like it if the temps increase a lot, marine fish especially. But if in the wild they generally like warmer temps as there is more food to eat. But as far as temps are concerned, some fish have adapted to live in salt water and fresh water, like bull sharks. Why don’t they experiment with them. Because they are a danger to human beings especially if you wade into a golf course water pond to retrieve your golf ball!! This has happened in Australia in Queensland when after floods, bull sharks invaded a well known golf course. Temperatures didn’t worry them. LOL.

  85. ‘ Curt says:
    February 11, 2014 at 9:09 am

    Amazing how belief in climate change trumps belief in evolution by natural selection. These guys are effectively creationists!’

    You are being unfair to the Creationists. They have no issues at all with ‘Micro’ evolution, or adaptation by natural selection. It’s Dino’s to Birdies stuff they don’t agree with.

    They have no problem with accepting that as plants do better at 1000-3000ppmv then at some point these plants must have been created (or adapted) to live in an atmosphere that contained at least that much Co2 – which makes them more ‘sciencey’ than the warmist’s who cannot see that obvious point.

  86. Researchers also noted that when the temp was turned up to 200 degrees the fish were delicious. But seriously, the surface water temp in the mid- Caribbean, say off Grand Cayman, is in the high 70’s F to low 80’sF, with slight seasonal variation.( making seasonal variation already a 3 degree C change) The thermocline there, as in much of the Caribbean, occurs at a depth of 400 to 800 feet. Below that the temp doesn’t seasonally change through out the whole of the Caribbean. However it does get colder at depth, remember the depths here are extreme, the Cayman trench is in excess of 25,000 feet deep. At that depth the water temp is a constant 40F @ 750 atmospheres pressure. So pressure density makes temp stability difficult to change..(unless you subscribe to the notion that all of the heat is hiding in the deep ocean). Point is that the fish will be Okay.

    In the above post where 6 million fish died; who counted those fish?

  87. Are you sure this isn’t a fifth-grade Science Fair? Oh wait, these scientists are NOT smarter than fifth-graders!

  88. 80 years is probably 80 generations. Individuals may not adapt but fish lay many thousands of eggs each generation. As the temp rises (if it does) the fish able to adapt to warmer temps will out breed more successfully than those that can’t. Over 80 generations of very slow temp rising the fish will be just fine.

  89. This reminds me of a “study” I once read that among other gems wondered if corn could even survive 8 degrees warmer then the US cornbelt. (hint: corn is from mexico and not only handles but even thrives at temps much higher then 8 degree warmer then the cornbelt.) It was enough to wonder if they even knew what corn actually was.

  90. So not only has the crowd that says the Earth is flat jumped onto the “man-made global warming is killing the planet” train, now also scientists essentially say evolution can’t happen.

    I don’t even…

  91. Edohiguma says:
    February 13, 2014 at 11:43 am

    So not only has the crowd that says the Earth is flat jumped onto the “man-made global warming is killing the planet” train, now also scientists essentially say evolution can’t happen.

    I don’t even…

    ==================================================================
    Don’t you know? All “change” is bad if there is some way to blame (and fleece) Man.

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