Surprise: Fish tolerate 2.5°C temperature shift in 3 years

Marine male (bottom) and female (top) sticklebacks

Marine male (bottom) and female (top) sticklebacks

Tiny fish evolved to tolerate colder temperature in three years: UBC study

University of British Columbia researchers have observed one of the fastest evolutionary responses ever recorded in wild populations. In as little as three years, stickleback fish developed tolerance for water temperature 2.5 degrees Celsius lower than their ancestors.

The study, published in the current issue of the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, provides the some of the first experimental evidence that evolution may help populations survive effects of climate change.

Measuring three to 10 centimetres, stickleback fish originated in the ocean but began populating freshwater lakes and streams following the last ice age. Over the past 10,000 years, marine and freshwater sticklebacks have evolved different physical and behavioural traits, making them ideal models for Darwin’s natural selection theory.

“By testing the temperature tolerance of wild and lab-raised sticklebacks, we were able to determine that freshwater sticklebacks can tolerate lower temperatures than their marine counterparts,” says lead author Rowan Barrett from the UBC Department of Zoology. “This made sense from an evolutionary perspective because their ancestors were able to adapt to freshwater lakes, which typically reach colder temperatures than the ocean.”

Extreme low temperatures in the experimental ponds leads to rapid evolution of cold tolerance. (Rowan Barrett, front)

Extreme low temperatures in the experimental ponds leads to rapid evolution of cold tolerance. (Rowan Barrett, front)

To learn how quickly this adaptation took place, Barrett and colleagues from Switzerland and Sweden “recreated history” by transplanting marine sticklebacks to freshwater ponds and found that in as little as three generations (or three years), they were able to tolerate the same minimum temperature as freshwater sticklebacks, 2.5 °C lower than their ancestral populations.

“Scientific models have suggested that climate change could result in both a general, gradual increase of average temperatures and an increase in extreme temperatures,” says Barrett, who received his PhD last week.

“Our study is the first to experimentally show that certain species in the wild could adapt to climate change very rapidly – in this case, colder water temperature. However, this rapid adaptation is not achieved without a cost. Only rare individuals that possess the ability to tolerate rapid changes in temperature survive, and the number of survivors may not be large enough to sustain the population. It is crucial that knowledge of evolutionary processes is incorporated into conservation and management policy.”

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49 thoughts on “Surprise: Fish tolerate 2.5°C temperature shift in 3 years

  1. …Barrett and colleagues from Switzerland and Sweden “recreated history” by transplanting marine sticklebacks to freshwater ponds and found that in as little as three generations (or three years), they were able to tolerate the same minimum temperature as freshwater sticklebacks, 2.5 °C lower than their ancestral populations.
    It’s more interesting that saltwater fish were dumped into fresh water and they survived long enough to reproduce. Sticklebacks must have bull shark genes in their makeup…

  2. OMG! There go the mass extinction scenarios, replaced by mass adaptation possibilities. Is nothing sacred?!! What ever will the EPA do with their health and welfare concerns. Oh, the inhumaity of it all!
    Do I really need to do a /sarc off to make it clear?

  3. What nonsense. There is no possibility of “evolution” in three years. This is simply the selection of pre-existing genes in the gene pool. Most likely populations have moved between fresh & salt water environments over the centuries, leaving a few individuals with the genes needed to survive when a population has to rapidly adapt.
    The above research is almost a silly as global warming alarmism.

  4. continued..
    And existing populations of most species will also contain genes adapted to past warmer and/or colder climates. These pre-existing genes will be selected in the case of any climate change.

  5. Well there’s the answer to the burning question I’ve been asking myself for decades – how did sticklebacks survive the last glaciation?
    I’ll be able to sleep soundly at night now…

  6. Gee, I’ve had fish tolerate being hauled out of the water with a hook in their moth, put on a stringer in a damp bucket, driven home (about 15 minutes) and put in a bucket of slightly chlorinated water about 10 F colder than the original water and about 40 F below the air temp.
    These were “bullhead catfish” that are tough as old boots…
    I’ve also had aquarium fish take 2 F to 10 F in a couple of minutes during various less than careful tank cleanings. It’s just not a big deal.
    BTW, there are loads of brackish water fish that tolerate salt or sweet water. Mollies are used to “condition” a salt water tank. You star with fresh water and Molles, then add some salt each day. They fish adjust, and put ‘poo bacteria’ in the gravel. When the tank is all working fine (no ammonia building up) you add the big salt water fish and the Mollies are renamed ‘lunch’….
    These folks need to get a job at “PetsMart” in the fish department… they would learn more than they are now.

  7. Crucial line:
    “Only rare individuals that possess the ability to tolerate rapid changes in temperature survive, and the number of survivors may not be large enough to sustain the population.”
    Rapid evolution is only plausible in highly fecund species (with high genetic diversity). This does not apply to many species, especially the most endangered ones.

  8. Deja Vu? I believe that if man farts one way or the other Mother Nature will survive! OTOH, if Nature farts one way or the other, most of us are screwed! Why do people think flora & fauna is so week & feeble, we’re the week & feeble ones though all our PC molly-coddling!

  9. Fish adapting to cold water? Look at the eland (Tragelaphus oryx), a large antelope native to Southern Africa. A number of eland were sent to Russia many years ago where they now flourish. They grew thick, shaggy coats in their very first winter there, something never seen in Africa.
    “Relatively large numbers of the Common Eland now occur on private land, particularly in Namibia, Zimbabwe and South Africa, reflecting its value as a trophy animal. Common Eland have also been widely domesticated in Zimbabwe, South Africa and Kenya, as well as in Russia, Ukraine, and England.” ( http://www.iucnredlist.org/apps/redlist/details/22055/0 )

  10. Don’t forget epigenetics either. My bet is that any species, when stressed, will have some or even many who wind up with various genes turned either on or off by epigenetics – methylation processes, that help them to survive or adapt to whatever the change is. Our genes just haven’t changed that drastically over time – many are exactly as they were hundreds of thousands of years ago.
    As to evolution not being able to occur that rapidly – I wouldn’t bet on that either. Evolution isn’t just when a gene or genes mutate – but when a population undergoes severe rapid selection for certain traits it can occur almost overnight. Select for a certain set of genes that is not typically expressed within the population, and you may wind up with a variety that is quite distinct from the original population. Its the old genetic 101 class scenario of what happens if there is some natural catastrophe (or man made or what have you) such that only a very small segment of the population can survive and reproduce. Within just a generation or two you have a new population that has a very different gene distribution than the original population had, and its one that is able to survive within the new circumstance where the majority of the old population couldn’t.

  11. Ross Jackson says:
    August 5, 2010 at 12:39 am
    What nonsense. There is no possibility of “evolution” in three years. This is simply the selection of pre-existing genes in the gene pool.

    I’m pretty sure that selection of pre-existing genes counts as evolution, especially given that non-existent genes can’t be selected at all. Mutation of existing genes is an important element in the longer term.
    I seem to have read a lot of these ‘evolution happens faster than we think’ stories recently (I’m a subscriber to New Scientist). It seems to me that the rate-limiting step in most evolution is geological, ie organisms changing to adapt to geological change. This is inevitably slow and doesn’t tell imply that evolution has to be that slow.

  12. I don’t think we needed to spend taxpayers’ money to show something that any sentient person with a grade school education knows anyway.

  13. As I recall my upper division genetics classes (it’s a long story…) you get maximum response to strong selective pressure in 30 generations, but can get significant response in far less, even single digits like 3 and 5.
    One example: Plague resistance. There is rather fascinating evidence for a dramatic increase in genetic resistance to plague in Europe. In one village, pretty much everyone has the ‘enhancement’. Those who didn’t, died. So the odds of another pandemic of Plague hitting Europe is dramatically reduced as the people evolved in terms of population genetics in the last plague…
    It’s also quite common for animal breeders to come up with a new variety in just a couple of generations, then work to stabilize it for a few more. I’ve got a ‘giant green bean’ that I’m trying to stabilize. Took me 2 generations to make it, and I’m in F3 now. I’m adding ‘purple pod’ to it and expect to have a “giant purple pod” inside 5 years. Then comes the hard part… the “giant sport” had a bit of string in the pod, so I have to breed that out of it once I’ve stabilized it. I also got a ‘large purple collards’ in 2 years via a kale, purple cabbage crossing program (they are rather promiscuous … those cabbage relatives). The “Green Glaze” collard came out of a similar cabbage / kale cross. One cross, then stabilize.
    The notion that it takes thousands of years to change is just wrong. IIRC, the polar bear is only 25,000 years old (it will still hybridize with the Grizzly) so it went from brown to white and developed a significantly different body shape, aquatic adaptations, different paw and claw shape, and several other highly specialized traits to the point of being a different species in the course of small thousands of years. So you can adapt A species in far less than that.
    Heck, just look at the dog breeds around today. Most of them did not exist 1000 years ago. Or even a few hundred…
    One last point: The selective pressures for skin color are known and measured. For white skin, you die of skin cancer in the tropical sun, but not under Northern clouds wearing a coat. For black skin you die of rickets in the north wearing coats, but don’t die of skin cancer nearly so much in the tropical sun. At the end of the calculation, if you put blacks in the far north, and whites in the tropics, they each swap skin color in about 25,000 years. (Assuming no vit D pills and no sunscreen…). And that is from a relatively minor selective pressure. (After all, we are not all dropping like flies from living in highly mixed societies…). If you up the pressure, as stated above, you get rapid response in about 30 generations. Call it 900 years.
    Genetics are far more plastic than most folks seem to think.
    BTW, that 30 generations rule of thumb is relatively constant across all species. That’s why bacteria develop drug resistance so quickly. 30 generations is no time at all, so one guy doesn’t finish his antibiotics and we’ve just had a very strong selection for a drug resistant strain…

  14. ““Scientific models have suggested that climate change could result in both a general, gradual increase of average temperatures and an increase in extreme temperatures,” says Barrett, who received his PhD last week.”
    Temperatures will go up but so will variation….
    Butt covering exercise??

  15. My brother and I were born and raised from many generations of people living in Cumbria, England. Whilst a beautiful location, it is largely cold and wet. I have stayed in Cumbria whereas my brother has relocated to Los Angeles, California. The average temperature difference and relative wetness of Los Angeles is a LOT different from Cumbria.
    How on earth can he possibly survive average temperatures approximately 10 Fahrenheit degrees higher and air that is much drier than that which he is genetically pre-disposed to living in?
    OMG!!! He will surely become extinct!!!
    Sarc off!

  16. Seems I saw somewhere an article or show or something where salmon go from ocean to freshwater streams like all the time…
    http://www.oregonlive.com/outdoors/index.ssf/2010/08/sockeye_salmon_run_sets_record.html#incart_hbx

    Although dam operations have improved and court-ordered springtime spills over the dams have helped, biologists who studied Columbia River sockeye say the biggest factor in the strength of the run is favorable ocean conditions the past two years.

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2010/07/global-sea-surface-temperature-update-the-cooling-continues/
    I wonder if there is a connection?

  17. This is an entirely expected result for those with an understanding of natural selection processes and their evolutionary significance. EM Smith has a typical example demonstrated above. Fish and other poikilothermic (homeostasis directly keyed to ambient temp) species are especially positioned to be impacted by temperature pressures, and especially true for egg-layers. Egg maturation and development will proceed under a narrow temperature pressure due to the water environment they live in.
    Over time, the tolerance to variation is generally narrowed by selection to the typically range of environmental tempature in which they’ll hatch and survive. In any one breeding season, variation in temperature regimes will select for those eggs which can mature in the pressure of the variation. If the selection pressure is not so great as to reduce the species fecundity below its replacement rate, and if the pressure remains constant over several generations, the population will select for adaptation to the new pressure regime over time.
    Species have evolved adaptation plasticity over millenia such that generally any one selection pressure doesn’t compromise the species, unless its extreme. Water environments tend to present narrow environmental selection pressures. Consequently, poikilotherms are readily adaptable within narrow limits, but are particularly susceptible to large persistent extremes. Given time and modestly low rate selection pressures, poikilotherms have evolved innovative adaptations – burrowing amphibs, reptiles and fish, fins with enough structure to permit movement on land, etc.
    Evolution is ALL about fecundity. If your species has enough of it to survive the selection pressure du jour, your tribe will live to continue to pursue the biological imperative to reproduce. If not, que sera, sera.
    It was a long slow creep out of the ooze, but here we are!

  18. @EM Smith:
    “It’s also quite common for animal breeders to come up with a new variety in just a couple of generations, then work to stabilize it for a few more.”
    Great post. Good to be reminded that we already KNOW that genetics can shift dramatically,quickly, via human guidance. Why should anyone assume that natural selection is limited to changes on the order of 100k years? If that were the case, the world would surely be devoid of life after various ice ages, meteor strikes, volcanic eruptions, etc, etc, etc.

  19. “Ross Jackson says:
    August 5, 2010 at 12:39 am
    What nonsense. There is no possibility of “evolution” in three years. ”
    Which is itself nonsense. Physical adaptation (which produces evolutionary changes over time) to environmental and climate changes are quickly produced by all species with sufficient genetic inheritance. A human can gain 20 pounds of muscle tissue in a month if environmental forces or lifestyle changes apply enough pressure to the human body. A human can go from a fair complexion to a dark complexion in a week to protect the skin. A human who moves to a humid tropical environment will lose much weight and bone density over time in order to keep the body cooler. These adaptions alone are more impressive than what these fish in the article have done, yet are every day occurrences for us.

  20. Global warming Lysenko grant money story the Jour.
    Here is another story about fish which were not able to adapt to the resent cold wave in Amazonas. OK it weather not climate. Or is it?
    The previous wave, apart from killing many people and livestock, also killed of fish in the tropical Amazonian part of Bolivia.
    The recent cold wave two weeks ago caused havoc and an environment disaster in many rivers in the tropical part of Bolivia. All the dead fish are now a hazard as they pollute rivers over large areas.
    6 million of dead fish floating on the rivers in Bolivia!
    A second blast of Antarctic polar air is now hitting South America, again causing extreme cold in Argentina, Southern Brazil, Bolivia and Peru.
    And the same area is expected to see similar low temperatures again in the coming days.

  21. Are these guys aiming for an IG-“that cannot, or should not, be reproduced”-nobel price?
    Wich reminds me that the one for Climatology is long over due.

  22. Maybe I don’t understand evolution well enough but I would have concluded that evolution is what produced the fish genetics that respond to temperature change. I.E. the fish are not evolving at all because they already did that long ago over millions of years to produce the fish genes that can tolerate/survive the rate and or amount of temperature, (or take your pick – acidity, evolving predator, oxygen level, food resource, etc.). Finches regularly switch back and forth between two different beak types based upon a food source that flips back and forth, (I think it was Darwin himself who observed that on some island?) Such isn’t an “evolutionary response” in itself , it’s an evolved ability to quickly adapt within a given environmental envelope.
    To push the evolution envelope you’d have to find the temperature rate of change “X” that causes them all to die then back off to value “Y” just lessened enough so only a very small percentage survive. The next generation from them or dozens more later will have some variability and among them there might be a few who can survive “X” – or there might not be any. Life maximizes its possibilities for success but, as dinosaurs will attest, there are real limits.

  23. richard telford says:
    August 5, 2010 at 1:01 am
    Crucial line:
    “Only rare individuals that possess the ability to tolerate rapid changes in temperature survive, and the number of survivors may not be large enough to sustain the population.”
    Rapid evolution is only plausible in highly fecund species (with high genetic diversity). This does not apply to many species, especially the most endangered ones.
    ______________________________________________________-
    Which is why they are endangered in the first place. In terms of evolution those species are on their way out because they can not adapt. All “coddling” them does is prolong the time to extinction.
    Rules of the Wild: Evolve, Adapt, or Die.
    We now have a couple of generations of mollycoddled supermarket hunter/gathers living in modern cities, who do not have an up close and personal acquaintance with nature thanks to modern medicine. They do not have the hands on knowledge of natures ruthlessness that their grandparents did. In my parents generation the norm was at least one sibling who died before the age of 21. Farmers especially are aware of the rules of nature but the percentage of farm raised people has declined drastically in first world countries.
    “Early 20th century agriculture was labor intensive, and it took place on a large number of small, diversified farms in rural areas where more than half of the U.S. population lived. These farms employed close to half of the U.S. workforce…
    1900
    41 percent of workforce employed in agriculture
    1930
    21.5 percent of workforce employed in agriculture;
    Agricultural GDP as a share of total GDP, 7.7 percent
    1945
    16 percent of the total labor force employed in agriculture;
    Agricultural GDP as a share of total GDP, 6.8 percent
    1970
    4 percent of employed labor force worked in agriculture;
    Agricultural GDP as a share of total GDP, 2.3 percent
    2000/02
    1.9 percent of employed labor force worked in agriculture (2000); Agricultural GDP as a share of total GDP (2002), 0.7 percent”
    http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/eib3/eib3.htm
    Greenpeace, WWF and PETA would have been considered insane cults a few generations ago, now they drive government and world policy.
    Al Gore’s ‘Law of Logical Argument’ : “Anything is possible if you don’t know what you are talking about”.

  24. The temperature in my backyard pond varies at least 40 degrees F from Summer to Winter and has a healthy population of Stickleback that have survived for 20 years. Moreover, I’m fairly certain that the warmest Summer temp and coldest Winter temps vary, year over year, by more than 4 degrees F. So, without having read the study, it seems to me that Stickleback, as with most species, are hardy, rather than necessarily rapidly evolving.
    This may be an understatement, but aren’t pretty much all species on the planet subject to temperature changes of more than 2.5 degrees C? Daily? Monthly? Yearly?
    And yet, we thrive.
    (We have rufous hummingbirds that occasionally overwinter at 5 degrees F here in Vancouver, B.C., for example.)

  25. Is this story an argument against the existence of AGW, or does it intend to show that we will all be able adapt to AGW (or non-AGW) if it happens to arrive despite the clever arguments on this site? Please make up your mind.
    Anyway, we are all sticklebacks, aren’t we? We’re sitting in the same big pool, and it is slowly but surely warming up. Except that some people sit in a cool corner and don’t worry about the rest.

  26. “Only rare individuals that possess the ability to tolerate rapid changes in temperature survive, and the number of survivors may not be large enough to sustain the population.” –
    This is what is called a ‘bottleneck’, something not exactly unknown to zoologists. A famous example are the Northern Elephant Seals. So there is no need to doom-monger.
    As an aside: having one’s Ph.D. work accepted for the Proc.Royal.Soc. B, while praiseworthy, still puzzles me. I’d expect to see such work published by the Linnean Society. Perhaps there is now such a dearth of funding for zoological/evolutionary studies that Ph.D. theses are all there is. Which, if true, would be another grievance to be laid at the door of the over-resourced AGW ‘scientists’.

  27. This research project and article are just plain awful. The basic premise that was obviously used to obtain funding (that increased CO2 can warm an entire body of water from the surface top to the gravel and affect fish population via this temperature change), and indirectly reiterated in the ubiquitous alarm statement at the end, is wrong. In fact it is so wrong, a 5th grader can prove that CO2 has no such affect on oceanic or river temperatures. Therefore this entire research effort along with the report should be discarded.

  28. Jan says:
    August 5, 2010 at 6:15 am
    Is this story an argument against the existence of AGW, or does it intend to show that we will all be able adapt to AGW (or non-AGW) if it happens to arrive despite the clever arguments on this site? Please make up your mind.
    Anyway, we are all sticklebacks, aren’t we? We’re sitting in the same big pool, and it is slowly but surely warming up. Except that some people sit in a cool corner and don’t worry about the rest.
    ___________________________________________________
    The slow warming up is a heck of a lot less stressful to all live compared to an abrupt cooling down.
    Solar energy reached a summer maximum (9% higher than at present) ca 11 ka ago and has been decreasing since then, primarily in response to the precession of the equinoxes. The extra energy elevated early Holocene summer temperatures throughout the Arctic 1-3° C above 20th century averages….
    So a 1-3° C temperature change just puts us back to the temperature at the start of this interglacial.
    Lesson from the past: present insolation minimum holds potential for glacial inception (2007)
    This paper states the precession of the equinoxes would allow an Ice Age if “..early anthropogenic greenhouse gas emission [had not] prevented the inception of a glacial that would otherwise already have started…”
    If the “present conditions” continue changing from an active sun to an inactive sun we could see Abrupt Climate Change – Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

    “Most of the studies and debates on potential climate change, along with its ecological and economic impacts, have focused on the ongoing buildup of industrial greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and a gradual increase in global temperatures. This line of thinking, however, fails to consider another potentially disruptive climate scenario….
    Fossil evidence clearly demonstrates that Earthvs climate can shift gears within a decade….
    But the concept remains little known and scarcely appreciated in the wider community of scientists, economists, policy makers, and world political and business leaders. Thus, world leaders may be planning for climate scenarios of global warming that are opposite to what might actually occur…

    Neglecting change towards a COOLING world is down right criminal negligence given we are in the correct part of the Milankovitch cycle to usher in an ice age. This is my biggest gripe with CAGW. We should be studying BOTH scenarios not just warming.

  29. Paul Coppin says:
    August 5, 2010 at 3:36 am
    This is an entirely expected result for those with an understanding of natural selection processes and their evolutionary significance….
    Evolution is ALL about fecundity. If your species has enough of it to survive the selection pressure du jour, your tribe will live to continue to pursue the biological imperative to reproduce. If not, que sera, sera.
    It was a long slow creep out of the ooze, but here we are!
    ______________________________________________________________
    ♫♫♫ It’s a long way from amphioxus
    It’s a long way to us…
    It’s a long way from amphioxus
    To the meanest human cuss.
    It’s good-bye, fins and gill slits,
    Hello, lungs and hair!
    It’s a long, long way from amphioxus,
    But we all came from there!
    ♫♫♫
    Sorry, I could not resist. It is a favorite from Science Fiction Conventions..

  30. Jan says:
    August 5, 2010 at 6:15 am
    Jan, the story is about marine sticklebacks being able to adapt in a short time to a fresh-water environment that is much harsher than the one they came from.
    You wonder what the story on the sticklebacks is all about, but, as Freud said, “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.”
    I am sitting in a cold corner of the world (Central Alberta, Canada) where I have seen temperatures go down to -54 degrees F and that our furnace stopped working because the diesel fuel in the fuel tank jelled. A bit of global warming would allay my apprehension of when there will be another build-up of ice about two-miles high where I live. You may imagine yourself to be a stickleback, but I am not.
    We need to produce enough fodder for our animals within on average about 91 contiguous frost-free days in our area to be able to feed them for an average of 210 days of the year.
    A small lengthening of the growing season means the difference between death and life, being able to make it for another year or to pack up and go. We are not sticklebacks and try to figure out how to adapt to whatever climate change may come our way. Still, I would rather see it warm up a bit, rather than see it become colder, especially with politicians clamoring to drive up farming and heating costs to discourage us from being able to live here.

  31. Gail Combs says:
    August 5, 2010 at 6:59 am
    “The slow warming up is a heck of a lot less stressful to all live compared to an abrupt cooling down.”
    The slow warming may be slow on a politicians’ timescale, but it is fast on a geological timescale. Milankovich cycles are slow on a geological timescale, and out-of-sight for politicians. Of course, both risks should be looked at, but right now the world is warming fast (definitely not cooling). I don’t understand how your comment is an argument not to act against AGW (perhaps if we’re down to early 20th century temperatures).
    Anyway, we’re at 0.8°C warming now, which obviously has some noticable effects already (increased number and severity of heatwaves, increased downpours, etc), 0.6°C more is in the system without any additional CO2. And what you call “slow warming” is incredibly fast for ecosystems. The result is weeds taking over, and ruining biodiversity. And in the end, we all depend on functioning ecosystems, not on SUVs.

  32. Sticklebacks may have developed landlocked populations less than 10000 years ago and had an anadromous life history – returning to freshwater to spawn. It is not surprising that a marine stock would fair quite well in a controlled freshwater environment.
    Many fish are polyploids- the extra set of chromosomes allows for rapid “evolution”. Not sure whether sticklebacks are polyploids. Salmon (a polyploid) have developed isolated breeding populations in less than 50 years. It is important to note that while salmon have shown that life history and some morphological traits to be very plastic– temperature requirements at time of smoltification and maximum lethal temperature are very restricted.
    Anyone know whether the papers 2.5C range cited in this paper is within the temperature range for this fish– if it is- doesn’t really tell us that much.

  33. This is a routine, interesting study of evolution by natural selection. Scientists have long been doing such studies, even before climate change became a concern. Such a study has nothing to do with the causes of climate change, nor does it say much about whether warming will cause extinctions. One of the biggest risks for many species, including both plant and animals, is the range expansion of potential competitors from warmer climates.

  34. Read Stephen Jay Gould to understand that evolution is not a glacial process.
    I’ve used his stuff with people (ok, creationists) who argue that since evolution is invisible, we can’t say it’s true. SJG shows it is far from invisible.

  35. confused – is the earth going to warm or not? if the latter this is irrelevant. stop arguing in the alternative.

  36. Sandy says:
    August 5, 2010 at 3:00 am
    If diurnals increase, it means less H20 available in the atmosphere.
    The only way to do that is to cover more ocean area with Ice via a cooling world.
    The warming world is the opposite. GCM places square peg in round hole, splinters galore, generating useless information.
    GCM operator then has to alter input by fudging numbers to correct the output.
    It may be useful to note that the operator of the temp increase model has self-inflicted credibility wounds.

  37. “Only rare individuals that possess the ability to tolerate rapid changes in temperature survive …”
    I used to live in a place where it went from -23C to 40C in ONE YEAR.
    OMG!!! How could I have survived that?
    (It did that every year too)
    Do these “scientists” think the fish live in an aquarium with the same water temperature all day long?

  38. Heh. My daughter “fed” our aquarium fish half of a Pop-Tart. The bluegill died, while the Warmouth (goggle-eye) continued to thrive. This was a massive dose of flour, sugar, and who know’s what into the 10 gallon aquarium. After a partial water change and filter changes the warmouth is still fine. This fish came out of a small pond that has seen many changes over the last few hundred years.
    (In NW Louisiana, USA) It’s in an upland setting, next to a gravel road that was once a woodland trail. Farmers and loggers used this spring fed puddle to water their stock and selves. It has been dredged many times, the trees removed from around it and is now at the foot of hay meadow rather than surrounded by forest. The pond has dried to a few puddles in drought’s and frozen over for weeks and this fish is still present.
    As far as anyone can tell these fish have always been there. The warmouth does not exist uphill from this pond nor in any other pond within 1/2 mile.
    It’s not just stickleback that are tenacious and adaptable.

  39. Sticklebacks naturally thrive in a mindboggling range of conditions. Just think a minute about a 10cm species that is native to Italy, Iran, Boston, San Fransisco, and Tokyo!

  40. Jan says:
    August 5, 2010 at 7:55 am
    Anyway, we’re at 0.8°C warming now, which obviously has some noticable effects already….
    ________________________________________________________________
    That is just it. The 0.8°C warming is a very myopic view point based on a very short time span of about 30 to 40 years. I lived through the “oh my gosh the temperatures have fallen by 0.8°C” in the late 60’s. (I hope you clicked on the highlighted words and read the articles in the other comment)
    Remember the Milankovitch theory is accepted by both sides of the CO2 debate because it has been confirmed by evidence from sea cores. Theory of Ice Ages Confirmed So it is not IF it is WHEN and also whether man released CO2 is preventing the onset of another Ice Age.
    One of the papers I linked to said early Holocene temperatures were 1-3° C above 20th century averages. That means the temperatures have FALLEN by 1-3° C from the Holocene max.
    Here is 10,000 years of temperature data graphed from the Vostok Ice Core.(Present is on the right)
    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_cHhMa7ARDDg/SsVwd55PJ8I/AAAAAAAABKY/52SrhXN4C3c/s1600-h/Vostok-10Kd.jpg
    Here is the Greenland Ice Core graph for 10,500 years (present is on the left)
    Notice we are NOT warmer that the rest of the time period (Holocene) and that a +/-0.8°C swing in temperature is not abnormal compared to the 1-3° C swings seen in both graphs.
    Now take a look at the longer term Vostok Ice Core graph covering four Ice Ages. Notice we are not any warmer than any other interglacial AND we are running out of time!
    http://cdiac.ornl.gov/trends/temp/vostok/graphics/tempplot5.gif
    An up close up and personal look at the four interglacials, superimposing all four and aligning them on peak temperature(start), shows only the Eemain interglacial has lasted longer than the Holocene and that is due to a 3000 year stop at little ice age conditions before continuing the slide into another Ice Age. (the graph is copyrighted)
    If CO2 is keeping the earth from sliding into a major Ice Age than what the heck are we doing imposing Cap and Trade? If CO2 has only a minor effect on temperature than what are we doing to prepare for the next Ice Age that will soon be upon us?
    Ignoring what the geological record shows; short interglacials and long ice ages alternating like clock work is suicide. But the threat of a coming Ice Age was well known in the seventies so one is lead to wonder if the worlds wealthy who meet each year have decided to save themselves and their families and sacrifice the rest of us.
    1974 CIA document

  41. mrpkw says: “How do humans survive migrating from NY to FL every year?”
    Easy, but how do they survive migrating BACK?

  42. Jan says: “0.6°C more is in the system without any additional CO2.”
    Prove it. (Is this the famous “hidden heat” that warmists claim to have up their sleeves? This is just more evidence that climatophrenologists are making this stuff up as they go.)

  43. Pat Moffitt
    August 5, 2010 at 8:24 am
    Listed Temp range for Gasterosteus aculeatus: 4°C – 20°C! It is found in almost all coastal waters of the Northern Hemisphere, including the Arctic Ocean and the Sea of Cortez. A lot of fish do just fine 2.5°C outside their normal range. Many so called tropical fish really come from rather cool habitats (18°C-20 °C) but are kept in Aquaria at 25°C.

  44. DesertYote- Thanks for the info. Still don’t know what this is telling us. For most fish low temperature or winter kill– has more to do with the condition of the fish going into the winter period, winter habitat availability, predation and food supply than it does with cold water temperatures.

  45. I remember seeing a TV program on environmental health where an inspector told of rats living in ships deep freezers at minus 30oC, they had fur over a foot long! They ate the frozen food quite happily. It cannot have taken them long to adapt or they would have frozen themselves.

  46. Well, I guess there it is but natural that every living creature has the capability of evolving in many ways due to many factors which include combining of genes of various species through breeding process…

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