Climate Science 'jumps the shark' – Sharks hunting ability 'destroyed' due to higher CO2

From the ‘Carbon Dioxide, is there anything it can’t destroy?’ department and the University of Adelaide’s department of science fiction, comes this laughable press release. Let’s see, sharks have been around for about 450 million years, and in that time the planet has been significantly warmer than today, and has had far higher CO2 levels than today during that time. Somehow, sharks managed to cope with that. And of course, this isn’t an in situ study of sharks hunting ability, noooo, it’s sharks in a tank with prey thrown in while these clowns jacked around with CO2 levels in the water. Studies in captivity are NOT the same as the ocean. Just ask any salt water aquarium owner how difficult it is to keep specimens healthy under even the best aquarium management practice. Even worse, they only studied one kind of shark, yet extrapolate that to all sharks in the headline of the press release. In my opinion, this study would get laughed out of any grade school science fair, but somehow it gets a pass in peer review.

FindingNemo65[1]
Image from “Finding Nemo”, courtesy Walt Disney Pictures

Sharks’ hunting ability destroyed under climate change

The hunting ability and growth of sharks will be dramatically impacted by increased CO2 levels and warmer oceans expected by the end of the century, a University of Adelaide study has found.

Published today in the journal Scientific Reports, marine ecologists from the University of Adelaide’s Environment Institute report long-term experiments that show warmer waters and ocean acidification will have major detrimental effects on sharks’ ability to meet their energy demands, with the effects likely to cascade through entire ecosystems.

The laboratory experiments, studying Port Jackson sharks and including large tanks with natural habitat and prey, found embryonic development was faster under elevated temperatures. But the combination of warmer water and high CO2 increased the sharks’ energy requirement, reduced metabolic efficiency and removed their ability to locate food through olfaction (smelling). These effects led to marked reductions in growth rates of sharks.

“In warmer water, sharks are hungrier but with increased CO2 they won’t be able to find their food,” says study leader Associate Professor Ivan Nagelkerken, Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellow.

“With a reduced ability to hunt, sharks will no longer be able to exert the same top-down control over the marine food webs, which is essential for maintaining healthy ocean ecosystems.”

PhD student Jennifer Pistevos, who carried out the study, says the Port Jackson is a bottom-feeding shark that primarily relies on its ability to smell to find food. Under higher CO2, the sharks took a much longer time to find their food, or didn’t even bother trying, resulting in considerably smaller sharks.

Most research studying the effects of ocean acidification and climate change on fish behaviour has concentrated on small fish prey. Long-term studies on the behaviour and physiology of large, long-lived predators are largely lacking.

Fellow University of Adelaide marine ecologist Professor Sean Connell says the results of the study provide strong support for the call to prevent global overfishing of sharks.

“One-third of shark and ray species are already threatened worldwide because of overfishing,” Professor Connell says. “Climate change and ocean acidification are going to add another layer of stress and accelerate those extinction rates.”

###

UPDATE: As is typical of alarmist science that goes for headlines, they didn’t include a title for the paper, a DOI, or a link to the paper. I’ve dug it up and that information is below.

Ocean acidification and global warming impair shark hunting behaviour and growth

  • Jennifer C. A. Pistevos , Ivan Nagelkerken , Tullio Rossi , Maxime Olmos & Sean D. Connell

Abstract:

Alterations in predation pressure can have large effects on trophically-structured systems. Modification of predator behaviour via ocean warming has been assessed by laboratory experimentation and metabolic theory. However, the influence of ocean acidification with ocean warming remains largely unexplored for mesopredators, including experimental assessments that incorporate key components of the assemblages in which animals naturally live. We employ a combination of long-term laboratory and mesocosm experiments containing natural prey and habitat to assess how warming and acidification affect the development, growth, and hunting behaviour in sharks. Although embryonic development was faster due to temperature, elevated temperature and CO2 had detrimental effects on sharks by not only increasing energetic demands, but also by decreasing metabolic efficiency and reducing their ability to locate food through olfaction. The combination of these effects led to considerable reductions in growth rates of sharks held in natural mesocosms with elevated CO2, either alone or in combination with higher temperature. Our results suggest a more complex reality for predators, where ocean acidification reduces their ability to effectively hunt and exert strong top-down control over food webs.

The paper is open source here: http://www.nature.com/articles/srep16293

The Supplementary info is here: http://www.nature.com/article-assets/npg/srep/2015/151112/srep16293/extref/srep16293-s1.doc

Update 2: Based on table S2 of the SI, it seems they only tested for 400ppm and 1000ppm, no mention if they somehow increased that gradually [to mimic the natural rate of change over years]. The point is that at our current growth rate of CO2 in the atmosphere at ~2ppm it will take approximately 300 years for our atmosphere to reach that level. Just throwing sharks in a 1000ppm tank (even given a week) isn’t anywhere close to simulating that, and removes all natural evolutionary and adaptation processes from the experiment.

Update 3: I wonder how the media will reconcile the “destroyed” hunting ability of sharks with the claims that global warming caused shark attacks this past summer? Inquiring minds want to know.

Update4: David Hoffer writes in comments about what he found in the paper:

…you have to hunt through to finally find this snippet:

The eggs were left to acclimatize over a period of seven days where temperature was steadily increased by 1 °C to the elevated temperature treatment. The eggs were kept in either control (~400 μatm) or elevated CO2 (~1000 μatm)16,58 crossed with control (~16 °C) or elevated temperature (~19 °C)

So:

They applied a change of +3 deg C over a period of days

The applied a change from 400 uatm CO2 to 1000 uatm CO2 over a period of days

Sure, let’s cram a century of change into one week and see what happens! It gets worse:

In addition, the whole experiment was only 68 days long. 68 days! They extrapolated results by weighing the sharks at 62 days and 68 days. Yes, a whole 6 days!

When they moved the sharks from the small hatching tanks to the larger environment, the elevated temp/co2 sharks were fed DOUBLE the control group for the first little while, and then their feeding was REDUCED for the later part of the experiment to match that of the control group. Why? And how would that affect the results at the end of the experiment?

I can’t even work up the energy to come up with an acerbic sarcastic remark.

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ShrNfr
November 12, 2015 9:58 am

I am sharked, sharked I tell you.

Bob
Reply to  ShrNfr
November 12, 2015 12:07 pm

Good one, ShrNfr.

mike
Reply to  ShrNfr
November 12, 2015 1:25 pm

“I’m sharked…”
A modest proposal: Us “good” guys have finally been “gifted” (see relevant commentary attached to other posts, below) with a metaphor comparable to the Hive-Bozo’s only, gotta-give-’em-credit, whatever-it-takes, agit-prop success–namely, that whole “denier”, weaponized-adjective, Adolph-what’s-his-name-again?-subliminal-gotcha!, stick-it-to-the-overly-curious-Gruber-proof-rubes uber-meme, which once had an undeniable, bully-boy/mean-girl, real “sting”, but which has since been attenuated to a “there-go-the-good-comrades-again!” irrelevancy by over-use.
So let’s quit with the “jumpin’ the shark”, or similar figures-of-speech, already!. Rather, let’s go for the lefty-puke, Hive-Bozo’s jugular, from now on! You know, like, henceforth whenever the hive tries to fire-off one of its agit-prop, “it’s-worse-than-we-thought”, paid-troll, hive-flunky PR-boogers, let us altruistic lovers of Liberty and ethical science all fire-back with a “once again, the hive-tools pull a ‘poop swastika’ out of their collective, privileged-white-butt, mummy-coddled, ‘thermorrhoid’ ass!”
In other words, you know, keep it real, and everything!

george e. smith
Reply to  ShrNfr
November 12, 2015 2:37 pm

Well notice that it is only the big sharks that die out. Maybe they died out from eating all of the available food.
Gluttony gets you extinct.
g

afonzarelli
Reply to  ShrNfr
November 12, 2015 5:41 pm

AAAAAAAAAAY!!!

Mickey Reno
Reply to  ShrNfr
November 12, 2015 7:21 pm

You know, people got all worried about Sharknados, but what about the REAL threat? Yes, I’m talking about Sharkicanes. Imagine a Sharknado 150 miles across? The horror. Hopefully, models will correctly predict where the Sharkicanes will make landfall.

Eugene WR Gallun
Reply to  ShrNfr
November 13, 2015 8:01 am

ShrNfr — laughing out loud — Eugene WR Gallun

Dodgy Geezer
November 12, 2015 9:58 am

Stressing sharks should cut their numbers.
That’s good, right?

Brad
November 12, 2015 10:04 am

“combination of warmer water and high CO2” AND! Hooray for multivariate studies.

November 12, 2015 10:06 am

The warmer the sea gets, the less C02 it can contain.

Reply to  Dan Albert Koehl
November 12, 2015 10:14 am

DA Koehl,
That’s one of the central issues in ‘climate science’. Does global warming result from a rise in CO2, or does global warming cause CO2 to outgas from the oceans?
The only empirical evidence we have shows that ∆CO2 follows ∆ T.
In other words, the causation is that ∆T is primary the cause of ∆CO2:comment image
This same cause and effect is found at all time scales, from years (above) to hundreds of thousands of years:comment image
(click in charts to embiggen)

Knute
Reply to  dbstealey
November 12, 2015 3:51 pm

Thanks DB
Long ago, a collegue pointed this out to me and it made me go hmmmm.
I still like the warmer during Roman and Minoan civilization chart for instant awareness, but this brings back older memories. Kind of like a first date feeling.
This doesnt fit on tshirt quite as well as the other.
Both good.
Need to figure out how to work it into the top ten though.

Rascal
Reply to  dbstealey
November 12, 2015 8:32 pm

Not to knock your charts and graphs, but have you ever opened a bottle of soda (carbon dioxide, water, and syrup) on a hot day?
Teachable moment.

Knute
Reply to  Rascal
November 12, 2015 8:45 pm
benofhouston
Reply to  Dan Albert Koehl
November 12, 2015 2:09 pm

No, Henry’s law is the governing principle here. The increase in atmospheric CO2 dominates the relatively small change in absorbancy due to temperature change. Remember, it’s a very small change in temperature (1C) versus a doubling of CO2 concentration in the air.
Besides, one thing they did do right is change both the atmosphere and temperature and not try to directly control the CO2 level of the water. The CO2 level of the water will fall as it will given those conditions.

Reply to  Dan Albert Koehl
November 12, 2015 7:03 pm

Also the less O2 and every other gas it can hold, so we are all going to die.

PaulE
November 12, 2015 10:08 am

The Port Jackson shark is a protected species, far from being a commercial catch.
What a ridiculous “study”, a waste of peoples intelligence to be directed by the Universities to spend their time studying the absurd.

MarloweJ
Reply to  PaulE
November 12, 2015 12:17 pm

The apex predator of the petting pool! (sarc)

Mick In The Hills
Reply to  PaulE
November 12, 2015 1:26 pm

Well the Port Jackson shark IS a bottom-feeder, so these ‘researchers” would obviously feel some affinity with it.

Menicholas
Reply to  PaulE
November 12, 2015 4:19 pm

“What a ridiculous “study”, a waste of peoples intelligence to be directed by the Universities to spend their time studying the absurd.”
Translation: She has a bright future in government sponsored climate change research.

Tom Harley
Reply to  PaulE
November 12, 2015 5:00 pm

They are also a common resident of aquariums and oceanariums, where there is little to resemble their ecologocal niche around inshore reefs. Perhaps they studied their own fish tanks in the lab. Incidentally, wasn’t this the latest University to reject research by Dr Lomborg?

November 12, 2015 10:10 am

Is there a link to the paper?
This write up doesn’t mention what the actual temperature differences, CO2 differences were, or how fast they were changed.

Reply to  Anthony Watts
November 12, 2015 10:18 am
Reply to  Anthony Watts
November 12, 2015 10:45 am

See update 2 above, I found it as well as the SI, and the SI has the “tell” of why this is laughably bad science.
Ha, you posted while I was writing up my read of it below. They actually started out with eggs, and raised the temp/CO2 over a period of a week (I think). So centuries of change compressed into a week. Then the experiment was only 68 days long. But my biggest objection is to the way they fed the sharks after they moved them from the small hatching tanks to the larger environment. The elevated temp sharks were fed MORE initially, and then the food was reduced to the same as what the control group got. So, the prefattened sharks suddenly get their food supply reduced, and the immediate result at the tail end of the experiment (a whole 68 days!) is that they don’t do as well. Huh. Who would have figured?

Ged
Reply to  Anthony Watts
November 12, 2015 11:34 am

@davidmhoffer
That last part about feeding is the smoking gun. It’s a fundamental flaw in this study that undermines all its results, and should be the main objection to it, I feel. Sharks used to feeding with double the prey density are not going to be as good of hunters (no need, and there will be a lot stronger smell signal to acclimate to) than sharks who have grown up with scarcer prey (weaker amount of smells around, necessitating increased acuity). Being pre-fattened also reduces the need to eat for while. And, having prey supply suddenly cut in half will put stress on the animal.
Could very well be that the temperature and CO2 did absolutely nothing, and all the effects seen in the paper were due to the change in feeding at the very end of the study–on top of that end of study measurement window being laughably short.
Most likely, their high temp/high CO2 sharks adapted and acclimated after the 6 days and their results disappeared!

Reply to  Anthony Watts
November 12, 2015 1:12 pm

Equally important is what they were feeding. These sharks eat sea urchins, mussels, and clams. Specially adapted mouth. They were fed previously frozen shrimp. See my comment below.

benofhouston
Reply to  Anthony Watts
November 12, 2015 2:15 pm

How does a PHD candidate mess up elementary level experiment controls by changing up the feeding of the two groups? My daughter knew better as a Kindergardener mixing glue and Borax!
It’s either rank incompetence or deliberate malfeance. Changing the feeding is so integral to the findings of the study that it invalidates the whole thing.
This shouldn’t have gotten off her professor’s desk, much less made it through peer reivew. What was Nature thinking accepting this?

george e. smith
Reply to  Anthony Watts
November 12, 2015 2:50 pm

“”””…..
benofhouston
November 12, 2015 at 2:15 pm
How does a PHD candidate mess up elementary level experiment controls by changing up the feeding of the two groups? …..”””””
Well she is now the world’s leading expert on the birthing and raising of Port Jackson sharks.
Actually, she is the only person on the planet, with any economic interest in Port Jackson sharks. So she is not angling for a paying job. She wants to join the 65% of all US PhD Physics graduates, who NEVER get a job in their area of expertise, and become post doc fellows at some moneyed institute or other. There the may sucker in other nincompoops to study something else, that nobody is interested in.
g

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  Anthony Watts
November 12, 2015 3:02 pm

It is anti-science.
The baleful influence of corrupt and corrupting “consensus climate science”.

Mike the Morlock
November 12, 2015 10:16 am

I love the picture.

Monna Manhas
Reply to  Mike the Morlock
November 12, 2015 10:25 am

From “Finding Nemo,” if I’m not mistaken. The big guy in the middle is Bruce.

Monna Manhas
Reply to  Monna Manhas
November 12, 2015 10:26 am

Oops, just saw the caption under the picture ….

TRM
Reply to  Monna Manhas
November 12, 2015 12:27 pm

“I am a nice shark, not a mindless eating machine. If I am to change this image, I must first change myself. Fish are friends, not food.”
Just don’t get a nose bleed around him. 🙂

Douglas
Reply to  Mike the Morlock
November 12, 2015 11:40 am

me 2!

Cam_S
November 12, 2015 10:18 am

I imagine the next sequel to “Sharknado” will involve teeny weeny sharks.

Alan Robertson
November 12, 2015 10:20 am

‘Carbon Dioxide, is there anything it can’t destroy?’
——-
It’s destroying lawn mowers, due to all that grass growing extra- fast.

carbon bigfoot
Reply to  Alan Robertson
November 12, 2015 1:17 pm

Has anyone updated the list of CAGW-CO2 casualties?

Mark from the Midwest
November 12, 2015 10:23 am

The Port Jackson Shark is a bottom feeder, which means that it grazes, like a cow. Further, if you’re dealing with bottom feeders can you imagine the difficulty in maintaining a bottom that lends itself to the “all other things being equal” condition that this sort of research requires?
I’m very sure that these people are too dense to to even begin to know what they don’t know.

Paul
Reply to  Mark from the Midwest
November 12, 2015 11:39 am

The less you know, the easier it seems.

John W. Garrett
November 12, 2015 10:30 am

If I had to write that stuff in order to make a living, I’d think I’d prefer to shoot myself.

Bob
Reply to  John W. Garrett
November 12, 2015 12:10 pm

John: I think that depends on what your alternative ways of making a living. It is amazing what some government body will pay for garbage done by graduate students. It’s kinda like John Cook’s 97% consensus study that was neither study, nor scholarship, and written by a bunch of graduate psychology students.

Bubba Cow
Reply to  Bob
November 12, 2015 12:42 pm

just imagine how much worse this can get with free college tuition (compliments of us)

albertalad
November 12, 2015 10:32 am

Just in time – Justin Trudeau, Canada’s eastern elected Prime Minister – he will save the sharks. Justin, with the same brain power as a shark, understands sharks. After all Justin’s “experience” to be elected as PM was rafting which he claims happened on water – his other job was drama teacher – now, who better to save the sharks?

Reply to  albertalad
November 12, 2015 10:43 am

Apparently he was also worked as a bouncer at a bar for a while…

Marcus
Reply to  Jeff in Calgary
November 12, 2015 11:06 am

Must have been a gay bar !!

November 12, 2015 10:33 am

If you work the numbers on IPCC AR5 Figure 6.1 you will discover that anthro C is partitioned 57/43 between natural sequestration and atmospheric retention. (555 – 240 = 315 PgC & 240/555) IMO this arbitrary partition was “assumed” in order to “prove” (i.e. make the numbers work) that anthro C was solely/90% responsible for the 112 ppmv atmos CO2 increase between 1750 – 2011. C is not CO2.
PgC * 3.67 = PgCO2 * 0.1291 = ppmv atmospheric CO2
IPCC AR5 Figure 6.1
……………………………….PgC/y……ppmv/y
FF & Land Use Source…….8.9……….4.22
Ocean & Land Sink…………4.9……… 2.32
Net Source.……………….….4.0……….1.90
If the anthro 8.9 Pg C/y (4.2 ppmv CO2/y) suddenly vanishes the natural cycle that remains would be a constant sink of 2.3 ppmv CO2/y. Reverse extrapolation (GCMs & RCPs apply forward extrapolation) calculates that 121 years in the past (278 ppmv CO2/2.3 ppmv CO2) or the year 1629 (1750-121) atmos CO2 would have been 0, zero, nadda, zip, nowhere to be found.
Oh, what a tangled web we weave!
The 8.9 Pg of anthro C simply vanishes in earth’s 45,000 plus Pg C cauldron of stores and fluxes. Mankind’s egoistic, egocentric, conceit means less than nothing to the earth, the solar system and the universe.

R. Shearer
November 12, 2015 10:34 am

“However, warming will not occur in isolation, but in combination with ocean acidification which is predicted to decrease ocean pH by 0.3–04 units by the end of the century16,20.”

AndyG55
Reply to  R. Shearer
November 12, 2015 11:06 am
Ben
Reply to  AndyG55
November 12, 2015 3:00 pm

Anthony – Please consider doing a separate report on the study posted by AndyG55.
It states that Growing Corals Bathe Themselves in Acid from CO2, without suffering damage.
It states that healthy corals are thriving in the Acidic environment and that separate studies with CO2 added to boxes with corals did not harm the corals.

November 12, 2015 10:37 am

So…. here is the link to the paper:
http://www.nature.com/articles/srep16293
Which you have to hunt through to finally find this snippet:
The eggs were left to acclimatize over a period of seven days where temperature was steadily increased by 1 °C to the elevated temperature treatment. The eggs were kept in either control (~400 μatm) or elevated CO2 (~1000 μatm)16,58 crossed with control (~16 °C) or elevated temperature (~19 °C)
So:
They applied a change of +3 deg C over a period of days
The applied a change from 400 uatm CO2 to 1000 uatm CO2 over a period of days
Sure, let’s cram a century of change into one week and see what happens! It gets worse:
In addition, the whole experiment was only 68 days long. 68 days! They extrapolated results by weighing the sharks at 62 days and 68 days. Yes, a whole 6 days!
When they moved the sharks from the small hatching tanks to the larger environment, the elevated temp/co2 sharks were fed DOUBLE the control group for the first little while, and then their feeding was REDUCED for the later part of the experiment to match that of the control group. Why? And how would that affect the results at the end of the experiment?
I can’t even work up the energy to come up with an acerbic sarcastic remark.

Reply to  davidmhoffer
November 12, 2015 10:47 am

Obviously over feeding the elevated temp/co2 sharks before the initial weigh in is creating bias. If this was not intentional, these guys are some of the most incompetent people on earth.

Reply to  davidmhoffer
November 12, 2015 10:56 am

These people sound like modern day alchemists. This is the result we want, we make the “science” up as we go along, lo and behold the result we expected,
The universities and the taxpayer pay real money for the equivalent of fool’s gold.

Ben Palmer
Reply to  davidmhoffer
November 13, 2015 1:05 am

“applied a change from 400 uatm CO2 to 1000 uatm CO2 over a period of days”
Note: that’s atmospheric concentration, isn’t it? I’m not sure this increases the concentration in water that has increasing temperature at the same time.

Editor
November 12, 2015 10:47 am

If I didn’t already know that there was a meeting of clowns in Paris later this month, I could have worked it out by now. The idiotic “science” is being spewed forth a great deal more than usual.
This is yet another one I can add to my ever increasing list of unlikely side effects that those of us in a prospering First World should be ashamed of. I am surprised they haven’t invited the sharks to comment. Oh I forgot they already have!.

RH
November 12, 2015 10:53 am

The sharks were either going lose the ability to feed, and then they all die. Or they would be super charged and over feed, causing a collapse of the food chain, then they would all die. No matter what, the conclusion of the study was predetermined: Sharks are doomed because of increased CO2 caused by man.

Gary
November 12, 2015 10:56 am

So increasing CO2 will decrease the likelihood of Sharknadoes. Finally, CO2 is good for something.

Ian G
November 12, 2015 10:56 am

Judging by the increase in shark attacks around eastern Australia these past 12 months, I would conclude that this study fails on all counts.

Reply to  Ian G
November 12, 2015 3:31 pm

They certainly seem to be able to hunt surfers.

Gloateus Maximus
November 12, 2015 10:58 am

How did sharks survive the plummeting CO2 levels from their origin in the Ordovician Period (thousands of parts per million) down to near today’s levels in the Carboniferous?
Yet they thrived during this order of magnitude drop, radiating extensively during the Silurian and Devonian Periods.
The real question is how they managed to survive such drastic changes in oxygen and carbon dioxide levels.

H.R.
Reply to  Gloateus Maximus
November 12, 2015 12:17 pm

G. Max wrote

The real question is how they managed to survive such drastic changes in oxygen and carbon dioxide levels.

All the sharks used SCUBA gear until the good times came roaring back. Where do you think Cousteau got the idea in the first place? Don’t those researchers know anything?
(Of course this is all true. You just read it on the internet, didn’t you? Oh, be sure to forward this to ten friends so nothing bad will happen to them.)

1saveenergy
Reply to  H.R.
November 12, 2015 2:13 pm

But I’m a skeptic, I haven’t got ten friends
Can I NOT send to ten alarmists, so bad things WILL happen to them

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  H.R.
November 12, 2015 3:41 pm

We have the sharks to thank for many good things, mostly involving their skin and fins. And maybe their immune systems. But surfers and ship sinking survivors might well wish them all gone the way of their contemporaries, the Class Placodermi, armored fish of the Late Silurian to Late Devonian.
Any group of animals which could survive so much catastrophic climate change, orders of magnitude more drastic than the worst case scenarios imagined by “climate scientists” (except the perfervid imagination of Jim “Venus Express” Hansen), in both fresh and salt water environments, must be doing something right.

Oldseadog
November 12, 2015 11:01 am

So far as I can tell they seem to include reported behaviour of other types of shark.
However, having tried to read the whole paper I am now going to lie down in a dimmed room with a glass of amber liquid and try to forget all the split infinatives.

Marcus
November 12, 2015 11:11 am

I think my I.Q. went down 10% just from reading their dribble….and I really can’t afford to lose much !!!!!

Gloateus Maximus
November 12, 2015 11:22 am

Taxpayers should demand back their money which has been squandered on so much idiotic “research” like this.

Lewis P Buckingham
November 12, 2015 11:24 am

Poor Sharks.
What a thing to do to them.

Lewis P Buckingham
Reply to  Lewis P Buckingham
November 12, 2015 12:14 pm

Just to inject a little observation into this discussion.
The warming of the Eastern Current of Australia and the subsequent boom in fish stocks has brought sharks into prime littoral swimming beaches.
As pointed out above sharks are the ultimate sea survivors. Recent observational change only confirms this with more sightings and attacks.
http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2015/11/11/ballina-shark-attack-shocks-surfing-community
This study confines itself to one harmless migratory species.
The Port Jackson migrates some 800 km in its normal breeding giving it the scope and resilience to adapt to different sea floor conditions.
Despite it being morphologically a living fossil, 300 million years old, it still undergoes molecular evolution.
https://www.blackwellpublishing.com/ridley/tutorials/Molecular_evolution_and_neutral_theory24.asp
Which leads to the conclusion that it is adaptive over geological time frames, not tested in the tank model at Adelaide Uni.
As such it may morphologically outlive Man, our species having evolved through fish like ancestors, reflected in our own personal embryological development.
We need not fear for the shark.
There has been some mention here of a bad design in this experiment.
We in Australia cannot afford to spend money on and publish poorly designed scientific work.
In veterinary physiology if you suddenly change the environment of an animal it will immediately compensate and adapt to survive.
Such short term responses cannot be extrapolated to the thousand year time frame implicit in the CO2 global changes predicted by the IPCC.
The temperature range, Ph and CO2 concentrations of water that these sharks experience in their migration and over geological time must encompass what they may adapt to with the projected CO2 concentrations of the atmosphere.
They may even outlive us.

Mike the Morlock
Reply to  Lewis P Buckingham
November 12, 2015 12:50 pm

Lewis P Buckingham
The sad thing here is that as Grad-students this is really where they get to practice & learn how to do research. Its where they get to make mistakes. And even publish a paper that is full of errors. You need to make mistakes so you can learn, also you need to be given a “pass” now and then to gain “some self confidence”. The shame is that work like this is put out on the internet as if it was the last word on the subject.
I remember from my university years of some papers I wrote that I am thankful will never see the light of day again!
What these folks have written here is going to follow them the rest of their careers.
They have been shackled with the worst of academic advisers I fear
michael

Rascal
Reply to  Lewis P Buckingham
November 12, 2015 8:56 pm

Ah, let ’em loose on the researchers, preferably at feeding time.

November 12, 2015 11:34 am

The other fish will be happy to hear this!

Gloateus Maximus
November 12, 2015 11:35 am

Will higher CO2 also make people less aggressive?
The gas could be weaponized!

David Wells
November 12, 2015 11:36 am

We need to keep this information from Taiwan otherwise they will really get serious about China’s obsession with sharks fin soup and rip off every fin in sight.

MCourtney
November 12, 2015 11:40 am

You know, if you want to get published, this is a good approach.
Doing meaningful research is hard. And it might get a dull result – as if you knew the result beforehand it wouldn’t need researching.
But doing laughably bad research guarantees exciting outcomes.
This is market led science.

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  MCourtney
November 12, 2015 12:02 pm

Well said.
When governments make a market for products they want, unfortunately, taxpayers get what we pay for, in this case dreck, as is usual with climate anti-science.

Dawtgtomis
November 12, 2015 11:55 am

Seems a few brains are addled in Adelaide.

Resourceguy
November 12, 2015 11:56 am

The clock is ticking on the deadline to get in your crazy creds headlines and articles before Paris. Afterwards they will be in the dead news fatigue zone.

David C, Greene
November 12, 2015 11:58 am

Any move to call for a retraction?

Zeke
November 12, 2015 12:02 pm

Hint: a five star vote is appropriate, since AW wrote the introduction and pointed out the fact that these sharks are studied in captivity and in a very short time frame. It is bad shark science.

Zeke
Reply to  Zeke
November 12, 2015 12:09 pm

The finest shark coprolite specimen I ever found was in Illinois. I’ll bet they don’t make them like they used to.

Chris Hanley
November 12, 2015 12:02 pm

The paper is a product of the University of Adelaide Environment Institute lead amongst others by Professor Corey Bradshaw (bottom) …
http://quadrant.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/corey-bradshaw.jpg
… who was one of the most vociferous critics of Bjorn Lomborg getting a gig at the University of Western Australia because his academic record was inadequate.

TonyL
Reply to  Chris Hanley
November 12, 2015 12:40 pm

Whenever I see a man(?) with ring type earrings or anyone (anything?) with a nose ring, I get this terrible urge to snap on a dog leash and start yanking.

george e. smith
Reply to  TonyL
November 12, 2015 3:00 pm

All the best pirates wore ring ear rings. I like the African rings around the neck, neck stretching rings myself. Specially when made out of copper or gold.
g

Rascal
Reply to  TonyL
November 12, 2015 9:01 pm

Good thing I’m reading this at night before going to sleep, and not in the morning with a mouthful of coffee.

RWturner
Reply to  Chris Hanley
November 12, 2015 2:04 pm

I know this “research” is bad but it’s actually quite impressive for a frog.

Reply to  Chris Hanley
November 15, 2015 6:57 am

And now you know why we have had a glut of totally unneeded second-rate PhDs.

Knute
Reply to  R2Dtoo
November 15, 2015 9:46 am

The glut of PhDs is definitely a problem.
Reminds me a little of the implosion of the 70s when many professionals had to drive cabs.

dp
November 12, 2015 12:06 pm

Because the natural increase in CO2 will continue even if we halted all human-generated CO2 sharks will face this fate anyway and nothing can prevent it. Nature is not partial to living things – get over it. The chemistry of the ocean is a complete accident and always has been. It changes constantly and is entirely inconsistent regionally. But no matter where you find an ocean or a salt sea or a lake or a hot spring or a subglacial pond you will find life. Life has been dealing with Nature’s chaos for a very long time and there is no evidence that once it started, Earth was ever again without living things. The living things of our time are in no way special or immune to Nature’s moods.

higley7
November 12, 2015 12:07 pm

I fail to see any way that this study says anything about overfishing of sharks! To jump to that from this study is a break in logic.

george e. smith
Reply to  higley7
November 12, 2015 3:01 pm

Well since it is protected species, then any messing with it would count as overfishing.
g

H. D. Hoese
Reply to  higley7
November 12, 2015 8:32 pm

Exactly! As one who has briefly studied shark attacks, I am an expert on shark olfactory gases. Unfortunately, marine ecology is full of such papers, usually blaming a human cause without connection. These can be found at all levels and journals, even some written by the well trained and experienced.

Knute
Reply to  H. D. Hoese
November 12, 2015 8:53 pm

I suck at trivia but since I’ve had my run ins with the mighty sea dwellers, I learned about this awhile back.
Useless information but I felt smart for about a 5 seconds.
http://www.csmonitor.com/Technology/Tech-Culture/2012/0815/Julia-Child-s-first-recipe-shark-repellent

higley7
November 12, 2015 12:09 pm

And, I just realized that the CO2 was raised very rapidly on these sharks. In the natural world such CO2 concentrations would take many years to achieve and allow lots of time for any needed adaptation.

Gloateus Maximus
November 12, 2015 12:18 pm

Can the Australian Society for the Protection of Animals be alerted to this egregious instance of blatant shark abuse?

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  Gloateus Maximus
November 12, 2015 1:19 pm

Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is what I meant, as the American Society is called, ie the ASPCA.

Aussiebear
Reply to  Gloateus Maximus
November 12, 2015 2:01 pm

Here in Australia it would the RSPCA, Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Rud Istvan
November 12, 2015 12:23 pm

I read the paper, the SI (basically the ANOVAs), and several descriptions of this unusual shark species before commenting. The paper is dubious at best.
The water comparisons were 16C (natural today) and 19C. The CO2 comparisons were 400ppm (natural today) and 1000ppm; sufficient to lower the lab tank seawater to below 7.7 (in the SI), which is completely unrealistic because unbuffered. (Correctly calculated including buffering, 800ppm CO2 (2x) will result in pH above 7.9 from 8.1 today (delta negative 0.15-0.18). Essay Shell Games provides the references.
But more interesting is the experiment’s Port Jackson shark. They tested impact on egg hatching, feeding, and growth. Unsurprisingly, warmer water accelerated hatching while CO2 had no effect. The ‘babies’ are about 25cm when hatched. The maximum experimental observation time was 68 days. Lab lab food intake was statistically fine, but growth was below statistically ‘normal’. These sharks grow to about 1.65 meters, and become sexually mature at about 10 years old. So the study says little about how these hatchlings might do over the ten years they grow to maturity in those extreme conditions.
These sharks feed on sea urchins, clams, and mussels. This is proven by their very unusual jaw/teeth structures, and their first stomach. (It can be pushed inside out into the mouth to ‘spit out’ the unwanted shell pieces after the soft food parts are partly digested and moved on). For convenience, the experimental food was previously frozen shrimp! Nothing to do with growth?
These sharks feed almost exclusively at night; they are inactive during daytime, usually ‘hiding’ in rocky places or caves. For convenience, all the feeding was done during the day, including the ‘hunting by smell’ experiments! Hunting for shrimp in daytime nothing to do with the time it takes?
So by using an unnatural food at an unnatural feeding time, the baby sharks were statistically shown to not grow as fast and be sensorily challenged under extreme conditions. Makes common sense. The paper does not.

Bubba Cow
Reply to  Rud Istvan
November 12, 2015 1:00 pm

Wow! I used to teach graduate research methods and designs. I’d give students their over-the-weekend assignment of a particularly flawed piece that we would beat up in class on Monday. Bad research is not the exclusive domain of whatever this field is.
Thank you for saving me from this one. Comments above have folks nearly fainting and requiring liquid sustenance (with a bit of a kick).

Reply to  Bubba Cow
November 12, 2015 1:19 pm

You are welcome. At least I learned about a very unusual shark. Best writeup was Melbourne Aquariums.

mikewaite
Reply to  Rud Istvan
November 12, 2015 1:52 pm

Why did the referees of the article, presumably zoologists themselves, not pick up on the points that seem obvious now that you have highlighted them for those of us who are not biologists.

Reply to  mikewaite
November 12, 2015 2:38 pm

Perhaps because it would not have gotten published. That would have scotched the alarmist PR just before Paris. Cannot have that!
MW, you point out another peer review failure here. Perhaps no ocean biologists were reviewers? For other egregious examples, see my essays By Land or by Sea, Shell Games, and Burning NonScience in my newest ebook. For how IPCC fails to do minimal scientific due diligence, see essay No Bodies.

TonyL
November 12, 2015 12:33 pm

Bottom feeding sharks, huh.
They should be encouraged to repeat the experiment with Great Whites, Hammerheads, or Reefs. If the sloppiness of their methodology were to carry over to their animal handling, we would see them feeding the sharks and losing fingers at the same time.

Mike the Morlock
Reply to  TonyL
November 12, 2015 12:59 pm

TonyL November 12, 2015 at 12:33 pm
Bottom feeding sharks, huh.
VS bottom feeding climate researchers?
(couldn’t resist) :- )
michael

richard
November 12, 2015 12:42 pm

keeping sharks on aquariums-
“Complicating matters, sharks are notorious for spitting out their vitamins and for being “picky eaters.” Therefore, much shark husbandry and care must be focused on meeting the dietary needs of the fish”

richard
November 12, 2015 12:42 pm

in

tango
November 12, 2015 1:07 pm

the sad part is they believe in this fraud and they are taking grants which should be going to much needed research into polution of air, water ,and land

Richard
November 12, 2015 1:21 pm

So…..how did sharks hunt when atmospheric CO2 was ten times higher than today?

kb
November 12, 2015 1:26 pm

“I can’t even work up the energy to come up with an acerbic sarcastic remark.”
CO2 reduces capacity for internet flaming!
Oh, wait, maybe that would be a good thing.
CO2 reduces free speech!

average joe
November 12, 2015 1:31 pm

Federal funding for crap science is WAY out of control! Wait, let me restate that. Federal funding is WAY out of control! How the freedom loving people of the USA ever let their guberment get so out of control is beyond me. We don’t have to take it. Get out there and vote the dam idiot dems out. Make sure everyone you know is on board. What those idiots are doing to this country is a crisis! The globe is on course to become the Soviet UN. The longer this goes on the harder it will be to eventually overcome.

November 12, 2015 1:50 pm

In Australia, the sharks have certainly not been thrown off their game, as in recent months, the number of surfers and swimmers off the coast have suffered weekly attacks by sharks. This is an elevated rate of attack. People are ordering new shark nets for swimming beaches at large cost. Sharks like Warmistas are out of control.

george e. smith
Reply to  ntesdorf
November 12, 2015 3:10 pm

Well if you had Kodiak brown bears in Australia, then you could pitch a tent in the middle of their travel path, and then wait for them to come and eat you, so you could be the first to study brown bears from the inside.
Might work with sharks too since you don’t have brown bears; well it would work with salties too, I guess.
g

benofhouston
November 12, 2015 2:04 pm

They couldn’t smell their prey due to the CO2 in the water, or due to the fact that the “scientists” (and I use the term losely when relating to this paper) kept messing with their tank?
They got a setup that every marine biology undergrad dreams of, huge research areas with the ability to conduct long term research on shraks, and they put out this?
This is equivalent to sending a rocket to the moon just to shoot a Reebok ad.

george e. smith
Reply to  benofhouston
November 12, 2015 3:11 pm

CO2 doesn’t have ANY smell.

Reply to  george e. smith
November 15, 2015 7:08 am

Yes it does- it smells like money!

Evan Jones
Editor
November 12, 2015 3:19 pm

Just ask any salt water aquarium owner how difficult it is to keep specimens healthy under even the best aquarium management practice.
Salt is pure murder. You have to baby and cosset them continually, and even then, you can screw up.
I stuck with fresh. I had quite a few at one point (including a couple of catfish who lived as long as cats). I got a full ammonia-nitrite-nitrate progressions going nicely. (The secret is a thin coat of floss under the gravel using an undergravel filter. The more intense surface area of the floss is a superb medium for desirable bacteria, and the floss will always remain white as a whistle.)
But salt is a major life project if you are going to do it right.

Gentle Tramp
November 12, 2015 3:30 pm

For every educated person it must be quite obvious what Antony wrote above:
“Let’s see, sharks have been around for about 450 million years, and in that time the planet has been significantly warmer than today, and has had far higher CO2 levels than today during that time. Somehow, sharks managed to cope with that.”
Thus, it is unthinkable that any scientific trained person can overlook this simple but irrefutable logic. Consequently we must realize that “scientists” who produce stories like “Evil CO2 will reduce sharks” do deliberately dream up fables in order to produce more propaganda headlines for COP21 in Paris…
Even science journalists of BBC – once a trademark of journalistic honesty – belong to these unfaithful manipulators of the public opinion today, as this similar stupid and related radio report from August 2015 proves:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02yxbtw
(from “Science in Action: Lessons from Katrina”, listen after 14:40 runtime)
Of course, such “noble cause corruption” cheaters have no bad conscience at all because they believe “The end justifies the means”.
I wonder how they will think about their actions, when – in maybe 20 years – it will be clear that they didn’t fight for the good but against life itself, since a sufficient CO2 supply is the very foundation of Life on Earth.

benofhouston
Reply to  Gentle Tramp
November 12, 2015 5:00 pm

Tramp, I’ve seen doctors fall for the “vaccines are worthless” meme, despite the obvious lack of smallpox and polio victims in their wards. Never underestimate the capacity of the self-deluded.

eajohnson
November 12, 2015 4:10 pm

They made the mistake of actually publishing their procedures. Don’t they know they need to keep it secret from those of us who only “want to prove them wrong?”

Merovign
November 12, 2015 4:13 pm

This is just ridiculous. I mean, structurally and scientifically, this is horrifying. I would be humiliated if I had produced something like this. This isn’t even cartoon science. I mean, it’s hard to even catalog how many ways this was done wrong. There isn’t a smoking gun of failure here, there’s an arsenal.
I mean, they even altered the course of the experiment in exactly the way you would if you wanted to create the result they claim. How drunk were the reviewers?

Merovign
November 12, 2015 4:15 pm

I mean, to begin with, if you want to study sea life you would be far better off on a large floating cage in the actual ocean, like that one movie where the sharks ate all the researchers. Deep Blue Sea.

Gunga Din
November 12, 2015 4:31 pm

So….if we open more coal-fired power plants Australia won’t have to cull sharks anymore to keep their beaches safe?

Knute
November 12, 2015 4:47 pm

Ah people
So I like to fish.
I like it so much, I probably have a gene tucked in the coil that says so. A few times a year I get to actually go all native and fish on a deserted beach. I throw on the pack. Hike a few miles. Sometimes run around naked. I hunt for bait. Make bait traps. Watch for changes in sand bars. Cuts, flow, action in the surf. I catch all kinds of things. I marvel at sharks though. They know I’m there wading around looking for bait. I sometimes know when they are there. They are so smart, occasionally, they wait till I catch something and bite it in half.
Once in while I have a big one on the line. I fish with 50 lbs, braided line. He gives me a ride, excites my heart and reduces life to that moment. I rarely get to bring it in as it either snaps the line or spits out the hook.
I went to a party recently and listened to the over 60s ladies circle chat up their desire to start a “save the shark” population at their local beach haunt. Ever since then, I have felt a coming and going of false guilt that I should somehow avoid catching a shark at all cost.
It’s odd how the mind works.
I’ll get over it.
Still, it’s odd how the mind works.

ozspeaksup
Reply to  Knute
November 13, 2015 3:50 am

first over 60 lady to get munched on..I bet they stfu. 😉

November 12, 2015 6:29 pm

“…but the combination of warmer water and high CO2 increased the sharks’ energy requirement, reduced metabolic efficiency and removed their ability to locate food through olfaction (smelling). These effects led to marked reductions in growth rates of sharks…”

What tests did they perform to determine that either or both warmer water and higher CO2;
A) increased the sharks energy requirement
B) reduced their metabolic efficiency
C) removed their olfaction ability.
That last one would be tricky to determine. Running independent water mazes to keep scent trails from being pervasive.
Then these goof balls in Adelaide jump to a lot of silly alarum conclusions.
These are fish, they are discussing! Fish easily migrate to preferred temperature levels.
Plus, a shark’s olfactory sense is not the only sense they use in finding food. Sharks also use electrical impulses and lateral line vibrations to locate food and enemies.
Given the complete lack of objectivity in this research, it is doubtful that the sharks were truly affected by anything beyond aquarium abuse.

Knute
Reply to  ATheoK
November 12, 2015 7:44 pm

affected by anything beyond aquarium abuse
+1

GregK
November 12, 2015 6:42 pm

Elevated temperature of 19C ?
Port Jackson sharks range from northern NSW [average surface sea temperature of about 24C] all around the south coast and extending north to northwestern West Australia [average sea surface temperature of 27C.
http://australianmuseum.net.au/port-jackson-shark-heterodontus-portusjacksoni-meyer-1793
No reports of starving Port Jackson sharks.

Knute
November 12, 2015 8:05 pm

Hmmmm
“Joseph” is over there at Dr Curry’s site trying to bait folks in the same way he did over here a few days ago.
How bizarre.
Doesn’t even change his name.

usurbrain
November 12, 2015 8:09 pm

Is that why there are so many more shark attacks this year than in the past? That would mean that global warming increases shark attacks.

John F. Hultquist
Reply to  usurbrain
November 12, 2015 9:35 pm

I’d bet on either more people in the water or more sharks in the water — or both.
My point is, really, that one would have to rule these 2 issues out of the possibilities before blaming more attacks on anything else where the chain of causation is more indirect.

Patrick
November 12, 2015 11:43 pm

From memory, cold water brings fish north. More fish, more sharks. People in shark prone waters, as in just off Adelaide like South Africa, will likely see more shark attacks. More nonsense from Adelaide, the stupid state.

simple-touriste
November 13, 2015 12:33 am

Whoring much…
I wonder what “prostitution abolitionists” have to say.

knr
November 13, 2015 1:30 am

‘In my opinion, this study would get laughed out of any grade school science fair’
true in any other area
However this climate ‘science’ so of course
‘ it gets a pass in peer review.’
for it achieves the most important thing that any ‘research’ in this area can, climate ‘doom’ supportive headlines .
This is NOT A SCINCE , it therefore does not feel any need to act like one. Think religion or political fanatics and you will start to understand how it works and why they do want they do.

November 13, 2015 3:06 am

This paper is from Australia right!

Dundee: [chuckling] That’s not a shark, [points to a picture of a Bull Shark], now that’s a shark!

Considered by experts as the worlds most dangerous shark. “The Bull shark is a member of the same family as great white sharks, tiger sharks and oceanic white tips. This is the Carcharhinidae family or Requiem sharks and these sharks are responsible for nearly all the unprovoked attacks on humans.”
Surprise surprise, the osmoregulating Bull shark can live in both salt water and fresh, spending its entire life in either if need be. It happily tolerates acidic and alkaline environments with equal glee! 😉
Now that is the kind of shark I’d like to see these dim wits put in a warm tank titrated with carbon dioxide!

Steve
November 13, 2015 5:40 am

“…including large tanks with natural habitat and prey…” so a large tank equates to natural habitat? Also in the wide, wide, deep, deep ocean presumably CO2 will not necessarily be as well-mixed and concentrated as in the tanks?

November 13, 2015 6:40 am

Has Seth Borenstein at AP written about the poor dying shark from ocean acidification and global warming yet?
Maybe he’s busy with other AWG stories.

Steve Fraser
November 14, 2015 9:24 am

Interesting what the paper does not measure…the oxygen content as a function of temperature. Hmmm.
I would expect that the Bass Strait, which is the feeding ground for this particular shark, with an avg depth of 50 meters, would be an enormously productive biomass at higher temps and CO2 levels should they occur. I can see the plant metabolisms hyping up, with the associated release of O2. I think all sorts of sea life would flourish if it happened.
And, to boot, the water pressures were wrong for the feeding phase, the water was moving too fast, and… Too many things wrong with the scenario.
Perhaps we just learned something about shark psychology. Maybe the paper should be titled..
Sharks go on hunger strike to protest flawed methodology in CO2 and Temperature study.

bushbunny
November 15, 2015 8:49 pm

Wot a joker! In Australia shark attacks are increasing. Believe it or not, I heard sharks such as the Great White are well and thriving off the east coast of Oz and South West coasts. And the shark that worries me most are the bull sharks, it can adjust to sea and fresh water. Google sharks invade golf course water traps in Queensland? Good job they can’t get out of the water like crocodiles. They have been responsible for inland attacks in water ways too. Just Google. So CO2 has nothing to do with it. Idiots. Where do they do their research and how much can they learn when a wild animal is captured.

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