Claim: Climate Change is Endangering Crocodiles

Sarcosuchus Imperator, which lived in the much warmer Cretaceous Age, author Arthur Weasley, source Wikimedia.

Artist’s impression of the Gigantic Sarcosuchus Imperator, which lived in the much warmer Cretaceous Period. Artist Arthur Weasley, source Wikimedia.

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

A study by University of Queensland Professor Craig Franklin claims that crocodiles may be endangered by global warming.

According to the Press Release;

Professor Craig Franklin of the UQ School of Biological Sciences said saltwater crocodiles exposed to long-term elevated water temperature spent less time submerged once water temperature exceeded 31.5 degrees Celsius.

“We thought that crocodiles – like many animals – would adjust to temperature changes so life continues,” he said.

“However, we were surprised to find they had little capacity to compensate for water temperature changes and seemed to be hard-wired to operate at certain temperatures.

“We are not sure what this means, but it’s likely that if the water is too hot, crocodiles might move to cooler regions, or will seek refuge in deep, cool water pockets to defend their dive times.”

Read more:

The abstract of the study;

Diving in a warming world: the thermal sensitivity and plasticity of diving performance in juvenile estuarine crocodiles (Crocodylus porous)

Essie M. Rodgers, Jonathon J. Schwartz and Craig E. Franklin*

Air-breathing, diving ectotherms are a crucial component of the biodiversity and functioning of aquatic ecosystems, but these organisms may be particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change on submergence times. Ectothermic dive capacity is thermally sensitive, with dive durations significantly reduced by acute increases in water temperature; it is unclear whether diving performance can acclimate/acclimatize in response to long-term exposure to elevated water temperatures. We assessed the thermal sensitivity and plasticity of ‘fright-dive’ capacity in juvenile estuarine crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus; n = 11). Crocodiles were exposed to one of three long-term thermal treatments, designed to emulate water temperatures under differing climate change scenarios (i.e. current summer, 28°C; ‘moderate’ climate warming, 31.5°C; ‘high’ climate warming, 35°C). Dive trials were conducted in a temperature-controlled tank across a range of water temperatures. Dive durations were independent of thermal acclimation treatment, indicating a lack of thermal acclimation response. Acute increases in water temperature resulted in significantly shorter dive durations, with mean submergence times effectively halving with every 3.5°C increase in water temperature (Q10 0.17, P < 0.001). Maximal dive performances, however, were found to be thermally insensitive across the temperature range of 28–35°C. These results suggest that C. porosus have a limited or non-existent capacity to thermally acclimate sustained ‘fright-dive’ performance. If the findings here are applicable to other air-breathing, diving ectotherms, the functional capacity of these organisms will probably be compromised under climate warming.

Read more:

To their credit Professor Frankly et al put some fairly strong caveats in the body of the study itself, for example;

The deleterious effects of climate change on ectotherms may, however, be counteracted by compensatory responses. Thermal stress can be buffered by both behavioural and physiological strategies. Pockets of thermally favourable habitat can be sought out or shuttled between to maintain body temperature within a preferred thermal range (Seebacher, 2005; Seebacher and Franklin, 2005). Alternatively, long-term changes in thermal regimens (e.g. seasonal shifts in temperatures) can induce physiological changes, where the thermal effects on biochemical processes are blunted (Johnston and Dunn, 1987).

Read more:

I think I’ll go with the caveats on this one. Crocodiles are a survival of a much warmer world – for example, crocodiles were far more prevalent in the Cretaceous Period, which lasted from 145 to 66 million years ago, was on average 4C hotter than today, and had an average CO2 level of 1700ppm, over 4x higher than today. The largest crocodile which ever lived, twice as big as the largest modern species, enjoyed a widespread habitat during this warm period.

In addition, many species of crocodile, such as Australia’s infamous salty, can swim 100s of miles in a month – so they would have no difficulty migrating to more comfortable habitats, if their current habitat ever becomes unsuitable for any reason.

194 thoughts on “Claim: Climate Change is Endangering Crocodiles

  1. Both polar bears and crocodiles will all die…! Oh, the mercy. So will chickadees and roosters because the sun won’t set at night. What else? Oh, children will refuse to do their homework, too.

    • So crocodiles run the risk of getting trampled to death by Zebras or gnus or water buffalo. Seems fair to me.

    • How many crocodiles are found outside the tropics? If warm climates are bad for crocodiles and coral reefs, how come they are almost exclusively found in the tropics? And the closer you get to the equator, the more you find? Both crocodiles and coral polyps are free to travel to any part of the ocean they want. So how come they choose to move to the equator if they don’t like warmth?
      The problem with living in ivory towers is that you lose all common sense. Millions of animals migrate towards the equator each year at great expense in time and energy as winter approaches and temperatures get colder. Yet we are to believe that a few degrees of warming over a hundred year will bring Armageddon.
      In most places on earth, a few degrees warming is called Morning. When it takes place over a longer period of time, it is called Spring.

  2. Crocodiles are going to die out? Then why are the Florida alligators multiplying so rapidly? Are they not very similar animals? (although the “Florida Crocks” football team would sound odd)

    • There are salt water crocks in Florida too…
      documents a 9 footer attack. They call it shy and not usually a problem… but a history display per the Seminol Indians shows them fighting off a 20 foot or so monster with a giant spear manned by a half dozen guys… (coastal park display just north of cape Canaveral). It notes that the really big ones were wiped out by guns and Europeans.
      I suspect “shy” was only due to intense predation and hunting and as populations grow the innate preditor in them will once again be on display. Yeah, Federally protected…
      Takes a while to reach full sized, but “watch this space” for interesting “future news”…

  3. The crocodiles will be forced to migrate to polar regions, and on the way they’ll encounter polar bears escaping from the melting ice. The ensuing crocodile-polar bear fights will make for spectacular viewing on a David Attenbore nature doco.

    • yes and don’t forget the inevitable blooming of crocodile polar bear hybrid when two of the youngsters fall in love… hmmm and the crocobear is born!! BEWARE humanity!! your evil CO2 will result in the dreaded Crocobear!!! not sure if the sarc tag is needed but to be sure /sarc!

    • Come on I watched some green say on cnn when asked about the increase in ice in the Antarctic that we should ask the polar bears how they felt 😭

      • Last night I recorded the Disney produced circa 1958 ” Ice Worlds”, you know, the one that prompted the mass lemming suicides myth. Which is kind of fun for the game of “how enduring can a scientific myth be?” More interesting is the photographic evidence of Walrus haulouts on land and Polar bears being noted for the lengthy swims they had to make to get to the ice were the seas might be (back in 1958) and the commentary sounding as though everybody who knows anything about polar bears knows that whether or not there is nearby ice is not an obstacle to polar bears. 1958 lots of great photography of what the arctic looked like. I even bet there is a ton of archival footage on the cutting room floor. Might be an interesting way to look at animal behavior and the status of the ecosystem 3/4 of a century ago

      • I want a signed copy Dr. Crockford. The very thought of asking a polar bear if I taste just like chicken, sends thrills up and down my spine.

      • Doc Susan, hold the movie rights though. “Pollycrocnato”. I can see a 2 – 3 movie deal in the making.
        Didn’t Willis’ sea temperature studies have an upper limit of around 31C? Something to do with heat of evaporation of free to air water resulting in cooling the rest of the water.

      • George E Smith:
        Dang it, I keep telling you all that humans taste like pig. Known as Long Pig on some pacific islands.

      • DD More
        December 18, 2015 at 10:14 pm
        SSTs were also elevated during the PETM, well above 31 degrees C.

  4. Even if this were true – which frankly is idiocy, because a warmer climate is clearly a benefit – I fail to see how this would even qualifiy as a problem.
    A brief word about crocodiles, particularly salties. These are not like cougars, or bears, or even alligators. Every wildlife expert – even croc-lover (and dead as a door-nail) Steve Irwin – will tell you that the crocodile is the one big predator who, if it’s big enough and you’re available enough, will go for you every single time. I heard one expert say, “you can be around man-eating lions, and they might leave you alone, you can swim around man-eating sharks, and you might be alright. With crocodiles, it’s different. There are rivers where if you try to cross, you just won’t make it.”
    And in Australia, they’ve put them in people’s backyards, almost exclusively due to conservationists who decided that the crocs needed to be protected (the salt-water crocodile is an international species, by the way, and its relatives have dominated the waterways for 200 million years – trust me when I say they will outlast us). Complete protection, by the way – no hunting season at all, left completely to the government to monitor croc population. And so the population exploded. The big boss crocs chased all the little ones (as in ‘10 foot’ little) out into the rivers and creeks… which for the last half-a-century or so, have been middle-class neighborhoods. So now, the little creek where the kids go to swim might have a crocodile in it.
    A little girl was recently profiled as part of a story on the croc problem in Australia. She was ten or twelve, and she and her friends rode their bikes up to the creek – just like any kid would in a modern, well-lit neighborhood on a summer’s day. They jumped in and she was immediately pulled under. Her friends said she popped up once, and had time to cry, ‘help!’ – which means she would have had time to know what was happening to her.
    The police and searchers spent the night looking for her but it wasn’t until the next morning that they discovered the shorts she was wearing. And shortly after, they found signs of what they would only refer to as ‘crocodile activity’. Well, I can tell you what they would have found. The shorts would have come off because the croc would have dismembered her, tearing her legs and arms off with its ‘death roll’. It would have eaten her limbs and probably most of her torso (it would have been one of the ten-footers remember), and what would have likely been left behind would have been her head, which, as I understand it, is the part that is usually found in areas of high croc predation on humans. So that chewed, twisted mess would have been what the cops would have found floating on the riverbank. I don’t know if they had the mother identify the body or not. A single mom – probably voted for the very environmental politicians that put the croc in her back yard. What harm could it do?
    And the conservationists say, well, yeah, we knew they’d fill up the rivers. This was ALL croc territory once. Well, damn, looks like it is again thanks to you guys – and you say you KNEW that would happen, huh? And any good environmentalist would tell you that it’s an acceptable loss.
    Of course, were talking about HUMAN life here, and clearly that’s a low priority to a conservationist of any kind.

      • How is it that a critter who’s been around 200 million years and survived at least one glaciation is about to die out because a degree or two increase in water temperature?
        They might die out, but more likely it just might be their time.

    • Crocs only kill hundreds of people every year. Greens kill thousands annually; millions, if you include banning DDT.

    • Um, people moved en mass to the Arizona desert where my family lived for over 140 years. They then do very stupid things like…swim in the creeks during flood season, for example. Or wander the desert without a long stick with a y shape end to keep rattlers at bay or…not look where they walk with great intensity…on and on…I spent my childhood there pulling people out of washes, giving first aid when they got bit by something, pulling people out of car crashes, etc. etc. etc.
      People are very stupid when in nature unless they are raised to take nature seriously then it is easy getting along with wild critters, the weather, the rivers, whatever. We call this ‘survivalism’ and part of this is also knowing how to fight off critters or kill them even with limited stuff like rocks and sticks.

      • Africans are raised in close association with crocodiles and are regularly predated upon by Nile crocs, in the hundreds if not thousands every year – usually women and children. Australian aborigines have been put in a similar situation. I’m sorry, but you don’t have anything in Arizona’s fauna comparable to crocs.
        By the way, in the Philippines, where they have the largest salties ever recorded, it’s twelve years in prison for killing a croc – so no defending yourself, either.

    • Joel Snider wrote: “Complete protection, by the way – no hunting season at all”
      When I live in Wyoming we had similar problems with apex predators and in response to folks in NY and DC we developed a coded response we called the “SSS” protocol; “Shoot”, “Shovel” and “Shut Up”. As far as I know it’s very effective and still in use today.

      • …only those that didn’t really need them. If you live on the land it’s pretty easy to get permits for conventional rifles

      • Zen, when you’re confronted with an existential threat, it’s really the last time you think about submitting an application to authority for permission to use deadly force against it. 🙂
        But all kidding aside, no one should be in the position of having to ask an uninvolved, unconcerned and potentially politically hostile bureaucrat’s permission to prepare for a reasonable threat of any kind. There is a fundamental human right to defense of one’s personal property and right to continue breathing. Australia is a place I’ve never visited but I have many friends who’ve escaped. It was a prison colony after all so I can’t feel too badly about 10th generation political exiles giving up on it.

      • That’s why those that need them never had to give them up Bartleby!
        If you’re out on the land and and are going anywhere near where these big fellas roam, you’ll have a high powered rifle with you. Loaded. In your hand.
        On a different point I’m generally with you on the ability to defend oneself issue and genuinely believe that once someone commits a crime to enable another (ie. Break and enter in order to rob), they give up all rights to defence by law (ie. Being able to sue the homeowner for being shot/caught in a mantrap/cut themselves in broken glass on top of a wall they had no business trying to climb over, or even on the glass they smashed to get in/injured by ‘insert your preferred method of home defence here’). But this is all way off topic…
        Back ON topic, these beasties are original dinosaurs and are an apex predator that has adapted and survived in the north of what is currently Australia since the Cretaceous. They ain’t gonna be bothered about much at all. In fact the only reason they’re protected now us because they were almost hunted to extinction for their skin/leather and meat. But they’ve bred so well since the protection was imposed that apparently it might be removed soon, with a quota system introduced.

    • If they migrate to cooler areas, they will come south here to Brisbane. Though i hear rumours that they are here already.
      “Protected species” does seem an odd status for a beast that is as big and strong as a small truck, covered in armour plate, and equipped with jaws that can bite you in half.

      • I don’t think crocks bite you in half. They cannot chew, so they swallow chunks whole, which they get by flinging you around and tearing you apart. Those teeth are for holding you while they slap you silly on whatever they are on.

    • “the crocodile is the one big predator who, if it’s big enough and you’re available enough, will go for you every single time.”
      When Steve Irwin was filmed taking his baby son with him when he was feeding a croc, I recall that someone said he was teaching the croc to associate babies with food. Stupid thing to say. Crocs already know that everything is food. When a shark sees a human, it thinks “Can I eat that? I’ll have nibble and see.” A croc just thinks “Ketchup or mayonnaise?”

      • Exactly right! It’s an eating machine wit a brain the size of a thumb! Like a “Terminator” that’s all it does, as well as breed.

  5. ” I think I’ll go with the caveats on this one. Crocodiles are a survival of a much warmer world ”
    Should that be ” SURVIVOR ” ???

  6. “Climate Change” is “endangering” everything. Unless it’s something we really, really don’t like, in which case, “climate change” is their friend.

  7. This is laugh out loud ludicrous.
    The Salty species is at least four million years old, so evolved in the balmy Pliocene, if not earlier.
    It appears to descend from ancestors living along the shores of Gondwanaland in the toastiest part of the steamy Cretaceous, 98 million or more years ago. Tropical water temperature then was a lot hotter than 31.5 degrees C.
    Besides which of course, as noted, they’re highly mobile, so could swim into the subtropical and temperate zones if needed. Besides which further, no way are the oceans going to gain 3.5 degrees C because of another putative one or two CO2 molecules per 10,000 dry air molecules over the next century.

    • Too right it’s laughable!
      The mongrel things are much more likely to swim to warmer areas anyway, than to cooler waters if given a choice. The only reason we have more of them than New Guinea is that they know how to deal with them up there. They’ll only breed in the warmer waters of the north, but they’ll move further south whether or not it gets warmer, not by choice but because population pressure will drive them to new habitats. They’re egg-layers and breed like budgies.
      We won’t see any sensible policies on crocodile reduction until they get to the Brisbane River.
      (I hate crocodiles – extermination would be my preferred management philosophy!)

      • At least budgies breed like budgies, thank God!
        IMO salties would be hard to wipe out, even if governments cooperated in the project, which of course they won’t.

      • Not far off 🙂
        Salt water crocodiles, Australia’s most feared predator, are moving south towards the populous eastern seaboard.
        Concerns are growing about the migration down the coast after the discovery of a large crocodile in a river less than 150 miles north of Brisbane — the most southerly sighting in the wild of a species normally confined to Australia’s far-northern tropics.

      • Gnome. Sounds like you are from Australia. When I lived in Townsville (most of 2005) a man from Townsville was killed by one while fishing with his wife or so she said. I thought to myself how odd, in the US usually it is the wife who doesn’t survive the fishing trips. Loved living in Townsville.

  8. Apparently, the ancestors of modern crocodiles survived the Triassic/Jurassic extinction event some 200 million years ago. They are tough babies, and when one considers the temperature changes the species has survived since, I would suggest that a couple of degrees C will not make very much difference to their survival.

    • Triassic ancestors of crocodilians were small, terrestrial, two-legged sprinters, some of whom were herbivorous. Other Triassic croc-line archosaurs were indeed semi-aquatic, but the first marine direct croc ancestors only emerged in the Jurassic. Others remained land-based.

      • While the late Triassic Eusuchia were probably smallish, by the Cretaceous they were running up to 12 or 13 meters according to some sources. Deinosuchus and Sarosuchus (and alligator and a croc respectively) for instance, so the beasties pretty are “prehistoric.” And besides surviving the Triassic-Jurassic extinction they survived the KT extinction as well.

    • In crocs, a few degrees can make a big difference. From Wankerpedia: Sex is determined by temperature, whereas at 30 °C (86 °F) or less most hatchlings are females and at 31 °C (88 °F), offspring are of both sexes. A temperature of 32 to 33 °C (90 to 91 °F) gives mostly males whereas above 33 °C (91 °F) in some species continues to give males but in other species resulting in females, which are sometimes called high-temperature females, AKA “hot mamas.” They won’t die out, but the proportion of aggressive males might increase.

      • Mother crocodiles actively guard and monitor the nest (holes for some species, mounds for others). They are clearly pretty good at choosing nest sites and regulating nest temperatures: they are still here.

  9. Is there a temperature above which Warmist IQ is endangered? I’m betting its around 32 F. I’m hoping that when this newest solar Maunder-like Minimum really kicks in, maybe they’ll wise up.

    • Steamboat,
      I thought that that brain shrinking temperature – if seeking grant monies – was something like 4.321 K for the watermelonistas.
      At 288 K, the watermelon IQ is, at best, transient, downwind.
      Plainly so, as explained by many above.
      The saltie can cope with a lot. Cold is not its friend – but any extra warmth – no matter how putative – will not harm them.
      Incidentally, I have a ‘Guinness Book of Animal records’ 2nd edition, which gives credence to the Pawlowski croc – reputedly about 8,5 metres long, shot by Krys Pawlowski, the wife of a ranger/croc expert, in about 1958-9 in the north of Australia [NT or Queensland, I think]. It was simply far too big to bring in even the head. Reportedly – a 28 ft 4 inch [8.62m]saltwater crocodile in the Norman River in Queensland in 1957…a replica of the Croc is located outside the Carpentaria Shire Offices at Normanton.
      Credence is not proof.
      There is a model of the beast, with photos of the model – on the net – at least one link tries to attack my computer – go careful. Norton – thanks!

    • well at 40ish c here in a wooden home with no aircon and a fan only,
      and water restrictions permanently as we have NO gteed water supply, only borewater
      I would love to have invited the towns greentards to enjoy life with lowered expectations re power use

  10. I suppose the crocodiles died during the medieval warm period. But I’m sure the Australian government will pay for this study, your taxpayer dollars at work.

  11. Not any longer. The Paris Climate Agreement completely abolishes all forms of climate change, extreme weather events and rising sea levels for now and for all time. Global warming is no more.

    • true, this makes me wonder when the “office of global weather” will be created so that we little people will know to whom to address our requests and complaints about the weather! sounds so much like that musical “Camelot” and the title song.

      • Apparently the politicians feel that they can force the sun and the oceans to provide the ideal climate and weather all over the world just by concluding a non binding agreement. They have not even defined what the ideal climate and weather actually is but what ever it is it is a done deal. I have always told people that if they do not like the current weather they should complain to the local weather scheduler and demand action to change the weather.

      • The “Office of Global Weather” will be two doors down from the “Ministry of Silly Walks.” I imagine there will be a lot of interaction between the two agencies.

      • “Apparently the politicians feel that they can force the sun and the oceans to provide the ideal climate and weather all over the world just by concluding a non binding agreement”
        No, but a non binding agreement and homogenization works well.

  12. Since we are in Friday funnies, I tell you the bigger danger is to American alligators. They, like crocs, are temperature sex determined. Everglades egg nests incubated at 30C produce females. At 33C males. Now with the new COP21 2C goal, we are going to end up with way too many boy and way too few gal gators. Its curtains for gators, I fear.
    And on an only slightly more serious but very related note, about 2 weeks ago there was a Florida burglar who tried to hide from police in the reeds on the edge of a lake near an Orlando exburb. His girlfriend, who knew he was out burglarizing, called police when he did not return by the next morning. They found what was left of him about 10 days later after a 12 foot male gator finished feeding. That gator is no more. Now you are current on all important Florida news.

    • That gator is no more.
      You’d have thought the city council would have found him a spot on the police force. Lots of police forces already use dogs and horses. Rather than sending a dog in to look for someone, why not send in a gator?

  13. Crocodiles were around in the Cretaceous Era, before the big asteroid hit and it was a lot warmer back then.
    So they can survive anything mankind can throw at it, except large bullets.

  14. So let me get this straight.
    The bits of the planet that are presently warm enough for crocs will become too warm for crocs…but as the ‘Earth Warms’, no part of it which is presently too cold for crocs…will get warm enough for crocs?
    Did I get that right?

    • Perhaps crocs will have to adapt to lukewarm water. The insanity of these alleged scientific papers are making me think that good, honest, respectable and intelligent scientists simply don’t bother with this nonsense, but they must exist somewhere. But where?

    • Yes, you got it right.
      Once the additional 2C of warming takes place the oceans will begin to boil.
      Really, it’s just simple maths.

  15. University of Queensland’s Professor Craig Franklin must be the epitome of the Nutty Professor. The hotter the weather, the happier and more active are the crocodiles, and alligators too. Unfortunately the non-existent Global Warming is having no bad effect on either crocodiles or sharks, or other common pests such as flies, mosquitos and cockroaches. If only it would…

  16. My own unpublished study clearing indicates that climate hacks like Professor Craig Franklin will become extinct long before crocs do.

  17. Then why are there so many Crocs around Darwin Bay, where the water is hotter?
    Perhaps we could feed them Polar Bears.

  18. The thing is, how do these studies keep getting published.
    At some point, doesn’t it have to come to an end. 90% of the population will laugh out loud at these climate science studies, but they keep coming and coming.
    The human race allows these political correct movements to continue growing and continue growing and everybody feels it is “not worth it” to speak up and end the madness in case the politically correct “police” come after them.
    There has to be a way for the human race to out these crazy people or they will continue to multiply into every facet of society and destroy everything.
    It has to start now with “us”.

    • CISSEXIST HETEROPATRIARCHY – I was reading about this yesterday and realized, of course, that I had no idea whatsoever what that meant. I spent a career teaching and researching in universities’ computer, physical, and natural sciences programs and, particularly in Biology, there were some long vocalizing stumblers from Latin or German derivations.
      Turns out this phenomenon, term, label (?) comes from white supremacists and is being spouted by Black Lives Matter social justice warriors. That just doesn’t ring up. And I have read a ton of freshmen and sophomore papers and never (I should say NEVER) have they had vocabulary such as this.
      But –
      In these new days of Next Generation Science Standards or Science by PowerPoint rather than by laboratories, it strikes me that these students could well read this piece (minus our comments, of course) and just plain buy it.

      • Bubba Cow

        CISSEXIST HETEROPATRIARCHY – I was reading about this yesterday and realized, of course, that I had no idea whatsoever what that meant. I spent a career teaching and researching in universities’ computer, physical, and natural sciences programs and, particularly in Biology, there were some long vocalizing stumblers from Latin or German derivations.
        Turns out this phenomenon, term, label (?) comes from white supremacists and is being spouted by Black Lives Matter social justice warriors.

        Turns out this phenomenon, term, label (?) comes from white supremacists and is being spouted was INVENTED by Black Lives Matter social justice warriors (and their professors) – who are DEMANDING that Black Lives Matters “solutions” ALWAYS include “hiring” Black Lives Matters professors and graduates.

      • it sure seems that way, given their demands for student, faculty, library, space … resources
        Glad that I am retired from academe. I would elevate micro-regressions. We don’t judge science contents by politically correct.

    • Bill. I think the only way this will stop is when sports fields and golf courses are outlawed because some save the world group feels they are causing dangerous climate change.

    • abc radio national actually had a chap on talking re Feynman and bias in data etc
      they mentioned MOST fields like medicine research etc
      the magic P? percentages thing
      managed to entirely omit any mention that climastrology is THE biggest biased bull**it version of bias ever..
      typical of aunty

  19. And today I had to order a new NOT soda-and-chips-spew-covered keyboard due to an actual news article that someone took seriously.

  20. Dose anybody know the body temperature of a Crocodylus porosus? and don’t they bask or shade to help with temperature?

    • B.j
      Hello from The Land of the Kangaroo and I can assure you that taking the temperature of a Crocodylus porosus or any critter with Croc as part of its name is NOT part of the high School curriculum here.
      How does one take the Temp of a Croc and I assume it does not involve asking the critter to just open wide and say aagh.
      I also assume that it involves a certain rear opening and a big surprise for the crocodile which could explain their bad attitude.
      Therefore does anyone know the body temp of a Croc?
      Not if they are in their right mind and Catastrophic Climate Change Crocodile Academics (CCCCA) are not in their right mind.
      ‘Professor! You want me to put the Thermometer where!!!’
      Robbo is spot on. Bring on CROCNADO. Cmon on Dr Susan. Make it so.

  21. Is there anything on the planet that isn’t endangered by climate change? Seriously. If we were to enter an Ice Age many species (including us) would be endangered. What else is new?
    We pay people for this? Is there now an official Master’s Degree in the Obvious? Can any of these people find work changing the oil in your car? Taking out the trash? Cleaning your office? Anything useful would be nice.

  22. Another rent seeking faux study. The billions of dollars the climate parasites like this academic leech have sucked into their wallets on phony studies designed to use “climate” as a sales prop could have done real science and actually helped people and knowledge. the world is poorer and more ignorant thanks to this author.

  23. I guess the crocs got used to ice age type of weather and didn’t survive any of the last warming periods. Surely I must be mistaken. The climate never changed before so quickly, not before man started releasing that evil co2 molecule. Oh, the horror!!! What is co2 not responsible for? If it wasn’t for co2, we’d still be in the garden of eden.

  24. I predict this won’t be a problem until suddenly saltwater crocs are found to have somehow migrated to the Canberra area and are eating unsuspecting MPs. One wonders how people will then defend themselves in a country where nobody is allowed to own firearms. You know big sticks aren’t going to hack it, right?

    • Chris. You can use a big stick to help a person that is being attacked by a croc by hitting that person in the head.

    • Chris wrote: “I predict this won’t be a problem until suddenly saltwater crocs are found to have somehow migrated to the Canberra area and are eating unsuspecting MPs.”
      Chris? Are there “suspecting” MPs? MPs wouldn’t be able to successfully lobby Parliament to protect themselves against croc attack. It’s what we in the biological/environmental disciplines refer to as a “self limiting behavior”. After a short while (maybe 5 or 10 generations) there won’t be any MPs left to vote against gun control in Australia simply because they’ve all been eaten by something smarter, bigger and faster than them.

    • notice it is only the retired scientists speaking out. no one else dares. the politically correct climate police will force them out of their jobs if they give the wrong answer.

    • I’m just trying to imagine a river in the US bible-belt that has 1,000 phalluses carved in its bed and banks. Oh, the humanity!

  25. Now crocodiles are ectotherms, and their metabolism is linked to the temperature of their surroundings. So it isn’t surprising at all that their diving time goes down as water temperature increases. A higher body temperature means higher metabolic rate and greater oxygen consumption (and presumably a greater appetite as well). It also means higher activity level and faster movement, so quite possibly the crocs get whatever they need to do during the dive done in a shorter time as well.
    And note that during the very warm PETM 55 million years ago there were crocodiles (alligators to be exact) on northern Ellesmere Land, less than 1,000 kilometers from the North Pole. But there were still crocodiles in the Tropics at the same time.
    By the way it is not coincidental that those polar crocs were alligators. Alligators can stand significantly colder climate than any other crocodiles. There are “true” crocodiles (Crocodylus acutus) in southern Florida but even there conditions are marginal for them during cold winters, though a population near Homestead are doing well due to living in warm water from a nuclear power plant.

  26. I guess biologists haven’t got the memo about the cap on ocean temperatures! Ocean surfaces just don’t get hotter than 31C. At this temperature, the rate of evaporation would serve as a thermostat to cap it there. Work of Willis with Ceres data and other researchers have long noted that SSTs have this limit. Now it could be breached by a volcano or an asteroid heating it up in a violent evolution of steam and I’m afraid under those conditions we would lose a few crocs and a bunch of other citizens. But we are going to have to wait for the next generation of climatist clones to make these things anthropogenic. Are the standards of science reparable? Gee I hope so. Why wouldn’t such a researcher consult colleagues who know this kind of thing. Here we have a totally impossible piece of work. Probably was using simulated crocs and extrapolating climate curves.
    I’m afraid Ozzies have been distinguishing themselves in a not very flatteriing way. How come such a large proportion of the world’s idiotic science papers come out of that continent? How do they do in these world comparative tests in math and science. Here is an urgent policy issue for the gov of oz to take on. I hope I’m not making bad friends with the bright oz scientists I come across at WUWT, JoNova, etc. But comon’ the ARC Centre of Excellence in Climate Science? Talk about protesteth(ing) too much. It is well known that only countries run by despots call the country The “Democratic” Republic of…. or the Deutche Demokratisch Republik. In Canada our socialist party is called the New Democratic Party, just so there is no doubt! Didn’t the ARC Centre also give an award to Turney, admiral of the Ship of Fools expedition to Antarctica?

  27. “The distribution of the saltwater crocodile is fairly large as it extends from India in the west to Australia in the east; it includes Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.” ( Looking at this area has some of the warmest sea water going, with some patches today >30C, especially near the northern coast of Australia. Maybe someone should go and see if there are salties there. Humans *do* pose a threat to crocodiles. They are vulnerable to habitat loss and high velocity lead poisoning. Most likely the climate will not be a problem for them.

  28. We’re those temperature controlled tanks consistent in temperature top to bottom? I’m guessing, but I’ll bet they were. In the croc’s environment is the water temperature the same with depth? I’ll bet it’s not. Every lake I ever took a swim in the temperature gradient was quite noticeable off the surface. Like every reporter, pundit, politician, or research grant seeker, do these people really have any more intimate knowledge about their subject? I doubt it.

  29. Kill two birds with one stone…feed the liberals to the Crocs and then the Crocs will die of food poisoning ! Problem solved !

  30. Significant crocodile research was done in the 1970-80 period by a Sydney University team headed by Canadian born Professor Harry Messel AC CBE, who had a loud voice and an assertive, confident presentation. He passed away earlier this year.
    I appeared with Harry to give evidence to a 1988 Australian Senate inquiry into the Kakadu National Park region, chaired by Senator Olive Zakharov, a left-leaning communist party sympathiser with a partner who was then a union activist.
    Harry produced a large colour print of a big male croc strung up by the tail on a tall tripod. It had died after trapping in the nets of fishermen and had decayed. Harry maintained that proper resource management should not allow this to happen. Olive was almost crying as she spoke of the breeding potential lost with this magnificent specimen. Its value had passed, she suggested to Harry. “Hell yes” said Harry, saying forcefully that its value had passed all right, think of the dollars you could get for that skin.
    Oh dear.
    Since it became illegal to shoot crocodiles in Australia about 1971, they have gone from being hard-to-see reclusive creatures to large serial pests. They are hated by about everyone with whom I have discussed them.
    I watched this growth over the years through visiting our Ranger Uranium mines project and fishing for barramundi in inland waters. It is a sobering statistic that not a person has been killed on the mine areas since the 1969 discovery. The one corporate death we had was an employee taken by a crocodile while on a day of recreation in the UN World Heritage listed Kakadu park
    Oh dear.
    And now there is concern about climate change disrupting the lifestyle of the croc. Is there not something better that can be done with scarce research funds?

    • Obviously, research funds are not all that scarce. That’s the problem. Were they scarce, better use would be made of them.

  31. I live on a mountain in NY. We hunt and our friends hunt and we eat what we hunt and thanks to this the deer for example are not out of control. Bagged two this season.
    Australia did away with hunting and now the crocks get to do what they did for millions of years: multiply and eat everyone else.

  32. I thought the tropics – especially the humid tropics and tropical waters – are supposed to have less temperature change than the rest of the world, especially the extratropical northern hemisphere. Historically this has been the case. The models predicted this, and this is one of the things that the models are getting right.

    • I was in Lagos Nigeria in the mid 1960s and again in 1998. I specifically remember the temperature from the first time because going there, I read all I could about the place. The temperature here ~ 4N has not even varied in 50 years. The reason is, if I understand this correctly, SSTs have a cap of 31.5C which is controllled by the level of evaporation and convection at that temperature. Since this is a physcical constraint, there can be litttle doubt that it was true millions of years ago, too. The researchers these days don’t think to consult other specialists who could have informed him that his crocs wouldn’t be in any danger.

      • Gary,
        Clearly not a physical constraint, since tropical SSTs have been a lot hotter than 31 degrees C in the past. They were when the ancestors of Salties evolved, in the mid-Cretaceous, for instance.

    • Hey Robbo,
      Who Sang This?
      Lets Climate Change Crock Croc Crock Everybody.
      Lets Death Roll Roll Roll Everybody.
      Lets Crock Croc Crock Everybody.
      Lets Crock around The Croc Tonight.

      • Think the first guy to sing it was an ol’ digger that got run out of the Yabba for bein’ too rowdy and then settled up in Darwin. He was a Croc skinner, or a tale spinner, or something like that.

  33. Sheesh! This guy is an idiot! They have been on this rock for millions of years!! As we say downunder, what a crock!

  34. Reblogged this on Climatism and commented:
    Australia is making plans to cull the population of crocs in the Kimberley’s due to the population having tripled over the past 30 years.
    So, going by the ‘warming = croc decline’ theory, does that mean northern Aus has been cooling over the past 30 years?! Happy happy joy joy – planet saved!
    Sarcastic stupid analogy, though just as stupid as this latest ‘climate change’ tagged study out of yet another global-warming-causes-everything, CO2 obsessed university study.
    Publish or perish is the name of the game and if “climate change” doesn’t preface your study, you aint publishing nothing.
    What a ‘croc’ of sh*t. (Apologise for profanity, but it was begging for it.)

  35. The caveats say it all. Perhaps they should have started there and forgot about the paper. What a risible bit if junk ‘science’.
    It just screams of the commoditisation of scientific’ research into module/packets known as LPU’s ( Least Publishable Units) which attract a modest but worthwhile financial reward.
    Take a step back and just consider that crocodiles and sharks for that matter have been around on this planet of ours for some hundreds of millions of years. Consider what hose species have experienced, endured and survived. Read the caveats again with that in mind and you realise what a bit of speculative, confected drivel this LPU is.

  36. “Climate Change is Endangering Crocodiles”
    Well they are rather delicate creatures….
    Not to mention not endangered enough yet to not be a delicacy in fact…

  37. So to summarize; the species the Gaia worshipers have proscribed are:
    – The Polar bear
    – The Wolf
    – The Crocodile
    – The Brown (Griz as we call them) Bear
    All of which feed on humans and their children and would also prefer a 90% reduction in humans.
    I can’t say this comes as a surprise. Not at all. It confuses me the general population can’t see this, but then we’ve all witnessed a sample of bikini clad women on Venice beach promoting Sharia law in support of Hillary Clinton’s policies so I fall into the category of people for which it should not come as a surprise.

  38. One is more at risk from the funnel web spider in Queensland than a croc. Croc’s live in wetlands. Funnel webs live in ya garden. Won’t someone puhlease think of the funnel web spider??!

  39. 7 degrees of WATER temp change is their high case? Bugger me. Why not test them at 60C? “UQ findings: Crocs don’t like being boiled.”

  40. A study by University of Queensland Professor Craig Franklin claims that crocodiles may be endangered by global warming. Can you see how it is so easy to create a panic to attract more funding for a new fabricated concern?
    Franklin must be an absolute idiot if he does not know that crocodiles have experienced some of the harshest climate changes that have occurred going back in time. Today’s climate changes are mild in comparison.
    Franklin should learn from one of the world’s leading real crocodile experts, Dr Graham Webb of the Northern Territory of Australia, who can educate Franklin about it.

    • Mervyn
      Bindi and her brother Bob Irwin could educate Dr Franklin about Crocodiles.
      And dancin’ too.

    • Franklin must be an absolute idiot
      fishing lures are designed to catch fishermen (who buy them). they are only secondarily concerned with catching fish.
      similarly, scientific studies are designed to catch funding bodies. they are only secondarily concerned with catching facts.

  41. “Air-breathing, diving ectotherms are a crucial component of the biodiversity and functioning of aquatic ecosystems, but these organisms may be particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change on submergence times.” Air-breathing, diving ectotherms may learn how to fly instead of diving. Not likely but it may happen.

  42. Russell
    December 19, 2015 at 3:03 am
    “Here is the article on the 50 year lie Judith Curry used this as an example.
    I think we are turning the tide on CAGW and the harms of CO2, which appear, rather to be benefits to the biosphere. But yes it’s a cling on sort of thing that weathers adversity, just like the crocodile does. When a layman like myself can identify crappy science in broad spheres of knowledge, you know there isn’t much sophistication out there.
    As an aside, I think I might have identified a characteristic of the skeptic personality in the butter/cholesterol chicanery. Despite the bombardment of “settled science” with 97% certainty, I never got caught up in this. I’ve loved butter, steaks, chops, bacon, the crispy fat (called crackling by my grandmother) and apple pie with a flaky crust made with lard. I even created a recipe (among others) that would have scared the life out of the folks with the calorie counters. I called it Bearbrook Puffs (my farm was on a little creek called Bearbrook in eastern Ontario). I cooked a load of bacon from my own-raised hogs, chopped it up, grated cheese, made a Yorkshire pudding-type or crepe-type thin batter with loads of eggs and milk and some flour, heated the oven to a high heat (450? – it was a wood cookstove). I preheated a roasting pan with the shallow sea of bacon fat in it until it was good and hot, mixed up all the ingredients in a bowl and dumped it into the hot fat and shoved it back into the oven. It swelled to a pan-filling size and browned nicely. I cut this hollow crispy treat up for my family (six kids [plus 2 more for a couple of years] and wife and myself). They loved it, as is, or with our own-make maple syrup.
    I’ve lived through 7 decades plus sampled 2 more on either end and I’m still healthy and working in mining consulting. Granny lived to 97, mother in to her nineties. Now the secret in addition to genes is along with fatty foods, we also ate a large variety of vegetables, fruit, fish and got lots of exercise. I think skeptics come from self-motivated types. I never joined any fraternities, student governments, benevolent orders of various animals, masons, etc. etc. Naturally ‘Individualist’ would probably describe most skeptics, possibly at least mildly eccentric).

  43. I live in Florida where we have far too many alligators. Believe that Crocs & Gators have been around for many millions of years. Seriously doubt a 2C, or even a 10C, increase will pose a serious threat to either.

  44. Gee, I guess there are no Crocs in Canada because it is sooooooooo hot in my Igloo I had to open all the windows !!

  45. I have a slight problem with the introduction to this otherwise interesting introduction to the delights and perils of Australian life.
    It concerns the comment that during the Cretaceous the temperature was about 4 C higher than today , with 4 times the CO2 concentration .
    Now I appreciate that the land mass and ocean circulation was different then and that a simple radiative forcing equation without feedbacks is but a crude simplification , but I cannot reproduce the figures given above using the equations for CO2 forcing from ScepticalScience.:-
    Change in temp (K) , dT = lambda * dF where lambda = radiative forcing by CO2
    dF = 5.35 * Ln(C/Co) where C/Co is the ratio of CO2 concns ,
    If lambda = 3 +/- 1.5 K/W.m^2)
    Ln(C/Co) = Ln4 = 1.386
    then dT = 11 to 33 K depending on the figure used for lambda . Much higher than any paleotemperature I have read about , so have I miscalculated , are ScepticalScience equations not appropriate , or are there massive negative feedbacks .

  46. I’d like to see the study methodology, to see if they accounted for a couple of changes to the crocs that I would expect.
    1. When they put these juvenile crocks in the tank, I’ll bet the little tikes were scared to death. Over time, they would feel safer in their new surroundings, meaning they probably wouldn’t stay under as long. If the tank temp started off at 28 for a week, was raised to 31.5 for another week, and finally was raised again to 35 for the third week, then I would expect much (most) of the fright acclimatization was due to poor study design.
    2. Juveniles are young. They may have a natural tendency to use fright diving for protection more at younger ages. I would expect that, as they get older, they naturally would become less timid. Just as above, not accounting for this variable could give bogus results.

  47. Umm… How did they survive when there was no ice on the planet at all then?? They’ve been around for millions of years…. Did I say when there was No ice on the planet and it was sweltering hot 24 hours a day for millions of years….. How can I make money from this as well???

  48. “…We assessed the thermal sensitivity and plasticity of ‘fright-dive’ capacity in juvenile estuarine crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus; n = 11). Crocodiles were exposed to one of three long-term thermal treatments, designed to emulate water temperatures under differing climate change scenarios (i.e. current summer, 28°C; ‘moderate’ climate warming, 31.5°C; ‘high’ climate warming, 35°C). Dive trials were conducted in a temperature-controlled tank across a range of water temperatures. Dive durations were independent of thermal acclimation treatment, indicating a lack of thermal acclimation response. Acute increases in water temperature resulted in significantly shorter dive durations, with mean submergence times effectively halving with every 3.5°C increase in water temperature (Q10 0.17, P < 0.001). Maximal dive performances, however, were found to be thermally insensitive across the temperature range of 28–35°C…"

    Say, what!?
    “‘fright-dive’ capacity” – Translation, they frightened the little beasts so they would dive under the water in fear.
    “(Crocodylus porosus; n = 11)” – Translation – 11 little crocodiles.

    “…Crocodiles were exposed to one of three long-term thermal treatments, designed to emulate water temperatures under differing climate change scenarios (i.e. current summer, 28°C; ‘moderate’ climate warming, 31.5°C; ‘high’ climate warming, 35°C)…”

    Translation – Crocs were repeatedly frightened so they would dive into different water temperatures ranging from 28°C (82.4°) to 35°C (95°F)

    “…Dive durations were independent of thermal acclimation treatment, indicating a lack of thermal acclimation response. Acute increases in water temperature resulted in significantly shorter dive durations…”

    The researchers claim, that the juvenile crocodiles, stayed underwater for less times as the temperatures got warmer.
    Did any of the researchers bother using a control group? Or several groups of young crocodiles?
    There wouldn’t be a chance that the little crocs got wise to the science buffoons trying to scare them under the water? And that the dive times are related to the little crocs just not being afraid any more?
    All crocodiles like to sun themselves. Little crocodiles are less likely to sun themselves on open beach; mostly because little crocs that do sun themselves in the open end up as bird food, Tasmanian devil food, bigger crocodile food, even toad food.
    Perhaps the researchers for the article above had their thumbs bitten too many times by the little crocs and all of their thumb sucking shrunk their brains…

    • Methinks you’re right. The researchers also didn’t give the crocks time to “adapt” over a number of years. Seems rather abusive of the reptiles as well.
      Still, the study is good for something.
      Think of the jokes this study will produce.
      “This study is a crock”
      “This study crocks me up”
      You get the idea, lol…

    • I’ve heard crocks drown their prey, then wedge it under a tree or something till it begins to rot, then they feed on the softened flesh.
      They’ve only been doing it for millions of years, I imagine by now they know the best methods ?

  49. Looks more like a Gharial to me….and I’m quite sure they’ll survive warmer water. The ones that are here have “been there, done that” – because it was warmer before.

  50. I admit that the behavior of some animals can be changed by the climate change, but still, if the animals change their ways, could be just evolution. Animals changed habits even before human intervention on climate. Global warming started way back, around 150 years ago, when human intervention was minimal. Earth has a cycle of warmer and cooler periods. Now we are in a period with higher temperatures, probably a hundred years from now we’ll see a different behavior at some species.

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