The Penguin Strikes Back

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

Well, once again we’ve proven that Mark Twain was right when he observed that “A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” … but the response time of the truth is getting better. Three days ago guest author Eric Worrall, in a post called Chris Turney: Penguins Don’t Migrate, they’re dying!,  highlighted the claims of the oft-wrong-but-never-uncertain Chris Turney, the leader of the Ship of Fools antarctic expedition. Turney claimed that 140,000 penguins had been killed by climate change. However, since then the penguin forces of science have mustered to defeat his defeatism.

penguin star warsFigure 1. Proof that if you google it, they will come. This was “penguin” plus “storm trooper” … Image Source 

I say the response time of the truth is getting better because a mere three days later, Discover Magazine says fugeddaboudit … their best guess is that the penguins never heard of Chris Turney, so they simply migrated.

It gets better. You remember when Leonardo DiCaprio famously thought a Canadian chinook wind was evidence of climate change? The article shows that Turney’s circumpolar ignorance appears to be equally profound, viz:

“I don’t think any of us anticipated what we saw: the ground was littered with dead chicks and discarded eggs. What had been until recently a noisy, raucous colony was now eerily quiet. It was heartbreaking to visit,” study co-author Chris Turney, of the University of New South Wales Australia, told Live Science in an email interview.

But LaRue counters that Adélie penguin colonies always have dead birds scattered around because the carcasses don’t decompose in Antarctica’s dry, cold climate. Researchers have discovered mummified penguins and seals that are centuries old.

Science roolz!

Sunny today, rumors of rain tomorrow. Here, on the California coast north of San Francisco, already we have the mares tails and the mackerel skies that are the forerunners of a storm in the mariners’ rhyme. Here’s the view from my front door looking up at the redwood trees …

redwoods and mares tailsMackerel skies and mares tails

Make tall ships carry short sails!

What an astounding, wondrous planet we live on, resplendent in sunshine and in rain alike.

Best wishes to everyone,


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February 16, 2016 2:44 pm

Well said Willis.
The gushing Professor Turney irks me, frequently.

Chris Hanley
Reply to  NZPete
February 16, 2016 4:41 pm

How do you think I feel, I’m forced to help pay for the man’s antics.

Reply to  Chris Hanley
February 16, 2016 5:15 pm


Reply to  Chris Hanley
February 17, 2016 6:49 am

How do you think Canadians feel? Not only do we pay for David Suzuki (he’s on our national broadcaster), but he’s constantly chosen as one of Canada’s favourite persons. At least Turney is relatively unknown outside of alarmist circles.

Horace Jason Oxboggle
Reply to  NZPete
February 17, 2016 12:32 pm

Unfortunately we Aussies seem to have cornered the market on Climidiots (Flannery, Lewandowsky, Turney, et al).

February 16, 2016 2:47 pm

Did Chris Turney actually visit this scene of decimation or just dream it?

Reply to  RHS
February 16, 2016 7:41 pm

He did visit it but forgot to bring his camera!

Krudd Gillard of the Commondebt of Australia
Reply to  RHS
February 16, 2016 11:59 pm

He was going to visit it but got stuck in the ice.

Richard Howes
Reply to  Krudd Gillard of the Commondebt of Australia
February 17, 2016 5:35 pm

10 points!

Richard Howes
Reply to  Krudd Gillard of the Commondebt of Australia
February 17, 2016 5:58 pm


February 16, 2016 2:52 pm

The important point: Turney was able to use observable evidence to make an astounding claim that would be carried by the media and provide more ‘confirmation’ to the liberal public that CO2 causes every malady n the solar system.
How is that different than me claiming 150,000 humans have died without providing the bodies/bones of the victims.

Gunga Din
Reply to  kokoda
February 16, 2016 3:20 pm

How long before they claims Franklin’s expedition (opposite pole but still…) was wiped out by CO2 induced “climate change” and not lead contaminated food?
(Lead solder back then was used seal canned food.)

Reply to  Gunga Din
February 16, 2016 9:30 pm

Interesting that Franklin documented active erosion of the arctic coast during exploration in 1826. Today it’s caused by climate change.

February 16, 2016 2:58 pm

Willis, many thanks for this post. As poetic a rebuttal of ‘Christmas Turkey’ Turney Adelie nonsense as there could ever be. BTW, I have many and hunt wild turkeys on my Wisconsin dairy farm. Keen of eye, keen of hearing, wiley. Not at all like Turney. The insult is to turkeys, not Turneys.
And you are also right to observe response times are shortening, although not yet within the MSM news cycle. The deconstruction McIntyre is doing to the chronologies underlying Wilson 2016 is a thing to behold. But not soundbite fast.

Reply to  ristvan
February 16, 2016 4:50 pm

ristvan commented: “… response times are shortening, although not yet within the MSM news cycle….”
I wonder how long it will take before the “journalists” start fact checking their stories and not printing fake AGW ‘news’ completely? I’ve noticed AGW has gone from constant front page news to almost not being printed in my area MSM newspaper.

Reply to  ristvan
February 16, 2016 11:46 pm

I admire your fortitude. After a winter on my Wisconsin small farm, I returned to spending the winters in Perth. Had coffee this morning with a spectacular view of the Indian Ocean.

Reply to  expat
February 17, 2016 1:43 am

Perth was very beautiful in February 1982. Hot as heck getting there across the IO from the NW, but once below the 30s S, much nicer. It seemed like, at that time, we had arrived back in time about 10 years. Now everything, styles, etc. travels at speed of light. I enjoyed the retro look and the feeling of having traveled back in time a bit. The girls hairstyles and clothes were of a decade previous. No longer the case. It gave traveling at the time a small sense of time travel and a wonderful sense of really having been to another distant corner of the world. Aussies are the best.

Reply to  expat
February 17, 2016 4:30 am

Visited Perth while aboard USS Kennedy. Went to church and was invited to a city tour by a couple from church. Zoo, large logs over looking city, the river, Olympic training site, caves, etc. A lovely place “10 million flies can’t be wrong”.

Reply to  expat
February 17, 2016 6:32 am

Me and my two hunting buddies (all retired Navy) are looking for bow hunting lease opportunities. We would strictly adhere to any established rules, and treat your property with respect.
if you are interested in such an arrangement, let me know here and a will post a link where we can communicate.

February 16, 2016 3:06 pm

May the Force be with you Willis.. ( and your pink bunny slippers )

February 16, 2016 3:08 pm

Willis: you are correct in the fast turnaround on this claim. Several real penguin biologists decimated Turney in short order. Canada’s The Weather Network mindlessly regurgitated Turney’s report, but had to backtrack quickly. I told them to remove the article completely, and, in so many words to stop being dupes and become journalists. I also told my grandkids last night that the earth is a beautiful place that has to be taken care of, but is to be enjoyed. They are already getting the destruction message in grammar school. Hope you get some rain.

Greg Cavanagh
Reply to  R2Dtoo
February 16, 2016 6:18 pm

It does make you wonder who the peers were who reviewed his paper. Clearly the peers were not penguin scientists, so who reviewed his paper but didn’t find any fault with it?

Reply to  Greg Cavanagh
February 16, 2016 7:04 pm

Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition.

Reply to  Greg Cavanagh
February 16, 2016 7:28 pm

Greg Cavanagh commented: “….It does make you wonder who the peers were who reviewed his paper…”
It would be interesting to know who they are, their qualifications, and how often they ‘peer reviewed’ papers.

Reply to  Greg Cavanagh
February 16, 2016 7:30 pm

Maybe the penguins did the review in the hopes that they wouldn’t be bothered anymore if everyone thought they were dead.

Reply to  R2Dtoo
February 17, 2016 4:39 am

R2Dtoo commented:”… I also told my grandkids last night that the earth is a beautiful place that has to be taken care of, but is to be enjoyed. They are already getting the destruction message in grammar school”.
I tell my children the same thing. They to are being taught the destruction message…..One in college and the other in the 5th grade.

February 16, 2016 3:12 pm

Indeed Turney is just another climate alarmist wedded to Yellow Journalism.Ice bergs are calving all the time and will occasionally impact Emperor or Adelie breeding colonies. But as discussed with the Resilient Emperor Penguins
penguins are faithful to a colony unless conditions change, then they simply move. CO2 alarmists want us to believe moving icebergs are unusual and that animal behavior is so rigid and fragile they would chose to die before moving,Turney is a total fool. Climate alarmists like Turney try to push our scientific understanding back to the dark ages to support his unsubstantiated paranoia.

Reply to  jim Steele
February 16, 2016 4:58 pm

JS, I would have to agree. My farms wild turkeys are a lot ‘smarter’ than I am. They prove it every year. Darwin, and all that.

Werner Brozek
February 16, 2016 3:16 pm
February 16, 2016 3:17 pm

How is it that Universities are allowing this sort of clown to make laughing stocks out of their supposedly science departments? No wait – I do know this one – its grants isn’t it. Trouble is of course once the game is finally up, which is likely relatively soon now, they are finished as any kind of respected institution and some of the wiser heads there must know it.

Reply to  cephus0
February 16, 2016 3:24 pm

A Republican presidential win will decimate this horde of Climate Zombies pigging out on the taxpayers dollars with pseudo science !

Reply to  Marcus
February 16, 2016 3:37 pm

Marcus ,not so sure if its trump

Reply to  Marcus
February 16, 2016 3:51 pm

@ John…that is my worry also.

Reply to  Marcus
February 16, 2016 4:28 pm

… A Cruize missile will take care of Trump !!

Reply to  Marcus
February 17, 2016 7:52 am

Neither Trump or Cruse is electable in a general election, both have very high negitives. I worry about a GOP defeat is either is nominated.

Reply to  cephus0
February 16, 2016 7:05 pm

Science is dead.

Chip Javert
Reply to  jorgekafkazar
February 16, 2016 7:43 pm

Science is not dead; human stupidity/gullibility (some of it willful) is rampant.

Reply to  cephus0
February 18, 2016 12:16 pm

Part of it is sheer insularity.

February 16, 2016 3:34 pm

I recall reading this article on Flipboard. Didn’t know it was based on someone’s wild guess. The standard for environmental/pop science today.

February 16, 2016 3:47 pm

Willis…when I was attending college, back in the day as they say, we lived in the Hecker Pass between Gilroy and Watsonville. I was studying Zoology. Those Redwoods always impressed me with their hardiness. Where I lived, as near as I could reconstruct, had been clear cut in the late 19th century and early 1900’s. Walking around the canyon usually revealed old choker harnesses and chain or other deeply rusted tools that are the flotsam of such endeavors as logging. I wrote a term paper on the fern species to be found in the coast range by hiking around right outside my back door. You, of all people, get the idea.
I used to joke “you can’t kill a redwood” for all the circles of sucker trees that would race to the sun around the huge old stumps of the older forest and losers in the battle that had been blown down during storms would simply convert the branches on the upright side into trunks of new trees. Oak and Madrone managed to get a toe hold deep in the canyon and got enough of a start so that when I was living there in the late sixties one could sit on my patio and hear occasionally a tree falling and like as not it was an oak or madrone that had about an 8″ to foot diameter trunk that was straight as an arrow reaching to the sun about 70 feet long; about the limit of their tippy toes in competition with the faster growing redwoods. The fallen ones covered in cellaginea (don’t hold me to that spelling it’s the moss that is actually a flowering plant that covers all the dark glens of the rain forest there)
I remember the whispering quiet in the dense morning fog as the dew drops fell from the trees and if you where really lucky that almost inaudible whoosh when a horned owl navigated between tree trunks. What a wondrous planet indeed!

Don Perry
Reply to  fossilsage
February 16, 2016 4:04 pm


Reply to  Don Perry
February 16, 2016 5:07 pm

Spikimo club mosses. TY, learned something new and very useful. We do not have those in my parts of the world, so far as I know. Research only beginning.

Reply to  Don Perry
February 16, 2016 6:05 pm

thank you

February 16, 2016 3:57 pm

Thats hilarious Willis – Turney is even more wrong than I thought.

Bruce Cobb
February 16, 2016 3:57 pm

Too bad they weren’t Emperor penguins.

DD More
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
February 17, 2016 8:14 am

No in in 2014 the Emperors were saving the world – Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private join forces with undercover organization The North Wind to stop the villainous Dr. Octavius Brine from destroying the world as we know it.

Chris Morris
February 16, 2016 4:16 pm

I gather Turney has never spent time in a penguin colony. In the 80s, I spent a about a week counting and mapping nest locations in a Adelie penguin colony near Mt Melbourne. This colony was on the rebuild after a drop in numbers during the sixties so a lot of “prime” nest sites were unoccupied. It was about 15,000 nests.
There were dead chick and abandoned eggs throughout the colony. Nothing rots so there is years of material around that looks relatively fresh. Even though most couples have two eggs, probably only 40% of those get through to after the moult. Even the ever present skuas leave a lot of the chicks they kill, only eating the best bits.
We also visited the snowcave site where Scott’s Northern party spent the winter – that is the unknown story of human survival which makes modern day ones look like a picnic in the park. There were still the seal carcases on the beach they had slaughtered 70 years before for food and light.

February 16, 2016 4:19 pm

Great chance to say thanks for all the amazing insights & tales- and the research inspired. And for the reminders to smell the roses, always smell the roses…

February 16, 2016 5:09 pm

Hi Willis,
Those redwoods on your lot look like pine trees to me. Probably Ponderosa Pine. If they are this pine, then their needles will be split into bundles of 3.
Sequoia aka Sierra Redwood are a completely different genus to pines. Check them out at Redwood Mountain Grove.

Reply to  Philip Mulholland
February 16, 2016 8:35 pm

I think you err.
Ponderosa needles would be much more distinct , particularly in the tree in the foreground. The bark ridging of a ponderosa is more irregular and redder.
You have to consider that a guy might be familiar with the trees in his home view.

Terry Jay
Reply to  Philip Mulholland
February 16, 2016 8:56 pm

Agreed, The bark and foliage are not consistent with redwood.

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
February 17, 2016 2:44 am

Thanks for the correction. I assumed that you lived in the high sierra and not near the coast, but you’re a sea fisherman so I should have known better ;-). Assumptions are dangerous things; they restrict the ability to see the truth. My bad.
The coast redwood is a fantastic tree, the Victorians planted specimens on the big estates round here in Surrey. They are able to regenerate from a cut stump and so could be managed by coppicing, an example of real sustainability.
Cut carefully and enjoy watching them regrow.
I think that the answer to your question about age is that a tree is as old as its roots.
Is This the Oldest Living Tree? This Norway Spruce in Sweden has roots that are over 9,000 years old
All the best, Philip.

Bill Partin
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
February 17, 2016 2:52 am


Don K
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
February 17, 2016 3:31 am

Not that it means anything, but there’s at least one more redwood genus — Metasequoia. It was “discovered” in China during WWII. Been around since the Cretaceous when it was much more widely distributed.

Reply to  Philip Mulholland
February 17, 2016 6:11 am

That was my first reaction too — looks like a pine (Ponderosa? Sugar?). But I guess I’ll have to trust Willis, tho I’ve seen plenty of redwoods, both coastal and Sierra types.

Reply to  AJB
February 17, 2016 12:06 am

i read the punch line first and scan read the other bit and thought it said an incontinent truth.

Reply to  AJB
February 17, 2016 3:09 pm

Thanks, I had a good laugh with the cartoon…just glad no one got killed over their stupidity.

Don K
February 16, 2016 6:10 pm

“But LaRue counters that Adélie penguin colonies always have dead birds scattered around because the carcasses don’t decompose in Antarctica’s dry, cold climate. Researchers have discovered mummified penguins and seals that are centuries old.

Thank you for that Willis. I wondered when I read Eric’s article what happened to dead penguins on a continent with no multicellular predators (except maybe seabirds?) and no warmth to hasten decomposition. Now perhaps I know.

Reply to  Don K
February 17, 2016 1:58 am

I wouldn’t expect seabirds to have much time to eat dead chicks before they freeze solid in any case – there must be a lot left over..

February 16, 2016 6:42 pm

Turney responds to critics with his familiar laugh:

Michael D
February 16, 2016 7:07 pm

Well it was warm and it rained very hard yesterday and the sea level was rising all morning, so that’s clear evidence that global warming is causing sea level rise. Science, dontcha know.

Reply to  Michael D
February 16, 2016 7:18 pm

Obama said today AGAIN that all the scientists say there’s no question about AGW. He also says Trump won’t be President. Considering the numbers right now, wonder how HE’S “adjusting” his data? 😉

February 16, 2016 7:16 pm

I want a bumper sticker: TRUMP OBAMA!!

Jeff in Calgary
Reply to  Goldrider
February 17, 2016 7:44 am

According to the 12nd amendment, Obama is ineligible to be vice president. Sorry.

Gary Hladik
February 16, 2016 7:18 pm

“My name is Chris Turney, and I am NOT smarter than a penguin.”

February 16, 2016 7:38 pm

Willis, I assume this is the same story but the numbers have increased and it’s now an iceberg that’s killing them.

February 16, 2016 8:09 pm

I have debunked this Warmist fairy tale so many times it grows tiresome. I wonder if that is the point of such nonsense?

Rainer Bensch
Reply to  Pat Ch
February 17, 2016 7:31 am

Yes, keep the enemy busy.

February 16, 2016 8:31 pm

A quick search reveals that the word “decimate” is used three times on this short thread.
It’s a convenient demonstration that hyperbole has always been used to convey an exaggerated image of reality. Just as with Chris Turkey’s decimated penguin colony.
Of course, as we all remember, decimation is in it’s original sense a term for the removal of one tenth of a cohort of roman soldiers, by various extreme means, such as pushing them from a bridge or beating them to death. Extremely violent, but only the removal of one tenth.
However, due to the tendency of humans to resort to exaggeration and hyperbole in their speech and writing, the word decimate is often applied to utterly non-violent events.
And also it’s use has been extended to suggest the total annihilation of a group of something.
in other words, the word is used for exaggeration AND it’s meaning has also been exaggerated.
Decimation of a group of penguins each year would be harmless.
In fact removal of only one tenth by death would be problematic for the world.
Since they will attempt to breed numerous times per lifetime.
With only decimation, most of the biomass of the world would soon be penguin.
Decimation of penguin populations is insufficient to stop the predicted penguin population explosion.
Where is Ehrlich when you need him?
Can’t you poor people see that if we can’t take control of the excessive use of hyperbole then soon we will be up to our necks in penguins. We’ll have penguins coming out of our ears, literally…

Reply to  indefatigablefrog
February 16, 2016 8:38 pm


Reply to  markl
February 17, 2016 12:46 am

Agreed. If we only decimate climate change departments, they will multiply until we are utterly overwhelmed by them. We really need to octavodecimate or nonodecimate them, at the very least, to prevent the population becoming too unhealthy, and using up all of the available resources, to the detriment of other scientific species.

Phil R
Reply to  markl
February 17, 2016 10:07 am

I think the word you are looking for is eradicate (exterminate, annihilate).

Gary Pearse
Reply to  indefatigablefrog
February 17, 2016 4:41 am

I’m sure you know the language changes and, since we don’t push Roman Soldiers off bridges anymore, the word ‘decimate’ had to find another meaning or go extinct. Until a US senator used “oversight” to mean to “watch over”, it used to mean having missed seeing or noting something, almost its antonym. Similarly “sophisticated” used to mean something in the neighborhood of its antonym. “Fewer” has been pushed out through illiteracy by “less” and …well, in my lifetime so far I’ve found I’m losing the language as it changes out from under me. Women under 40 or so say something like “thienk you” instead of “thank you” and yet men still say “thank you”…..

Reply to  Gary Pearse
February 17, 2016 8:27 am

Gary Pearse – The obvious problem with the adoption of new meanings for words which already have accepted definitions – is that some people are not notified of the change.
For example, as a UK resident, I was still happily using oversight to mean a failure to consider some thing.
A terrible oversight.
Now that you mention it, I am also aware that there is a “Committee on Oversight”. I naturally assumed that it was intended to prevent oversights.
Due to an unforeseen oversight, I had apparently overlooked the appearance of the unlikely and antonymic usage.
A quick check reveals that the alternative definition has already spread far and wide.
But, hell yeah, let’s use both and confuse each other at all opportunities. 🙂

Reply to  Gary Pearse
February 17, 2016 12:37 pm

I think it’s busted … 😉

Leo Smith
Reply to  indefatigablefrog
February 17, 2016 7:22 am

I had an argument about cats eating birds, once.
Birds were, apparently, being ‘decimated’ by cats.
I slipped off my dunces cap and put on my thinking cap and calculated.
A bit of research turns up this, for blackbirds
“She lays three to five (usually four) bluish-green eggs …Second broods are common, with the female reusing the same nest if the brood was successful, and three broods may be raised in the south of the common blackbird’s range…
A common blackbird has an average life expectancy of 2.4 years, and, based on data from bird ringing, the oldest recorded age is 21 years and 10 months”
So let’s say 2 years of 1.5 clutches each with 4 eggs.. that’s 12 offspring per breeding pair in a lifetime.
If cats didn’t eliminate the 10 out of every 12 of blackbirds that need to die before reaching breeding age, something else would.
Or we would be awash with sodding blackbirds

Reply to  Leo Smith
February 17, 2016 4:06 pm

Decimate means remove/kill 1 in 10 of something – in the Roman Army, a decimated unit would have to choose, by lot, 1 man in every 10 to be killed. Decimation is a 10% death rate – probably a bit on the low side for your calculation.

Reply to  Leo Smith
February 18, 2016 12:46 pm

Damn, Leo…it looks as though you beat me to exactly the same observation.
Populations increase exponentially if un-culled. And decimation (strictly defined) per breeding cycle is not enough.
Great minds think alike!!! Or should that be, little things please little minds… 😉

Reply to  indefatigablefrog
February 17, 2016 12:40 pm

I am decimated! ;-(

Chip Javert
February 16, 2016 9:10 pm

Your Latin translation (decimat) is undoubtedly correct; however my dictionary also shows Decimate: Kill, destroy or remove a large part of (something).
Habla usted contemporary American English?

Reply to  Chip Javert
February 17, 2016 8:55 am

Yes, that’s the modern usage, but it has a defined, specific, and clear meaning that has been lost.
It’s even more annoying since we still use the Deci prefix.

Chip Javert
Reply to  benofhouston
February 17, 2016 10:01 pm

What you term the “defined, specific, and clear meaning” is undoubtedly useful for the 37 people in the world currently completely focused on discipline of Roman legions (I admit there is value in this).
However, it’s been a few hundred years since the rest of us actually tried to to this to our armies (we make ’em stand in line waiting for unaccountable & incompetent VA bureaucrats to “help” them).
Think of shrink, green, solar, auto, gas, batter, and hooters – these and thousands of other lovely words have gained multiple meanings…so it’s okay to have multiple meanings.

Get Real
Reply to  benofhouston
February 19, 2016 10:39 pm

If we remove the deci prefix from decimate we are left with what? Something penguins seem to be still capable of.

Half tide rock
February 16, 2016 9:38 pm

When constructing a robust misrepresentation it must contain obvious elements that can not be denied.

February 16, 2016 9:40 pm

Oh Dear!
Noun-Verb Confusion yet again!
Perhaps the viewers would rather salivate on the largest Penis aircraft the US Air Force ever built using contractors, mostly white and protestent. Ha ha

Reply to  601nan
February 17, 2016 8:52 pm

In English, every noun can be verbed, and nouned verbs a fabrication too…

Reply to  601nan
February 21, 2016 12:56 pm

When I was young, NASA was doing some research with them and I had the privilege of seeing one flying near what is now called Johnson Space Center. It was unreal to see something that huge flying overhead. It was trailed by multiple fighters. Thanks for the memory.

February 16, 2016 10:42 pm

It is heartbreaking to see what climate change has done to that redwood, all the lower branches have fallen off.

Mike Bromley the Kurd
February 17, 2016 12:24 am

Turney is one of those hype-types whose appeal to the emotional runs amok. I enclose an image of the Dramatic Turney, a screen dump of his fantastical interview about the Ship of Fools’ mission. That narrow-eyed, pursed-lip-jutting, build-for-the-punch-line expression so often employed to great effect by actors. Actors. Did I mention Actors?

Mike Bromley the Kurd
February 17, 2016 12:28 am

Similarly, Bamboo-bicycle-flim-flam-flannerying drama, by Christiana & Moon:

February 17, 2016 1:06 am

Out of place but funny.
“Embarrassed’ man, 26, found shivering on a building ledge after being abandoned there by his mates in a late-night prank Man, 26, was left stranded on the fifth story of the Bureau of Meteorology Building, Melbourne Australia. He was trapped on an eight-meter high ledge overnight.
Official story “He was climbing with friends when they removed ladder as part of a prank”

The real reason was that he was outside the window to confirm the Melbourne weather for the BOM whose computers had been playing up.
Unfortunately a cleaner closed the window leaving him stranded until the morning.
Those doubting this fact should check the extreme weather events predicted for Australia by BOM later last night due to the communication mix up.

February 17, 2016 1:07 am

Twitter reports that @ProfChrisTurney does not exist.
Must have gone searching for his penguins.

Reply to  DGH
February 17, 2016 4:38 am

An iceberg caused by global warming killed his twitter account.

Ed Zuiderwijk
February 17, 2016 3:14 am

Chris Turney is starting to like Dorian Grey. He thinks that Antarctica is falling apart but everytime he says so a piece is falling off himself. Until in the end nothing is left of him.

Ed Zuiderwijk
Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
February 17, 2016 3:15 am

sorry: “look like”

February 17, 2016 4:18 am

Turney achieved success in the measure that means most to him ‘headlines’, that the claim lacked scientific validity is unimportant . In that he is a classic example of a climate ‘scientist ‘

February 17, 2016 4:30 am

heres the link to the WORST drivel on this by Adelaide Advertiser..
implies they all just died recently.

February 17, 2016 4:37 am

I thought a mackerel sky was the one that looked like, er, mackerel scales

Leo Smith
Reply to  zemlik
February 17, 2016 10:04 am

lower down the picture its looking a bit fishy..

Amos Mclean
February 17, 2016 5:23 am

R2Gentoo ?

Gary Pearse
February 17, 2016 6:09 am

Willis, this is one of the easier debunks you have taken on, but very timely and educational. I never knew about the mummified remains of penguins and seals – seems a treasure trove for scientific work: centuries, maybe millennia with some digging, of DNA, evolution, etc. etc. and maybe even climate. I recall they found the cache in recent decades that Scott was heading for when they perished – the steaks were edible and there was a case or two of old scotch as well.
I love the Ozzies but, they have to do something about the cerebral infestation that has gripped their scientific institutions. There seems to be some tens of times the number of climate scientists per capita filling up atrophying universities. They are laying off ….350 (three hundred and fifty!) of this spawn from the CSIRO alone. They have an “ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science” combining a half dozen universities’ programs that seems responsible for almost half of the sludge on climate science that comes out of the bilge pumps of world institutions of hire lerning. Half the work of Steve McIntyre is spent debunking Ozzie papers that are subsequently retracted.
Our favorite bozo, Chris Turney, was given a distinguised award for commanding the Ship of Fools into the Antarctic ice, a fiasco that the rest of the world was using as material for their comedy hours.
The guy, doesn’t seem to go in for graphs and statistics and data collection, but rather is like an idiot reporter, ‘observing’ the ravages of climate change whether there is anything there or not.

Reply to  Gary Pearse
February 17, 2016 8:01 am

Yes indeed, pre CSIRO redundancy event Ozzie academia was seen to be on a trajectory approaching some sort of CAGW event horizon as it was about to implode and the only information thereafter allowed to escape the resulting singularity would be an ever increasing torrent of quacking mad climate pseudoscience. Something seemingly inspired by Douglas Adams’ shoe event horizon on Frogstar World B.

Leo Smith
Reply to  Gary Pearse
February 17, 2016 10:07 am

comment image
Another Antarctic expedition anyone?

Reply to  Leo Smith
February 21, 2016 6:54 pm

Been there, done that?comment image

February 17, 2016 6:33 am

Turney needed some 2016 PR, and he got some that was intellectually one of the following: odious, revolting, repulsive, repellent, repugnant, disgusting, offensive, objectionable, vile, foul, abhorrent, loathsome, nauseating, sickening, hateful, detestable, execrable, abominable, monstrous, appalling, reprehensible, deplorable, insufferable, intolerable, despicable, contemptible, unspeakable, atrocious, awful, terrible, dreadful, frightful, obnoxious, unsavory, unpalatable, unpleasant, disagreeable, nasty, noisome, distasteful . . . .
It was PR though.

February 17, 2016 6:51 am

Is the climate and environment focused media the profession with the lowest IQ? Did Turney rely on assuming it to get them to do PR on penguins for him?
It seems like the answer is plausibly in the affirmative for both Qs.

Ancient Mariner
February 17, 2016 7:38 am

Willis the old saying is actually “Mackerel Scales and Mares Tails”, not Mackerel Skies

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
February 17, 2016 3:58 pm

The main point in either case is to wake up the crew and be ready to furl the sails, no ?
Sounds like it might be an energetic yet fun time.
Get ahead of Her.

Reply to  Ancient Mariner
February 17, 2016 5:45 pm

Still, no rain in the East Bay Willis, but you can feel it coming right now, as I type. My obligatory weekly post on the Folsom Reservoir levels:
Pretty awesome switch from man-made drought to man-made rapidly filling reservoirs here.

Bill Illis
February 17, 2016 8:25 am

There are 3.79 million breeding pairs of Adelie penguins in 251 breeding colonies.
Even if some got cut-off by the ice-berg, this likely happened 1,000s of times to these (and other) penguins before. It is what happens where they evolved and still live today so I imagine they have ways around these problems..
Only a drama queen would make such a big deal out of this.

Reply to  Bill Illis
February 17, 2016 1:51 pm

“mommy , mommy are you sure I am a penguin ?”
“of course you are silly ”
” But mommy, mommy are you certain I am a penguin ? ”
” Look your daddy is a penguin, your mommy is a penguin, you are a penguin .
Why do you keep asking if you are a penguin ?”
” because I am bloody freezing !!”

February 17, 2016 11:26 pm

I don’t suppose on this website there’s a hope of any of you actually reading the scientific article, but it in fact makes no mention of global warming or climate change whatsoever, and stresses that this is a ‘natural’ event that provides an experiment to see what may happen to other colonies if Antarctic sea ice increases in other sites. Similarly, Chris Turney has been quoted in media sources as saying, “I must stress B09B is not thought to be directly the result of climate change…”. The lead author of the paper is a highly respected scientist of Southern Hemisphere and Antarctic ornithology, has spent many, many months of her life in penguin colonies, and is the chairperson of the New Zealand West Coast Penguin Trust.
The original press release can be read at At no point did the paper, the press release or any of the authors say that this event is related to global warming, or indeed that ‘150,00 penguins were killed’ – it simply highlights the decline of the colony and failure to breed since the sea ice increase.
As is often pointed out on this website, media reporting of science is frequently hyperbolic, but I see you choose to believe it and look no further at original sources when it supports your somewhat militant agenda!
If anyone cares to read the article it is open access and can be found at

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Concerned!
February 18, 2016 7:40 am

I don’t think most commenters thought it was about global warming. The fact that it turns out to be normal to find even centuries’ old dead, mummified penguins, chicks and eggs on Antarctica is the main thing that should tell you that neither NZ ‘expert or C. Turney know much about the subject they have pronounced on. In your zeal to marginalize skeptics you missed this point. Shame on the senior author and the seemingly witless Turney for putting this bilge out, knowing MSM and the legion of useful fools like yourself would give them relevance on the subject.

John Robertson
Reply to  Concerned!
February 19, 2016 3:19 pm

Dan, you’re back.
What science?
I read a public relations exercise.
Naked,unsubstantiated speculation.
Science would require a little more rigorous effort.
Maybe even some measurement?

Reply to  Concerned!
February 21, 2016 7:32 pm

…it supports your somewhat militant agenda!


February 18, 2016 1:06 am

Never follow an academic into the wilderness, especially the antarctic/arctic wilderness.

February 18, 2016 3:31 am

These penguins look OK to me, they are healthy, inquisitive and learning to speak Russian

Reply to  vukcevic
February 21, 2016 1:07 pm

Wow, if penguins are learning to live in the north, things are going to be interesting!

February 18, 2016 5:31 am

I suggest Willis Eschenbach goes over to Twitter search and types : Denison penguin, or Adelies Pengiun
…The whole Tweitterverse only follows’s Turney’s doom narrative and links to the doom video.
It’s only when you search for the mysteriously now deleted account @ProfChrisTurney
That you find any contrary opinions then only 10 ..pointing to Livescience copy of the story
– All Chris Turney’s work is stamped “Narrative PR , not science”

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