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,

w.

125 thoughts on “The Penguin Strikes Back

      • 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.

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

  1. 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.

    • 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.)

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

  2. 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.

    • 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.

    • ristvan,
      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.

      • 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.

      • 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”.

      • Expat,
        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.

        TIA,

        Rob

  3. 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.

    • 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?

      • 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.

    • 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.

  4. 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 http://landscapesandcycles.net/resilient-emperor-penguin.html

    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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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!

    • 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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…

    • Philip,
      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.

    • Philip Mulholland February 16, 2016 at 5:09 pm

      Hi Willis,
      Those redwoods on your lot look like pine trees to me. Probably Ponderosa Pine.

      Thanks, Philip. Well, I grew up in a ponderosa pine / douglas fir forest, and I now live in a redwood forest. I cannot tell a lie, I’ve cut down both species with my chain saw. And I’ve climbed both species with my climbing spurs that I forged myself out of iron straps and bolts … and I can assure you I know the difference between redwood and pine. Different needles. Different bark. Different smell.

      All the best,

      w.

    • Philip Mulholland February 16, 2016 at 5:09 pm

      Sequoia aka Sierra Redwood are a completely different genus to pines. Check them out at Redwood Mountain Grove.

      One final detail. There are two kinds of redwoods. One is Sequoiadendron giganteum, also called “Sierra Redwood” as you point out. Around here on the North Coast, on the other hand, we have what is called the “coast redwood”, also known as Sequoia sempervirens.

      The coast redwoods “stump sprout”, meaning that when a big tree dies, a whole new bunch of trees sprout out from the roots. My question is this:

      How old is a stump sprout that sprouted say three hundred years ago from the stump of some 1,800-year-old tree? Is it 300 years old or 2,100 years old?

      w.

      • Willis,
        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.
        Article:-
        Is This the Oldest Living Tree? This Norway Spruce in Sweden has roots that are over 9,000 years old

        All the best, Philip.

    • 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.

  10. “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.

    • 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..

  11. 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.

    • 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? ;-)

  12. 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…

      • 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.

    • 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”…..

      • 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. :)

    • 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

      • 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.

      • 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… ;)

  13. frog

    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?

    • 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.

      • 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.

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

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

  15. 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

    • 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.

  16. 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?

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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 ‘

  20. 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.

    http://www.jammiewf.com/2014/of-course-climate-clown-who-got-stuck-in-antartic-ice-wins-award-for-understanding-past-and-present-climate-change/

    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.

    • 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.

  21. 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.

    John

  22. 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.

    John

  23. 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.

    • “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 !!”

  24. 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 http://newsroom.unsw.edu.au/news/science-tech/giant-iceberg-decimates-antarctic-penguin-colonies. 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 http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=10171606&fulltextType=RA&fileId=S0954102015000644

    Enjoy!

    • 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.

    • Concerned! February 17, 2016 at 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.

      Since you appear to be one of the very few people who seem to think this is about global warming, I fail to see what you are talking about. I know I didn’t mention it at all.

      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…”.

      Same objection. If you could quote what someone said about global warming, you’d sound more coherent.

      In fact, the total lack of any comment about global warming in the paper was significant. Not one word about how despite the endless drivel about global warming, Antarctica is getting colder … funny, that.

      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.

      Kerry-Jayne Wilson is a retired seabird scientist, and apparently a good one. However, she has written exactly two papers on Antarctic penguins, which you seem to think makes her a penguin expert of some kind. She was also one of the fools that got stuck in the Ship of Fools episode, q.v. I find no evidence that she spent “many, many months of her life in penguin colonies”, a citation for that would be useful.

      In any case, not sure what your point is. I fear the reputation of the author of a science paper is meaningless as a guide to the truth content of the paper …

      The original press release can be read at http://newsroom.unsw.edu.au/news/science-tech/giant-iceberg-decimates-antarctic-penguin-colonies. 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.

      Nonsense. It says:

      “Over the past five years the regional changes triggered by iceberg B09B have led to an order of magnitude decline in Adélie Penguin numbers and catastrophic breeding failure in comparison to the first counts undertaken by Mawson a century ago,” says lead author Dr Kerry-Jayne Wilson of the West Coast Penguin Trust.

      An order of magnitude decline means that about 150,000 penguins were killed.

      Not only that, but the headline says “Giant iceberg decimates penguin colonies”. So the claim of dead penguins is in the headline. And the paper says that the penguins of that colony may be “extirpated” within 20 years … but as real penguin experts have pointed out, the penguins likely just moved.

      Finally, perhaps you were insightful enough to determine that there were no claims of penguin deaths … other penguin researchers were not as brilliant as you, nor was the public. They also objected to the claims of penguin deaths. And the media assuredly reported the deaths:

      “Thousands of penguins die after iceberg traps colony”

      “150000 Antarctica penguins die after iceberg grounding”

      “150,000 penguins die after giant iceberg renders colony landlocked”

      and dozens more. We also find:

      “Critics Challenge Climate Scientist’s Claim That Antarctic Iceberg Killed 150000 Penguins”

      Meanwhile, the study author has gone into hiding from critics …

      Kerry-Jane Wilson, the study’s lead author, did not respond to an email from CNSNews.com, asking her: “How do you know that that the 150,000 Adelie penguins missing from Cape Denison died? Isn’t it possible that some or even most of them left the area and migrated to areas along the coast where they had access to food?”

      Turney’s claim that the iceberg caused the deaths of 150,000 penguins in the Cape Denison colony was challenged by LiveScience’s Becky Oskin.

      “Let’s give the penguins a little credit,” she wrote in a Feb. 16 article in Discovery. “There’s no proof yet that the birds are dead. No one has actually found 150,000 frozen penguins.”

      So yes, they did claim that 150,000 birds perished, and other penguin researchers said no way …

      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!

      Sorry, amigo, but the one being “hyperbolic” here is you. You keep claiming that you are objecting to something you think someone said … but what? You haven’t quoted one word anyone has said, so it is totally unclear what you object to.

      Best regards,

      w.

    • 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?

  25. 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 discovery.com story

    – All Chris Turney’s work is stamped “Narrative PR , not science”

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