Ridiculous study claims: elevated ocean CO2 gives fish brain impairment

From the UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI ROSENSTIEL SCHOOL OF MARINE & ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE and the department of “let’s put some fish in a tank and gas them” comes this sub-par science fair level experiment where the only purpose seems to be to demonize CO2 by grabbng a headline. In essence, they’ve created “Dory” from the children’s movie Finding Nemo in an artificial environment that in no way is anything like conditions on a coral reef. Plus, by just dropping the fish into this elevated CO2 environment they aren’t used to, not only are they negating generations of fish and any adaptation that might occur, they are testing fish in a stressed environment that they have no experience with. This truly is bad science.

dory-fish

Study Links Altered Brain Chemistry, Behavioral Impairments in Fish Exposed to Elevated CO2

Research team studied damselfish behavior and physiology under ocean acidification conditions predicted for year 2300

MIAMI–In a first-of-its-kind study, researchers from the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University showed that increased carbon dioxide concentrations alters brain chemistry that may lead to neurological impairment in some fish.

Understanding the impacts of increased carbon dioxide levels in the ocean, which causes the ocean to become more acidic, allows scientists to better predict how fish will be impacted by future ocean acidification conditions.

“Coral reef fish, which play a vital role in coral reef ecosystems, are already under threat from multiple human and natural stressors,” said lead author of the study Rachael Heuer, a UM Rosenstiel School alumna which conducted the study as part of her Ph.D. work. “By specifically understanding how brain and blood chemistry are linked to behavioral disruptions during CO2 exposure, we can better understand not only ‘what’ may happen during future ocean acidification scenarios, but ‘why’ it happens.”

In this study, the researchers designed and conducted a novel experiment to directly measure behavioral impairment and brain chemistry of the Spiny damselfish, (Acanthochromis polyacanthus) a fish commonly found on coral reefs in the western Pacific Ocean.

During a three-week period, the scientists collected spiny damselfish from reefs off Lizard Island located on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. The fish were separated into two groups–those exposed to ordinary CO2 “control” conditions and those exposed to elevated CO2 levels that are predicted to occur in the near future, but have already been observed in many coastal and upwelling areas throughout the world. Following the exposure, the fish were subjected to a behavioral test, and brain and blood chemistry were measured.

The unique behavioral test, employed a two-choice flume system, where fish were given the choice between control seawater or water containing a chemical alarm cue, which they typically avoid since it represents the smell associated with an injured fish of its own species.

This image shows representative dye tests using two choice flume chamber. Image shows a typical dye test using two-choice flume chamber that is representative of dye tests conducted in the present study. The test indicates that flows presented the fish with a distinct choice between two separate flows. CREDIT Michael Jarrold

This image shows representative dye tests using two choice flume chamber. Image shows a typical dye test using two-choice flume chamber that is representative of dye tests conducted in the present study. The test indicates that flows presented the fish with a distinct choice between two separate flows. CREDIT Michael Jarrold

The researchers found that the damselfish exposed to elevated carbon dioxide levels were spending significantly more time near the chemical alarm cue than the control fish, a behavior that would be considered abnormal. The measurements of brain and blood chemistry provided further evidence that elevated CO2 caused the altered behavior of the fish.

“For the first time, physiological measurements showing altered chemistry in brain and blood have been directly linked to altered behavior in a coral reef fish,” said UM Rosenstiel School Maytag Professor of Ichthyology and lead of the RECOVER Project Martin Grosell, the senior author of the study. “Our findings support the idea that fish effectively prevent acidification of internal body fluids and tissues, but that these adjustments lead to downstream effects including impairment of neurological function.”

“If coral reef fish do not acclimate or adapt as oceans continue to acidify, many will likely experience impaired behavior that could ultimately lead to increased predation risk and to negative impacts on population structure and ecosystem function,” said Heuer, currently a postdoctoral researcher at the University of North Texas. “This research supports the growing number of studies indicating that carbon dioxide can drastically alter fish behavior, with the added benefit of providing accurate measurements to support existing hypotheses on why these impairments are occurring.”

###

The study, titled “Altered brain ion gradients following compensation for elevated CO2 are linked to behavioural alternations in a coral reef fish,” was published in the Sept. 13 online issue of the journal Scientific Reports. The study’s co-authors include: Rachael Heuer; Martin Grosell; Megan J. Welch and Jodie L. Rummer and Philip L. Munday from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University.

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118 thoughts on “Ridiculous study claims: elevated ocean CO2 gives fish brain impairment

    • Obsessing about it high levels of CO2 certainly leads to significantly impaired judgement, but this is more a case of psychological damage and not physiological damage.

      • No just human brain damage. This is not even a good animal / fish model for the behavioral and neurochemical effects of stressor hormones. The behavioral components of this study are actually laughable. but I am not done reading this yet. I am a behavioral pharmacologist and I am going to actually write up a review of this. I am trying to be objective so…, later.

      • Obsessing about it high levels of CO2 certainly leads to significantly impaired judgement, but this is more a case of psychological damage….
        Can’t adapt to use of new Blackberry and wants old one back, unable to learn how to send E-mails on desk top computer, doesn’t recognize classified on E-mails (“C” just stands for paragraph sequence), thinks “wiping a computer drive” means cleaning it by cloth, routinely conducts state dept. business with classified headers removed, often confused & faints a lot, strenuously supports lowering CO2 levels …I think you have identified Hilliary’s problem…

    • The oceans are becoming more Basic or more neutral or. The ph has largely remained unchanged
      But to say more acidic means this study has nothing to do with science .

  1. Ok. Now lets see the actual data, and how much cherry-picking was going on. Or, better, lets see a replication…preferably in real-world conditions…

  2. In a first-of-its-kind study, […]

    That’s because no has ever before had the audacity to do this and brazenly proclaim it as science.

    For a follow-up first-of-its-kind study, I suggest they take several black sea-bass and put them in the middle of the Mojave desert. My hypothesis is that a decline in brain function will be the result.

    • Heuer, currently a postdoctoral researcher at the University of North Texas. “This research supports the growing number of studies indicating that carbon dioxide can drastically alter fish behavior, with the added benefit of providing accurate measurements to support existing hypotheses on why these impairments are occurring.
      Kinda makes me wonder how many studies are we doing on carbon dioxide and altered fish behavior?
      Also, who’s footing the bill for this growing number of studies of this important research topic on altered fish behavior?

  3. Fish are stupid anyway.

    A fish won’t do anything but swim in a brook
    He can’t write his name or read a book
    To fool all the people is his only thought
    Though he’s slippery, he still gets caught
    But then if that sort of life is what you wish
    You may grow up to be a fish link

    • Beat me to it. Given the proven skill of climate models on even the decade scale, claiming to usefully model the ocean environment 280+ years out is the very definition of overreach.

    • 2300?

      I noticed same. We’re to believe that the coral reefs are dying en masse RIGHT NOW! but apparently we can study the stupidity of the fish that will live on the coral reefs nearly 300 years from now. Hypocrisy, thy name is climate science.

    • It makes one think they first tried 2100, no problem, then moved to 2200, still no problem, and finally 2300 where they found some changes that could have been caused by many things.

      I wonder how much CO2 they assumed was going to be present at that time? Given most reasonable folks would assume we’ve been off fossil fuels for more than a century, the real levels will likely be falling fast by that time.

      • RM, if they followed the 2010 PIK (Potsdam, home of warmunist Schellnhuber) paper on ‘extended concentration pathways’, then for 2300 under RCP8.5 2000ppm CO2. Ridiculous.

      • But the researchers assured me that CO2 stays in the atmosphere for thousands of years. How could it be falling in a mere 300? /sarc

    • The only way they could get away with jacking up CO2 levels enough to maybe torture the fish (that actual purpose) was to go with 2300. Obviously they knew very little about fish to start with or they’d have gone strait to carbonic acid.

      • “If coral reef fish do not acclimate or adapt as oceans continue to acidify, many will likely experience impaired behavior that could ultimately lead to increased predation risk and to negative impacts on population structure and ecosystem function,”

        So if they do adapt over the next 280 years, it’s okay and they studied nothing.
        Is it only the prey fish that get stupid or will the predator fish also get equally stupid and there will be no change.

        Lastly on torture, “water containing a chemical alarm cue, which they typically avoid since it represents the smell associated with an injured fish”

        Were they torturing and injuring little fishies to generate this smell?

      • Where are the aquarium owners’ comments?

        Anyone who has run a reasonable aquarium quickly learns that dropping new fish straight into the tank is a bad idea.
        Fish must acclimate to chemistry, ph and temperature. Sudden surprises of different temperatures, PH or water chemistry will kill many fish. Especially those beautiful, highly colored expensive kinds of fish are most susceptible.

        Any loon that drops fish into wildly different water flows really should try a similar practice on themselves; e.g. simulating Mars, Venus or Titan environments, or recreating Apollo 13’s air quality problems.

  4. Let us see if they bite on this.

    This study falls into the category of: “let’s measure how effectively we are ‘dumbing down’ the U.S. Public School students.:

    And Kiddies these stupid fish are all your fault! Tell you daddies to abandon that range rover and hitch up a team of horses

  5. Wrong. By the twenty second century CO2 and GMO crop runoff is going to create the Uber Pesce, a race of mutated superfish, if you will. By 2300 all of humanity will be relegated to toiling in the seaweed mines for our Pescian overlords. I’ve seen the computer graphs made by a real scientist. All hail Chancellor Nemo!

    • Nemo’s great^15 grandson and his army of 100,000,000 goldfish manage to seize control of all nuclear submarines and threaten to sink every shipping vessel on the ocean unless humans stop eating fish.

  6. Oh well what a surprise. You changed an animals behavior when you stuck it into an environment it’s not accustom to, and further changed its behaviors when you stuck your little instruments in compared to the “control” group. Nothing to see here. Move along. Just another scientist thinking they are objective and thinking they aren’t part of the world that they are affecting. But seriously, this is like 3rd grade science fair bad……….

  7. Is the CO2 or the acidity that caused the difference in behavior? It appears they have deliberately conflated the two, just to give the maximum amount of alarm.

  8. “elevated CO2 levels that … have already been observed in many coastal and upwelling areas throughout the world”?
    How can CO2 in the *atmosphere* affect CO2 levels in *upwelling* waters?
    This would suggest to me that the CO2 is being added to the waters at depth simultaneously with the heat that expands the water, making if buoyant enough for upwelling.
    Like maybe at a volcanic vent or a mid-oceanic spreading center?
    Can you say ‘marine vulcanism’?
    One more point for the marine vulcanism hypothesis for ‘bleaching’ of the GBR.

  9. Must be part of the new, universal laws, discovered shortly after the United Nations created the IPCC.
    “Increasing carbon dioxide only causes bad things to happen”

    Here is a list of the unspoken/unwritten guidelines.

    1. Slight global warming, previously assumed to be a good thing…….is actually bad now.

    2. CO2, previously understood to be a beneficial gas is now pollution.

    3. Previous warm periods(Medieval, Roman) are no longer part of history. People in those times were delusional, just like “deniers” today. They imagined the warmth. Written human accounts and geological history for those warm periods are not to be trusted because they contradict the infallible source……Michael Mann’s tree rings.

    3. CO2 harms good creatures……..polar bears, humans(fish in this study) butterfly’s, bees….etc.

    4. There is some life that actually will benefit from increasing CO2, but it must be a pest in order to qualify. Examples:are mosquito’s, ticks, fleas, weeds, bacteria, rats….etc.

    5. If benefits are found for good life, like plants and crops from CO2 fertilization, there must be an equivalent amount of harm found from future climate adversity caused by increasing CO2 in order to at least offset the benefits.

    6. The ideal global temperature and CO2 level in the atmosphere are defined as what was measured at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution……..when humans started emitting CO2 pollution and changing the weather/climate.

    7. All climate change since then, has been caused by humans. Natural climate change only happens when it cools observations to less than what the models predicted.

    8. All extreme weather events can either be linked to human caused climate change or human caused climate change makes events like that more likely.

    9. Funding for research and studies will be based on science and scientists who conform to the guidelines above.

    • 4. There is some life that actually will benefit from increasing CO2, but it must be a pest in order to qualify. Examples:are mosquito’s, ticks, fleas, weeds, bacteria, rats….etc.

      Perhaps politicians and government bureaucrats are already covered in the ticks and fleas category?

    • Funny if it was not so serious.
      Off and on since about late 1980s I have followed the literature about the metal lead Pb and its compounds affecting babies and children, allegedly causing loss of IQ (brain damage).
      At first, known effects of lead were all from ingestion of comparatively large quantities. Like children eating putty painted with lead paint. Severe effects on the brain, but of a certain type. Fom there, the narrative progressed until minute traces of lead were causing brain damage, no name for it like encephelopathy, just a vague and fuzzy loss of IQ, hard to detect and describe and quantify.
      I engaged a noted medical doctor consultant with decades of experience in world leading work in occupational safety and lead toxicity in particular. He and his colleagues noted that the reverse hypothesis had never been treated enough to reject it. It was that children born with lower IQ were more prone to eating leaded materials, hence pica for lead, but again specific brain effects and high levels.
      Then The Establishment picked up lead poisoning as a cause. Children, the public was assured, were every day suffering brain damage from minute amounts of lead. Any professional who doubted this was a denial scientist to be mocked. You know the script.
      Unfortunately, the reverse hypothesis has not been rejected AFAIK.
      Leaded petrol got banned. Fuel costs went up. Engines wore out faster. The cost was huge, the cost to demonize lead.
      Strange, but I cannot recall a recent study that does cost:benefit of demonising lead versus the saving of those millions of lowered IQs. Maybe that is because no study has been done for IQ.
      The objective was not to save IQ. It was to gain control of income, prestige, funding, awards and fuzzy feelings of doing personal public good. What is not to like?

      It now looks like we have a remake of the fictional best seller of lead and brain damage.
      This time it is CO2 and brain damage as “shown” in fish.
      In both cases, Establishment science has been ruthless and profitable.
      Pity it is likely to be wrong.

      What will be demonized in the next remake of Establishment Science, the Sci Fi movie?
      Already we gave had man-made chemicals and cancer, radioactivity and mortality, chlorine and greens, tight underpants and cancer, shiny apple coatings and cancer, sugar and obesity, margarine versus butter, one type of food fat versus another, depleted uranium and death by long distant fright, aluminium saucepans and cancer, GMO and any harm that comes to mind, snake oil of indefinite type and dozens of others.
      The common factor is that a few folk got very rich at public expense and most were shown to be wrong.
      If there is a God, the package comes with a strange sense of humour.

  10. A while back I read about someone who taught his goldfish to swim through a circular loop made of wire. The goldfish did it on command, every time. And people think goldfish are stupid. They’re not, obviously. They’re really pretty smart.

    And this study indicates that the authors are every bit as smart as a goldfish.

    After reading their study, I’m sure of it.

  11. Definitely a misnamed article
    Should read
    Study Links Altered Brain Chemistry, Behavioral Impairments in Fish From Sudden Exposure to Elevated CO2
    The Damselfish reach sexual maturity in 2 years after hatching so the life cycle repeats every 2 years. At 2 years per generation, the Damselfish alive in 2300 (185 years from now) will be the 93rd generation from the current evolution of the species. That would be like placing a Human of today into the environment of 4325 and expecting him to be able to function without requiring or expecting any form of adaptation.

  12. “containing a chemical alarm cue, which they typically avoid since it represents the smell associated with an injured fish of its own species.”

    I’m going to release my own paper: “More CO2 Yields Fish Higher Brain Function Favoring Altruistic Behavior.”

      • Maybe CO2 increases their brain power increasing their curiosity to find out what caused the demise of some other fish so that they can then avoid that threat? Just look how CO2 causes us to want to slow down and get a good look at a bad car crash!

      • Throw some dry ice in the water, start yelling “Help Me” and they’ll jump right into the boat!

    • Extra CO2 turns people and animals into SJWs. Look around you. The fish will start a movement called ‘Black Fish Matter’.

  13. Without having read the study there are already many questions. How do they know ocean chemistry for 284 years from now? Are they relying on the “highly accurate” climate models? How did they duplicate normal ocean chemistry with it’s tremendous buffering capacity? How do they know what happens to a fish after this sudden emersion in a very unnatural and altered environment is the same thing that will happen after nearly 300 years of gradual chemical drift?

    As an undergraduate many years ago I was induced to do experiments on sucker fish in Alberta to determine their physiological response to acid rain. It involved anaesthetizing captive fish, sewing a rubber membrane around their mouth and then using that membrane to enclose them in a plexiglas tube so as to separate their intake water from expelled water so that I could measure gas exchange at the gills. Watery chemistry was necessarily artificial and was manipulated by bubbling in CO2 to lower the pH.

    Naturally this very clever experiment was highly informative of what happens to a normal sucker in an Alberta lake or slough going about it’s normal activities in water that is trivially affected by very mild acidity (which is normal) from precipitation. The fact the experimental fish had been artificially confined, exposed to an anaesthetic, surgically assaulted and confined in a narrow tube from which it would usually struggle free after a brief interval once the anaesthetic wore off can’t possibly have affected the outcome.

    I want to reassure readers that I never contributed to the corruption of science by publishing any of this nonsense. My opologies to the fish.

    • I can certainly understand your remorse about participating in that experiment Andrew. If it’s any consolation, my grandfather used to send me out to the local irrigation wasteway on our farm in N. Washington with a WWII M1 carbine to shoot carp. I’d aul them back and my grandmother buried them in her garden. They made great fertilizer.

      It was a full-auto submachine gun too, which was amazing amounts of fun when I was 12. Nowadays I’d probably get 30 years in a federal prison.

  14. Plume studies can be very useful, extrapolations to the environment dangerous as the discipline of toxicology discovered long, long, long ago. Always curious as to the time of day, a very high percentage of studies have no night data when pH is lower. My impression has been that the Aussies have been more aware of the importance of night studies, but maybe not.

    Perhaps more importantly, the 100K+ or whatever of papers that relate their main importance to rising temperatures, need better guidance about caution. Other demons often used for other places. Proper science would also look at the effects of lower temperatures, especially since it has not been that long ago when they exerted selection pressures.

    Someone going against the flow might find their work more useful someday. If it is good science.

  15. Must be part of the new, universal laws, discovered shortly after the United Nations created the IPCC.
    “Increasing carbon dioxide only causes bad things to happen”

    Here is a list of the unspoken/unwritten guidelines.

    1. Slight global warming, previously assumed to be a good thing…….is actually bad now.

    2. CO2, previously understood to be a beneficial gas is now pollution.

    3. Previous warm periods(Medieval, Roman) are no longer part of history. People in those times were delusional, just like “deniers” today. They imagined the warmth. Written human accounts and geological history for those warm periods are not to be trusted because they contradict the infallible source……Michael Mann’s tree rings.

    3. CO2 harms good creatures……..polar bears, humans(fish in this study) butterfly’s, bees….etc.

    4. There is some life that actually will benefit from increasing CO2, but it must be a pest in order to qualify. Examples:are mosquito’s, ticks, fleas, weeds, bacteria, rats….etc.

    5. If benefits are found for good life, like plants and crops from CO2 fertilization, there must be an equivalent amount of harm found from future climate adversity caused by increasing CO2 in order to at least offset the benefits.

    6. The ideal global temperature and CO2 level in the atmosphere are defined as what was measured at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution……..when humans started emitting CO2 pollution and changing the weather/climate.

    7. All climate change since then, has been caused by humans. Natural climate change only happens when it cools observations to less than what the models predicted.

    8. All extreme weather events can either be linked to human caused climate change or human caused climate change makes events like that more likely.

    9. Funding for research and studies will be based on science and scientists who conform to the guidelines above.

    • This comment is a duplicate of the one sent previously. After checking back an hour later, I figured the first one got lost in the alternate universe of climate science and resent it (-:
      Please remove this one.

  16. But but but how are the predators going to be able to more easily pray on these dumbed down fish when they themselves are too busy chasing their own tails? /s

    • These fish certainly don’t.
      In their experience there is a Divine (by comparison) Intervener.
      Perhaps they believe in a malevolent god?
      A belief based on experience rather than superstition. HAHAHAHA

  17. “Study Links Altered Brain Chemistry, Behavioral Impairments”

    Well, yes it does, but not in the fish – in the “scientists” running the study!

    /grin

  18. Here’s a scientific study; get an ocean fish, put it in a pond inland and it will die. It’s adapted to salt water, so the fresh water will kill it.
    (There’s bound to be some kind of mineral salts in that water so of course ‘fresh’ and ‘salty’ are relative).

    Industrial processes put out mega-tonnes of water vapour.
    Now we have the headline: Water in Ocean Will Kill Fish!
    or Fish Can’t live in Water!

    Or get a fresh-water fish put it in the ocean and we have the complementary headline Ocean Kills Fish! or maybe Fish Can’t Live in Ocean!

  19. Oh my Gaaawd! I think the author’s of this drivel may have been playing that squeaky Helium voice game with the wrong stuff ! LOL

  20. I think we all know where the real brain impairment is …
    There is an easy way of testing this hypothesis. there are plenty of places around the Ring of fire where there is almost neat CO2 continually bubbling up from the sea bed. Just compare the “neurological function” of species at, and distant from, RoF locations. It’ll take a big grant but that won’t matter these days. Of course, it might be simpler to survey the human residents of such locations who catch fish for sustenance. If the hypothesis was true, they would know. More bubbles = fish are dumber = easier to catch. As all these residents are supposed to be threatened by CAGW/CC the UN can pay for the study.

  21. The only effect elevated CO2 levels seem to have had is to induce a state of near religious hysteria in urban green populations.

    Probably not enough meat in the diet.

  22. Anthony this is a review that Rachael Heuer wrote. It outlines the state of t research.
    http://yyy.rsmas.miami.edu/groups/grosell/PDFs/2014%20Heuer%20and%20Grosell.pdf
    This is the full text study you wrote about.
    http://www.nature.com/articles/srep33216

    You may be write in your assessment though. It seems that if you place a damsel fish in a high co2 environment and test for the parameters you get no effect. But if you let them stay there for 4 days then test them you get a reliable and consistent effect. It seems that it may well be a modification in intracellular and extracellular ion levels thus changing resting voltages and threshold voltage levels. This seems to effect the GABAa receptor in particular which is a modulator of behavior, muscles, etc. It is like they become tolerant to the effects of Xanax and thus react wrong to predators. This effect would not be seen if the changes took place slowly. NO QUESTION. I will write this up better though. There is a lot more to it. Just trying to relate to most readers. It is unbelievable the spin they try to put on this crappola IMHO!

    • Run the same test over a 10 year period and see if the situation is remedied through evolution. 5 generations should indicate some effect of evolution in response to tie elevated CO2 levels

      • There will be a physical response to different water chemistry, just looking at the “fish” is half science. The water is not the same, this is not happening to ocean water, only in experiment aquariums where every change to the set up has a big impact, because there is less water and buffers to buffer any changes.

        The thing is, the authors know nothing about keeping fish in small water bodies vs large ones.

      • No question that some adaptation time would make a significant difference. This is seen in neural cells resting voltages and voltage gated receptor thresholds In fresh water fish slowly adapted to salt water wherein the effects are similar to the study’s results without adaptation (low salt levels though). Ill post more later

    • If you take a fish and change the CO2 levels, you are changing the water chemistry, and damn sure it negatively impacts the fish, you are torturing the fish. It’s sick.

      The fact is with most of these fish the knowledge is very poor from a biology standpoint. Very poor. regardless of what marine biologists will tell you, most of what they say is “think” not fact.

      Change water chemistry and affect the fish, it doesn’t take a genius to figure that out.
      Ocean water is so stable, 400ppm CO2 from the atmosphere cannot cause any imbalances. God this is so NOT science

  23. Fish evolved about 530 million years ago and became the dominant species in the oceans about 420 million years ago.

    CO2 through this period?

    7,000 ppm to 2,000 ppm.

    This reminds me of the studies showing coral would go extinct when CO2 goes above 450 ppm. They evolved 540 million years ago when CO2 was 7,000 ppm.

    Climate science today is ONLY based on ever more ridiculous studies claiming ever more disastrous impacts on everything. That is all that comes out today.

    Having been a science guy for a long time, the instant you read in any news release “for the first time ever …” or “in a first of its kind study …”, you can immediately discount whatever is included in the study on whatever topic it is. Every single one of these studies will be proven non-factual at a later date or never amount to anything useful ever. On ANY topic in science.

    When it says “for the fourth time, this study replicates previous research that …”, now you can start to think it might be a true scientific result.

  24. ‘University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University’

    Hell of a title. Must be some law . . . the longer the title, the less likely to be of value.

    • Yet probably never even kept fish themselves lol. Even scientists cant keep sea horses healthy in captivity without great expense and effort, that is the level of understanding there actually is in marine biology.

    • It is so dependent upon temperature that changes of 1 deg C at low temps may change the [CO2] considerably. This good video shows something very interesting about CO2 in water. And sort of answere your ?. I hope you agree.

  25. My first question is “how long did they take to acclimate the fish to the new conditions?”

    If they did it over the course of a day or two, then okay. If they plopped the fish into the tank, boosted the CO2 over the course of a minute or so, then did the test, they’re idiots. Fish can handle a pretty wide range of conditions in captivity when acclimated gradually, but they’re NOT good at sudden large changes.

    For example, you can actually take many brackish-water fish species and (slowly!) get them used to fresh water, if you’re careful about it. For that matter, there are a number of fish that live in both fresh and salt water.

    • I would disagree. Changing the water chemistry could also change the smell of the warning scent. Something they wouldn’t notice over even the course of days, but would be trivial over the course of generations.

  26. Humans exposed to a high CO2 atmosphere would act ‘abnormally’, i.e., they would begin to hyperventilate. If these fish behaved abnormally in a high CO2 environment, I would expect that the cause would more likely be related to lack of oxygen rather than some C02 impact on the brain.

    • what is a threat to fish health is big changes to CO2 levels. The study is complete BS

      These people know nothing about fish, except what books tell them.

  27. God I’ve kept aquariums and built reefs for nearly 2 decades, this is complete and utter nonsense. Junk science

  28. The oceans cannot become acidic, there are too many inputs, several orders of magnitude greater than any process that may fight alkalinity levels.

    Ocean water would be harder with higher alkalinity if there was no CO2 and the resulting H+

    There is clear evidence for this, where the inputs are even greater and no offset, African lakes have calcified animals and birds on lake shores, frozen statues.

  29. Thinking of how a poor fish in a n artificial environment could be injured makes one wonder: Perhaps Sec. Clinton has developed a high sensitivity to CO2 over the years of being shut up in stuffy back rooms getting donations and political favors?

  30. ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University

    yeah…right…
    candidate for MISnamed if ever there was one
    another embarrassment for Aus
    ;-(

  31. I seem to remember a few years ago that there was a post on WUWT about some research that claimed fish were more risk from predators because the carbonic acid in seawater dissolving the bones in their ears, making them deaf and dizzy. To that we can now add mental retardation! You couldn’t make this stuff up!

  32. “. . . they’ve created ‘Dory’ from the children’s movie Finding Nemo . . .”

    +++++++++++++

    Point of order, Mr Chairman.

    You do Finding Nemo a disservice by describing it as a “children’s movie”. If it must be labelled, then a better description would be “animated movie” or perhaps “family movie”.

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