Study urges global-change researchers to embrace variability

Findings portend benefits in restoration and aquaculture

VIRGINIA INSTITUTE OF MARINE SCIENCE

Scientists typically make every effort to keep all factors but one constant when doing an experiment. Global-change scientists might move a coral from a reef to an aquarium whose water is held 1°C higher to test the effects of the ocean warming predicted for the end of the century. Or they might decrease the water’s pH by 0.4 units to study the effects of ocean acidification.

Drops in pH signal more acidic waters, which can hinder a coral’s ability to build its skeleton, while extreme warmth can make it expel the photosynthetic algae that provide much of its food energy. CREDIT © Emily Rivest.

But a new review article presents evidence that argues for a more nuanced approach to the design of these experiments–one that acknowledges and purposefully incorporates the variability inherent in nature.

The article, in the latest issue of Current Climate Change Reports, focuses on studies examining how ocean warming and acidification might affect corals and coralline algae. Lead author Emily Rivest of William & Mary’s Virginia Institute of Marine Science says its findings are also likely applicable to other foundational reef species such as oysters.

“The range of pH and temperature that some organisms experience on a daily basis exceeds the changes we expect to see in the global ocean by the end of the century,” notes Rivest, an assistant professor at VIMS. “But we don’t really know how this variability affects their physiology and their ability to respond to future change. The papers we reviewed suggest this variability is important, and we need to incorporate it into our experiments.”

Indeed, there’s a growing consensus that the degree of variability in temperature and pH an organism faces in its current environment will likely influence its response to future warming and acidification. For instance, a coral growing in a back-reef lagoon–whose restricted waters may warm drastically each afternoon under the blazing sun–may be less susceptible to long-term warming than a coral growing in the more open, temperate waters of the reef face. The same may hold true for entire species or populations of warmth-adapted corals.

In their paper, Rivest and co-authors Steeve Comeau and Christopher Cornwall of the University of Western Australia reviewed almost 100 studies of how predicted changes in ocean pH or temperature might affect coral growth. But their review found only a “handful” of the studies had purposefully varied these factors, or examined the importance of natural variability to the performance of reef organisms.

The experiments that incorporated variability fell into two categories. “One type was studies where you collect corals from a high-variability site and a low-variability site and see how they do under controlled laboratory conditions,” says Rivest. “If the variability is important in shaping their response to environmental change, then their response will depend on the site they are from.”

The second type “looked at the variability within laboratory treatments–taking corals into the lab and raising them under constant or variable conditions, then providing them with an additional stress and seeing if the variability they experienced in the lab influences their response to that stress.”

Rivest and her colleagues found that incorporating variability into an experiment’s design produced ambiguous and intriguing results.

“Corals from habitats with more temperature variability generally exhibit greater thermotolerance,” says Rivest, “but the effects of past pH variability are less clear.” On the other hand, she says, “In laboratory studies, pH variability often limited the effects of ocean acidification, but the effects of temperature variability on responses to warming were equivocal.”

Rivest, Comeau, and Cornwall say their findings warrant additional research. “We want our paper to signal the start of a new era in studies of how climate change affects foundation species,” says Rivest. “We really need to consider an animal’s current environment as a starting point for how it will respond in the future–we want this to be a point of discussion in our field, for how we should be designing experiments and thinking about these questions moving forward.”

The team says their findings could also lead to practical applications. “If we know better how environmental variability affects the ability of animals to tolerate future environmental change, then we can think about it in a restoration and conservation context,” says Rivest. “For example, if you target a reef for restoration, we could start a training program for corals where you culture them in the lab under variable conditions so they would be ready to perform well out in the reef environment.” This approach is already being applied at the Hawai’i Institute of Marine Biology, the Australian Institute of Marine Science, and other research labs worldwide.

Rivest led one of the field studies included in the recent review article–in which she compared corals from the warm waters of French Polynesia to the cooler waters of Taiwan–and now has plans to extend that research to different animals and waters near her new home on the U.S. East Coast. She joined the faculty of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science in Gloucester Point in 2016.

“I think of oysters as the corals of Chesapeake Bay,” says Rivest. “They provide similar benefits in that they create a three-dimensional habitat that supports other species. And the variability in pH and temperature in the Bay is even more dramatic than we see in a lot of coral reefs. So I plan on asking the same types of questions here. There’s a lot we can learn about how oysters will respond to future environmental changes just by surveying the natural environmental gradients they face in the Bay right now.”

She also plans to begin a series of laboratory studies. “I haven’t had the ability to easily manipulate the variability of temperature and pH in the lab yet,” says Rivest, “but the aquarium system I’m building here will allow me to do that.” She’s constructing the system in the Seawater Research Lab at VIMS, one of the largest facilities of its kind in the nation.

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70 thoughts on “Study urges global-change researchers to embrace variability

  1. Oops! or why our previous work had major faults that we did not account for? If normal is varying within a given range, then not simulating that variation is an unnatural situation, like keeping the lights on constantly.

    • “or why our previous work had major faults that we did not account for?”
      They aren’t saying anything like that. It is a paper about design of experiments in marine biology lab studies. They say that a multi-factor approach is better than varying one at a time, in biological experiments. It may well be. I don’t think that will be a major surprise to anyone.

      • true. the researchers still have not allowed for the elephant in the tea house. the laboratory does not duplicate real world conditions. thus one cannot rely on the results.

        I was diving yesterday on a healthy, protected reef in the Yucatán. thousands of large fan corals swaying back and forth as each ocean roller broke over the reef. all the while a current swept down from the north. fish everywhere with none of so called terrors of global warming relabelled climate change.

        what lab can duplicate this?

      • Factorial-type experimental designs are the only way to separate out confounding (inter-related) factors and elucidate the real relationships between variables and how they express observed results. This has been known since at least WWII and is common in most scientific fields. Are we not surprised that “climate” science doesn’t “do” statistics? Sure….

      • ““or why our previous work had major faults that we did not account for?””
        “They aren’t saying anything like that.”….

        ……….That is exactly what they are saying.

        “Scientists typically make every effort to keep all factors but one constant when doing an experiment.”
        “Determining how both environmental history as well as the direct impacts of environmental variability will interact with the effects of anthropogenic climate change should now be high priority.”

      • “ferdberple November 16, 2017 at 4:25 am
        true. the researchers still have not allowed for the elephant in the tea house. the laboratory does not duplicate real world conditions. thus one cannot rely on the results.

        I was diving yesterday on a healthy, protected reef in the Yucatán. thousands of large fan corals swaying back and forth as each ocean roller broke over the reef. all the while a current swept down from the north. fish everywhere with none of so called terrors of global warming relabelled climate change.

        what lab can duplicate this?”

        As you imply, ferdberple; no aquarium replicates open ocean systems, let alone exactly replicates.

        Just establishing viable salt water aquariums takes time to stabilize and then requires constant monitoring to keep stable. Stability is keeping the aquarium with a narrow band of healthy conditions, not simulating specific ocean sites.

        Importing raw reef materials from specific ocean sites to initiate local chemistry is one thing; importing volumes of water, food, all of the site’s benthic and reef creatures, then establishing a viable aquarium is outrageously difficult/expensive.

        Most likely, they’ll construct aquariums with local materials, use local water and a very selected group of reef creatures to share the aquarium.

        Each such approach builds unique variable implementations, only vaguely similar to original ocean habitat.

        Similar to claiming a back yard with domesticated animals replicates wildlife in their natural wilderness locations.

    • In my humble opinion, as a non scientist, it strikes me that even if one takes a piece of coral from the ocean and sticks it in a tank, with precisely the same water it was flourishing in, and adjusts one single parameter, there are still probably thousands not identified, not in the tank.

      Sounds and smells spring immediately to mind, perhaps natural stimulation from coral predators or even the company of their own kind, who knows; but I’m pretty certain that imagining an environment different to the original not presenting multifactoral differences is incredibly naive.

      • I’d like to take these so-called “scientists” out of their little enclosed world and plonk them in a closed room by themselves for a few weeks.

        Turn up the heating a bit to make it uncomfortable.

        Even put a CO2 meter on the wall. ;-) (how cruel would that be!)

        See how long they last !!

  2. So if scientists can’t even study corals allowing for factors such as natural climate variability
    doesn’t it seem just a tiny bit of a stretch to assume they can claim to understand and predict the effects
    of higher levels of CO2 as an earth heater .
    From day one the fix was in .

  3. From the “Why should we do carefully controlled studies that account for all variables when that would only ruin our goal of creating alarm.” department.

    “Global-change scientists might move a coral from a reef to an aquarium whose water is held 1°C higher to test the effects of the ocean warming predicted for the end of the century.”
    Moving a coral into an aquarium from a reef is guaranteed to give results that do not mirror what happens in the real world.
    In the real world, when coral is stressed, the cnidarian polyp host ejects the Symbiodinium algae, and after a time replaces the algae with a strain that is more suited to the conditions that caused the stress to begin with.
    This is but one of the many ways that coral have evolved to cope with what can be a rapidly changing environment.
    Doubtful that an aquarium could ever allow the range of adaptive responses that coral have at their disposal which, like most any other organism which has survived billions of years of stressors by utilizing adaptive evolution, have vast multitude of homeostatic responses and mechanisms.

    “The range of pH and temperature that some organisms experience on a daily basis exceeds the changes we expect to see in the global ocean by the end of the century,” notes Rivest, an assistant professor at VIMS. “But we don’t really know how this variability affects their physiology and their ability to respond to future change. The papers we reviewed suggest this variability is important, and we need to incorporate it into our experiments.”
    Translation: “We know very little about the subject matter we purport to have expertise in, nor do we really have a clue about doing actual science, but we have recently become aware that these things may be important.”

    Funny how this sounds like what hundreds of skeptics have been arguing for decades, only to be shouted down or ignored and belittled by warmista jackasses and their lackwit flunkies.

  4. Some have inferred from Heisenberg and uncertainty that the act of investigation can perturb the observation. This type of paper makes me feel that there is a lot of upsetting of natural systems, with protected areas, species put in zoos far captive breeding, funds put into studying natural systems to see if anything can be found that might need more money for a remedy.
    In some ways, this is natural scientific curiosity, but I feel that it is getting taken too far.
    Maybe a better approach might be to look at the world around us to see the detail of what is actually wrong, then determine if it needs a fix, how, what cost, what benefit.
    This suggestion prohibits the thought that there is abnormal climate change in progress, so that everything that can go wrong will go wrong and therefore by default everything needs investigation.
    In reality, one is hard pressed to find much that is going wrong.
    The old adage is preferred – If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Geoff.

    • As UN and IPCC spokepeople have clearly stated – this has nothing to do with climate, it’s all about wealth transfer from developed to developing nations and the de-industrialisation of civilisation.

      Maybe it’s time that some of these climate ‘scientists’ began to think about what their and their children’s future will look like in a de-industrialised society that can no longer afford the luxury of the sort of “research” they are doing or able to afford the type of lifestyle they currently enjoy !

    • Geoff Sherrington.

      The old adage is preferred –

      If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

      Unfortunately, the new adage is, if it ain’t broke, break it. Then apply for grant money to fix it. :)

  5. The GBR struggle for the hearts minds and cash of the Australian public has led to sharp divisions in those entrusted to do scientific research on our coral reef.
    Doing multifactorial studies is a powerful way to gain information on coral adaptation and breeding.
    There would be more funds if tagged onto saving the GBR.
    Corals have evolved in much hotter seas
    ‘Our modern day reef-building corals first evolved in exceedingly warm and stable climates when deep ocean temperatures were 10°C higher than today and palm trees dotted the Antarctic coast.’
    https://judithcurry.com/2016/05/24/coral-bleaching-debate/
    As such one would expect them to be hardy and adaptable.
    Perhaps this is a hypotheses that will be testable in the tank.

    • This is all the evidence you need.

      There is a melange of Marxists and power-hungry elitist intellectuals finding each other’s talents and skills mutually beneficial for engineering a take-over of the world.

      Marxists are frank about their belief that our prevailing capitalist, Judeo-Christian society is bad, and they believe they have the answer.

      The elitist intellectual scientists have fantasized themselves as the Saviours of the Masses going way far back, but this is VERY apparent in their writings and in sciency-oriented science fiction as soon as the Nukelar Age dawned. Harrison Brown, etc.

      This is the Fragile Nature hypothesis, despite all proof to the contrary that any species in existence has survived greatly varying environmental conditions.

    • There’s an article in our local rag, The Courier Mail, today 17 November 2017, p.25, ” Reef alive with colour Expedition finds little bleaching. ”

      World renown underwater photographer Stephen Frink:

      ” We’d been led to believe you’ve got a great big dead coral reef.”

      ” But Frink said there was very little sign of coral bleaching or mortality. ”

      ” It was one of the healthiest reef systems I’ve seen in the last five years.”

      So, WHO ARE THE LIARS ?

  6. I recently saw a doc on one of our glacier national parks. They keep a graft of the size of the glaciers yearly. The advice is if one cares to see these wonders come now because they are disappearing quickly…global warming.

    • Not so.

      Planet earth travels in earth time, not human time.
      To humans, 100 years is a very long time – 4 generations.
      To planet earth, 10,000 years is barely a blink. And the most recent switch from glaciation phase to the Holocene interglacial was only 10k to 15k years ago. The earth is still warming from rebound from the glaciation, and glaciers are melting at a commensurate rate. Not at the rate at which the earth near surface atmosphere, but at a rate determined by both surface temperature, sub-surface temperature, and other factors.
      For example, the tilt of the earth’s axis of rotation to the plane of the ecliptic is changing – getting smaller. This is causing the tropics to move closer to the equator. If I remember correctly, this rate is manifested in a movement of about 500 metres per year.
      This has a significant and predictable impact on insolation, which is steadily causing surface temperature to increase, ocean temperature to increase, glaciers to melt etc.
      It is called nature.
      Similarly, the shape of the earth orbit around the sun is steadily changing in a predictable and calculable manner, affecting insolation. Similarly the precession of the earth’s axis of rotation is entirely predictable and calculable, and the effect on insolation is predictable and calculable.
      More recently, the effect of the precession of the perihelion entirely predicts arctic ice cover.
      These effects are also due to nature, and all cause the climate to change in a steady and predictable and calculable manner.
      Nature.

      • Peter, hate to contradict you, but what you stated is not supported by the evidence’
        The glaciers in Glacier National Park have been melting for over 150 years, as have been many mountain glaciers all over the world.
        The reason is that they grew tremendously when the Earth was experiencing the Little Ice Age, which ended just before the turn of the 20th century.
        In fact, we have not been warming since the last interglacial began.
        We have been cooling since the Holocene Climate Optimum, when the Earth reached it’s highest temperatures of this interglacial period.
        At that time, the Sahara was a green and verdant savannah, criss-crossed with rivers and streams and dotted with lakes.
        There have been, since that time, a series of cooling period and warming periods, with each cold period colder than the previous one, and each warm period not as warm, generally (there have been exceptions, but the general trend is quite clear).
        So-called climate scientists would like very much for no one to ever see or even know about the following graph, which they have regretted obtaining ever since it ruined, yet again, their whole fake CAGW narrative.

    • House of heart, I think folks are trying to explain to you that the glaciers retreat during warming periods and advance again during the cooler periods. So perhaps it’s worth reading a bit more about exactly how old most glaciers are and you should find that most of them are quite young. Please don’t rant about “Science”, and perhaps put some more effort into understanding glaciers and the past natural warming and cooling cycles of the earth. Then if you have something meaningful to contribute to the next discussion of glaciers, by all means say it.

  7. I have no problem with investigating the combined effects of multiple simultaneous parameter changes which may interact in hitherto unknown ways. After all it is now common to combine medical therapies such as hyperthermia with chemotherapeutic agents.

    What I do have a problem with is this monomaniacal fixation with carbon dioxide bordering on a medical condition itself. So let’s look at varying two parameters together shall we? Let’s look at water temperature – driven by co2 of course and combine that with water pH – oh look! That’s driven by co2 as well of course. Just the anthropegenic component of co2 of course.

    In getting on for half a century of this blind fixation with tiny percentage shifts in the devil molecule concentrations not a single deleterious effect has yet been demonstrated. This is not science but cult obsession.

  8. Typical that it would take an oyster specialist to point this out, since tolerating changes is what oysters do for a living. They thrive in coastal/estuarial/lagoonal environments where salinity, temperature, sea-level and turbidity vary strongly and often unpredictably. Not much competition or predation (except by humans) there either.

    • Back before satellites and when VIMS was the Virginia Fisheries Laboratory I worked there on oysters for over two years. There was a disease (MSX) in Delaware Bay that they worried would come into the Chesapeake, which it eventually did. I recently found out, confirmed in a review, that its life cycle (as a Sporozoan, very certainly with some sort of intermediate host) is not known. There are only a few papers even in that direction and after a half century plus maybe it is time.

      The situation in Chesapeake Bay is much more complicated than you read about. Maryland has a long history of public reefs, Virginia one of private leases, like Louisiana. Private leases favor production, but diseases and predators are worse in the higher salinity Virginia part of the bay. Nowadays the plan is biomass for sequestration of nitrogen and even carbon dioxide. There is a large literature on the chemistry of this, apparently little understood by many who try to restore reefs.

      While there is nothing wrong with Chesapeake biologists comparing coral reefs, they might pay more attention to their ‘backyard.’ The “new approach” might look at the old approach.

      Burreson, E. M. and S. E. Ford. 2004. A review of recent information on the Haplosporidia, with special reference to Haplosporidium nelsoni. (MSX disease). Aquatic and Living Resources. 17:499-517.

  9. I live next to coral reef. Boat sounders have thermometers, The local sea varies from 19DegC through to 26 DegC, and I’ve only been looking for a few months. Wait till summer.
    As for pH, the local reef is fed by a cluster of rivers. The local harbour goes from muddy river water after cyclones, through to pure clear sea water in the dry. The effect on osmolarity is huge, so the effect on pH has to be equally massive.
    And still the reef thrives. It’s amazingly tough. One degree variability in temp, and 0.4 change in pH, I shake my head. And you can’t compare Tahiti with Taiwan, they are different environments. They need to get out of the lab, and spend ten years living ON the reef.
    I am sorry, but I get the impression these researchers are absolutely clueless.

    • Peter,
      I do not get the “impression” that these researchers are clueless.
      I KNOW they are clueless.

  10. I got as far as “ocean acidification ” then switched off , it’s not a science document it’s some sort of propaganda .

  11. For some years I was running Tourist boats on the Oz great barrier reef. One of my responsibilities was for an under water observatory in a very good spot. Well away from any habitation, it was in an always clean water, wide passage between outer islands.

    It had 3 metre shelves surrounding it, which we had to stock with coral, to keep a good display. This was a never ending job, requiring a permit to collect, & although it was a good spot, most coral suffered to some extent from collection & relocation. The corals were moved about 35 miles & the flood tide brought water from their home reefs to the observatory.

    It was rare to get more than a year form any corals, & some species were much more susceptible to the damage of relocation. We still got longer than most specimen cared for by scientists in their tanks.

    Thinking to ease the effort required in collection, we returned some corals that were locking a bit down to the reef in a easy access area, hoping to rejuvenate them for reuse. It appeared the transportation was a major problem, although done very carefully. All the relocated corals died more quickly than they would have if not moved again.

    I found that we were getting up to double the life from our display that other similar open water or tank displays were getting. This was pleasing but showed how vulnerable to relocation most corals really are.

    • Hasbeen, that’s very odd…..I work with reef restoration projects….we never have that problem
      If your shelves were metal, you might want to research electrolysis….that does affect them and there’s some papers out there on it

    • I have sps in my display that is over 12 years old. Locating corals in the same ‘wild’ environments that they came from is important … light, water flow, nutrients … I purposefully leave out pH, alkalinity, etc., as the natural environment of the GBR should be generally constant.

      [“sps” = species ? .mod]

    • LMAO, you got there before I did.

      I don’t remember that being a degree offered at my university, do you?

      Oh wait, I know it’s a subset of meteorology…just like paranormal scientist is a subset of psychology. :)

    • Lol. I was wondering the same thing.
      Perhaps a post-religious priest, with the liturgy of climate doom to guide his offerings before the faithfully duped….

  12. I like the concept of training corals in the lab.
    They will be able to learn to sit, beg and come to the door when a tiny bell rings.
    You bloody beauty!!

  13. Reductionism has acquired a bad reputation but it’s largely responsible for the scientific revolution.

    The ancient Greeks observed that, if you moved an object, it would lose velocity. They naturally concluded that, to keep moving, an object must continue to be pushed. Rocks fell faster than feathers and therefore heavy objects must fall faster than light ones.

    Newton’s laws of motion conflicted with peoples’ lived experience. Understanding that both momentum and friction could be accounted for as separate variables was revolutionary. Without that, modern life would be impossible.

    Reductionism allows us to ask simple questions that have simple reliable answers.

    Like any other tool, reductionism has its limitations. If people don’t understand that they suffer something summed up in the following aphorism: “If the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.”

  14. Ok…
    I’ll give the paper it’s due in 1 sentence. It reiterated what any marine science sophomore is told in lab: “Well, that’s not what you expected…so what didn’t you account for? Give a list.”

    The point of that lab was very simple, to prove how complex and variable the ocean is and that you can not take out 1 element to study and draw conclusions that affect the whole.

  15. “For example, if you target a reef for restoration, we could start a training program for corals where you culture them in the lab under variable conditions so they would be ready to perform well out in the reef environment.”
    Best laugh of the week for me!! I’m off to become a personal fitness trainer for corals.

  16. I suppose that a Global-change scientist could also be called a “No Schist Sherlock Scientist”…

    “The range of pH and temperature that some organisms experience on a daily basis exceeds the changes we expect to see in the global ocean by the end of the century,” notes Rivest, an assistant professor at VIMS. “But we don’t really know how this variability affects their physiology and their ability to respond to future change. The papers we reviewed suggest this variability is important, and we need to incorporate it into our experiments.”

    Indeed, there’s a growing consensus that the degree of variability in temperature and pH an organism faces in its current environment will likely influence its response to future warming and acidification. For instance, a coral growing in a back-reef lagoon–whose restricted waters may warm drastically each afternoon under the blazing sun–may be less susceptible to long-term warming than a coral growing in the more open, temperate waters of the reef face. The same may hold true for entire species or populations of warmth-adapted corals.

    No schist Sherlock…

    Using the Warmunist method of calculating pre-industrial and future oceanic pH levels directly from atmospheric CO2, I get the following…

    So… Clearly the boron isotope pH calculations from coral reefs must be wrong… They are way too low for 280 ppm CO2… /Sarc

    Coral reefs have thrived for hundreds of millions of years.

    The Eniwetok/Bikini coral reef complex dates back to the Eocene. Oddly enough, there is an unconformity between the Eocene and Miocene. There was apparently little or no coral growth during the Oligocene, a period of global cooling and falling sea level.

    Average annual pH reconstructions and measurements from various Pacific Ocean locations:

    60 million to 40 million years ago: 7.42 to 8.04 (Pearson et al., 2000)
    23 million to 85,000 years ago: 8.04 to 8.31 (Pearson et al., 2000)
    6,000 years ago to present: 7.91 to 8.28 (Liu et al., 2009)
    1708 AD to 1988 AD: 7.91 to 8.17 (Pelejero et al., 2005)
    2000 AD to 2007 AD: 8.10 to 8.40 (Wootton et al., 2008)

    The low pH levels from 60 mya to 40 mya include the infamous Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM). Even then, the oceans did not actually “acidify;” the lowest pH was 7.42 (still alkaline).

    Reef waters are bad places to measure pH – way too much photosynthesis going on. However, reefs are the only decent source for continuous, high resolution reconstructions of paleo-pH.

    Open ocean pH time series, like HOTS, show very little pH variation compared to Flinders Reef and of are far too short a record length to identify any of the natural cyclical variability documented in Flinders Reef.

    There are no measurements of pre-industrial oceanic pH, apart from boron isotope proxies from ancient coral reefs and these show no secular pH trend.

  17. So ’embrace variability’ is shorthand for wake up and do it right, with diverse conditions and controls and a special muzzle that restricts the emission of hyperbole and unproven projection. But at what point in the shared psyche does a minuscule delta over time become a bogeyman? Immediate panic from a speculative or slow-moving trend is every bit a mental disorder as a complete lack of concern when faced with a real emergency.

    It finds its ultimate expression in sea level rise. It is sooo dodgy. Being from the Caribbean where storm surges can be ten feet — and with tsunami risk you can take this global — there is no question those of us near the water live on borrowed time. Think of it as a coastal buffer zone where anyone inferring they have a right to be above the water is a fool’s argument. Claiming that mankind is threatening this ‘right’ is additionally specious. Crying ’emergency’ for projected millimeter rise even more ludicrous. If you try to get them to admit in any way that these things are NOT directly actionable, in the sense that a rational degree of engineering and preparedness should already be present, or that itself is the problem, you get nowhere. Like a five second reboot. Yet these things occupy minds. And minds let them. Why?

    I believe the answer is both embarrassing and sad. Consider the next five seconds in this video clip. It shows clearly a horrible moment to any air-breathing creature, and with intellect and empathy, carries as much horror as the illustrated victim. You can paint this idea with watercolors or words, even a sharp tone of voice.

    I’m sure the little girl was just looking at a floating dog. If they showed her the final product where the dog sinks out of sight, I want to sock someone out cold and wake them so I can do it again. Who is with me?

    I posit that a genuine feeling of existential dread caps off at around five seconds. Its ancient purpose is to (electrically, with neurons) trigger the adrenaline response fully, and the dread passes that quickly because it must leave the mind alert and ready to think and act.

    If we peel off the politic qui bono layers of climate hysteria and the hive mentality and zero in on the luminaries who propagate the formula come what may, I think we will find they have some single existential dread moment in their past — no more than that five seconds’ duration — that silently, perhaps invisibly loops in their heads. What loosens the mental threads when someone else is about to make an opposing view? From whence comes the urge to ‘shut it down’ instead of analytically formulating a response?

    The opposing team errs (in my opinion) if it assumes this must always stem from inherent personality traits. Traits such as being permitting of hypocrisy and its psychtrendy term cognitive dissonance, or arrogance or greed or even immaturity. Perhaps it actually stems from a tiny loop of dread that was planted subconsciously upon a time and persists.

    Psychologists who treat schizophrenic patients are ever on the lookout for clues that a single thought is repeating itself, and yes, it typically grows from trauma. It would be silly to confine the idea to that extreme case and give the rest of us a squeaky clean bill of health. I also propose that socialization with language gives everyone the ability to ‘treat’ everyone else. And infect them also. Infection that had been contained by oral narrative until writing and television came along and permitted the broadcast of additional senses.

    • Once I asked a JW about the tithes, and he told me about some Peter epistle that said, the one that preaches the gospel would live out the gospel. That is what happens to this anthropogenic people; they are living out the gospel climate Armageddon. For so long they would be paid, they would continue preaching this gospel. Once the faucet would not give out any more money it would get soon dry.

  18. A cyclonic downpour will significantly reduce pH in localised reef areas for several days.
    And Nemo just keeps on smiling.

  19. The climate political commissars are not going to like this reckless use of the V-word for variability.

  20. Scientists typically make every effort to keep all factors but one constant when doing an experiment. Global-change scientists might move a coral from a reef to an aquarium whose water is held 1°C higher to test the effects of the ocean warming predicted for the end of the century.

    That’s changing two factors, not one, in the experiment — moving the coral then torturing it. Stopped reading right there. The author obviously can’t count.

  21. “The range of pH and temperature that some organisms experience on a daily basis exceeds the changes we expect to see in the global ocean by the end of the century,”

    Yes, the daily variability exceeds the wildly over-estimated effects from CO2 by an order of magnitude. Throw seasonal variability into the mix and the rage gets far larger. Add on top of this natural variability and we can see why climate science is so f—-d up.

    One reason this gets ignored is through the use of anomaly analysis which is more indicative of the error in the data than it is of a fraction of a degree trend. Diurnal, seasonal and natural system variability with a range exceeding 20C are all subtracted away. All that’s left is noise and error. In fact, the primary purpose of anomaly analysis is to identify bad data and bad methods the combination of which defines the state of consensus climate science.

  22. Yeah, jacking up temperatures with a blow torch, and pouring in hydrochloride acid on corals that have suffered the trauma of uprooting from a supportive complex environment in the wild has generated a lot of alarum in the coral global warming acidification models I understand.

    We had an article here a few years ago from a coral specialist who said most laboratory studies of stressing corals are too badly done to give useful conclusions. The literature is largely useless.

  23. To me, this article is just pointing out what common sense says about the scientific weaknesses of this type of research.

    Michael Crichton was complaining about just this type of thing in his great criticism of “global warming”, and how climate science needs to use the techniques that his colleagues developed in medical research to get real results.

  24. When ‘researchers’ can learn to grow and sustain coral in the artificial confines of a glass box for LONG periods of time in excess of say 5 years, then they can begin understand coral physiology. Amateur marine aquarists have been doing this for years and laugh at these clowns. All these clowns are good for is drying out coral skeletons in an autoclave. Meh !

  25. Buzz Aldrin quote:

    “I think the climate has been changing for billions of years. If it’s warming now, it may cool off later. I’m not in favor of just taking short-term isolated situations and depleting our resources to keep our climate just the way it is today. I’m not necessarily of the school that we are causing it all, I think the world is causing it.”

    Well said Buzz.

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