Claim: CO2 Will Cause Baby Fish To Lose Their Way Home

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Who feels sad about the fate of the poor lost baby fish?

Baby fish may not find their way home as the level of CO2 in the ocean rises, study finds

University of Adelaide Professor Ivan Nagelkerken said some species of fish larvae relied on sounds in the ocean to find their way between open areas and shallow water.

When larvae grow big enough, they find their way to their natural habitats along the coastlines.

“A lot of larvae have evolved to use certain cues to help them find their new homes … including sounds,” Professor Nagelkerken said.

“It’s a very reliable, directional cue that can help them to navigate to find these homes.”

The research compared the behaviour of barramundi larvae in normal water to water with elevated CO2 levels similar to those predicted for the end of the century.

The right sounds would have led the barramundi to their natural habitat — tropical estuarine mangroves.

Instead, they were attracted to different sounds and white noise, leading them to habitats that were not beneficial to their survival.

“When we raised these larvae under elevated CO2, we saw that those larvae were no longer attracted — and worse, they were deterred by — the natural sounds of their natural habitat,” he said.

Read more: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-12/baby-fish-may-not-find-their-way-home/9643356

The abstract of the study;

On the wrong track: ocean acidification attracts larval fish to irrelevant environmental cues

Tullio Rossi, Jennifer C. A. Pistevos, Sean D. Connell & Ivan Nagelkerken

Population replenishment of marine life largely depends on successful dispersal of larvae to suitable adult habitat. Ocean acidification alters behavioural responses to physical and chemical cues in marine animals, including the maladaptive deterrence of settlement-stage larval fish to odours of preferred habitat and attraction to odours of non-preferred habitat. However, sensory compensation may allow fish to use alternative settlement cues such as sound. We show that future ocean acidification reverses the attraction of larval fish (barramundi) to their preferred settlement sounds (tropical estuarine mangroves). Instead, acidification instigates an attraction to unfamiliar sounds (temperate rocky reefs) as well as artificially generated sounds (white noise), both of which were ignored by fish living in current day conditions. This finding suggests that by the end of the century, following a business as usual CO2 emission scenario, these animals might avoid functional environmental cues and become attracted to cues that provide no adaptive advantage or are potentially deleterious. This maladaptation could disrupt population replenishment of this and other economically important species if animals fail to adapt to elevated CO2 conditions.

Read more: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-24026-6

According to the body of the text, the study was conducted in a big fish tank.

In my opinion the premise of this study is absurd. You can’t draw meaningful conclusions about the impact of a century of gradual change by dropping fish into an elevated CO2 environment and seeing which way they swim.

Even if the apparent confusion was caused by CO2 rather than contaminants or problems with the sound equipment, over the next eighty years fish will have plenty of opportunity to adapt to changed conditions – an opportunity not afforded to the unfortunate baby fish which participated in this experiment.

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131 thoughts on “Claim: CO2 Will Cause Baby Fish To Lose Their Way Home

  1. Must be all of those wind turbines! Causing researchers in Australia to lose their way an dget lost in white noise.

    “We show that future ocean acidification reverses the attraction of larval fish (barramundi) to their preferred settlement sounds (tropical estuarine mangroves). Instead, acidification instigates an attraction to unfamiliar sounds (temperate rocky reefs) as well as artificially generated sounds (white noise), both of which were ignored by fish living in current day conditions”

    How do researchers make claims about fish larvae, plankton, failing to locate their alleged “preferred settlement sounds”?

    Did they conduct these tests in nature where the actual environment is making these “settlement sounds”?
    No.

    I had always understood that while in their larval stage, fish larvae are pushed by wind, currents and tides. At a later point in their growth period, fish, i.e. fish that are no longer larva, swim towards their preferred environments.

    These pretend researchers dumping fish larvae into aquariums and then torturing the little beasts should get their own inner tubes so they can reconstruct plankton pathways.

    • “How do researchers make claims about fish larvae, plankton, failing to locate their alleged “preferred settlement sounds”?”

      That would be my question, too.

      Since Professor Nagelkerken is interested in sound in the oceans he ought to do a study on whether all those off-shore windmills are disrupting the sounds whales and dolphins us to get around in their environment. Windmill sounds make humans sick on land and might make whales and dolphins sick in the oceans.

      Professor Nagelkerken will have to do these studies in the open ocean instead of his fishtank.

    • It is no where near approaching the real life conditions to be expected at the end of the century. They have totally ignored the almost certain threat of vast hordes of flying pigs buoyed by elevated CO2 and the updraft off of massive decommissioned wind and solar farms which will almost certainly swoop down and consume all the little larval fishies before they ever even consider what that funny flapping noise they hear is.

      • Don’t be daft, Andy. No one will be genetically engineering flying pigs.
        It will be flying bovines. Everyone knows the future is in buffalo wings.

  2. When I read these studies that seem absurd before I even read the text, my first reaction is; who would put their name to a study like this?

    So many people need to understand what a sniff test is, or how to do a back of the envelope calculation. They seem to get lost in detail and forget that there is a big picture. No wonder so many people are critical of academics in their isolated environments.

  3. This study collapses on one simple fact. When applied to fish, the term “larvae” refers to the very short period (weeks at most) between eggs and juveniles. In essence, fish larvae are plankton, often carrying yoke sacks. They can’t swim effectively (possibly wriggle in a static tank but certainly not power through crashing waves). They aren’t fully formed fish and need to effect a kind of metamorphosis to recognisable fish before taking control of their destinies. Sorry, but this is yet another garbage study whose sole aim is to seek “evidence” to prove global warming. All rather sad.

  4. The really sad thing here is that someone happy to produce such pseudo scientific drivel has been made a ‘Professor’.

    Not only this Nagelkerken chump, but the academics who promoted him, just blew their credibility out of the water.

  5. Perhaps send all the larvae to New Zealand.

    The only noise they will hear will be of horses pulling carts containing the wreckage of the New Zealand economy.

    ‘New Zealand bans new offshore oil and gas exploration in quest for net zero emissions”

      • ‘ Seems to me that the entire thing may be nothing more than a tank of bullwashery that’s produced in a quest for funding from gullible politicians…..And God knows we have plenty of them.

    • I think horses are the way to go in NZ. Well, your new PM looks like she is setting the bar anyway. She may be setting to follow Herr Clarken Furher to the UN?

  6. So why does Eric go for such a ‘sarcy’ title to this article with the childish cartoon – basically he wants the reader to belittle this research study even before beginning to read about it.

    Why doesn’t WUWT get a bit more serious about the state of this planet instead of making sarcy, snide jokes about articles connected in any way to climate change? I thought this was supposed to be a logical, objective, scientific-based site.

    How about discussing some serious issues for a change such as potentital water shortages around the world owing to a warming planet. This should give you something to chew on Eric: https://mankindsdegradationofplanetearth.com/2018/04/12/are-water-crises-even-water-wars-coming-on-this-information-it-looks-like-it/

    • From the report in your link to your alarmist propaganda website…

      “…With a chronic overuse of resources, it only takes a few bad rainfalls or poor management decisions to plunge a region into crisis…”

      Poor management being the largest factor in shortages. Not planning for expanded consumption and not managing what resources you have.

    • If you want to take the study seriously, try reading it. Tell us how high they had to push the CO2 levels to get these astounding results. Then you can calculate how many centuries it would take for the current coal & oil consumption to reach them. For extra marks, you can check to see if fossil fuel reserves are even large enough to reach that level.

      • Some incompetence – I will give you that – but of course you are completely ignoring the highly unusual weather patterns over the Eastern Cape that led to such an long and exacerbated drought. Now how did they come about, I wonder? Ah, yes, AGW is altering weather patterns/systems around the world.

      • “ivankinsman April 12, 2018 at 3:24 am

        …highly unusual weather patterns over the Eastern Cape that led to such an long and exacerbated drought. Now how did they come about, I wonder?”

        What about the east African horn in 1984?

      • “but of course you are completely ignoring the highly unusual weather patterns over the Eastern Cape that led to such an long and exacerbated drought. ”

        You mean to say that Cape Town has never had a drought before?

        California had a bad drought a few years ago, too. But then it rained. Calfornia’s drought wasn’t unprecedented even though it was severe. There have been severe droughts in California before. One of them lasted about 200 years! And that occurred long before humans started burning fossil fuels.

        Cape Town’s weather is just weather. There is no evidence that CO2 has anything to do with it. Claiming it does, doesn’t make it so.

      • ivanski, nothing unusual about the weather patterns. They’ve happened before, they will happen again.
        According to you, if something hasn’t happened in the last 20 years, this time it’s caused by CO2.

      • Ivan, even a modicum of research will show that there will be a net increase in rainfall due to global warming.
        It’s quite simple actually. Warmer weather increases evaporation. What goes up must come down. This is the most basic of science there is. It’s one of the most solid conclusions about the effects of climate change.

        To compare, water shortages are universally caused by poor management. There’s no excuse, really. If you did not have sufficient water, you would not build a city in that location. Even cities in the middle of deserts have plenty of water for everyone if they play their cards rights. Get some water reuse, proper recycling, and anyone can survive a multi-year drought quite easily. Now, crop failures due to drought are a possibility. However, (as explained in paragraph one) you CAN’T have a worldwide drought. Planetwide rainfall is a near-constant.

      • Reminds me of claims the Perth will be a ghost town. Only twice in the past 25 years has yearly rainfall dropped to below 600mm (24 inches) with the lowest 467mm.

    • Ivan is getting desperate for rationale to thread bomb.
      Note Ivan’s fake claim for Eric to post “serious issues”; then makes a specious claim about water shortages in a warming world…

      “ivankinsman April 11, 2018 at 11:30 pm

      How about discussing some serious issues for a change such as potentital water shortages around the world owing to a warming planet
      …”

      Except, Ivan forgets that Warming = greater evaporation that results in greater rainfall.

      No “serious issues”, just fabricated nonsense. where the water shortages except those in Ivan’s head.

      One does wonder why Ivan wastes time posting such drivel?
      Perhaps Ivan is one of Steyer’s or Soro’s paid trollops?

      • My favourite part of ‘Waterworld’ was the moment the poor guy condemned to spend his time in a dinghy floating on the dwindling oil in Dennis Hopper’s tanker sees the flare coming down to blow it all up and simply says “Thank God!”. A feeling we can all sympathise with from time to time.

      • “ivankinsman April 12, 2018 at 3:25 am”

        So what you are saying is, the weather….changes…and cannot be predicted to any certainty?

      • ivanski, you know as well as I do, that you can find a “climate expert” to say anything. And most of them do.

      • Ivan, the models are directly contradictory when scaled down. Do you remember the “Joshua Tree” study? They used 9 models, and each one gave a completely result of what areas would have sufficient water. It was featured on this site because they averaged the disparate models and went with the results.

        There will always be change. However, a properly designed system can be adapted as need arises. This is a civic planning issue.

      • “ivankinsman April 12, 2018 at 3:25 am
        You know as well as I do that the climate experts are stating some parts will get wetter BUT some parts will also get drier as a result of AGW.”

        Absurd red herring logical fallacy, by ivankinsmann.

        We are discussing your irrational claim, ivankinsmann!

        “ivankinsman April 11, 2018 at 11:30 pm

        How about discussing some serious issues for a change such as potentital water shortages around the world owing to a warming planet”

        That one where you display hubris and condescension by:
        A) dictating what is serious and what isn’t.
        B) claiming warmth causes water shortages.

        Fake social justice claims by ivankinsmann; where ivan displays his complete lack of superiority and sincerity.

        In other words, a shill.

    • [snip . . . c’mon Bill, you are better than that. You make good points but the delivery sucks for this site . . . mod]

      • Who is talking about the ‘end is near’. What I am talking about are extremely serious water shortages occurring around the world as a result of AGW that could result in potentially explosive social upheavals. Haven’t you read about how drastic the situation was becoming in Cape Town for the city’s residents. How would you like to have been in their apalling situation, queuing up at springs and water taps with your several containers? Give me a break…

      • And so the models can predict how much rain a particular place on the earth will get or not get due to CAGW? Wait, that’s called the “weather.”

    • well maybe because the original title says pretty much the same in boffinspeak?
      and frankly its such cr*ap that ridicule is about all it deserves?
      watershortages in part enhanced some some “caring ecologist” got dams blasted to save one useless smelt or suchlike? over food and water for people plant crops and even other wildlife that benefits from vast reserves of water keeping the environnment from drying out?
      teaching kids to be ultra careful using water, and young homemakers as well, theres little real excuse for wearing most clothes one time n washing using auto machines daily.
      leaving taps running -washing cars weekly and not even doing it on a lawned area for double value at least! 2 gallons in a bucket is plenty to clean a car and maybe another bucket if you oversoaped to rinse.
      money wasted on scaring the poor kids over co2 bullsh*t could be used educating in some real issues mayhap?
      some subsidies for rainwater tanks, so people get decent drinking water without pharma drugs recycled? but the snowflake mob think rainwater dangerous cos a bird may poop on your roof etc.
      so boil it.
      water shortages have stuff all to do with fictional warming
      and a whole lot due to bad planning and govvy waste of funds on unicorn fart warmist claptrap!

      • Don’t make me laugh. The only way freedom-loving Americans are going to change their water use habits is when the water starts running dry and the state governments might just be able to impose water restrictions … as was the case in the Californian drought.

        Anyway, it is agriculture/industry who are the big users. Water shortages impact them first. Expect countries’ economies to suffer $ losses as these shortages start to take effect in line with rising global temperatures. ‘Smart’ governments are acting now … dumb ones are sitting on their arses.

    • How can we be ‘short of water’ on the planet? Within a very slight variation, we have exactly the same amount of water on this planet as we started with. It neither gets created nor destroyed (ignoring the slight variations to do with electrolysis and such)

      What we might get short of is water purification, storage and distribution facilities. That’s nothing to do with CO2, and everything to do with population expanding in limited areas. And to solve that you need investment…..

      • And do you know how much that investment costs? Saudi Arabia (I lived there) only exists because it has water purification facilities on both coasts that pump water through extensive pipe infrastructure to its inland urbanisations. This water is expensive and the Saudis can only do it because they have the petro $.

        So what about poorer countries

    • The “ocean acidification” sets the tone that “A less basic ocean” can’t. There is no plausible mechanism that comes to mind that could neutralise a bio signal by making the oceans more neutral except a compound with pKa of near 8. Highly unlikely that nature would evolve to be so sensitive with such a large pH variation of the oceans and the temperature changes at the end of the last glacial maximum. But these guys have the cajones to publish a paper that larvae of an estuary fish are going to be severely affect by pH levels in an extremely variable environment via the effect on sound! How could you be so gullible to give it the time of day?

    • ivankinsman,
      It’s probably a waste of your time, fruitlessly chastising the views of others.
      Instead, you could direct your talents at promoting efforts to do something about the problem.

      Andrea Rossi would welcome your assistance.

    • 1) The so called study is a joke.
      2) The state of the planet is find, and getting better
      3) According to the models, global warming means more rain. We already know that more CO2 means plants don’t need as much water.

      • And why is it gobbledygook? Because Ivan the Invincibly Ignorant says so!

        You might as well be mocking someone who says the sky is blue.

    • There’s more water in the ice asteroids of Saturn’s outer rings than human civilization could ever use. If fresh water supplies really are in danger of running short in the future, maybe we could spend time and money figuring out how to go get some. But that would be human ingenuity and endeavor at work, a foreign concept to neo-Malthusian alarmists.

    • Ivan the planet is behaving naturally, all systems are operating normally and global warming has come to an end.

      As we slide into a cooling phase we should expect more precipitation worldwide.

      • Let’s turn that around ironicman. Don’t try a ‘T’rump-like’ denial of the facts.

        The planet is behaving completely unnaturally, all systems are increasingly out of kilter, and global temperatures are heating up. Do your research my man.

        [???????????????? .mod]

      • Ivan How the hell would you know as I doubt you are over a hundred.
        There have been times when the earth has had greater CO2 and temperatures that have been higher and most of life has survived. In actual fact life tends to do better when it is warmer.
        We know plant life does better when there is more CO2 and the whole it does better when it is warmer.
        Before 1954 my father went through a draught that I have never experienced in my life.
        You don’t know very little just like most of us.

      • Mankind has survived owing to relatively benign climate conditions during our evolution when population numbers were relatively small. This is not the case now with a 7 billion population, expected to rise to 9 billion, many of whom live in coastal cities. Don’t compare chalk and cheese

      • So you obviously believe all the bullshit that half of the population of the world is going to get inundated. Sea levels have not been rising at any greater rate than they have done since the little ice age.
        More CO2 feeds more people.

      • You stupidly have not been following recent threads here.
        By the way you were talking about the increasing population before. What have you done about that? You are still here so you haven’t topped yourself.

      • Don’t worry Mikey – the AGW-sceptics will be the first ones to go when things really start getting tough … in fact they can sacrifice themselves for being morons (not that they will of course).

        REFUTE THIS EVIDENCE!!!!!!!!

        Core samples, tide gauge readings, and, most recently, satellite measurements tell us that over the past century, the Global Mean Sea Level (GMSL) has risen by 4 to 8 inches (10 to 20 centimeters). However, the annual rate of rise over the past 20 years has been 0.13 inches (3.2 millimeters) a year, roughly twice the average speed of the preceding 80 years.

        Over the past century, the burning of fossil fuels and other human and natural activities has released enormous amounts of heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere. These emissions have caused the Earth’s surface temperature to rise, and the oceans absorb about 80 percent of this additional heat.

        The rise in sea levels is linked to three primary factors, all induced by this ongoing global climate change:

        * Thermal Expansion: When water heats up, it expands. About half of the past century’s rise in sea level is attributable to warmer oceans simply occupying more space.

        *Melting Glaciers and Polar Ice Caps: Large ice formations, like glaciers and the polar ice caps, naturally melt back a bit each summer. In the winter, snows, primarily from evaporated seawater, are generally sufficient to balance out the melting. Recently, though, persistently higher temperatures caused by global warming have led to greater-than-average summer melting as well as diminished snowfall due to later winters and earlier springs. This imbalance results in a significant net gain in the ratio of runoff to ocean evaporation, causing sea levels to rise.

        *Ice Loss from Greenland and West Antarctica: As with the glaciers and ice caps, increased heat is causing the massive ice sheets that cover Greenland and Antarctica to melt at an accelerated pace. Scientists also believe meltwater from above and seawater from below is seeping beneath Greenland’s and West Antarctica’s ice sheets, effectively lubricating ice streams and causing them to move more quickly into the sea. Higher sea temperatures are causing the massive ice shelves that extend out from Antarctica to melt from below, weaken, and break off.

      • You are full of shit. I have heard so much from you CAGW believers that I no longer take you seriously. In fact what I have noticed is that most of you are narcissists.
        Everyone has a touch of narcissism in them but I have noticed your type has more than needed.

      • Keep to the facts Mikey. You said SLR has not increased and I am stating unequivically that they have. It seems now that you make statements that you cannot support so resort to inane mud-slinging such as ‘naricissits’, ‘shit’ etc. – exactly what the sceptics accuse AGW supporters of doing. You can’t have it both ways my friend.

      • In your very first post you did exactly what you accused the originator of doing. As I said you are a narcissist.
        Go back and read that thread about sea level rise and then come back to me.

      • By the way why do you call me Mikey? Is it your narcissism coming out and you can feel like you can treat me like a dumb Irish mick.
        Just interested because you aren’t the first CAGW type to do that.

      • Ok sorry Mike. Didn’t know it upset you so much. Don’t worry – sceptics call me Ivanski, the Russian spy etc. Feel free to do so if you like.

  7. “University of Adelaide…”

    And an ABC article, stopped reading after that. South Australia is the crash test dummy for renewables remember?

  8. There is copious use of the words ‘could’, ‘ may’ and ‘ might in that report. If the authors also believe in evolution, then the fish will either adapt or die; so what are they worried about?
    Alternatively, of they’re so concerned about the gate of these fish, there’s plenty of time for them to begin breeding a strain of fish who can find their way home in the devil waters.

    • Actually doing good things and making good things is much harder in real life.

      These environmental activist-academics are smart enough to have worked out that it pays much better to sit around imagining various bad things that might happen in the future. In the past, their disciplines were little more than that of Victorian butterfly collectors who got the luxury of travelling to exotic destinations to look at the exotic wildlife, and write down what they saw with a few illustrations. The advent of photography provided extra longevity to this approach. But that sort of funding dried up, and they had to invent new ways to extract financial resources away from genuine research budgets. At heart, the dissolving-coral-reef ocean-acidifying ‘scientists’ are largely just scuba diving enthusiasts and photographers in disguise.

  9. Ocean fist survived hundreds of millions of years with CO2 levels much higher than they are today and still survived.. They also survived that last ice age when the cooler oceans absorbed a lot more CO2 then is in the today.

    • A history lesson always puts things in perspective when it comes to climate science. Look to the past. See what happened at times in the past. If Professor Nagelkerken had done that then maybe he wouldn’t be so worried about the fate of the fishes.

      There was much more CO2 in the oceans and atmosphere in the past and the world didn’t turn into a runaway greehouse, and the little fishies survived just fine.

      Reporting gloom and doom is worth too much money today, which causes ridiculous studies like this one to be generated.

  10. But boat engines, water skiers, harbour construction, storms and whales shouting at each other dont affect the fish’s ability to hear its ‘home water’?

    What utter garbage.

  11. Willhass points out the flaw with all these unprecedented never seen before imminent catastrophe claims and why they fail to impress people with opposable thumbs and capable of independence from groupthink. Another absurd academic claim damaging the reputation of science and the credibility of the university concerned.. yawn.

    • Moderately Cross of East Anglia

      Round up all these wacko scientists as babes in arms, take them into the middle of the Gobi desert, leave them there, and see how many of them navigate their way out.

      Oh wait!

      We must enclose the desert in glass first!

  12. Haven’t time to read the article, but how do they maintain the high level of CO2? Bubbling masses of it through the water, as occurs naturally around locations on the ring of fire? Or reducing the temperature so more of it is retained by the water? Or pressurising the tank?
    It is correct that juvenile Barramundi frequent mangroves. For safety and food resources. Places absolutely humming with decay of trapped vegetable matter. They probably find their way due to this. I somehow doubt the researchers managed to make their test area reek like a mangrove swamp. That could explain why the juveniles were confused.

    • …because in the lab…in a aquarium with no backup buffer….they can bubble CO2 until the pH drops….you can’t lower pH until you run out of buffer
      ….totally ignoring the fact that in the real world…you don’t run out of buffer

    • the authors also completely ignored the surprising finding they reported earlier from this exact same data set in 2015: the barramundi matured significantly faster (went through meta morphosis faster).

  13. The evidence that increasing Co2 causes severe brain damage to many “scientists” is overwhelming. All one has to do is read the fiction they publish as “science” to see that there are no if’s, ands, or but’s. These people are crazy.

  14. This finding suggests that by the end of the century, following a business as usual CO2 emission scenario, these animals might avoid functional environmental cues and become attracted to cues that provide no adaptive advantage or are potentially deleterious.

    and what is their BAU pCO2 by the end of century?

    1541 (+/- 20) ppm for the estaurine sounds at 16 days post hatching (DPH), n=10 for each condition, control vs high CO2. Each N is is 8 fish, 4 in each condition in their own swim lanes.
    1541 (+/- 20) ppm for the white noise test but this at 13 DPH, n= 10 each for control vs high CO2.
    And at 1368 (+/- 32) ppm for the reef sound study but only at DPH 16, n= 16 for the 2 conditions.
    Other days post-hatching were not-significantly different from a 50% no prefered attraction or repulsion to the sound cue.

    So what (besides the wholly unrealistic CO2 BAUs levels) is wrong?

    So, so very much is wrong.
    1st, the Day 16 effect for estaurine sound at high CO2 was significantly different, but they didn’t perform DPH 13 with estaurine sound where they had a white noise significant result. And the white noise study, where the signifcant effect was at day 13 but not at day 16. The reef sound study barely reached statistical significance at DPH 16 (p= 0.047) for high CO2 but no other DPH or the control fish at DPH 16. Plus they had to use the non-parametric test, Wilcoxon Signed Rank test, due to low Numbers, plus there is this gem in their Methods section:

    Bonferroni anyone? No mention of corrections for so many multiple tests.

    Plus they claim DPH 17 data was “unavailable due to playback equipment failure.” My suspicion is the DPH 17 data had the opposite results and the failure was “fortuitous.”

    Then there is this gem tucked away in the figure legend:


    Data in [the estaurine sound study] are a subset of the data from a previous study (ref #8) in which larval responses were measured during 13–28 dph but pooled in blocks of 3 days, whilst in the present study only responses for 16–21 dph are used but shown for single days.“

    So they cherry picked dph 16-21 for this study and broke the data into the separate days to find an effect.

    Plus going to ref #8, we find this paper by the authors:

    – Rossi, T. et al. Ocean acidification boosts larval fish development but reduces the window of opportunity for successful settlement. Proc. R. Soc. B 282, 20151954 (2015).
    Abstract
    Locating appropriate settlement habitat is a crucial step in the life cycle of most benthic marine animals. In marine fish, this step involves the use of multiple senses, including audition, olfaction and vision. To date, most investigations of larval fish audition focus on the hearing thresholds to various frequencies of sounds without testing an ecological response to such sounds. Identifying responses to biologically relevant sounds at the development stage in which orientation is most relevant is fundamental. We tested for the existence of ontogenetic windows of reception to sounds that could act as orientation cues with a focus on vulnerability to alteration by human impacts. Here we show that larvae of a catadromous fish species (barramundi, Lates calcarifer) were attracted towards sounds from settlement habitat during a surprisingly short ontogenetic window of approximately 3 days. Yet, this auditory preference was reversed in larvae reared under end-of-century levels of elevated CO2, such that larvae are repelled from cues of settlement habitat. These future conditions also reduced the swimming speeds and heightened the anxiety levels of barramundi. Unexpectedly, an acceleration of development and onset of metamorphosis caused by elevated CO2 were not accompanied by the earlier onset of attraction towards habitat sounds. This mismatch between ontogenetic development and the timing of orientation behaviour may reduce the ability of larvae to locate habitat or lead to settlement in unsuitable habitats. The misinterpretation of key orientation cues can have implications for population replenishment, which are only exacerbated when ontogenetic development decouples from the specific behaviours required for location of settlement habitats.

    Now keep in mind this 2015 is using the same experimental data as the 2018 Nature paper under discussion.
    This 2015 Proceedinds of the Royal Society B paper gives no indication that DPH 17 was unavailable.
    This earlier paper also gives the calculated pCO2 concentration as 1675 (+/- 135) ppm, significantly higher than reported in this newer Nature paper which used the exact same raw data.

    Amazing. Truly amazing that Nature published this junk study with clear hints of data manipulation and a wholely unrealistic CO2 levels. I suppose Nature figures the end justifies the means when it comes to cheerleading for Climate Change religion.

    • Great analysis, I would add that they did a poor job of reading the marine larval literature. Marine hatchery fish are not as successful as those oceanic spawning, probably because of the difference in the huge lottery scale selection that goes on at various early stages. I suspect reading the citations would establish the often referenced ‘group think’ of heavy reliance of papers in this millennium. Also note that another crisis article is open access. Where are the marine clinical sociological justice information researchers when we need them?

      Several decades ago I recall thinking that Australian marine biology was ahead of ours. This small sample of titles suggest otherwise. I cannot find the one I wanted on relative survival skill of natural and hatchery larvae, but it is well known at least for some species.

      Fuiman, L. A., M. E. Smith, and V. N. Malley. 1999. Ontogeny of routing swimming speed and startle responses in red drum, with a comparison of responses to acoustic and visual stimuli. Journal of Fish Biology. 55(Suppl. A):215-226.

      Fuiman, L. A. and J. H. Cowan, Jr. 2003. Behavior and recruitment success in fish larvae: repeatability and covariation of survival skills. Ecology. 84(1):53-67.

      Barramundi and red drum have similar life cycles, not perfectly the same, however. Mangroves and other estuarine habitats are full of natural sounds, organic compounds, and often lots of mud that discriminates against vision. It is not a simple subject and they always give it away–

      “Although it is difficult to replicate a far-field acoustic cue in small aquaria, this did not limit our
      conclusions ….”

  15. This finding suggests that by the end of the century, following a business as usual CO2 emission scenario, these animals might avoid functional environmental cues and become attracted to cues that provide no adaptive advantage or are potentially deleterious.

    and what is their BAU pCO2 by the end of century?

    1541 (+/- 20) ppm for the estaurine sounds at 16 days post hatching (DPH), n=10 for each condition, control vs high CO2. Each N is is 8 fish, 4 in each condition in their own swim lanes.
    1541 (+/- 20) ppm for the white noise test but this at 13 DPH, n= 10 each for control vs high CO2.
    And at 1368 (+/- 32) ppm for the reef sound study but only at DPH 16, n= 16 for the 2 conditions.
    Other days post-hatching were not-significantly different from a 50% no prefered attraction or repulsion to the sound cue.

    So what (besides the wholly unrealistic CO2 BAUs levels) is wrong?

    So, so very much is wrong.
    1st, the Day 16 effect for estaurine sound at high CO2 was significantly different, but they didn’t perform DPH 13 with estaurine sound where they had a white noise significant result. And the white noise study, where the signifcant effect was at day 13 but not at day 16. The reef sound study barely reached statistical significance at DPH 16 (p= 0.047) for high CO2 but no other DPH or the control fish at DPH 16. Plus they had to use the non-parametric test, Wilcoxon Signed Rank test, due to low Numbers, plus there is this gem in their Methods section:

    Bonferroni anyone? No mention of corrections for so many multiple tests.

    Plus they claim DPH 17 data was “unavailable due to playback equipment failure.” My suspicion is the DPH 17 data had the opposite results and the failure was “fortuitous.”

    Then there is this gem tucked away in the figure legend:


    Data in [the estaurine sound study] are a subset of the data from a previous study (ref #8) in which larval responses were measured during 13–28 dph but pooled in blocks of 3 days, whilst in the present study only responses for 16–21 dph are used but shown for single days.“

    So they cherry picked dph 16-21 for this study and broke the data into the separate days to find an effect.

    Plus going to ref #8, we find this paper by the authors:

    – Rossi, T. et al. Ocean acidification boosts larval fish development but reduces the window of opportunity for successful settlement. Proc. R. Soc. B 282, 20151954 (2015).
    Abstract
    Locating appropriate settlement habitat is a crucial step in the life cycle of most benthic marine animals. In marine fish, this step involves the use of multiple senses, including audition, olfaction and vision. To date, most investigations of larval fish audition focus on the hearing thresholds to various frequencies of sounds without testing an ecological response to such sounds. Identifying responses to biologically relevant sounds at the development stage in which orientation is most relevant is fundamental. We tested for the existence of ontogenetic windows of reception to sounds that could act as orientation cues with a focus on vulnerability to alteration by human impacts. Here we show that larvae of a catadromous fish species (barramundi, Lates calcarifer) were attracted towards sounds from settlement habitat during a surprisingly short ontogenetic window of approximately 3 days. Yet, this auditory preference was reversed in larvae reared under end-of-century levels of elevated CO2, such that larvae are repelled from cues of settlement habitat. These future conditions also reduced the swimming speeds and heightened the anxiety levels of barramundi. Unexpectedly, an acceleration of development and onset of metamorphosis caused by elevated CO2 were not accompanied by the earlier onset of attraction towards habitat sounds. This mismatch between ontogenetic development and the timing of orientation behaviour may reduce the ability of larvae to locate habitat or lead to settlement in unsuitable habitats. The misinterpretation of key orientation cues can have implications for population replenishment, which are only exacerbated when ontogenetic development decouples from the specific behaviours required for location of settlement habitats.

    Now keep in mind this 2015 is using the same experimental data as the 2018 Nature paper under discussion.
    This 2015 Proceedinds of the Royal Society B paper gives no indication that DPH 17 was unavailable.
    This earlier paper also gives the calculated pCO2 concentration as 1675 (+/- 135) ppm, significantly higher than reported in this newer Nature paper which used the exact same raw data.

    Amazing. Truly amazing that Nature published this junk study with clear hints of data manipulation and a wholely unrealistic CO2 levels. I suppose Nature figures the end justifies the means when it comes to cheerleading for Climate Change religion.

  16. Are we getting more CO2 in both the seas and atmosphere? I thought a warming ocean would release CO2?
    Anyone? Bueller?

  17. I am now officially “tished” off.
    What happened to the ãpprox 90+% of species that have been extinguished since the Earth began?
    “….We show…” “…suggests that by the end of the century…” that is not science Ivan!!
    Verifiable facts are what we want not more opinions!!!!

    11

  18. According to the body of the text, the study was conducted in a big fish tank.

    The acoustics in a tank are way different than they are in open water. Did any of the authors know anything at all about acoustics?

    The first author is Tullio Rossi who describes himself as a science communicator.

    Jennifer C. A. Pistevos – expertise in marine biology.

    Sean D. Connell – the stability and collapse of marine ecosystems.

    Ivan Nagelkerken – marine ecology.

    Sorry folks, a background in biology doesn’t equip you to talk about acoustics.

    • Where’s the list of sound engineers and professional musicians they consulted? Oh, they didn’t get in touch with any of those guys…

  19. These people are Total Zombies.
    They are devoid of understanding, intelligence and empathy. Empathy with the ocean, the critters, the entire world by the looks of it.
    Couldn’t put 2+2 together to save their own lives and lord help us if they’re given a computer AND a fish tank.

    One of these days, Ma Nature is gonna do to them what they’re doing to those little fishes and I for one will not lift a finger to save them.
    sorry

    If you can, try find out about a guy called Terry Real. He’s a marriage guidance therapist of sorts but, by his own admission, breaks almost every rule that normal therapists are taught.
    He tells things ‘as they are’
    He takes sides
    Was the therapist in Meryl Streep’s film based on him – a ‘bit blunt’ shall we say and from the corner of the world the film was set. ish.

    THAT is what these folks need – somebody to stand right up and tell them are doing Junk Science (and at great expense for the rest of us)
    Otherwise they are spoiled children and if the ‘experiment’ claim to have done is not the behaviour of children torturing critters, I don’t know what it is.

  20. ..Baby fish may not find their way home as the level of CO2 in the ocean rises, study finds..University of Adelaide Professor Ivan Nagelkerken said some species of fish larvae relied on sounds in the ocean to find their way between open areas and shallow water…

    Don’t tell me. They put the fish in fizzy soda water and the noise of the bubbles drowned out their mothers calling them home…?

  21. Sound travels well in water. Sound reflects off of smooth tank sides.
    How the heck did the poor fish knew exactly where the sounds were coming from?

  22. Any change is extremely dangerous. Ocean sounds have never changed since God created the world 4,721 years ago. At least according to the University of Adelaide, which undoubtedly runs only on renewable electricity.

  23. Playing in my world now, the Centropomidae, snooks and barramudi. Centropomidae live in tough environments especially as juveniles. Adult Centropomindae, move close to the mouths of estuaries and lagoons to spawn. The eggs and larvae are briefly planktonic then use tidal currents to move up the estuaries to shallow water, creeks, rivers, coastal marshes primarily to avoid predation from larger fish. Interestingly most of those juvenile habitats are more acidic and generally much hotter then the oceans and estuaries where they were spawned. Why CO2 would play any role, even assuming acidification, is way beyond me. Centropomindae larvae are hard to keep alive in captivity. In experiments conducted in Florida the controls were as hard to keep alive as the test larvae.

  24. I have yet to see someone write a paper discussing the elephant in the room with regards to noise/impulse stimulation on aquatic environments. That particular elephant being offshore or near shore wind-farms. Multiple wind turbines producing varying pulse rates over time and all producing non-synchronized inputs at a given time should be playing havoc on marine species that rely on or utilize sound or electrical impulse derived communication or stimulus. You may be able to call it white noise if you are blind but it’s probably better suited to call it a black roar from a fish’s point of view. Has no one looked for the elephant? Probably not as an elephant in the room is hard to see through a microscope while trying to find C02.

    Hell, there are two herds in the room and only one group are elephants. The other have microscopes but haven’t seen any elephants.

  25. Climate science has destroyed Darwin. NOTHING can adapt now and nothing should ever have to. I don’t know whether to cheer or cry.

  26. “You can’t draw meaningful conclusions about the impact of a century of gradual change by dropping fish into an elevated CO2 environment and seeing which way they swim. ”

    True but you CAN get paid for doing it!

  27. “Ocean acidification alters behavioural responses to physical and chemical cues in marine animals, ”
    Ocean pH varies a lot more than the drop expected in 100 years. These guys use an estimate equivalent to atmospheric co2 getting up to 4 times higher because of hypoxia. Even in ideal conditions almost half head off in the wrong direction and not a lot changes under extreme conditions. Just enough to justify the claim, barely.

  28. The professor does not mention how he increased the level of CO2 or what pH level he created in his fish tank. Sea water currently averages 8.3 pH (which is nowhere close to acidic) and there is already significant variation in sea water pH by loacation, season and time of day.

    Sea water is a well buffered solution, which will maintain its pH level in spite of CO2 absorption on the surface. I am curious how the professor reduced the pH of sea water to make it acidic.

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