Claim: The Anthropogenic Global Warming Jellyfish Apocalypse is Upon Us

Figure 2. Historical versus modern perspective of gelatinous zooplankton blooms.
(a) Fossil deposit of scyphozoan medusae. Photograph: J. W. Hagadorn, www3. amherst.edu/~jwhagadorn.
(b) Photograph of a modern jellyfish (Aurelia) stranding on a San Francisco beach, November 2010. Photograph: Ocean Beach Bulletin, www. oceanbeachbulletin.com. (c) Time line showing records and evidence of jellyfish blooms over geological and modern time scales. The geological time period records— namely, those from the Cambrian, Permian, Jurassic, and Oligocene periods—refer to the age of fossilized medusae strandings (orange lines) from Stasinska (1960), Pickerill (1982), Nel et al. (1987), Gand et al. (1996), and Gaillard et al. (2006). The records from Minoan Culture are based on apparent depictions of medusae blooms on ancient pottery (green line). The records from historical expeditions and voyages (blue lines), historical monographs and media reports (purple lines), and scientific publications (red lines) reference current and historical jellyfish or salp blooms. The pictures on the time line refer to the first appearance of ctenophores (the ctenophore image), cnidarian medusae (the medusa), and pelagic tunicates (the salp) in the fossil record (see the text for references), and significant increases in global media reports (the newspaper) on jellyfish (see figure 3). Asia refers to Japan, China, and Korea; Ant, Antarctica; Aust, Sheard (1949) and Kott (1957); BCE, before current era; CB, Chesapeake Bay; Challenger, Herdman (1888); Cook, Beaglehole (1963); D&C, Dakin and Colefax (1933); E, eastern; GOM, Gulf of Mexico; M, Mayer (1910); Med, Mediterranean Sea; MYA, millions of years ago; P&L, Péron and Lesueur (1816); Q&G, Quoy and Gaimard (1824); R1, Russell (1953); R2, Russell (1970); Rattlesnake, Macgillivray et al. (1852); W, western.

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Journalists and several scientists who noticed a few recent jellyfish blooms have leapt to their catch all explanation.

Jellyfish are causing mayhem as pollution, climate change see numbers boom

RN By Hong Jiang and Sasha Fegan for Late Night Live
Updated yesterday at 12:16pm

Jellyfish have been around for at least 500 million years — they’re older than dinosaurs and even trees.

Science writer Juli Berwald calls them “ghosts from the true garden of Eden”.

“An intelligence of a sort has allowed them to make it through the millennia,” she says.

And they’re not going anywhere.

In fact, the brainless, spineless, eyeless, bloodless creatures are booming in numbers — and causing mayhem around the world.

A human cause

Some scientists think jellyfish numbers are increasing as the climate changes — the creatures reproduce well in warmer waters.

Jellyfish also fare better than many other sea creatures in polluted waters, as they don’t need much oxygen.

Berwald says that can give them the upper hand over predators.

“They can sort of slip into polluted waters, into low oxygen waters, and hide from predation there better than a fish that has a higher oxygen demand,” she says.

Read more: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-01-06/the-magic-and-mayhem-of-jellyfish/10377112

Just one problem with this story; Jellyfish blooms have been occurring since the Cambrian Period, with plenty of evidence of Jellyfish blooms in the fossil record, let alone modern times (see the image at the top of the page).

From a study in 2012 by the American Institute of Biological Sciences;

Questioning the Rise of Gelatinous Zooplankton in the World’s Oceans

RobeRt H. Condon, William m. GRaHam, CaRlos m. duaRte, Kylie a. Pitt, CatHy H. luCas, steven H.d. HaddoCK, Kelly R. sutHeRland, Kelly l. Robinson, miCHael n daWson, maRy betH deCKeR, Claudia e. mills, JennifeR e. PuRCell, alenKa maleJ, HeRmes mianzan, sHin-iCHi uye, stefan GelCiCH, and lauRenCe P. madin

During the past several decades, high numbers of gelatinous zooplankton species have been reported in many estuarine and coastal ecosystems. Coupled with media-driven public perception, a paradigm has evolved in which the global ocean ecosystems are thought to be heading toward being dominated by “nuisance” jellyfish. We question this current paradigm by presenting a broad overview of gelatinous zooplankton in a his- torical context to develop the hypothesis that population changes reflect the human-mediated alteration of global ocean ecosystems. To this end, we synthesize information related to the evolutionary context of contemporary gelatinous zooplankton blooms, the human frame of reference for changes in gelatinous zooplankton populations, and whether sufficient data are available to have established the paradigm. We conclude that the current paradigm in which it is believed that there has been a global increase in gelatinous zooplankton is unsubstantiated, and we develop a strategy for addressing the critical questions about long-term, human-related changes in the sea as they relate to gelatinous zooplankton blooms.

Gelatinous zooplankton blooms have ancient origins and are not a new phenomenon. Following a call for further studies of the role of fishes and jellyfishes and their possible role in maintaining the natural ecology of the sea (Parsons 1993), Mills (1995) suggested that the jellyfish, which are ubiquitous in nearly all marine ecosystems, may be positioned to increase in areas that have been subjected to overharvesting and environmental perturbations.

In a number of recent review articles, potential drivers have been discussed that might lead to increases of gelatinous zooplankton (e.g., Mills 2001, Purcell et al. 2007, Richardson et al. 2009). Richardson and colleagues (2009) concluded that the rise in the numbers of jellyfish and salps is both a symptom and a necessary and unavoidable outcome of the cumulative human impacts that have caused a deterioration of the ocean ecosystem. A closer examination of these articles, however, reveals that the data necessary to test such statements are unavailable, which is even acknowledged in the articles. Indeed, most statements about an increased number of jellyfish blooms are based on local and sometimes regional studies, which are often focused on only a few well-studied (e.g., Aurelia spp.), high-visibility (e.g., Nemopilema nomurai), or invasive (e.g., M. leidyi) species, and a global analysis has not yet been attempted. Given the dearth of knowledge about gelatinous zooplankton in major ocean basins, do these studies truly represent the entire range of fluctuations exhibited globally by mod- ern populations? Moreover, some of the regions that provide the strongest evidence that jellyfishes were rising in number (e.g., Bering Sea; Brodeur et al. 1999, 2008) exhibited subsequent declines, leading to the conclusion that the apparent increasing trends were probably part of low-frequency oscillations driven by natural climatic cycles that may cause large-scale regime shifts in the ocean (box S1, Purcell et al. 2007, Brodeur et al. 2008).

Read more: https://academic.oup.com/bioscience/article/62/2/160/279784

What a surprise – the climate jellyfish apocalypse is the product of speculation and inadequate data.

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71 thoughts on “Claim: The Anthropogenic Global Warming Jellyfish Apocalypse is Upon Us

  1. I spent a week on a dive boat at the Great Barrier Reef in NE Australia in 2005. On one of my first dives, a large sea turtle swam by, right in front of me – Magic!

    On my very first dive, I came face-to-face with a 5ft reef shark – that was rather alarming, although they rarely attack. This one looked me over, decided I was too big and tough to bother with, and headed for the appetizers – the thousands of colourful small fish that were visible everywhere.

    Blue-bottle jellyfish were common, and we all got stung. One guy took a break at the swim platform with his mouthpiece out, and a jellyfish wrapped around his mouthpiece and he put it back in his mouth – now that hurt – and he got huge Mick Jagger lips.

    This was one of the best weeks of my life – I strongly recommend it, and suggest snorkeling over scuba – the colours disappear below about 20 feet, and most everyone can free-dive to 15-20 ft depth.

    • Maybe you should go for a good long swim around fraser island this time of year and see how you go too you ignorant tnuc?

        • Maybe Bruce was the guy who stuck the jellyfish in his mouth – that really hurt and nobody laughed at the time Bruce, really! We were all very sympathetic, having been stung ourselves and knowing how much it hurt.

          But… after a few beers… when the guy with the huge swollen lips started to sing “Ï can’p gep no fffatisfacsion”… 🙂

      • Charles the moderator – can you please either:
        1. Ban this vulgar Bruce creature from our discussions;
        or
        2. Provide me with his full contact details, including his address if possible, so I can refer him to my Russian colleagues. 🙂

      • “Bruce January 7, 2019 at 1:43 pm
        Maybe you should go for a good long swim around fraser island this time of year and see how you go too you ignorant xxxx?”

        A) You wish harm to befall Allan Macrae with deadly jellyfish off Fraser Island.
        B) You sling insults meant to demean Allan.

        It is a common liberal elitist affliction called projection.

        1) Grow up!
        2) Get an education! A real education.
        3) Get a real job and get out of your relatives basement or attic.

      • Fraser Island is the southern most extent of the GBR. There are always large sharks just off shore from Fraser too because of the deep water off shore and the draw of the ocean into Hervey Bay.

        But what in Allan’s commentary triggered you?

      • To the moderator: Surely that comment by Bruce should be deleted. If that comment does not breach “No vulgarities of any kind” as stated in the Policy then what does?

      • ctm
        a reply from another aussie;-)
        bruce youre a dipshit, pull your fn head in and rack off!

        diddums go swimming up there? and are one of the 22k morons swimming in the season thats KNOWN for stingers and the locals get much enjoyment watching bolt from the waters?
        if so I bloody well hope it really hurt!

    • Almost 50 years ago I was fortunate enough to have the same experience, but without the Blue Bottle stings. My favorite sights were the giant clams, every color of the rainbow and to my suprise would close up if grazed with a swim fin. Absolutely agree about snorkel rather than scuba. The one downside was the worst sunburn of my life. I am still having cancers cut out resultant of that burn.

      But that day was one of the most memorable of my life.

      • File this one under Dry Aussie Humor – My brother and I, 2 Yanks, were swimming on a deserted beach near Cairns. Walking by a local called out “have you seen any stingies today?” Answering him in the negative he replied, “guess the sharks got ’em”.

        Exit water pronto.

  2. My oldest fossil collected in the field was a jellyfish from the Lower Cambrian Pioche Shale, from the CM bed, in Eastern Nevada. While recently on vacation in coastal Chile, Renaca, there was a jellyfish warning due to favorable sea conditions bringing Portuguese Man of War (Fragata Postugesa en Espanol) and one brave/stupid teenager went into the water anyway. One of the beautiful blue Fragatas stung him and his howls were recorded by a television crew searching for just such a story. 500 million years between these two comments!

    • Playa Larga at Renaca is also famous for its profusion of barely-clad Argentine supermodels in January and February, distracting from observing sea life.

      • Barely-clad bikini babes are a natural and common part of the marine/shore ecosystem all up and down the Caribbean. These creatures split their time between their terrestrial and aquatic habitats. Careful observations can be made while they are in either environment.

        • Their relationship with the monokini babes of the Brazilian Atlantic coast and certain Mediterranean environments remains controversial, so is a topic of intense investigation.

        • When you are in the water, they can be very hard to see, as opposed to those in a boat. The on-shore winds bring them in large numbers, so naturally a lot of people get stung.

          • The blue-bottle jellyfish that stung all of us offshore NE Australia were purely transparent, colourless and about 10cm in diameter. The only thing we could see when in the water were aquamarine “jewels” that were dispersed down their transparent tentacles.

            A beautiful creature with a powerful sting, which felt like a lit cigarette being held against the skin, and the pain lingered like that for several days. The recommended ointments did not really work, and the folk remedies were disgusting.

        • tourists! all the locals know you dont swim in summer jelly season, and this yrs a ripper cos the winds are pushing a lot more into shore

    • Love Griff drag up a random article to support stupidity.

      In an Australia summer go swimming where there aren’t waves hitting the beach or swim out to deep water and you will get stung … it’s an intelligence test.

      So a group of people got lulled into a false sense of security with a location which doesn’t often have them paid the price. So I am with Another Paul they failed the intelligence test and Darwinian theory takes over.

  3. In fact, the brainless, spineless, eyeless, bloodless creatures are booming in numbers

    I read somewhere that the deadly box jellyfish has been observed acting like a pack, many of them herding small fish into confined areas where they are more easily caught.

    Perhaps not as “brainless” as the authors of this article.

  4. ?????????
    A major jellyfish bloom which trashes the beaches of the Turks and Caicos islands is an annual event which lasts 2-3 weeks. Savvy tourists know which weeks not to go.

    Closer to home, there is a major jellyfish invasion in the waters of southern New England in late August. Areas affected are from Long Island sound, the waters around Block Island and beyond.

    These are annual events which have been known since forever. So some clueless urbanite who has never been to the ocean discovers jellyfish and all of a sudden it is Global Warming Armageddon. Is this really what things have come to?

    • “These are annual events which have been known since forever. So some clueless urbanite who has never been to the ocean discovers jellyfish and all of a sudden it is Global Warming Armageddon. Is this really what things have come to? Yes.

    • Is this really what things have come to?

      ‘Fraid so. Catastrophe warmists think we are as stupid as they are.

      • After 20 years of following CAGW, I think we can distill this whole political science monstrosity into two ideas.

        Projection.

        Follow the money.

  5. The jellyfish can slip into a floating plastic bag and fool the predators.
    We don’t want those nasty predators to kill the jolly jellyfish, do we?
    More plastic into the oceans!

  6. Even the IPCC is only claiming that the oceans have warmed about 0.01C.
    Exactly how much impact is that supposed to have on marine life?

    • Notice that the title reads “…pollution, climate change…”.

      Juxtaposition of two items is one of the main tactics that the MSM uses to push their agenda. We do have a problem with “pollution” (mostly excessive nutrients) in certain parts of the ocean system with widespread “dead zones”. Living near one (GoM) I can tell you that the problem can be locally acute. It is a real problem, especially in places like the Black Sea, but locally acute != global catastrophe.

      • The deeper parts of the Black Sea has been anoxic and dead ever since the Mediterranen broke through into the formerly fresh lake. It is an entirely natural phenomenon and nothing can be done about it (except building a dam across the Bosporus and turning it back into a freshwater lake).

  7. As griff and the authors of the article under discussion demonstrate do well, historical illiteracy and deceit are fundamental parts of the climate activist reportoire.
    Jellyfish blooms are normal parts of the eco-system.
    They are not changing dangerously.
    Nor are they a sign of a “changing climate”.
    Jellyfish blooms are completely dependent upon local conditions. Not global climate.
    Instead, those afflicted with climate change obsession seize on any less than common event and interpret it through the lens of magical thinking that climate change obsession requires.

  8. When I was stationed in Flensburg, Germany (on the Danish border), we had several beaches (on the Baltic Sea) near where we lived. Every summer, hundreds of jellyfish would wash up on the beach and die — it was like someone covered the entire beach with vasoline. Then they would rot, and the flies would come. 🙁

  9. What is their problem – why not eat the things?
    Seafood innit, everybody knows how nutritious and lovely ocean-going-bugs are to eat.
    Prolly what the Aussies were doing getting stung, looking for something to throw on the barbie.
    (Hint: Wear wellies or waders next time you go in the water)

    And in all seriousness – will be infinitely more healthy than chowing down on Cooked Starch, physically and mentally. Could be A Cure for Climate Change.
    Maybe Ma Nature’s trying to give you a hint…..

    Ask the French, they’ll eat anything and frequently do.
    Bugs and disgusting things especially. Think snails
    (They do it to annoy The English and perpetuate La Guerre. Excellent fun)

    Folks in America could set them on fire. That’ll stop them – from doing whatever is they do.
    Possibly catch fire and burn due to Natural Variation. Better burnt than sorry eh?
    Wonder if anyone will *ever* work out what Natural Variation is?

    Germans might turn them into Biodiesel, nothing to possibly go wrong there.
    Russians would use them as models for Fake Fish – and set them loose on FakeFaceFishBook.
    Oh, wait….

    Makes you wonder if the jelly critters are what wrecked the Floating Dutchman’s plastic catching contraption. And with all the aquatic & naval experience the Dutch (should) have. sigh
    Again, take notice of Ma Nature..

    • Peta of Newark has a new addition to his menu, the peanut butter and jellyfish sandwich. (Made with gluten-free bread, of course.)

    • I’ve tried using them for bait.

      Doesn’t work.
      Turtles and a few other things eat jellyfish, but I’m not fishing for turtles.

      If fish won’t eat jellyfish, I’m disinclined to eat jellyfish.

  10. What if the jellyfish population were declining? Wouldn’t that also be attributed to Global Cooling/Warming/Change?

  11. There was a similar rise in jellyfish that clogged both fishermen’s nets and the intake pipes that cooled power plants during the PDO’s last cool phase. These blooms raised such concerns that the government passed the Jellyfish Control Act of 1966 to “control or eliminate” troublesome jellyfish.

    In Condon, et al., (2012) Recurrent jellyfish blooms are a consequence of global oscillations. http://www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1210920110

    “The realization that jellyfish populations have been pulsing globally at decadal scales should lead to a broadening of the search for the drivers of change.”

  12. In fact, the brainless, spineless, eyeless, bloodless creatures are booming in numbers — and causing mayhem around the world.
    Congress?

  13. There is also this, similar conclusion, consensus of 22??
    Condon, R. H., and 21 other authors. 2013. Recurrent jellyfish blooms are a consequence of global oscillations. Proceedings National Academy Science. 110:1000-1005.

    These, with exceptions, require hard substrates for larval stage, some human influence there. Hard to study, late to research, although old classic and importance to toxicology. Some studies ignore long known environmental relationships like salinity.

    Mayor, A. G. 1910. Medusae of the world. Publication Carnegie Institute Washington. 109. 3 vols.
    Halstead, B. W. 1965. Poisonous and Venomous Animals of the World. I. Invertebrates. U. S. Govt. Print. Off. Vol. 1 Invertebrates, 1965, 994 pp Vol. 2. Vertebrates, 1967. 1070p., Vol. 3. 1970, 1006 pp. 1978. Poisonous and Venomous Animals of the World. Vertebrates. 1043+283 pp. Darwin Press, Princeton, 2nd ed. revised. 1988, 1168+288pp.

    • 1978 and 1988 revision also have invertebrates, including jellies. As books go nowadays these are valuable.

  14. In the Solway Firth on the Scottish side, 2017 had massive numbers of jellyfish. In 2018, very few.
    If you give me a grant, make that a large grant, I will undertake a detailed study which will prove that in 2019 the number of jellyfish in that area is dependant on the waxing and waning of the ingrowing toenail on my left big toe.
    Coupled with global warming, of course.

  15. I’ll admit that the “jellyfish apocalypse” has a certain ring to it.
    But it’s not likely to frighten me very much.

    • How about Jellyfishnado?
      It’s raining poisonous jellyfish!!! Aaarhhhgg. We’re all doomed.

  16. Serving on air craft carriers (USS Enterprise (CVN-65) and others) in 1967 and 1968 in the South China Sea, we would stop movement during storms while receiving supplies from freighters. Jelly fish galore around our vessels. Some days, the tides/currents would sweep them anywhere/everywhere. Some days, nothing. Other days, swarms.

    Stateside (1969), The beaches along Fort Walton (FL) and Pensacola, were a patchwork of all sorts of these look like creatures. They seemed to collect around the USS Lexington (CVT-16) while at dock. Ditto along the beaches of south Texas along Corpus Christi (1966).

  17. Naturally the recent invasion of stinging jellyfish on Queensland beaches which affected some 13000 people who were painfully stung was immediately blamed on Global Warming causing hotter water to spread further south.

    • I seem to remember that there were lots of warning signs about jellyfish on Queensland beaches when I was there the first time back in the eighties.

      • I can’t confirm your observation in any depth, but signs warning about jellyfish are likely to be in the North Queensland area, where box jellyfish are found. The box jelly will kill an adult human if you get a good sting. And they are clear, you can’t see them in the water. I’m pretty sure Mackey and Cairns will have these warning signs up along the beaches.

        • box are nasty but we have a better one nowdays;-)
          Irukanjii
          tiny thumbnail sized but 4 long tentacles
          they can shut down bodys systems pretty fast so med attention and breathing assistance is desirable urgently, initial sting isnt worse than others so people delay, until they keel over

  18. Back in the nineties we would spend time in Malta. Tough luck, beaches were infested by jellyfish. Old fishermen explained us that the pests will come every 6th year and traditional wisdom was to avoid them on a jellyfish year because they would be about everywhere.

    Over time I’ve heard traditional knowledge of that 6th jellyfish year in Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Tunisia.

    It all would seem as a huge flock of nasty jelly always sweeps the Mediterranean sea at the speed of one roundtrip every 6 years.

  19. I expect jellyfish to be wiped out by Quincy Bioscience to make Prevagen.

    Proving again that people will buy anything.

  20. Ocean waters present a cyclic pattern. Is Jellyfish growth and decay follow this warm and cold cycle? If not, the study has no meaning.

    Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

  21. Empirical evidence – I saw one jellyfish (whilst swimming yesterday), that makes 2 in some 50 odd years.

    But something has to be done about the damn dolphins – I counted 8 yesterday, up from none the day before…

  22. And the desperate search for something scary enough to frighten people into believing global warming and accepting the very expensive alleged fixes.

    This scare attempt will die under it’s own weight, of jellyfish.

  23. “In an unrelated story, scientists have discovered a major increase in the food that jellyfish eat!”

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