James Cook University Researchers Refuted: “Ocean Acidification Does not Impair” Fish behaviour

Reposted from NoTricksZone

By P Gosselin on 27. June 2021

Die kalte Sonne’s latest video here looks at a recent paper on ocean acidification and the impact it had been claimed to have on the behavior of coral fish.

Lower ocean pH level affecting fish?

Earlier research beginning in 2009 by Prof. Philip Munday and Danielle Dixon of Australia’s James Cook University suggested that that “ocean acidification” was having dire effects on fish behavior, thus prompting the IPCC to claim in a 2014 report that it could lead to  “profound consequences for marine diversity” and the media to put out a series of climate doomsday reports.

But the alarming research results of Munday and Dixon have since been seriously challenged by a group led by fish physiologist Timothy Clark of Deakin University in Geelong, Australia in a recent paper:

A year ago the researchers published the results of a comprehensive 3-year study in the journal of Nature in a paper titled: “Ocean acidification does not impair the behaviour of coral reef fishes“.

The paper’s abstract:

Coral reef fishes are predicted to be especially susceptible to end-of-century ocean acidification on the basis of several high-profile papers4,5 that have reported profound behavioural and sensory impairments—for example, complete attraction to the chemical cues of predators under conditions of ocean acidification. Here, we comprehensively and transparently show that—in contrast to previous studies—end-of-century ocean acidification levels have negligible effects on important behaviours of coral reef fishes, such as the avoidance of chemical cues from predators, fish activity levels and behavioural lateralization (left–right turning preference). Using data simulations, we additionally show that the large effect sizes and small within-group variances that have been reported in several previous studies are highly improbable. Together, our findings indicate that the reported effects of ocean acidification on the behaviour of coral reef fishes are not reproducible, suggesting that behavioural perturbations will not be a major consequence for coral reef fishes in high CO2 oceans.”

Die kalte Sonne reports on the new findings, noting that Clark et al repeated the trials by Munday and were unable to reproduce the results:

A team of seven scientists led by Timothy Clark of the Australian Deakin University published in  the renowned journal Nature an analysis with devastating criticism of the dramatic scenarios of the Munday group.” […]

“The group of critics also expect no negative consequences in the behaviour of the coral fish also at high levels of CO2 at the end of the 21st century.”

The James Cook University however, denies sloppy science was done by Munday and his team of scientists.

The James Cook University has been caught up in controversy, especially over the firing of researcher Prof. Dr. Peter Ridd, who claims he was sacked for expressing unpopular views.

Also read more on Munday’s controversial research here.

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June 28, 2021 6:16 am

I have not read the Clark paper, but claiming that another study’s methods are not reproducible is a pretty difficult claim to substantiate – I would assume they devote a significant portion of this paper to demonstrating that they’ve exactly reproduced Munday et al.’s experimental design? Otherwise that’s a pretty unusual thing to claim in an abstract. “We couldn’t reproduce” ≠ “not reproducible.”

Last edited 1 year ago by AlanJ
Reply to  Weekly_rise
June 28, 2021 6:25 am

Clark et al repeated the trials by Munday and were unable to reproduce the results:

Seems a fairly simple claim to make. That’s how science is supposed to progress – can the results be reproduced?

Reply to  fretslider
June 28, 2021 7:44 am

“Repeating the trials” is the part they need to devote a significant portion of this new paper to in order to claim irreproducibility. They need to demonstrate that they exactly replicated the experimental conditions of the original research and found diverging results. It’s not an easy charge to support at all, which is why I find it surprising that they highlighted this in the abstract. Clark’s group has been stopping just short of outwardly accusing Munday of fraud for a while now. Munday’s response was to claim that Clark et al. had failed to replicate their experimental design.

Last edited 1 year ago by AlanJ
Reply to  Weekly_rise
June 28, 2021 8:49 am

They need to demonstrate that they exactly replicated the experimental conditions of the original research and found diverging results.

That would be they did reproduce the method and got conflicting results.

Now let’s look at what you said the first time:

but claiming that another study’s methods are not reproducible is a pretty difficult claim to substantiate

No, if the method was not adequately described to enable it to be repeated, it would be easy to conclude it was not reproducible.

since you are floundering around and making conflicting claims in the attempt to pretend it is the same thing I conclude you have not thought it through, have not read the paper and do not have any valid point to make. It’s just partisan trolling because you don’t like the conclusion.

Last edited 1 year ago by Greg
Reply to  Greg
June 28, 2021 9:14 am

It took Clark et al. three years to conclude that Munday’s results were not replicable, so claiming that repeating the experiment is easy is just a bit glib. Munday et al. claim that Clark’s methodology does not replicate their experiments, which is why I’m commenting that Clark et al. need to have devoted significant time in this new paper detailing exactly how they replicated Munday’s experiments if they’re going to claim irreproducibility.

I don’t have a dog in the fight vis-a-vis Clark et al.’s conclusions, just conveying my surprise at the language they’ve used in the abstract based on what I know about the history of this controversy. It does seem like folks around these parts are quite defensive about the subject, though, and not open to hearing any critique of the new study.

Last edited 1 year ago by AlanJ
Reply to  Weekly_rise
June 28, 2021 11:34 am

folks around these parts are just tired of your unrelenting bias

Reply to  DonM
June 28, 2021 3:03 pm

If you can’t produce the results despite setting up an experiment that should produce similar outcomes then the original results are not robust. It’s as simple as that. The original authors hiding behind “it’s not exactly the same as our setup” means that it is at best an artefact of the setup and not an effect that is transferable to the real world.

Reply to  Weekly_rise
June 28, 2021 1:54 pm

You are attacking Clark because he has debunked one of the myths of CAGW. Your mongrel is limping away from the fight

Reply to  Lrp
June 28, 2021 4:24 pm

Of course I’ve attacked no one in this thread, so the fact that you believe I have displays quite a biased perspective on your part.

Reply to  Weekly_rise
June 28, 2021 7:26 pm

I admit, I am very biased against fraud.

Reply to  Weekly_rise
June 29, 2021 1:59 am

“I have not read the Clark paper,”

Then why on earth are you posting? What is your motivation?

Reply to  TonyN
June 29, 2021 6:17 am

Had not read, past tense, have now read. My earlier suspicions were confirmed – Clark et al. do not actually replicate the experimental design whose results they seek to overturn. Rather than a rebuttal of previous studies, they’ve simply added one more to the pile. The fact that they’ve obtained a null result does not mean that they’ve invalidated previous studies. The authors do show an odd amount of hubris in public statements that is unbefitting given all of this.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Weekly_rise
June 28, 2021 11:32 am

Weekly r- following Mundy et als experimental design closely and not getting their results is a perfectly legitimate exercise.

Look this is not rocket engineering. They set up an experiment in a (hopefully) large laboratory tank. They add stuff to get ocean chemistry right, add plants and animals and pour in acid to simulate projected pH by 2100 (if they do it right they acclimatize the fish they want to study over some time to build up pH gradually conducting tests along the way – the whole 2100 load might kill them all). They then introduce predator chemicals that fish respond to and collect data photographically on their behavior.

If this very poorly done, Mundy et al will not be able to replicate their own experiment and that falsifies it also. Mundy is perfectly within the rules to defend his work but he does have to show his work, methods, statistics whys and wherefores including trials and sampling…

A few years ago (on WUWT) a highly respected oceanographer in Australia wrote a detailed essay on the generally very poor quality of laboratory studies into ocean ecologies and his recommendations for improving this work.

Reply to  Gary Pearse
June 28, 2021 1:59 pm

The whole premise of Mundy and Dixon’s study was rubbish

Rich Davis
Reply to  fretslider
June 28, 2021 7:47 am

But weeklyrise is talking about The Science ™, not science.

You don’t question the dogma.

Rick C
Reply to  Weekly_rise
June 28, 2021 7:13 am

WR: That’s pretty much the standard response of every researcher whose results fail in replication.

Reply to  Rick C
June 28, 2021 7:47 am

As it should be. You can’t claim someone’s research results were not replicable if you didn’t replicate their research. To be clear I’m not saying Clark’s group has not done this (I have not read the paper, as stated above), just that I’m surprised to see that language in the abstract.

Reply to  Weekly_rise
June 28, 2021 8:52 am

Because you have no knowledge of reproducing an experiment and do not know what you are talking about.

Thanks for clearing that up.

Andrew Burnette
Reply to  Greg
June 28, 2021 9:45 am

Why are you being so belligerent?

Reply to  Andrew Burnette
June 29, 2021 2:02 am

The two assumptions behind your statement indicate a young mind.

Reply to  Greg
June 28, 2021 2:24 pm

Whoa there! Better take your medication…

Richard Page
Reply to  Weekly_rise
June 28, 2021 7:18 am

The problems with the 2014 study by the Munday and Dixon team have been highlighted in studies from 2016 onwards. There were problems with the basic design of the experiments, methodology, data collection and others. The claim that the 2014 study is ‘not reproducible’ is an extremely polite way of allowing the original study to be quietly withdrawn and buried, thus saving (a little) face for the original team and James Cook U.

Reading between the lines shows that the original study was complete junk, transparently garbage, and should never have been published, let alone pass ‘peer review’.

Reply to  Richard Page
June 28, 2021 7:40 am

As far as I’m aware, the alleged problems have all been identified by this same group led by Clark. This group has been skirting an accusation of scientific fraud against Munday for a while.

Last edited 1 year ago by AlanJ
Rich Davis
Reply to  Weekly_rise
June 28, 2021 7:49 am

So that settles it, they’re heretics and traitors to the faith.

Reply to  Rich Davis
June 28, 2021 7:57 am

In what way? Clark’s group specifically targeted Munday’s research and, to my understanding, designed an entire multi-year study around trying to disprove it, the results of which we see published here.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Weekly_rise
June 28, 2021 8:07 am

A replication study is “targeting” to discredit?

Sounds a lot like we’ve got 25 years invested why should we share the data when all you want to do is poke holes in it.

Not scientists, Climastrologers.

Reply to  Rich Davis
June 28, 2021 8:42 am

I didn’t say they targeted to “discredit” Munday et al., but target it they indeed did.

Not scientists, Climastrologers.

These studies are about fish biology, not climate science. Both Munday et al. and Clark et al. agree on the reality of climate change and changes to ocean pH.

Last edited 1 year ago by AlanJ
R Taylor
Reply to  Weekly_rise
June 28, 2021 8:56 am

W_r, I’m sure you know everything is about climate science: CO2 is the magical molecule of revenue.

Higher CO2 causes the ocean to become slightly less basic which, according to The Science, means acidification and the end of the world as we know it.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Weekly_rise
June 28, 2021 10:30 am

Sorry you said disprove, not discredit. But you also said that they were skirting accusing Munday et al of fraud, which is kind of discrediting (unless your name is Mann).

It’s very disingenuous to characterize this as fish biology and not climate science. You then should say that ocean “acidification” is not an aspect of climate science. Tree rings are not climate science but botany? Solar activity is astrophysics not an aspect of climate science?

As R. Taylor said, paraphrasing, all of science is corrupted by the opportunity to get a grant if you tie a claimed risk to CO2 emissions “in a warming world”

Last edited 1 year ago by Rich Davis
Reply to  Rich Davis
June 28, 2021 4:40 pm

It is not disingenuous in the slightest, since the behavior of fishes and the science of the changing climate are completely different subjects. I’ll note for you again that both Monday and Clark agree that the climate is changing and that ocean acidification is occurring. The difference in opinion is over how these changes will influence the behavior of fish.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Weekly_rise
June 29, 2021 5:55 am

Yes, yes, w_r, totally, totally different. Whether fish behavior is affected by climate change has absolutely nothing to do with umm … climate change. Thanks for edjumicatin’ me.

Reply to  Weekly_rise
June 28, 2021 1:21 pm

…and neither one of them changed the pH enough to make one hill of beans….ask any coral of fish that lives under a bridge between two bodies of water….what happens when the tide changes

Reply to  Weekly_rise
June 28, 2021 9:51 am

The Munday et al research should have been scoffed at the first time the words “ocean acidification” appeared.

Reply to  Mr.
June 28, 2021 4:43 pm

I’m assuming you’re also scoffing at the Clark, et al paper then, since it also endorses the idea of ocean acidification. From the abstract:

The partial pressure of CO2 in the oceans has increased rapidly over the past century, driving ocean acidification and raising concern for the stability of marine ecosystems

Reply to  Weekly_rise
June 28, 2021 5:43 pm

..and exactly when did fish evolve…you do realize you can’t lower the pH of something until you run out of buffer….when these clowns figure out where the buffer comes from…they’ll stop this nonsense

Last edited 1 year ago by Latitude
Reply to  Weekly_rise
June 28, 2021 6:48 pm


Reply to  Weekly_rise
June 29, 2021 2:04 am

But, you haven’t read it, so how can your comments be taken seriously?

Reply to  Weekly_rise
June 28, 2021 8:53 am

No, following “The Agenda” is not fraud…. 😀

Reply to  Weekly_rise
June 28, 2021 12:48 pm

So you didn’t even read the “Science” article linked to above?

‘What few researchers know is that in August 2020, Clark and three others in the group took another, far bigger step: They asked three funders that together spent millions on Dixson’s and Munday’s work—the Australian Research Council (ARC), the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), and the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH)—to investigate possible fraud in 22 papers.’

Reply to  Weekly_rise
June 29, 2021 1:14 am

Would you have defended Munday and Dixon had their results shown that acidification had no effect on fish?

Reply to  Weekly_rise
June 28, 2021 7:51 am

What’s worse is when you CAN reproduce the results, but only by replicating the same mistakes. Some early experiments claimed formation of a new form of water crystal. The results could often be replicated, but sometimes were not. Turns out it was due to using fresh, unwashed capillaries that allowed ions to leach from the glass and change the apparent melting point.

Max More
Reply to  Weekly_rise
June 28, 2021 8:14 am

I haven’t finished reading, but one counterpoint looks easy to establish as true or false. The critique includes the point that the lavae used cannot swim as fast as the flow in the flume, thereby invalidating claims based on their preference for one kind of water over the other.

Reply to  Max More
June 28, 2021 8:38 am

There has been some back and forth on this between the researchers. Munday et al. published a response in Nature to an earlier article by Clark et al., Clark et al. published a response to the rebuttal. And now this Nature paper from Clark et al.


Not my area of expertise in the slightest, so I can’t really evaluate either side’s arguments. One can only imagine there will be a response from Munday et al. forthcoming.

Last edited 1 year ago by AlanJ
Reply to  Weekly_rise
June 28, 2021 9:29 am

Do you have any area of expertise ?

Reply to  Krishna Gans
June 28, 2021 11:46 am

… slightest or no ….

Reply to  Krishna Gans
June 30, 2021 6:37 pm


Richard Page
Reply to  Weekly_rise
June 28, 2021 9:34 am

Given earlier statements from Clark about the errors that were made by Munday and his team, I have few doubts that this newer study set out to correct the mistakes that Munday made in his original studies. Note that at no point does Munday question that both studies were attempting to answer the same basic questions, only that Clark didn’t do everything exactly the same as his group did. That should be a red flag to any scientist that maybe, just maybe, Clark is right and Munday wrong. Ideally, you’d have to go over both studies again with a fine toothed comb to work out which has most merit but, given the studies previously released on the initial problems with Munday’s research, I’d be inclined to side with Clark on merit.

Reply to  Weekly_rise
June 28, 2021 11:11 am

but claiming that another study’s methods are not reproducible is a pretty difficult claim to substantiate

It’s called the scientific method. Conjectures and refutations.
You should try it some time.
It gets easier with practice.

Reply to  Hatter Eggburn
June 28, 2021 11:49 am

Trials can be hugely expensive and it is not easy to get money to reproduce somebody else’s trial. Two big flaws in the scientific process are there is little incentive to verify trials by redoing them, and it is very difficult to publish negative results. It was a heroic undertaking to redo a large trial over the course of three years considering that the time spent will likely have little positive effect on their careers but will bring no end of conflict. And there in a nutshell is why people get away with junk science. With little proper verification taking place, scientists have developed a whole new unofficial set of heuristics to identify junk science, some examples being, ‘that research was funded by big pharma’ or ‘that work was done by a modeller using somebody else’s data’.

Reply to  Weekly_rise
June 28, 2021 11:33 am

You are being a bit pedantic. Exactly reproducing the trial does not include reproducing errors of design that would give spurious results. For example, using two different ocean vents as two treatments for CO2 levels does not work very well if the two vents differ in other ways such as by one, but not the other emitting toxic compounds into the water. As I vaguely recall, the original work was pretty loose goosey on controlling for confounding factors. Exactly reproducing a trial implies correcting fatal design flaws.

Reply to  Weekly_rise
June 28, 2021 12:41 pm

Does anyone seriously think that the climate doomsters are going to start making correct predictions now, after 50 years and scores of consistently failed predictions? Seriously, the odds against that happening based on past performance are huge, about 281 trillion to one.

I published this new Law in early 2020. Edit: Please delete the word “Virtually”.

The ability to predict is the best objective measure of scientific and technical competence.
Climate doomsters have a perfect NEGATIVE predictive track record – every very-scary climate prediction, of the ~80 they have made since 1970, has FAILED TO HAPPEN.
“Rode and Fischbeck, professor of Social & Decision Sciences and Engineering & Public Policy, collected 79 predictions of climate-caused apocalypse going back to the first Earth Day in 1970. With the passage of time, many of these forecasts have since expired; the dates have come and gone uneventfully. In fact, 48 (61%) of the predictions have already expired as of the end of 2020.”
To end 2020, the climate doomsters were proved wrong in their scary climate predictions 48 times – at 50:50 odds for each prediction, that’s like flipping a coin 48 times and losing every time! The probability of that being mere random stupidity is 1 in 281 trillion! It’s not just global warming scientists being stupid.
These climate doomsters were not telling the truth – they displayed a dishonest bias in their analyses that caused these extremely improbable falsehoods, these frauds.
There is a powerful logic that says no rational person or group could be this wrong, this obtuse, for this long – they followed a corrupt agenda – in fact, they knew they were lying from the start.
Best regards, Allan

Last edited 1 year ago by Allan MacRae
Rory Forbes
June 28, 2021 2:14 pm

There is a powerful logic that says no rational person or group could be this wrong, this obtuse, for this long – they followed a corrupt agenda – in fact, they knew they were lying from the start.

They not only knew they were wrong, they were conscious of the probable outcomes should they get caught. There are actual emails covering such an eventuality between Phil Jones of the CRU and Michael Mann … I believe the phrase, “we’d get tarred and feathered” was quipped by Dr. Jones. This stuff is all documented.

Reply to  Rory Forbes
June 28, 2021 9:06 pm

Tar and feathers are not what they used to be.

June 28, 2021 9:18 pm

Convenience Environmentalists – The Canadian Left are not Green – they are Brown – and Full of It. The Dems in the USA are as bad or worse.

On June 23, 2021, Private Member’s Bill C-269 (Andrew Scheer) came up for second reading in the House of Commons.
Bill 269 would have prohibited the deposit of raw sewage into waterways inhabited by fish. The federal government can currently grant exceptions to entities (such as cities, municipalities, towns, ocean liners, industries) dumping raw sewage into our waterways.
The second reading is when a Bill is referred to Committee for further study or killed. A vote of 211 to 120 defeated the bill. It is interesting how the vote breaks down by party lines:

Political Party



Bloc Quebecois






Green Party















The vote was whipped. It appears embarrassing the Conservatives overwhelmed good sense and the opportunity to protect our waterways from contamination.

The BQ, Greens, Liberals, and NDP claim to be ardent environmentalists when climate change, carbon emissions, or pipelines are up for debate. When given the opportunity to prevent environmental damage to our waterways, they are hypocrites who let polluter friends off the hook.

They are limousine liberals, never there for the heavy lifting. Remember that when these actors are pleading for your vote in the next federal election.

They certainly do not represent you or me.

Reply to  Weekly_rise
June 28, 2021 3:59 pm

W_r writes: “I have not read the Clark paper, but claiming that another study’s methods are not reproducible is a pretty difficult claim to substantiate – I would assume they devote a significant portion of this paper to demonstrating that they’ve exactly reproduced Munday et al.’s experimental design?” and then writes at length below. It takes a great deal of hubris to pontificate at length about a paper without haven’t bothered to read it. I suggest that W_r go to the trouble of actually reading the paper before he makes further assumptions about what is in it. Remember the old saw about being careful when using the word “assume” because it can make an a$$ out of u and me.

Reply to  RayG
June 28, 2021 4:45 pm

I’ve read the paper since this morning and in reading have reinforced my view that Clark et al. have not done enough to show that they’ve actually replicated the experimental conditions of the earlier works they’re trying to refute. Obtaining a null result is not the same thing as invalidating works which show positive results.

Reply to  Weekly_rise
June 29, 2021 1:20 am

If the outcome of an experiment is so sensitive and prone to interference from extraneous factors, perhaps it would be a good idea to design a better experiment.

Reply to  Weekly_rise
June 30, 2021 6:44 pm

Utter BS.

You keep flinging specious red herrings and pretending they are valid concerns.

Those logical fallacies you keep bemoaning are neither valid nor of any real scientific consequence.

Reply to  Weekly_rise
June 28, 2021 10:32 pm

repeat trials of an invalid method (fabricated out of Mother Nature’s reef environment under acidic conditions = WAS NOT A FAIR TEST IN THE 1ST INSTANCE (INVALID EXPERIMENT IN THE 1ST PLACE – WHY? ANSWER: THE OCEANS ARE ALKALINE)


June 28, 2021 6:17 am

low ph has negative effects on brain function of researchers

Reply to  garboard
June 28, 2021 8:58 am

It’s not pH, it’s the dreaded CO2. Science had been going down since the early 70’s: exactly the time that rising anthropogenic CO2 started to be come significant. That proves that CO2 affect brain function in scientists.

Either that or it’s the free money.

June 28, 2021 6:32 am

Didn’t the German courts find that The oceans do not take up CO2? Why would anybody be discussing ocean acidification after that? The science is settled!

June 28, 2021 6:51 am

How do you even measure “acidification” of TRILLIONS of gallons of ever mixing water?

Bryan A
Reply to  bluecat57
June 28, 2021 7:03 am

Ford has an Acidification Model for that…
Model A
Just ask the Ford Modeling School

Rich Davis
Reply to  Bryan A
June 28, 2021 7:51 am

Model T is more popular

Rory Forbes
Reply to  bluecat57
June 28, 2021 2:21 pm

Exactly! Depending on conditions, full sun, shade or night; the pH of every cubic milliliter of water is changing spatially, regionally and temporally, while being subjected to surface flow (currents) and columnar down-welling or up-welling. Conditions can change in seconds … over the entire ocean.

Reply to  Rory Forbes
June 29, 2021 4:52 am

Ditto for the temperature of the atmosphere, of course.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Rory Forbes
June 29, 2021 9:57 am

Rory, I see that this has to be true in principle but when considering the water at a particular polyp in a coral at the GBR proper (so very far offshore away from river estuaries and land runoff), what is the actual range of pH over time? How does the range compare to a 0.1 delta in pH?

I mean does the variation you mention constitute a range of 0.0001 or 0.2 or 1.5?

I guess it’s also relevant whether the range is centered on the mean and how far it goes below the mean, since the claims are that anything below average has a negative effect.

Do you know of any data to answer this question?

A related but relevant question would be whether all the same species actually survive in river estuaries where it’s obvious that much lower pH conditions sometimes apply with tides, currents, changing river flows, etc.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Rich Davis
June 29, 2021 10:48 am

Sorry, I can’t answer those questions, although they are all very good questions. Where they even asked when these studies were conceived.and carried out. I was just adding to what blucat57 said. Your questions are more specific.

John Kelly
June 28, 2021 7:19 am

Does JCU have any scientific reputation left anymore? It seems not. All it’s “scientists” can produce is sensational headlines, not science.

Reply to  John Kelly
June 28, 2021 7:42 am

Thanks, you said it for me.
JCU has seemingly set out to position itself as the home of ultra-alarmism based on dodgy marine research.
There is a well established doomsday cult following based around climate research.

Reply to  Mr.
June 28, 2021 2:10 pm

It’s a funding following cult, a strong one

Reply to  John Kelly
June 28, 2021 7:50 am

Sensational Headlines are reproducible, proving that JCU climate scientists are the best in world!!


Reply to  John Kelly
June 28, 2021 9:01 am

How can you possibly question their competence. Don’t you know it is officially called a “ARC Center of Excellence”, with a name like that they are beyond question.

June 28, 2021 7:39 am

Oceans warm, they outgas CO2. Oceans cool, they take up CO2. This has been happening for millennia. As I understand it and correct me if I’m wrong, when the ice retreated and oceans warmed, atmospheric CO2 rose. As The ice advanced and the oceans cooled, atmospheric CO2 decreased. This is what the ice-cores show us isn’t it? In which case, why is anyone even talking about ocean acidification when the oceans have never been acidic, not even when atmospheric CO2 was at 7000ppm and the waters were full of trilobites. The whole ocean acidification thing, it seems to me, is simply male bovine excrement.

Reply to  Badgerbod
June 28, 2021 9:53 am

“The whole ocean acidification thing, it seems to me, is simply male bovine excrement.”

Nah – I reckon it’s just bullshit,

June 28, 2021 7:44 am

35 years ago I was running one of the largest outer Great Barrier Reef tourist operations in Oz. We took up to 240 people a day to our facility on an outer reef & catered to resort island groups on the island own boats.

On one occasion I took the board of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, plus most of their senior staff, staff from the Australian Institute of Marine Science, & a large group from the James Cook University marine department, & some of their family members out to our facility, about 180 people all up. I was amazed at the response of many of then to the reef. Obviously many had not spent much time in reef waters.

3 senior researchers appeared to delighte in telling me the crown of thorns infestation would put us out of business in less than 18 months. When I told them my dive instructors & skippers who spent 3 to 5 days continually out there had found the infestation had died out, they assured my staff were wrong, & must not know what the star fish looked like. I guess they were wrong, as thousands of tourists are still marveling at the coral at the same reef today.

I only later discovered most of these people never went near the ocean, preferring to experiment in giant fish tanks ashore in Townsville.

They really are a waste of space, but then that applies to so much of academia today.

Reply to  Hasbeen
June 28, 2021 10:00 am

Yes, it’s the absolute CERTAINTY with which these academics proclaim their beliefs (not a hint of uncertainty) that gives us the impression of religious zealots, rather than considered, rational scientists.

Or Al Gores.

M Courtney
Reply to  Hasbeen
June 28, 2021 11:06 am

Science always follows the engineering that follows the initial commercialisation.
Many academics act as if the Laws of Thermodynamics preceded the invention of the steam engine.
The initial commercialisation of the GBR was fishermen taking tourists out to see it.
You sir seem to be at the second stage of engineering the tourism industry.
The academics need to learn from you to make the science; the academics should not presume to teach you your business.

Reply to  M Courtney
June 30, 2021 6:54 pm

Many academics act as if the Laws of Thermodynamics preceded the invention of the steam engine.”

Au Contraire, the Laws of Thermodynamics existed. Only their full realization and publication came afterwards.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  Hasbeen
June 29, 2021 7:05 am

Have you ever spoken to Jennifer Marohasy about this. If not I’m sure she would be interested.


Gordon A. Dressler
June 28, 2021 7:46 am

If, in reality during the next 1000 years, the Earth’s oceans change their average pH values from the range of 8.1-8.2 down to the range 8.0-8.1 (still in in the basic side of pH), is it physically correct to say that this is “ocean acidification”?

I think not.

Moreover, Earth has a long history of swings on the basic side of ocean pH without it causing mass die-offs in marine life:

Graph below from “Paleo-perspectives on ocean acidification,” Charles Pelejero, et al, March 30, 2010 (ref (paywalled): https://www.cell.com/trends/ecology-evolution/fulltext/S0169-5347(10)00044-3 ). Apologies for the poor quality of the cut and paste . . . double click on it to get better resolution.

Ergo, don’t panic.

Historic Ocean pH Levels.jpg
Last edited 1 year ago by Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
June 28, 2021 9:06 am

so when earth is cold and atm CO2 is lower, ocean more basic ( less acidic ) . So where is all the “acidifying” CO2 going ?

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  Greg
June 28, 2021 11:56 am

No . . . take care in reading the chart. Ocean pH scale on the right is decreasing pH bottom-to-top, whereas CO2 scale on right is increasing atmospheric concentration of CO2 in ppmv bottom-to-top. The graph is consistent in indicating higher CO2 levels are associated with lower pH levels (although the data never crosses pH=7.0 into the acidic region).

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
July 1, 2021 10:13 am

Sorry . . . CO2 scale on the left.

June 28, 2021 8:12 am

This graphic highlights how CO2 thrived during periods of much much much higher CO2 levels. This graphic alone debunks countless Climate Myths.

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  CO2isLife
June 28, 2021 5:00 pm

“. . . how CO2 thrived during periods of much much much higher CO2 levels.”

Errrr . . . come again?

June 28, 2021 8:23 am

Their conclusion isn’t surprising, considering there’s no such thing as “ocean acidification”.

June 28, 2021 8:41 am

seriously challenged by a group led by fish physiologist Timothy Clark of Deakin University in Geelong, Australia

I have a gold fish who is tramatised by the prospects of global warming on her children and grandchildren. She’s been acting very oddly of late and I’m concerned for her well-being.

I’ve moved her bowl away from the telly because I think it was XR and Greta who got her into this state. I’ve also blocked her access to Farcebook and she seems to be doing a little better.

It’s a shame we don’t have any fish physiologist where I live. I’d happily pay $150/ 15min for a consultation.

Last edited 1 year ago by Greg
Reply to  Greg
June 28, 2021 10:06 am

Be careful with the pronouns you use when referring to a mother with children.
‘They’ might prefer to identify as “the birth parent”

Even if ‘they’ is a goldfish (who I have also come to observe have a keener intellect than most climate campaigners).

Gary Pearse
June 28, 2021 9:16 am

“James Cook University however, denies sloppy science was done by Munday and his team”

O my, what an impotent response by James Cook in face of the Dr Ridd firing for criticizing the “sloppy work ” reef and marine ‘specialists’ were doing. Ridd and colleagues have been busy falsifying massive whitening and death of the GBR by doing direct examination of the supposed devastated areas and finding a healthy reef bristling with reef ecology life.

This is the beginning of the takedown of the grant-fed ideologues inventing doom. The trouble with sloppy work to support a meme is they have no resources to mount a defense of their pathetic work. In doing so they would have to show their work – data, statistical sorties in search of significance, p-hacking, the whole sordid nine yards. Pleading no contest is their best hope of staving off syencyfrod. A paper like this and the Ridd case are likely to initiate a feeding frenzy of falsification studies across the entire sorry clisci meme

Reply to  Gary Pearse
June 30, 2021 7:09 pm

Agreed, Gary.
One should not overlook the millions spent by JCU in their vilification of real scientists, science and rigorous research while they hand massively larger amounts of funds to climate shysters and fraudsters.

Rich Davis
June 28, 2021 10:02 am

I’m curious, but how much does ocean pH vary between high and low tide, between seasons, and between a period of clear skies and torrential downpours, in situ where the coral and fish actually live?

Someone will know here in this amazing forum.

My gut tells me that it varies more than the claimed catastrophic change. Much like temperature often varies 25C in one diurnal period, but somehow a 1.5C change in the average is catastrophic.

Right-Handed Shark
June 28, 2021 10:14 am

“Ocean Acidification” is one of the biggest crocks in climate “science”. Some of the most productive environments on the planet are river estuaries where fresh and salt water mix, and dependant on winds, tides and currents the PH levels are up and down like a whore’s drawers. Yet life thrives in these conditions.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Right-Handed Shark
June 28, 2021 10:48 am

That’s related to what I just asked, and is intuitively obvious given the pH difference between fresh river water and salt ocean water. (Even more so if there’s a lot of rain runoff, since rain tends to actually be acidic).

I guess that most of the GBR is fairly remote off shore where estuaries may not be as big of a factor though. Hoping there’s actual in situ pH data for GBR corals to answer my question.

Right-Handed Shark
Reply to  Rich Davis
June 28, 2021 11:42 am

It wasn’t meant as a response to your question, just where my comment landed. But this may answer your question about corals generally:


Rich Davis
Reply to  Right-Handed Shark
June 28, 2021 12:45 pm

Thanks RHS!

Yes I know that you posted a similar topic around the same time and not in response to my question. I was just commenting on the implications to my question because it illustrates part of my thinking on why normal pH variation is probably significant but also doesn’t exactly address it because the GBR isn’t an estuary.

The WUWT article is also interesting and points to evidence that current pH isn’t the magical only survivable condition. Yet it also doesn’t quite answer my question. Those Palau coral are adapted to a lower average pH.

My question goes to the variability of pH in the GBR at any given point, that is how much variation does coral already tolerate on a daily or seasonal basis.

If it already tolerates a wide range greater than the supposed drop in pH expected at the end of the century, then common sense indicates that dropping to a level prevalent only 20 mya in the evolutionary history as long as that of corals, should be of no concern whatsoever.

That is to say it survived just fine 20 mya and it currently is unfazed by fluctuations that overlap the future conditions.

The argument I’ve heard is that coral can adapt but not if the change is too abrupt. That argument is not convincing if they already experience the future-state conditions from time to time.

All I lack is some data to test that hypothesis.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  Right-Handed Shark
June 29, 2021 7:23 am

IIRC, Willis E had a post about ‘ocean acidification’ a year or so back where some study was going to town about a drop in pH by 2100 from 8 down to 7.92. He pointed out that every day fish, crabs and other marine life move from the surface to the depths where the pH is higher and then when the pH is higher at the surface during the night they move back to the surface.

This daily migration is typically about 500 metres vertically and invoves the change of half a pH unit in a couple of hours compared to the study worrying about a change of 0.08 in almost a century.

Last edited 1 year ago by Dave Andrews
June 28, 2021 11:05 am

This robust refutation and exposure of corrupt research from JCU comes well-timed to support Peter Ridd’s legal case.

June 28, 2021 2:36 pm

Both corals and fish appeared first during the Cambrian, about 535 million years ago.
When atmospheric CO2 was 6000-7000 ppm.
Jawed fish appeared later in the Ordovician when CO2 was at 4000-4500 ppm.

Fish and corals living happily with atmospheric CO2 at many thousands ppm.

Can someone please remind me how it is possible that a present day increase from 300 to 400-500 ppm is meant to pose a threat of “acidification”? One that didn’t happen during the Cambrian or Ordovician?

history temp CO2 phanaerozoic.png
June 28, 2021 3:27 pm

JCU have an ever growing group of great Scientists.
Only problem is that none of them work there anymore!

June 28, 2021 5:14 pm

If Mark Twain said “The report of my death was an exaggeration” when his obituary was prematurely printed, then likewise, the imminent death of the Great Barrier Reef is very premature and a great exaggeration.

Last edited 1 year ago by tygrus
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