Climate Fish Scare Turns Out To Be Just a Fish Story

From Junk Science

By Steve Milloy

Turns out carbon dioxide emissions and the made-up ‘ocean acidification’ — which produced idiocy like the below — is not preventing Nemo from finding his way home, per a new study.

The media release is below. The study is here.

Sharp decline in reported severity of ocean acidification impacts on fish behaviour
Peer-Reviewed Publication
PLOS

This article is under embargo. It is not available for public release until 3-Feb-2022 14:00 ET (3-Feb-2022 19:00 GMT/UTC)
Sharp decline in reported severity of ocean acidification impacts on fish behaviour

As humans fill the atmosphere with excess carbon dioxide, much of it gets absorbed by the oceans, acidifying them—a potential concern for marine life. According to a new study publishing February 3rd in PLOS Biology, however, previously high-profile worries about an effect on fish behaviour appear to have declined.

The research led by Jeff Clements and Fredrik Jutfelt at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, along with Josefin Sundin (Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences) and Timothy Clark (Deakin University), demonstrates that the apparent severity of ocean acidification impacts on fish behaviour, as reported in the scientific literature, has declined dramatically over the past decade.

The researchers used meta-analysis to analyse trends in reported effects of ocean acidification on fish behaviour in studies published from 2009-2019. While early studies reported extremely clear and strong effects, the magnitude of those impacts has decreased over time and have been negligible for the past five years.

“A textbook example of the decline effect”, explains Dr. Clements, lead author of the study. “The decline effect is the tendency for the strength of scientific findings to decrease in magnitude over time. While relatively well-recognized in fields like psychology and medicine, it is lesser known in ecology—our study provides perhaps the most striking example of it in this field to date.”

To determine what might have caused the decline effect in their meta-analysis, the authors explored numerous biological factors, but found that biological differences between studies through time could not explain the results. Instead, common scientific biases largely explained the decline effect.

“Science often suffers from publication bias, where strong effects are selectively published by authors and prestigious journals”, says co-author Prof. Jutfelt. “It’s only after others try to replicate initial results and publish less-striking findings that true effects become known. Our analysis shows that strong effects in this field are favorably published in high impact journals.”

Alongside publication bias, studies that reported severe effects tended to have smaller sample sizes. Not only that, but these less rigorous studies in prestigious journals still receive more attention from researchers and have had a stronger influence on perceived effects in this field.

While imploring others to give more emphasis to recent studies with larger sample sizes, Clements feels that the team’s results are good news. “While climate change will undoubtedly affect marine animals, at least it seems that ocean acidification won’t directly affect fish behaviour.” The decline is also testament to the self-correcting nature of the scientific process.

Jutfelt, Sundin, and Clark agree. “Carbon dioxide emissions have severe negative impacts, not the least through global warming. Given the results of our study, future research efforts can focus on questions where we do see substantial effects being repeated over time,” says Sundin.

“We demonstrate a strong “decline effect” in ocean acidification impacts on fish behaviour – one of the most striking examples of this phenomenon in the field of ecology to date,” adds Clements.

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lee
February 3, 2022 10:14 pm

So it was dodgy science but CO2 dunnit anyway.🙄

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  lee
February 4, 2022 7:06 pm

“Dodgy” is much too gentle a term.

Charles E Garner Jr
February 3, 2022 10:37 pm

They really fessed up! “As I live and breathe” my granny used to say, “I thought I would never live to see the day!”

Climate believer
February 3, 2022 11:43 pm

“Science often suffers from publication bias”

No schit Sherlock.

“it seems that ocean acidification won’t directly affect fish behaviour.”

so we can expect many retractions and web page updates in the weeks to come…(crickets)

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  Climate believer
February 4, 2022 1:32 am

Don’t hold your breathe for the BBC, just the reverse Justin Rowlatt is probably sharpening his pencil as I type.

Joao Martins
Reply to  Climate believer
February 4, 2022 4:27 am

Well… beware of that insidious word, “directly“…

I guess there will be a wave of publications “demonstrating” the “indirect” effects…

MarkW
Reply to  Climate believer
February 4, 2022 7:47 am

But the warmies will continue to cite the study. Anything that benefits the cause, is never truly refuted.

Doonman
Reply to  Climate believer
February 4, 2022 11:33 am

Science doesn’t suffer at all. Science is about following the scientific method, nothing more and nothing less. It’s the charlatans who use “science” as a cover for their pre-conceived agendas that ultimately suffer as stooges, along with the idiots that believe them.

But until politicians stop excusing that behavior by not revoking their 503 C tax exemptions for lying to the public, it doesn’t matter anyway.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Climate believer
February 4, 2022 7:07 pm

“it seems that ocean acidification won’t directly affect fish behaviour.”

There was never any chance of “ocean acidification”, so it was a moot point from the start.

fretslider
February 4, 2022 12:03 am

Fish….!

Today’s fish is Trout a la crème

Enjoy your meal

Coeur de Lion
February 4, 2022 12:24 am

What’s the observed change in ocean pH?

H.R.
Reply to  Coeur de Lion
February 4, 2022 3:50 am

It depends on where and when you’re measuring it.

My understanding is that ocean pH is a slippery number to try to get a good grasp of it.

oeman 50
Reply to  H.R.
February 4, 2022 6:29 am

Right on, HR. pH changes with calcium and carbonate content as well as pressure, temperature and salinity. For example, the neutral 7 pH at atmospheric pressure actually decreases as the depth and thus pressure increases. And watch out for people that try to average pH’s. It does not work with logarithmic numbers.

MarkW
Reply to  H.R.
February 4, 2022 7:48 am

That’s why they model it. To hard to get readings that do what you want them to do.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  H.R.
February 4, 2022 7:09 pm

My understanding is that ocean pH is a slippery number to try to get a good grasp of it.”

Nonsense. Just average it. Works for everything else. Right?

Joao Martins
Reply to  Coeur de Lion
February 4, 2022 4:30 am

How can near 70 % of the earth surface, three miles (average) deep, be “observed”?

Last edited 3 months ago by Joao Martins
Lil-Mike
Reply to  Coeur de Lion
February 4, 2022 10:23 am

For the observed data, none, the observed change is in the model data.

Joao Martins
Reply to  Lil-Mike
February 4, 2022 12:26 pm

… change in the model output. Models do not produce data.

Doonman
Reply to  Coeur de Lion
February 4, 2022 11:40 am

Don’t worry. In chemistry, the actual pH doesn’t matter. Its the AVERAGE pH that matters because all chemical reactions lookup the published average tables first before reacting. /sarc

Last edited 3 months ago by Doonman
Joao Martins
Reply to  Doonman
February 4, 2022 12:29 pm

You are having “good” negative points!… I like in particular your concept of “average pH”…

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Coeur de Lion
February 5, 2022 8:44 am

From my reading here it depends on a wide range of factors including time of day, at the same location PH changes dramatically in even a 24 hour period.

Is it seems to mean that measuring the change in PH of the ocean is about 100x more difficult than measuring the earths “average temperature” which is itself rife with fraud and fantasy assumptions

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Coeur de Lion
February 5, 2022 8:46 am

And basic chemistry is that warmer water releases CO2
If the ocean is warming it cannot increase CO2 content
It can’t do both?

Rod Evans
February 4, 2022 1:15 am

Well who knows. Maybe one day the alarmists will come to realise the increase in CO2, the only real measurable (changing) metric in the climate alarm is a net benefit for the eco systems of the world and by extension, humanity.
Those record harvests are proving quite helpful in many places.
Most thinking people look at both sides of a debate, What are positives and what are the negatives. The climate alarmists for some unexplained reason, ignore the positives and only ever seek to find negatives to talk about. When the negatives don’t show up or turn out to be positive they stop mentioning that.
Why are they such doom mongers?

H.R.
Reply to  Rod Evans
February 4, 2022 3:53 am

Rod: Why are they such doom mongers?”

Because no one ever gets a follow up grant for “Hey! Everything is just hunky dory.”

ex-KaliforniaKook
Reply to  H.R.
February 4, 2022 2:21 pm

That’s strange. As a manager (human or investments) I always focused on what was doing good and dumped what was not. Focused on strong points.

funny how that doesn’t work for news organizations.

H.R.
Reply to  ex-KaliforniaKook
February 4, 2022 6:44 pm

You’ll never make it as a ‘Climate Scientist’.
😉

Reply to  Rod Evans
February 4, 2022 7:51 am

Because Climate Change and Ocean Acidification are nothing more than a concerted effort on the part of NGO’s, University Presidents, Media, and Government Bureaucracies to damage all Corporations that drill or mine into the Earth.

That is what this is about, they hate the oil companies. No science here, just Fear and Loathing in Las Liberals.

Paul Penrose
Reply to  Rod Evans
February 4, 2022 9:58 am

It’s human nature to be worried when things are going well; always waiting for “the other shoe to drop”. In fact, this is probably one of the most common of all irrational fears.

RevJay4
Reply to  Rod Evans
February 4, 2022 10:19 am

Simple answer: money and power.

Doonman
Reply to  RevJay4
February 4, 2022 11:49 am

Well damn. And here I am wasting my time spreading fear and concern by wearing a sandwich board only for dinner and accolades. Time to step up my game.

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Rod Evans
February 5, 2022 8:40 am

The easy answer and therefor most likely is that people really do need something to believe in, there is something in our brains hard wired for it.
In the west, this belief neatly coincides with the decline in organized religion, primarily Christianity.

This explains most of what we see. People see what they want to see in order to support their faith.

My 2 cents

Jit
February 4, 2022 1:17 am
Sweet Old Bob
Reply to  Jit
February 4, 2022 7:09 am

Readers should definitely check this link !
Wow!

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Jit
February 5, 2022 8:34 am

What I take from that story is the discussion of how it’s not the place of young whippersnappers to question their elders and bring “disrepute” on the field.

So appearances and seniority trump being right.

How are these hierarchies any different from a public service union?

Barry James
February 4, 2022 1:32 am

The original fraudulent claims were about CO2 making fish more vulnerable to predators. It was conducted and published by “researchers” at JCU under the supervision of one of JCU’s most virulent anti CO2 activists. They were caught out and that prof now works elsewhere.
https://climatechangedispatch.com/peter-ridd-new-fraud-allegations-deepen-global-science-scandal/

Sweet Old Bob
Reply to  Barry James
February 4, 2022 7:12 am

“Is there a cover-up of fraud by universities and funding agencies? And why do senior scientists attack the Magnificent 7 just for wanting to check previous work? ”

Do bears crap in the woods ?

Joseph Zorzin
February 4, 2022 3:09 am

“As humans fill the atmosphere with excess carbon dioxide…”

Wow, I had no idea- so, how much of the atmosphere is that dreaded, toxic, carbon pollution?

80%?95%? 99.9999%?

John Tillman
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
February 4, 2022 3:37 am

Up to a dizzying 0.0004 from 0.0003 a century ago.

MarkW
Reply to  John Tillman
February 4, 2022 7:50 am

About 60 million years ago, it was over 0.005 and the world went along just fine.

Doonman
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
February 4, 2022 11:53 am

It’s as if they don’t realize that the “excess” carbon dioxide came from the atmosphere to begin with.

2hotel9
February 4, 2022 4:04 am

There was a sharp “decline” in its effects because there was no effect in the first place. After the initial “studies” people really started looking and not finding what the greentards were screeching about.

And love this bit of shade being thrown, just precious, “The decline effect is the tendency for the strength of scientific findings to decrease in magnitude over time.” An oblique admission “climate scientists” simply throw crap against the wall to secure funding, then quietly walk it back once people actually see it is just crap.

RevJay4
Reply to  2hotel9
February 4, 2022 10:38 am

Thus, the “grift” falls apart. Bit by bit. Already having sucked great quantities of taxpayer monies by useless down the great green rabbit hole. Yet, they, the much acclaimed academics attempt to cling onto their lifeline of existence. With the able help of politicians who are given kickbacks from same funds to further the grift. Cancel the D.O.Ed. And force the universities to exist on whatever they soak out of the students and donor.

Reply to  2hotel9
February 4, 2022 11:03 am

Not a lot of walking back – more like more shit is thrown and the old shit becomes a crap-platform for more and more junk studies, each more fearful than the last…

Ed Zuiderwijk
February 4, 2022 4:10 am

Consequences of CO2 increase, by clowns.

Fixed it.

Joao Martins
February 4, 2022 4:23 am

The clown(s) are not the fish…

Tom Abbott
February 4, 2022 5:19 am

Summation of article:

Ocean acidification is shown to be unfounded. The severe impacts claimed in the past have not proven to be true. The early studies reported extremely clear and strong effects from ocean acidification, but the magnitude of those impacts have been negligible for the past five years, they say.

So the impacts went from extremely clear and strong to negligible. In other words, there was nothing there to begin with, it was all hyperbole on the part of alarmist scientists.

The authors call this the “delcine effect”. What they should call it is the “wrong effect”. They act as though the truth gets less and less over time. But the reality is there was no truth there in the first place.

They say common scientific biases largely explain the “decline” effect. I think that is exactly right. These alarmist scientists found what they were expecting to find, not what was there.

That’s what happens in alarmist climate science, too. They find what they want to find, not what is there.

At least the biologists can check the work of the other biologists who promote ocean acidification. Unfortunately, the alarmist climate scientists won’t let us check their work. They want to keep it secret, so we can’t find anything wrong with it.

Yes, we can double check ocean acidification, but we can’t doublecheck the global temperature record because the Data Keepers won’t show us their work. If they did, there would be a “decline effect” in the temperature record.

February 4, 2022 6:19 am

How can something that was not the case to start with have reduced? THese theries were discredited as manipulated science w if no merit, signed of by activists reviewers some time ago. Double speak at work.

Leo Pukk
February 4, 2022 6:49 am

Increased Co2 levels show dramatic effects on the integrity of climate change researchers

Kip Hansen(@kiphansen2)
Editor
February 4, 2022 7:37 am

In addition to the “declining effect”, many of the OA studies used wacky and wrong ocean chemistry (see here and here) and there were whole swaths of these early fish studies that showed strong negative effects on fish behavior that were retracted — some of them simply made up. See :

https://www.science.org/content/article/does-ocean-acidification-alter-fish-behavior-fraud-allegations-create-sea-doubt

and the Ralph Keeling paper retraction, thanks to Nick Lewis

https://retractionwatch.com/2019/09/25/nature-paper-on-ocean-warming-retracted/

Clyde Spencer
February 4, 2022 8:12 am

As humans fill the atmosphere with excess carbon dioxide, much of it gets absorbed by the oceans, acidifying them …

Speaking of fraud, inasmuch as the oceans are everywhere alkaline, and it is highly improbable that they will ever become truly acidic, isn’t it fraud to talk about declining pH as “acidifying?”

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
February 4, 2022 11:15 am

“isn’t it fraud to talk about declining pH as “acidifying?””

I think so.

The alarmists are using “acidification” as a means of scaring people even though it doesn’t describe the situation accurately. It’s alarmist climate change propaganda, not science.

H. D. Hoese
February 4, 2022 8:38 am

https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.3001511
From the paper– “It is clear that the ocean acidification field, and indeed science in general, is prone to many biases including methodological and publication biases [6]….. We contend that ocean acidification has a negligible direct impact on fish behavior, and we advocate for improved approaches to minimize the potential for a decline effect in future avenues of research.” Seems to be a decent paper, but usual lack of homework for papers in the last century. Ecological experiment problems are not new, even with fish.

A sample   
   Peters, R. H. 1991. A Critique for Ecology. Cambridge Univ. Press. 366pp; 
Hairston, N. G. 1989. Ecological Experiments, Purpose, Design, Execution. Cambridge Univ. Press. 370pp; Hurlburt, S. H. 1984. Pseudoreplication and the design of ecological field experiments. Ecol. Monogr. 54:187-211.

From the Center for Biological Diversity—
“Those fish are: the yellowtail damselfish that inhabits waters in Florida, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean; the Hawaiian dascyllus and blue-eye damselfish, which inhabit Hawaiian waters; and the black-axil chromis, Dick’s damselfish, reticulated damselfish and blue-green damselfish that live in the Indo-Pacific, including U.S. territorial waters in American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands.” Problems in aquarium trade also old. They yellowtail damselfish (Microspathodon chrysurus) also occurs in Bermuda and on several offshore northern Gulf of Mexico reefs, generic name has fluctuated, others are oceanic Pacific. They might worry about cold in Bermuda and northern Gulf as I write (central Texas coast) with temperature a little below freezing, not nearly as bad as a year ago. There is also a long list of papers on the effects of freezes, tropicals go first, temperate species not spared.

J. R.
February 4, 2022 10:40 am

Jutfelt, Sundin, and Clark agree. “Carbon dioxide emissions have severe negative impacts,

Really? How did they reach this conclusion? I wonder what impacts they’re referring to.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  J. R.
February 4, 2022 11:20 am

“Really? How did they reach this conclusion?”

They had to have made it up, because there is no evidence CO2 has any negative impacts, severe or not.

J. R.
February 4, 2022 10:46 am

I wonder if ocean acidification has had any effect on sharks, or sea lions, or walrus, or killer whales, or penguins. Has anyone studied them?

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  J. R.
February 5, 2022 7:47 am

They are dissolving.
But it tenderizes them for the polar bears.
So a win on balance

Last edited 3 months ago by Pat from kerbob
Jtom
February 4, 2022 12:57 pm

My sympathies go to any budding researchers who attempted to reproduce the original work, failed, and tossed out months of research concluding they must have done something wrong.

Perhaps researchers found guilty of such blatant fraud should be held financially liable for the time and expenses incurred by others trying to replicate the research.

Eyal
February 4, 2022 11:23 pm

How does the CO2 levels in the oceans are rising if the water is warming up due to the “BearManPig” disaster?
Warm oceans release their CO2 faster…
Oh, I guess I’m conflating facts with “science” again.My bad.

February 5, 2022 10:34 am

Sharp decline in reported severity of ocean acidification impacts on fish behaviour.

Well that’s another decline that we should not hide / hide, depending on your point of view.

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