Shark Attacks and Climate Change

James D. Agresti

Contrary to NBC Nightly News, there is no scientific basis for the claim that climate change is causing shark attacks.

SOURCES:

In a July 2022 episode of NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, Kerry Sanders reported on “the concern” that “climate change means warmer waters, which brings sharks closer to shore.” https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/17-year-old-attacked-by-shark-after-sharks-were-spotted-near-the-shore-days-before/ar-AAZ5V9l

A 2019 paper in the journal PLoS One measured shark attacks per million people in the nations with the most shark attacks and found that “the majority of countries saw no perceptible trend or change” since 1960. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0211049

With regard to the few countries with more shark attacks, a 2011 paper in the journal Marine and Freshwater Research found that the rise in Australia is due to people spending more time in the ocean and “there is no evidence of increasing shark numbers that would influence the rise of attacks in Australian waters.” https://www.publish.csiro.au/mf/Fulltext/MF10181

Beyond shark attacks, journalists, activists, politicians, and educators have fabricated or exaggerated threats from climate change with matters like:

• animal extinctions: https://www.justfacts.com/globalwarming#assertions_extinctions
• deforestation: https://www.justfacts.com/globalwarming#assertions_forests
• flooding: https://www.justfactsdaily.com/the-nation-of-kiribati-is-growing-not-sinking
• agricultural decline: https://www.justfacts.com/globalwarming#assertions-famine
• insect-borne diseases: https://www.justfactsdaily.com/ddt-ban-not-global-warming-outbreak-disease-carrying-insects
• rainfall: https://www.justfactsdaily.com/has-global-warming-made-rainstorms-more-intense
• sea ice: https://www.justfactsdaily.com/has-global-warming-turned-the-north-pole-into-a-lake

Climatologist Stephen Schneider was a founding member of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. https://www.britannica.com/biography/Stephen-Henry-Schneider

In 1989, Schneider told Discover magazine that in order to “reduce the risk of potentially disastrous climate change,” “we have to get some broad-based support, to capture the public’s imagination. That, of course, entails getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have.” He also said, “Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest. I hope that means being both.” https://www.justfacts.com/document/global_warming_stephen_schneider_discover_magazine_october_1989.pdf

NBC News footage reproduced under the “fair use” provision of U.S. copyright law for “purposes such as criticism” and “comment” (17 U.S.C. §107). https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/107

This video can be found in our video library

Choose Speaker: James D. Agresti, Organization: Just Facts News

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Carlo, Monte
July 26, 2022 10:05 pm

The dumb is highly contagious…

terry
July 26, 2022 10:16 pm

Shark attacks and now the recent nine inches of rain in St. Louis. From Bob Henson at Yale Climate Connections on this event. “Some weather events are more clearly related to climate change than others. This one certainly qualifies, as the latest example of a trend toward more intense short-term rain events. We don’t invoke climate change for some other types of weather events–say, an EF5 tornado–where there is no trend and no reason to expect one.

Old Man Winter
Reply to  terry
July 27, 2022 12:20 am

St Louis- 9″ rain- WHOOP-DE-DOO!

Holt, MO- WORLD RECORD 12″ in 42 min; MO state record- 18″ in 24 hrs.

rainrcrd.jpg
Joe Adams
Reply to  Old Man Winter
July 27, 2022 1:52 am

Cilaos, Reunion Island holds the record of 75 inches in 24hrs.
It also has the worst shark attack record.
The statement about the cause being because of more people in the water falls flat there. False for sure.
There was virtually no one ever in the water during the 6 years, recently, where there were 21 attacks causing permanent mutilation or death, 11 of them fatal.
The cause was a ban put on the sale of shark meat, in 1999 and the introduction of a marine reserve in 2007, and the Green refusal to cull any of the infestation the reserve attracted to the island’s few swimming beaches and surf spots, which had been previously free from attack for decades while an average of 2-3 sharks were fished in the 20km area per day. The rest of the island’s 207km, lightly fished coast already had the world’s worst attack record of 33 attacks in 30 years. Once again, these occurred in an area where very few humans ever entered the water.
Once the marine reserve was installed in the previously safe area, nearly all the attacks occurred in the reserve.
Once they finally started a drumline program the horrifying deaths and mutilations ended.
The Greens were clearly responsible for all the deaths, mutilations, misery and the huge economic loss.

Trying to Play Nice
Reply to  Joe Adams
July 27, 2022 6:38 am

“There was virtually no one ever in the water during the 6 years, recently, where there were 21 attacks causing permanent mutilation or death, 11 of them fatal.”

I’ll bet there were at least 21 people in the water.

Richard Page
Reply to  Trying to Play Nice
July 27, 2022 7:22 am

Briefly….

Tom Abbott
Reply to  terry
July 27, 2022 6:15 am

“Shark attacks and now the recent nine inches of rain in St. Louis. From Bob Henson at Yale Climate Connections on this event. “Some weather events are more clearly related to climate change than others.”

Says you.

Show how CO2 caused this downpour in St. Louis. You can’t do it, yet you claim the downpour is “clearly” related. You couldn’t prove it if your life depended on doing so.

With climate alarmists it is just one unsubstantiated dire prediction after another. Meanwhile, the global temperatures are cooling.

Climate Alarmists are a bunch of damn fools and/or liars.

terry
Reply to  Tom Abbott
July 27, 2022 10:25 am

I was just being the messenger here. Those guys at YCC are easily riled by any one having a different take on CAGW and won’t hesitate to tell you that the science is settled and the count down to disaster has begun. So naturally I post there occasionally to explode heads.

Last edited 2 months ago by terry
Tom Abbott
Reply to  terry
July 27, 2022 6:30 pm

“I was just being the messenger here.”

I know. I wasn’t quoting you or criticizing you. 🙂

H. D. Hoese
Reply to  terry
July 27, 2022 7:20 am

Bull sharks are not so rare in the lower Mississippi, farthest up is just north of St. Louis.
Thomerson, J. E., et al.,1977. The bull shark, Carcharhinus leucas, from the upper Mississippi River near Alton, Illinois. Copeia (1):166-168.

Ed Hanley
July 26, 2022 10:39 pm

“Climate change means warmer waters which brings sharks closer to shore!” This speculative fantasy spoken with an exaggerated sense of doom on national television carries much more weight with the public than hundreds of solidly documented scientific studies consigned to dusty library shelves and the backwaters of the internet. Are we doomed? No. Does the public believe we are? Teenagers are committing suicide because they believe there will be no world for them to live in. A piece of advice that will go unheeded: BROADCAST RESPONSIBLY!

Old Man Winter
July 26, 2022 11:08 pm

No Body Cares has jumped the shark again!

Paul Milenkovic
Reply to  Old Man Winter
July 27, 2022 8:03 am

You forgot about shark attacks and heavy, heavy rainfall; this meteorological event is known as a “sharknado”

Sharknado – Wikipedia

Graeme#4
July 26, 2022 11:39 pm

Australia is now not allowing sharks to be killed. So shark numbers have substantially increased, and there are now more sharks competing for the same food in the oceans.
I’m not sure about more folks swimming in our oceans though. I would have expected less folks willing to become shark bait. I don’t see many folks swimming further out from our beaches these days.

Last edited 2 months ago by Graeme#4
LdB
Reply to  Graeme#4
July 27, 2022 12:30 am

The protection has made the most difference. The same thing is happening with Crocs since protection. Both Northern Territory and Queensland are reporting increased number of croc attacks.

Another Joe
Reply to  Graeme#4
July 27, 2022 1:43 am

No! Its more sharks, more weather more climate change.

Humans have nothing to do with this!

a happy little debunker
Reply to  Graeme#4
July 27, 2022 1:51 am

Most folks who learned how to swim can’t swim further than about 50 yards … they never practiced much beyond a pool length.

Rah
Reply to  a happy little debunker
July 27, 2022 6:59 am

1979 I had an epiphany. I was living in the San Diego area and went swimming at Torrey Pines. I swam out so far that I could just see the tops of the pine trees on top of the cliffs.

I stopped for a minute, treading water deciding if I should swim back in or parallel the shore at the maximum distance I could keep it in sight.

Then I felt a bump on my lower leg. Concerned and looking around me down in the water I saw dolphins all around me.

One way or another I got the message from them that I needed to swim for shore. They escorted me all the way back in until I could stand. I wasted no time getting out of the water.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  Rah
July 27, 2022 9:17 am

Dolphins are known for helping humans.

https:/www.dolphin-way.com/dolphins-the-facts/dolphins-helping-humans/

Reply to  Graeme#4
July 27, 2022 2:52 am

Great white shark attacks in Australia are increasing because of booming numbers of whales, a prime food source and probably connected to their mating.

Evidence at http://www.washarkattacks.net

Graeme#4
Reply to  Chris Gillham
July 27, 2022 3:41 am

Interesting info Chris. Thanks.

Reply to  Chris Gillham
July 28, 2022 6:54 am

Once when I used to fish off Long Island some years ago a dead whale was washed up on one of the beaches which attracted numerous sharks to feed on it. As a safety precaution the carcass was towed off shore, for several weeks afterwards sport fishing boats used to fish for sharks around the floating carcass, the returning boats used to radio the last location to the boats leaving harbor. A major factor in the shark population around New England is the recent rapid growth in the seal population, a prime food source for sharks.

Mr.
Reply to  Graeme#4
July 27, 2022 6:36 am

I think you’ll find it’s more surf board riders than swimmers being attacked by sharks now.

I don’t think that’s because surfboard riders are tastier than swimmers, but they are offering themselves up on what sharks might think as charcuterie boards.

Doonman
Reply to  Graeme#4
July 27, 2022 1:45 pm

Shark Fin soup is now illegal in many places in the world. Everyone knows that when humans stop hunting and eating other species that their numbers increase.

Bill Toland
July 26, 2022 11:44 pm

Is there anything that global warming cannot do?

LdB
Reply to  Bill Toland
July 27, 2022 12:31 am

Seems incapable of installing common sense in a greentard.

Smart Rock
Reply to  Bill Toland
July 27, 2022 4:29 am

I never had ingrown toenails before CO2 passed the 400 ppm mark. QED

Neo
Reply to  Bill Toland
July 27, 2022 12:35 pm

Apparently, it can’t stop Joe Biden’s Recession

Beagle
July 27, 2022 12:16 am

Didn’t someone do an analysis of shark attacks and the sale of ice-cream. When ice-cream sales increased, shark attacks also increased.
It’s the same as linking CO2 to increasing temperatures.

a happy little debunker
Reply to  Beagle
July 27, 2022 1:57 am

Reminds of a tale told to me by an auditor for Hobart’s Metropolitan Transport Trust (local bus operator)

They did a review (in the 70’s) of bus ticket sales and found there were more trips taken on hot sunny days, than on cold rainy days – the exact opposite of what was expected.

Spoiler
Turns out that on hot sunny days, which coincided with summer holidays – that more kids went to the local pools.

Neo
Reply to  Beagle
July 27, 2022 12:38 pm

Soda also appears to be dangerous. In 2011, an economics professor and a health policy researcher went public with this as their research result. Among adolescents, they found, “a strong association between soft drinks and violence…” And they also wrote, “… drinking more than five cans of non-diet soft drinks per week was associated with a 9–15 percentage point increase in the probability of engaging in violent actions… There may be a direct cause-and-effect relationship, perhaps due to the sugar or caffeine content of soft drinks.”

Doonman
Reply to  Neo
July 27, 2022 1:35 pm

Or maybe it’s increased pissing that causes violent actions because there is definitely a direct cause and effect relationship between drinking more and pissing more too.

Neo
Reply to  Beagle
July 27, 2022 12:39 pm

According to the data, ice cream consumption is linked to shark attacks. The more accepted sharksplanation is that it’s seasonal. It just so happens that, when it’s warmer, more people are eating ice cream and also more people are swimming in the ocean.

LdB
July 27, 2022 12:23 am

There is more shark attacks in Australia because the big sharks are now largely protected. During the 50′-70’s the large sharks were actively targeted by a very active recreational fishing community with personalities like Vic Hislop
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vic_Hislop

It was rare by late 1980’s to even see a large shark around Australia which lead to the protection.

Last edited 2 months ago by LdB
Joao Martins
Reply to  LdB
July 27, 2022 3:09 am

There is more shark attacks in Australia because the big sharks are now largely protected.

If we trust the news, they already have taken over the government…

Philip Mulholland
July 27, 2022 12:52 am

Not all sharks live in the ocean.

Another Joe
July 27, 2022 1:40 am
  1. Sharks cause shark attacks.
  2. If shark attacks and climate are correlated, then it has to be that sharks cause climate change.
  3. All else must be wrong.
Richard Page
Reply to  Another Joe
July 27, 2022 7:28 am

I beg to differ – shark attacks have, quite obviously, increased exponentially since the release of the ‘Jaws’ franchise – these films have single-handedly caused the increase in shark attacks. sarc

Another Joe
Reply to  Richard Page
July 28, 2022 12:54 am

I believe you peddle the wrong board! 🙂
If the film industry is causing shark attacks, and sharks are causing climate change, then the film industry is essentially the culprit of all their own sorrows.
That gives me a head ache!

fretslider
July 27, 2022 2:51 am

10 or even 20 years ago the foxes in my area were a pretty sad and mangy bunch. Fast forward to today and I’ve never seen a healthier bunch with excellents coats and they ain’t skinny either.

Some might say they’ve done what animals always have done; gone for an opportunity.

But it has to be down to climate change simply because just about everything else is.

Schneider was an ice ageist first.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  fretslider
July 27, 2022 9:23 am

Its all the trendy urbanites keeping chickens 🙂

Joao Martins
July 27, 2022 3:05 am

scientific basis for the claim that climate change is causing shark attacks

Yes, true!

Just figure WHO the sharks are.

2hotel9
July 27, 2022 4:44 am

Numbers of shark attacks are tied to numbers of people swimming, surfing, paddle boarding.

Tom Abbott
July 27, 2022 6:24 am

It’s “Shark Week” on U.S. television this week.

I’ve been enjoying watching these giant Great White Sharks swimming around. About the biggest one I’ve seen so far is about 20 feet long. I saw a couple of what are claimed to be brother Great White Sharks that travel and hunt together.

I also saw some shark cages with serious design flaws, where they allow enough space in the grillwork for a shark to stick his head all the way inside the shark cage. One Great White got nearly his whole body inside a shark cage, while divers were in there, too. Not good.

I think they need to put a few more bars on those cages in strategic places. 🙂

Trying to Play Nice
Reply to  Tom Abbott
July 27, 2022 6:44 am

i remember a number of years ago, the Comedy Channel advertised “Shart Week”. It would probably be a lot funnier than Shark Week.

Richard Page
Reply to  Tom Abbott
July 27, 2022 7:30 am

Ugh. No thanks – the only way I’d ever get inside a shark cage is if they welded continuous steel plate over the bars. I am not, nor will I ever be, a shark fan.

ResourceGuy
July 27, 2022 6:27 am

NBC is part of the Administration and a key branch of the Party. That includes a steady flow of personnel between the orgs.

griff
July 27, 2022 7:06 am

And yet great white sharks are provably extending their range northward in N hemisphere…

You’re going to need a bigger denial article

Richard Page
Reply to  griff
July 27, 2022 7:54 am

You need a new script, Griffy, this one is getting decidedly thin and decrepit. Great White Sharks have a wide range, which includes areas as far north as San Francisco bay and the Mediterranean – these have been identified and known about for a very long time and these have not changed recently. The so-called ‘unprecedented’ sightings in Monterey Bay are no such thing – Great Whites have been spotted in San Francisco bay and around Monterey before climate change was ever a thing. As for the bogus report of a supposed juvenile Great White in UK waters, there was very little of it seen and there was so much conjecture and conditional statements made that it could have been an albino squid as much as anything else, frankly! This ones another no hoper Griffy.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
Reply to  griff
July 27, 2022 12:11 pm

Not a problem; just introduce some orcas and the great whites will leave the area immediately.

Editor
Reply to  griff
July 27, 2022 2:51 pm

And your evidence is…….?

Meanwhile they been NORTH of the Aleutian Islands of Alaska.

Animals Network

Habitat of the Great White Shark

Great white sharks live in oceans between 54º and 75º F, and can be found in most oceans with these conditions worldwide. Their habitat is dictated less by their preferences, and more by the preferences of their prey. Great whites are found in higher numbers in areas that have rich prey options. 

LINK

H. D. Hoese
July 27, 2022 7:13 am

Since we had studied this three decades ago when there was a cluster of attacks at Port Aransas, TX, near Corpus Christi, I posted some on the last polar bear link, suggesting that one problem might be that we are treating sharks ‘tenderly’ such as with catch (not so tender) and release. The 2019 paper did not cite the older studies including Copplesen, Baldridge, Springer, Schultz, etc., none of whom used statistics back in the days when such data was known to unreliable but they had lots of iterations for each model. There are several reasonable hypotheses, for years attacks were just considered “accidents.” They admitted “bias in the data, forced to use human population as a surrogate human unit effort” and considered surfing “provocative.” Eastern US and Australia increased, some of this had to do with better reporting along with increased water populations of both humans and sharks.

One of the old ideas is that it occurred when they were “petulant,” defined either as an attack or rude behavior, take your pick. There are lots of studies on foraging behavior in all sorts of other animals even a few on sharks. Still one of the best analyses is P. W. Gilbert. 1963 Sharks and Survival. D. C. Heath and Co. Boston. Safer to study numbers in a chair than in the water. I might have missed it but didn’t see climate change in the paper, but it probably should have as it is long known to influence populations.

CD in Wisconsin
July 27, 2022 7:20 am

In 1989, [Stephen] Schneider told Discover magazine that in order to “reduce the risk of potentially disastrous climate change,” “we have to get some broad-based support, to capture the public’s imagination. That, of course, entails getting loads of media coverage. So, we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have.” He also said, “Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest. I hope that means being both.” 

*************

Is this the same Stephen Schneider who wrote a paper back in 1971 which said the following?

https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.173.3992.138

” It is found that, although the addition of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere does increase the surface temperature, the rate of temperature increase diminishes with increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. For aerosols, however, the net effect of increase in density is to reduce the surface temperature of Earth. Because of the exponential dependence of the backscattering, the rate of temperature decrease is augmented with increasing aerosol content. An increase by only a factor of 4 in global aerosol background concentration may be sufficient to reduce the surface temperature by as much as 3.5°K. If sustained over a period of several years, such a temperature decrease over the whole globe is believed to be sufficient to trigger an ice age.”

*********

Or was that a different Stephen Schneider?

Tom Abbott
Reply to  CD in Wisconsin
July 27, 2022 6:36 pm

No, that’s the same guy. He started out promoting human-caused global cooling when the temperatures were cooling during the 1970’s, and then when the temperatures started warming up in the 1980’s, he switched over to human-caused global warming (now climate change).

Yes, he did a 180. And never missed a beat.

lee riffee
July 27, 2022 7:58 am

I guess NBC also didn’t bother to note the fact that great whites prefer cooler waters. So, therefore, if the ocean really is warming, that would drive at least that one species AWAY from shore and further north! Also, with great whites being a protected species in many countries, their numbers have rebounded (not unlike polar bear numbers once most hunting was curtailed). More sharks – more people in the water = more attacks.

Doonman
July 27, 2022 1:27 pm

Climate change happens in the atmosphere. The sun heats the oceans. It’s easy to cool the oceans to prevent shark attacks, just release Sulfur Dioxide into the atmosphere.

observa
July 27, 2022 8:48 pm

Add it to the list if it’s not already a repeat- warmlist (numberwatch.co.uk)

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