Scientists: ‘More Ocean Life Making Seas Look Greener’, Media: ‘Climate Crisis!’

From ClimateREALISM

School of fish, photo by Charles Rotter
photo by Charles Rotter

By James Taylor

Climate change is benefiting life in the oceans so much that ocean color is becoming noticeably greener as a result, scientists reported this week. Bodies of water with little life tend to be bluer, the scientists observed, while bodies of water rich in life tend to be greener. Responding to the wonderful news about the recent burst of ocean life, the media have instead sounded a breathless alarm leading people to believe that climate change making the oceans greener is bad.

On July 13, the media acted in concert to inundate people with fear that climate change “is literally changing the ocean’s color.” A sample of article titles include:

“Climate Change Is Literally Changing the Ocean’s Color” – The Daily Beast.

“World’s oceans changing color due to climate breakdown, study suggests” – The Guardian

“Climate change is making our oceans change color, new research finds” – CNN

“Oceans are changing color, likely due to climate change, researchers find” – CBN News

“Climate Change Is Getting So Bad that the Ocean Is Changing Color” – The Byte

Searching dozens of media articles reporting on the new study, Climate Realism could not find a single article with a title mentioning green oceans mean more life.

The lead sentence of the CNN article reads, “The color of the ocean has changed significantly over the last 20 years and human-caused climate change is likely responsible, according to a new study.” Only later in the article – for people who bother to read that far down – is the explanation: “The color of the ocean is derived from the materials found in its upper layers. For example, a deep blue sea will have very little life in it, whereas a green color means there are ecosystems there, based on phytoplankton, plant-like microbes which contain chlorophyll. The phytoplankton form the basis of a food web which supports larger organisms such as krill, fish, seabirds and marine mammals.”

So, scientists report in a peer-reviewed study that oceans are becoming noticeably greener. Science tells us that greener oceans are the result of much more oceanic life. The media respond by writing article titles and lead sentences designed to make believe more life in the oceans is a bad thing and a “climate breakdown.” In reality, the latest scientific evidence confirms – yet again – that our modestly warming planet and more atmospheric carbon dioxide are clearly beneficial to life on Earth.

James Taylor

James Taylor is the President of the Heartland Institute. Taylor is also director of Heartland’s Arthur B. Robinson Center for Climate and Environmental Policy. Taylor is the former managing editor (2001-2014) of Environment & Climate News, a national monthly publication devoted to sound science and free-market environmentalism.

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Peta of Newark
July 23, 2023 2:31 am

Amazing innit – how did nobody even notice before that when you turn up the heat under a pan of water on your hob: The water goes from blue to green

Welcome to Soil Erosion. ##
Enjoy its benefits while you can because when they stop due to nothing on this Earth (apart from Oil) being in infinite in supply , The Ice Comes.

## Sometimes alluded to as Natural Variation – which of course nobody knows what that is apart from The Hand of God – they never have any logical/science explanation.

Soil Erosion happens anyway because rock/soil is ‘basic’ and rain is ‘acidic’

But us humans, with tillage and other variations of burning and forest destruction, have accelerated it by at least 10 to 100 times
So if you imagine that ‘The Ice Returneth within 5,000 years’ by ‘following Natural Cycles‘, count on it being any time after the next 50…..
Eat yer heart out Mankowitch.

Even the UN put out a report in 2016, now impossible to find, which said exactly that.
That from Year = 2016 we had 75 years (at most) of dirt left

The Real Engineer
Reply to  Peta of Newark
July 23, 2023 2:38 am

But it doesn’t, small volumes of water are basically clear. You obviously have very contaminated water. Are swimming pools green? That is warm water en masse!

Rich Davis
Reply to  The Real Engineer
July 23, 2023 5:38 am

You missed the sarc. That was just Peta snark, a premise to start in on the usual soil erosion rant.

No mention of “sugar” today. Small blessings.

Richard Page
Reply to  The Real Engineer
July 23, 2023 6:30 am

‘Are swimming pools green?’ Two were at the Rio Olympics!

Reply to  Richard Page
July 23, 2023 2:56 pm

You could use yellow tiles in the pool…. or red.

John Hultquist
Reply to  The Real Engineer
July 23, 2023 9:04 am

I have a comment far below. Might have gone here if I a read before posting.

old cocky
Reply to  The Real Engineer
July 23, 2023 4:17 pm

The water in swimming pools is yellow, isn’t it?

Reply to  Peta of Newark
July 23, 2023 2:53 am

I’d say Parliament has decades if not centuries of dirt left…

Rich Davis
Reply to  strativarius
July 23, 2023 5:32 am

A common misconception, the finite nature of politicians’ corruption. It’s inexhaustible! Just as one one is hauled off to prison, a new one pops up.

ethical voter
Reply to  Rich Davis
July 23, 2023 4:00 pm

When you vote for people and parties that buy your vote with bribes what do you expect? Integrity?

Rich Davis
Reply to  ethical voter
July 23, 2023 4:31 pm


Reply to  Peta of Newark
July 23, 2023 11:22 pm

I have no idea what you’re talking about and I’m certain you don’t either.

July 23, 2023 2:40 am

On a side note, in the UK, the Uxbridge by-election has caused much angst and gnashing of teeth.

People voted against a green measure dressed up as a health concern. They’re not sure what to do. Double down or postpone? It’s a grudge match. Gosh. 

In addition there’s the matter of cancellation – by banks etc etc. Nigel Farage has brought that to the fore. Many suffering a similar fate lacked the public platform to protest and to be heard. One eye opener at The Guardian was a column in defence of Farage – sort of. Imagine that, a lowly Guardian/Observer columnist defending a Brexiteer….

“As a Coutts client myself…”

Nigel caught them out and now the scrabble for a plausible rationale is on; but we know what it is just the same. They don’t like his politics or his world view.

So, on to The Guardian’s horror spin

“World’s oceans changing colour due to climate breakdown
The sea is becoming greener due to changes in plankton populations, analysis of Nasa images finds”

It takes about a millisecond to spot the obvious flaw in the headline – assuming you have the capacity for some critical thought.

“looked for patterns of change in the ocean’s hue” As you do…

“…comparing these changes in colour with those hypothesised from a computer model simulating what the oceans would look like if human-caused global heating had never taken place, the change was clear.

“We do have changes in the colour that are significantly emerging in almost all of the ocean of the tropics or subtropics,” said Cael.

The changes have been detected over 56% of the world’s oceans – an area greater than all of the land on Earth.

In most areas there’s a clear “greening effect”, Cael said, but he added that there are also places where red or blue colourings are rising or falling.

Cutting the crap, similar to what terrestrial observations show, the oceans also have benefitted from higher levels of Carbon dioxide. But then, why would they be different?

More life. That’s a Malthusian nightmare.

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  strativarius
July 23, 2023 4:13 am

50 years ago I was refused service in a pub because I had long hair and a beard.
The pub is still there, should I go back and demand an apology as it was obviously Pogonophobia and Chaetophobia, and embarrassing for the person who had offered to buy me a pint

Reply to  Ben Vorlich
July 23, 2023 4:19 am

Those were the days, Ben.

In 1982 a sergeant offered to sell me drugs on Chelsea Bridge. Back then nobody would believe it.

John Hultquist
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
July 23, 2023 9:16 am

Interesting. In 1966, I took a college friend — a Brit — to my home in a small Pennsylvania town and we were both asked to leave a pub. He looked like Ringo with long hair,

July 23, 2023 2:55 am

in Norway in hot summers the fjords used take on a greenish colour due to algal blooms which I was told were toxic.
Phytoplankton presumably is equivalent to algal bloom and I guess in inland waters thanks to nitrate runoff may become toxic due to depleting oxygen. Presumably in the open ocean it ia all good news as the phytoplankton are the base of the food chain and there is enough oxygen around

Reply to  alastairgray29yahoocom
July 23, 2023 5:39 am

Actually, it’s even better.

Plankton don’t require oxygen, plankton produce oxygen, as do algae. The oxygen depletion happens when the algae die and are degraded by bacteria. Toxic algae blooms happen in lakes and sheltered bays, usually due to over-fertilization. link Similarly, plankton can sometimes become toxic, but I’ve never heard of such toxicity being a problem in the open ocean.

John Hultquist
Reply to  commieBob
July 23, 2023 9:22 am

There are pictures of Banana Slugs munching on Amanita muscaria — something I wouldn’t do.

Reply to  alastairgray29yahoocom
July 23, 2023 3:45 pm

It’s not the algae that’s producing toxins in these ‘algal blooms’, it’s cyanobacteria. Possibly the oldest form of photosynthesizing life and responsible even today for generating 25-30% of all the oxygen produced through photosynthesis on earth.
Although too much in water makes it no longer potable, we (multicellular organisms) quite literally owe our existence to those ubiquitous little buggers.

Mike McMillan
July 23, 2023 3:12 am

First Climate Change, now Color Change. Sigh.

Reply to  Mike McMillan
July 23, 2023 6:10 am

You are correct and wrong…it is “Colour” – not “Color”……the Society to Preserve Unnecessary Letters…..SPUL.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  antigtiff
July 23, 2023 7:49 am

when I see “colour” I pronounce it kull-uuar with a feint, pretentious French accent

Curious George
Reply to  Mike McMillan
July 23, 2023 7:38 am

Green is the color of Ocean Acidification.
Green is the colour of Ocean Acidification.

July 23, 2023 3:24 am

The colour of the many parts of the planet has become greener over the last few decades.

It is called PLANT LIFE. !

Plants Luv CO2.jpg
Reply to  bnice2000
July 23, 2023 3:26 am

CO2 makes the world GREENER.

Reply to  bnice2000
July 23, 2023 3:56 am

I predict that the fact of more algae will be connected to fertiliser run off – even if there is no agriculture in the relevant vicinity. Remember the bays of northern France redolent in green algae that was blamed, rightly or wrongly — on nitrate fertiliser run off from fields draining into tidal water courses..?

Reply to  bnice2000
July 23, 2023 5:34 am

At least one person in the Bribem Whiteouse supports more coca plants.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Scissor
July 23, 2023 5:47 am

More a matter of “consumes” than “supports”, isn’t it?

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Rich Davis
July 23, 2023 8:16 am


Reply to  Scissor
July 23, 2023 2:59 pm

This one’s for Hunter..

Plants Luv.jpg
Meindert A. Jorna
July 23, 2023 3:48 am

What seems to be a consensus is: oceans become greener because of climate change. In his book “World in Balance” Al Gore made already mention of this expectation and warned in his book about the exponetional danger of oceans becoming greener which will cause more light absorbation, which will cause increase in ocean temperature which will cause the water to become more green, which will etc. etc. I do not see how stating that “greener” means “more life” will have an effect of dminishing the fear for climate change and rising temperatures.

Bob B.
Reply to  Meindert A. Jorna
July 23, 2023 4:29 am

Never mind that the color blue actually absorbs more light energy than the color green.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Bob B.
July 23, 2023 5:59 am

Or the fact that the reason for the green tint is the increased presence of chlorophyll, which implies that light energy is being stored chemically through the production of sugars. If it is breaking bonds in CO2 and H2O to allow the formation of sugar, a net endothermic process, it can’t simultaneously raise the temperature of the water.

Reply to  Rich Davis
July 23, 2023 10:52 am

It is actually, in large part, a component of my mitigation strategum.

Once accepted, my plankton seeding will be seen as saving the world (and I can sell my credits for way less than the frontmen for Kerry & Gore).

Reply to  Bob B.
July 23, 2023 8:48 am

Clear water on a sunny day reflects the blue of the sky, which is why the ocean looks gray on a cloudy, stormy day. The water itself is not “blue”.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Meindert A. Jorna
July 23, 2023 6:15 am

If such a runaway positive feedback were actually possible, why would it not commence the moment water temperature is high enough to allow any algae to grow? Why does it depend on a slight warming above prior conditions to suddenly trigger it? Why isn’t this runaway feedback observed anywhere as yet, despite there being areas of 30°C and higher sea surface?

Algae is known to grow on ice-water interfaces, by the way.

Right-Handed Shark
Reply to  Meindert A. Jorna
July 23, 2023 6:51 am

Absorbation? is that a portmanteau of “absorbing” and “masturbation”? Oh wait, you referenced Al Gore, I answered my own question.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Meindert A. Jorna
July 23, 2023 7:52 am

And you’ll believe anything sciency said by Al “the oceans are boiling” Gore?

John Hultquist
Reply to  Meindert A. Jorna
July 23, 2023 9:30 am

Al Gore never makes sense. Seeing the color implies reflection, not absorption. See my comment below — and several others in this thread.
My question is: “Who told that to Gore?” We know Al was a poor student. His source must have flunked Physics also.

Reply to  Meindert A. Jorna
July 23, 2023 1:40 pm

Gore is wrong about basically everything.

The epitome of the far-leftist climate scammer..

Only the most clueless still believe anything he has said..

Geoff Sherrington
Reply to  Meindert A. Jorna
July 23, 2023 8:25 pm

When you do the sums, you find that the volume of the oceans is so much larger than the volume of contaminated run-off that it does not make a measurable difference. Also, farmers are reducing fertilizer loss all the time because it is a straight cash loss and they are not silly.
The book was named “Earth in the Balance, Forging a New Common Purpose.” I read parts of my copy on average about 10 days apart to find words to ridicule. A work of scholarsip, it is not, as could be expected from the lack of science credentials of its author. You cannot forge a new common purpose based on outlandish gossip.
Geoff S

Reply to  Meindert A. Jorna
July 23, 2023 11:30 pm

Ah, the briliant climate scientist, Dr. Al Gore, has identified another of the many imaginary “tipping points” and “positive feedbacks” that alarmists like you keep shrieking about, for which there is no evidence whatsoever. All the observational evidence suggests that there are strong negative feedback mechanisms in Earth’s climate system that tend to moderate rather than exacerbate perturbations.

On another note, what’s with The Invasion of the Trolls on WUWT lately? Do you enjoy getting your dogma spanked by people who know a thing or two about climate and weather?

Caleb Shaw
July 23, 2023 3:54 am

So the Greens say green is bad? Aren’t they painting themselves into a corner?

Rich Davis
Reply to  Caleb Shaw
July 23, 2023 6:00 am

It’s self hatred

Reply to  Caleb Shaw
July 25, 2023 6:38 pm

When you scratch a green, they are invariably red underneath.

Bob B.
July 23, 2023 4:23 am

Extreme greening occurs every March 17th in the Chicago river. Must be the warmest day of the year there.

Steve Case
July 23, 2023 4:37 am

Scientists: “More Ocean Life Making Seas Look Greener”, Media: “Climate Crisis!”

Time for this one again:

   1. More rain is not a problem.
   2. Warmer weather is not a problem.
   3. More arable land is not a problem.
   4. Longer growing seasons is not a problem.
   5. CO2 greening of the earth is not a problem.
   6. There isn’t any Climate Crisis.

And this time #5 applies.

Neo Conscious
Reply to  Steve Case
July 23, 2023 7:48 am

Faster plant growth is the real issue that climate scientists should be studying, not global warming, for it’s impact on life on earth is much more far-reaching than the “greenhouse effect”.

Some say that the increase in plant growth and carbon accumulation within our ecosystems will produce global warming while some say it will lead to cooling. The truth is uncertain, but the real scandal is that compared to global warming, the research into this phenomenon is virtually nil and is often being censored or ignored.

Hans Erren
July 23, 2023 4:54 am

Less air pollution
More sunlight
Less arctic sea ice
Even more sunlight
More algae
More fish
More seals
More polar bears

July 23, 2023 5:43 am

NOTHING to do with warming; ALL to do with rising CO2 levels – and hence more vigourous plant growth (including, of course, plankton).

Rich Davis
Reply to  Ian_e
July 23, 2023 6:38 am

The CO2 connection is logical but doesn’t support any runaway warming feedback idea. As oceans warm they outgas CO2, a negative feedback to ever-increasing algae growth.

The facts are a little doubtful also, since it seems many studies have shown algae growth limited by iron rather than CO2. If there’s ocean greening, it might owe more to Peta’s pet peeve—soil erosion?

What we have here is the alarmist norm of observing a change, any change, and declaring it a catastrophe. And of course any increase in life is disastrous in what passes for the mind of a Malthusian.

Reply to  Rich Davis
July 23, 2023 8:31 am

“As oceans warm they outgas CO2 . . . “

This is a common misperception.

Due to chemical reactions of CO2 with seawater having current pH levels in the range of 8.1-8.2 and such being highly buffered to remain so, there is a relatively insignificant amount of dissolved CO2 gas in the world’s oceans (averaged through their depth) that is available for “outgassing” as a function of warming water temperature.

Many people, including many scientists, simply assume that seawater obeys Henry’s law of a dissolved component gas content being dependent upon the partial pressure of the gas component existing above the seawater, but Henry’s law does not apply when chemical reaction(s) between the gas and the liquid are involved.

Refer to
for a detailed discussion of this situation and the science behind the associated Revelle factor and the attached Bjeerum plot, where CO2 equilibrium concentration is shown to be ~10-5 mole per kg seawater for pH > 8, orders of magnitude less than if the seawater had a pH<5.

Reply to  ToldYouSo
July 23, 2023 8:37 am

Sorry about the poor resolution of the Bjerrum plot I attached. Try this one instead

Rich Davis
Reply to  ToldYouSo
July 23, 2023 9:39 am

It’s certainly not a misperception.

Buffering reactions complicate the system. There’s an equilibrium between CO2 in the air and the CO2-carbonate solution that changes the concentration of CO2 dissolved on the water side of the interface relative to what would be assumed based on Henry’s Law. But that doesn’t negate the fact that solubility decreases with increasing temperature.

What exactly is the point of your nitpick anyway? Are you trying to support the hypothesis of a runaway feedback caused by increasing plankton growth?

Reply to  Rich Davis
July 23, 2023 10:35 am

The point I was trying to make—obviously, unsuccessfully—is that the amount of CO2 “outgassed” from the oceans is relatively insignificant compared to the amount of CO2 absorbed from the atmosphere and dissolved into seawater over millions of years.

Yes, it is true that for seawater, some amount of CO2 existing as un-reacted dissolved gas at equilibrium in oceans will tend to “outgas” back into Earth’s atmosphere as the average ocean water temperature rises. But this released amount (per unit degree rise in ocean surface temperature) is relatively insignificant due to:
1) the inherent lack of relative large amounts of CO2 currently existing as a dissolved gas in the oceans (as indicated by the Bjerrum plot), and
2) the inherent heat capacity for the overwhelming mass of water that exists below the surface mixing layer of oceans (approximated as being that existing above ocean thermoclines), which mostly experiences thermal transfer via the slow process of thermal conduction instead of much more rapid convection-induced thermal trnsfer.

I’ve attached a plot of deep ocean temperature showing the temperature stability (~ ± 1.5 C) of most of the world’s ocean mass, despite the Earth surface temperature swinging from minimum glacial interval temperatures to maximum interglacial temperatures, approximately 8 full cycles over the last 800,000 years.

Lastly, I cannot apologize for the fact that you consider my comment to be a “nitpick”. It was meant to be informative, in line with the overall objective of the WUWT website.

And I never posted anything about plankton growth.

Rich Davis
Reply to  ToldYouSo
July 23, 2023 12:15 pm

It’s a nitpick (or going off on a tangent that distracts from discussion à la Nick Stokes) because it’s irrelevant to the original claim that climate change (warming) is causing greening of the ocean or to the subsequent claim that such plankton growth would cause a dangerous positive temperature feedback.

It’s just a reaction to a minor part of my argument which might have been wrong but so what?

I was trying to elicit from you whether you imagine that your comment provides evidence for a positive feedback or for the original claim that global warming is driving a greening of the ocean. It seems that you do not?

Reply to  Rich Davis
July 23, 2023 1:48 pm

One could look at the greening as a form of “carbon sequestration”.

Richard Page
Reply to  Ian_e
July 23, 2023 6:39 am

It’s ideological blindness again – alarmists will search for any other answers rather than admit that CO2 is not pollution.

July 23, 2023 6:18 am

But but but….it’s run run runaway greening….greening leads to more greening….beyond the tipping point….we are doomed….doomed I tell you!

Reply to  antigtiff
July 23, 2023 3:02 pm

Next you know, all the forests of the world will be green !!

(those still left standing after wind turbines have been installed)

Reply to  antigtiff
July 23, 2023 3:47 pm

Doomed to live in eternal greenery! Oh the horror!

July 23, 2023 7:34 am

Coming next, this headline from the climate alarmists:
“World’s Oceans Face Overpopulation from Global Warming”

Tom Abbott
Reply to  ToldYouSo
July 23, 2023 8:19 am

I bet the whales are happy about the increased growth in the oceans. Lunch!

Reply to  Tom Abbott
July 23, 2023 3:48 pm

And the polar bears. And the penguins.
You know, all those things that were on the verge of extinction because of ‘climate change’.

John Hultquist
July 23, 2023 9:02 am

 “The color of the ocean is derived from the materials found in its upper layers. For example, a deep blue sea will have very little life in it, …”

Deep clear water of the ocean allows sunlight to dissipate therein and thus appear black. This is difficult to separate from the optics of the atmosphere that give us a blue sky. Search for:
Full disk, true-color image of Earth taken by Himawari-8

I love it when the media, activists, and celebrities jump on an issue that tends to be the exact opposite. Current example is (not a climate thing) country music star Luke Combs cover of “Fast Car” — Tracy Chapman’s 1988 lead single.

Bill Parsons
Reply to  John Hultquist
July 23, 2023 10:36 am

“Current example is (not a climate thing)” But it is! It’s a “fast car” going nowhere in a hurry.

Bill Parsons
July 23, 2023 10:22 am

How about the back story on that photo, Charles Rotter?

WRT blue vs green… Several years ago, Willis Eschenbach made a vehement case for deep, green-ish colored seas being more abundant fishing waters than pretty blue tropical waters. (… don’t recall the exact coral-ation.)

Reply to  Bill Parsons
July 23, 2023 11:28 am

Taken in less than five feet of water behind my apt in Fort Lauderdale, about a month ago with a 12 year old Nikon CoolPix AW100

I think, but can’t be certain they are Spanish Sardines.

Bill Parsons
Reply to  Charles Rotter
July 23, 2023 12:16 pm

Great pic. AFA color, aren’t we pretty much at the mercy of how photos are processed? Everything from micro- to macro- to satellite and astro- photography can be (probably has to be) color-manipulated in some way. As with every other report showing global warming, it might pay to check their data.

comment image?resize=600%2C338

Right-Handed Shark
Reply to  Charles Rotter
July 23, 2023 12:20 pm

Oh no! Spanish sardines, the latest “climate” refugees! When asked why they had left Spanish waters, the Principal de escuela, or Jefe to his friends, said “el agua de mar alrededor, er, how you say, ze sea around Espana, she is too ‘ot.” Thereupon the school headed south, singing “de esta manera a la chicas en bikinis”

Gunga Din
July 23, 2023 12:20 pm

So … to the Greens, the Earth greening because of more CO2 is bad.
More life in the oceans is also bad.
Where’s the “C” in their original sales pitch of CAGW?

Reply to  Gunga Din
July 23, 2023 7:21 pm

From the top down rather far, the “greens” are a human death cult. That probably extends to ocean life.

July 23, 2023 2:25 pm

Bodies of water with little life tend to be bluer, the scientists observed, while bodies of water rich in life tend to be greener.

And thus the green cast to the water and sometimes the clouds over a reef at night.

July 23, 2023 4:09 pm

If news outlets can’t be truthful they should be shut down.

Reply to  Bob
July 23, 2023 7:23 pm

The Biden Admin floated doing that openly not long ago. Public backlash apparently made them concentrate more strongly on just the covert side of the plan.

July 23, 2023 5:17 pm

When I was in the Pacific during Navy service, the water usually looked somewhat gray-green. We didn’t sail in the tropics, where blue might be more typical.

Geoff Sherrington
July 23, 2023 8:13 pm

Do you know of any studies that examine if sea level is changed significantly by an increased mass of biota?
Geoff S

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