April 19, 2011

More Boiling Fish

Recently we had the problem with poached salmon in Canada and now we have more fish frying going on "Down Under"

I first came across the tragedy in this article from News Mail

Global warming affecting fish

After reading the article which you are more than welcome to read, it is not very long, I was somewhat perplexed since there were a couple of statements which raised some questions in my skeptical mind about the study.

First an excerpt to show that obviously the fish are in dire straits:
The findings of a study published in Nature Climate Change indicate negative effects on the growth of a long-lived south-east Australian and New Zealand inshore species, banded morwong. (Cheilodactylus spectabilis).

The bony structures fish use for orientation and detection of movement – called otoliths – have annual growth rings which were measured for changes.
But after reading the article I was reminded that as usual, things are not quite as dire or clear cut as originally portrayed:
“We are looking at whether climate change is beginning to push fish past their physiological limits.  
“By examining growth across a range that species inhabit, we found evidence of both slowing growth and increased physiological stress as higher temperatures impose a higher metabolic cost on fish at the warm edge of the range."
This seemed a bit contradictory to me. Either they are beginning to study if there is an effect, or they have evidence that there is an effect on the fish. The most likely explanation is that they have some preliminary results and wanting to be the "first" to find a connection between global warming and fish they released a study without, as yet, definitive proof. This was one of the reasons I wanted to look and see if I could find out more, The other reason was this:
  This rapid warming, in southern hemisphere oceans, is due to globally increasing sea-surface temperatures and local effects caused by southward extension of the East Australian Current.
This really caught my attention. I wondered just how much of this ocean warming was attributed to "global warming" and how much was due to local effects, or if they even tried to quantify it.

So I went on a Google journey hoping I could find the actual study. As yet I have not found it but I did find some interesting takes on the study. Here we have basically the same story but a more ominous headline:

Ocean Warming Detrimental to Inshore Fish Species

So we go from global warming affecting the banded morwong to it being detrimental. We find that the "detrimental" affect is based on :
“Preliminary field and laboratory studies suggested that this decline in growth may be related to temperature induced physiological stress, resulting in increased oxygen consumption and reduced ability to sustain swimming activity,” 
So as I suspected these stories and their headlines are based solely on Preliminary field and laboratory studies " so nothing has really been proven has it? In fact we still do not know if the poor fish ares suffering from man made boiling oceans or "local effects"

As we all know on slimmer threads than this can whole species be decimated by our objective scientific community and their media parasites. Think they are at the least jumping the gun? How about this:

Warmer waters fatal for some fish

Wow we went from detrimental to fatal! At least this article is based on a more complete interview with one of the scientist. But consider this exchange between the environmental reporter and the same objective scientist who also said Preliminary field and laboratory studies suggested that this decline in growth may be related to temperature induced physiological stress....

Please note the lack of actual fatalities in the exchange below as well as obvious pre-determination in  the scientists answers.
SARAH CLARKE: At first it looked promising, even positive. As temperatures rose, so too did the size of the fish 
But when it got too hot, scientists found the news wasn't so good. 
Growth performance began to suffer, the fish became stressed, they needed more oxygen, they couldn't swim as fast and climate change was beginning to push them past their physiological limits. 
Here's Ron Thresher from the CSIRO again 
RON THRESHER: And what it's telling us is that climate change has now reached a point where, as things continue to warm up, we're passing the point where warm water is good for fish. Now warm water is becoming hot water and it's becoming bad for the fish and this is the first real indication, certainly in our part of the world, that climate change is having an adverse impact on the physiology and probable reproduction and everything else of these fish. 
SARAH CLARKE: And your concern is obviously that this may eventually lead to death? 
RON THRESHER: Well, if you warm things up too much, if you put a gold fish in a pot on top of your stove sooner or later it's going to get warm enough that the fish will die. It's a very bad sign for what this thing is going to do. 
I know, I know, people actually do take these people seriously. People actually believe that scientist like Ron Thresher represent objective unbiased scientific inquiry. As sad as this is, perhaps the saddest point to be made is that these scientist actually believe that man's minute contribution of CO2 to the atmosphere over the past sixty years has warmed the Earth's waters enough to boil fish both in the rivers of Canada and the seas off of Australia, Consider how absurd all this is, but don't miss this article on the banded morwong from Science Alert

Warming ocean killing fish

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