OK Everyone: Your Chance To Salt The Slug Of Ocean Acidification

coral-reef-wikimediaSomewhere in an environmental science department at some cruddy university not far from you, a bunch of otherwise unemployable marine biology graduates are working on yet another paper demonstrating that Ocean Acidification is a really serious problem which can only be solved if millions of dollars in funding grants are chucked at it.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to steer these shysters towards a career more suited to their talents ie: “You want a large fries and a McFlurry with that?”

Here’s the background to why we’re doing this.

Basically, what I require from you is some solid scientific input. (Not snark and smart-arsery: that’s my domain). Anything useful you have in the form of comments or links which thoroughly rebut Williamson’s article below I will incorporate into the body of the piece.

To try to avoid confusion I have put my original article on Ocean Acidification in bold; Williamson’s attempted rebuttal in regular typeface; and the guest criticisms of people like Patrick Moore in italics.

Over to you:

Citation: Williamson, P. (2016) Two views of ocean acidification: which is fatally flawed? [online] Plymouth, The Marine Biological Association, www.mba.ac.uk/marinebiologist/comments-on-ocean-acidification-yet-another-wobbly-pillar-of-climate-alarmism-by-james-delingpole/ [Accessed 23 Aug 2016]

Original article online at:  http://www.spectator.co.uk/2016/04/ocean-acidification-yet-another-wobbly-pillar-of-climate-alarmism/

Williamson: James Delingpole considers that ocean acidification is a scare story that is not only ‘fatally flawed’ but also grossly over-hyped by climate alarmists, for political reasons.  To give credibility to these views, information and quotes are given from four scientists (Patrick Moore, Mike Wallace, Matt Ridley and Craig Idso).  However, those sources are unreliable: none has relevant marine expertise, and the evidence they provide is either inaccurate or incorrect.

Patrick Moore: I, for one, am not “unreliable”. And I do have “relevant marine expertise” having extensive knowledge of physical and chemical oceanography and marine biology. My PhD thesis was largely concerned with physical and chemical oceanography involving the disposal of mine waste into the sea and its effect on the marine environment. During my 15 years with Greenpeace I gained extensive knowledge of whaling, deep-sea fishing, and marine pollution. I owned and operated a Chinook salmon farm for 7 years, during which I was 3 years President of the B.C. Salmon Farmers Association. I have consulted to the aquaculture industry for many years. I have recently published Ocean “Acidification” Alarmism in Perspective with the Frontier Centre for Public Policy, a thorough review of the subject that debunks the claim that the oceans will become acidic and that most calcifying species will become extinct. Contrary to Williamson’s allegation that my paper was not subjected to expert review it was double-blind peer-reviewed by three experts. https://fcpp.org/sites/default/files/documents/Moore%20-%20Ocean%20Acidification%20Alarmism.pdf

In summary, my expertise in marine science is extensive and it is a lie to state otherwise. How does Williamson judge my expertise?

Williamson: Three other scientists (Howard Browman, Richard Feely and Christopher Sabine) who do have direct research experience are either misquoted or their competence is dismissed.  The wider scientific literature is not considered.  Overall, Delingpole’s arguments are based on exaggeration, false dichotomy, deliberate selectivity and bravado assertion: almost everything that could be factually wrong, is wrong.

Delingpole: These are airy claims designed to be retweeted crowingly by climate activists. I’m all for rhetoric but this is just empty rhetoric. You can state this stuff all you like, Dr Williamson, but the onus is on you to prove your case beyond reasonable doubt using actual evidence.

  1. [Delingpole Article]There was a breathtakingly beautiful BBC series on the Great Barrier Reefrecently which my son pronounced himself almost too depressed to watch. ‘What’s the point?’ said Boy. ‘By the time I get to Australia to see it the whole bloody lot will have dissolved.’

Williamson:  Concern regarding the future of the Great Barrier Reef is fully justified – but not because the corals will soon dissolve.  Instead, bleaching (loss of algae from the coral) is the most important current threat, due to unusually high seawater temperatures.  Satellite surveys and field observations by theAustralian government and independent researchers indicated that 20-50% (and locally up to 90%) of northern areas of the reef was affected by bleachingin late 2015/early 2016.  Individual corals may recover from bleaching if high temperature events are short-lived; however, if the bleaching is permanent, the corals die. Population recovery, through re-colonisation and re-growth, typically takes 10-15 years.

Patrick Moore: It is important to distinguish between coral bleaching caused by warm water versus calcification and the alleged threat that increased CO2 poses to the ability of marine species to calcify. Many authors have stated that calcification will become impossible under projected changes in ocean pH, so it is wrong for Williamson to dismiss this.

Bleaching events are associated with warmer than usual ocean temperatures, most often during a naturally occurring El Niño event such as the ones in 1998 and 2015. Many oceanographers consider bleaching to be an adaptive response by corals rather than “death of corals”.


 Interesting time to use the Great Barrier Reef as an example. Earlier this year many “reef scientists” in Australia and elsewhere alleged that 93% of the Great Barrier reef had died due to global warming.


 And: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/04/160420-coral-bleaching-australia-map-climate-change/

These same “expert scientists” then announce they need $10 billion to “save” the reef. What could “saving a coral reef” program look like? Refrigeration equipment to keep the oceans cooler? First they tell lies about the extent of bleaching, which may actually be an evolutionary adaptive response, and then they try to embezzle $10 billion, knowing full-well the Great Barrier reef is a key emotional concern regarding the national identity of Australia.

 It has only now been announced by the people who spend most of their lives on the reef, the tourist operators, that only 5% of the reef has been bleached by the 2015 El Niño after spending two weeks investigating 28 sites. I say the “scientists” should be heavily fined for fraud and fabrication and that the proceeds should go to the tour operators who lost a lot of business due to these alarmist lies about 93% bleaching.



 Of course if “the bleaching is permanent the corals die”, but bleaching is often not permanent. Bleaching is caused when warmer water causes the coral polyps (animals) to reject their photosynthetic symbionts (algea), which the corals have preferentially ingested. But the corals are often able to ingest new algal symbiots when the warm event ends, thus continuing to live.

It is a sign of hope that Williamson has accepted a number of recent reports showing that it takes only 10-15 years for corals to recover, even when bleaching kills them. It was often stated prior to these reports that it would take 100 years or more for corals to recover.

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