Global warming making oceans ‘sick’, scientists warn
Global warming is making the oceans sicker than ever before, spreading disease among animals and humans and threatening food security across the planet, a major scientific report said on Monday.
The report lists several consequences of warming they claim are “absolutely massive.” The scientists say we are “making the oceans sick,” “drastically altering the rhythm of life” and “changing the seasons in the ocean.” Yet when we examine the observed warming, these claims are shown to be ridiculous. How can we trust scientists when they make statements like this on the slenderest evidence:
the hotter oceans have killed off coral reefs at an unprecedented rate, reducing fish species by eliminating their habitats.
Earlier this year some bleached coral prompted claims that 93% of the Great Barrier Reef were damaged. But just two weeks ago teams of divers surveyed 300 km of the worst-hit portions of the reef and reported:
Everywhere we have been we have found healthy reefs.
No more than perhaps 7% had been damaged. The Great Barrier Reef was in fine condition, recovering nicely from an entirely natural bleaching event. Maybe a few coral reefs elsewhere have experienced a similar event.
So I don’t believe these claims of apocalyptic damage to the oceans. This graph of ocean temperatures over 35 years shows insignificant warming of just 0.15 °C. The same as 0.42 °C over a century. Not nearly enough for the dramatic changes claimed in this report. The normal diurnal range of surface temperatures can be over 5 °C, which makes 0.15 °C less than trivial.
Also in the report:
It documents evidence of jellyfish, seabirds and plankton shifting toward the cooler poles by up to 10 degrees latitude.
But ten degrees of latitude is only about 1100 km — completely insignificant for many marine species. Some penguins range over territory 6000 km wide and they can travel up to 15,000 km in six months. They’ll all be back when summer is over. Huge numbers of fish and other creatures follow the warmth, not the cold.
Anyway, if movements like these are real and turn out to be permanent, they weren’t caused by the sea water warming, because it hasn’t warmed, which means we didn’t cause it, which means this is all perfectly natural.