Ocean acidification and then what?


The School of Chemical Sciences at the University of Auckland hosted a lecture by Assoc-Prof. Mary A. Sewell, of the School of Biological Sciences, on “Ocean Acidification: Integrating chemistry and marine biology and what it means for you.
Our friend Roger Dewhurst, engineering geologist and founding member of the NZ Climate Science Coalition, went along and paid close attention. Then he sent Mary Sewell the following entertaining and informative letter, which he kindly shares with us to provoke conversation.

Past is key to future; CO2 ruined nothing before; there’s no evidence of ruin to come; alarming climate predictions are inconsistent and unconvincing.
Roger Dewhurst writes:

Thanks for an interesting seminar.

Demonstrating that the appendages of a larval echinoderm tend to be stunted when the little beastie is grown in soda water is one thing. To extrapolate that to an absence of oysters, mussels and scallops on the dinner table next year is, in my view, stretching things a little too far. I was reminded of Al Gore’s polar bear on an iceberg!

When I was at Victoria University in the 1960s science was divorced from politics, and zoology, botany and geology were separate subjects. Now zoology and botany are lumped together as biology, and geology has been lumped in with geography as earth science and includes — would you believe it — a strand called ‘feminist geography’. I suppose that feminist mathematics is next in the pipeline. Sic transit gloria [“thus fades the glory of the world” – RT].

I suspect, on the basis of opinions from two universities, that no science student will get a decent degree now without paying obeisance to anthropogenic global warming and its apostles, ‘Piltdown’ Mann and his gang who, I presume, you know as ‘The Team’. This is not science as I know it but the ‘science’ of Lysenko. Continue Reading →

Attenborough enters deep water over coral

Climate Debate Daily reports that in the Guardian last Tuesday, the wonderful, inimitable David Attenborough warned alleged that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is already above the level which condemns coral reefs to extinction in the future, adding the world had a “moral responsibility” to save corals.

This caught my attention. Already condemned to extinction? That is alarming.

But just a moment. Does he know the conditions corals have survived since they evolved? Does he know the current pH level of surface waters and the rate of change? Does he know that bleaching events cannot be linked to global warming? Has he heard of studies that show no change in marine biota even at pH levels ten times less alkaline than now? Continue Reading →

A dreadful trend

There was a recent post by Steve McIntyre at Climate Audit that was difficult for some of us to understand. Fortunately, there’s an exposition of it at Climate Skeptic called “How to manufacture the trend you want” that makes it all clear. It’s regrettable, but please have a look.

It has to do with rates of calcification in Great Barrier Reef coral growth over the past 400 years. On January 2, 2009, in Science, De’ath et al reported an ‘unprecedented’ decline. But it seems aimed more to alarm than inform us. They showed a graph to support their claims. Steve revealed a graph of a longer time series that tells quite a different story.

Then we got to see the actual data followed by the deficiencies in the data; well, what a trend! It turned out that ‘unprecedented’ referred only to the last 153 years.

Richard Treadgold