Cherrypicking shits me to tears

Well, I was going to go to pick on the Climate Sceptics Party again so went to their site and felt myself losing IQ points with every sentence I read. Feeling suitably less intelligent than minutes earlier, I felt I was ready to go and visit the official blogsite of the party. I wasn’t disappointed. The latest blog entry is a newsletter style piece written by someone called Viv Forbes. Of particular interest to me in this entry was a bunch of high school level analyses of CO2 uptake by the oceans with some of the usual simplistic rumblings but of note was the following quote. Make sure you are sitting down….

 “We are told that the tiny bit of natural soda water in still-alkaline sea water will dissolve corals and shells, kill fish and create oceanic mayhem? If soda water is so dangerous, then how come people consume it in copious amounts in beer, scotch and fizzy drinks?”

I’m not quite sure what to say about that. It is quite possibly one of the most moronic things I have read yet. I think it speaks for itself.  The point of this particular entry though is to highlight a couple of things. To justify their riciulous assertions that acidifying oceans won’t harm marine shellfish and molluscs they actually provide a link to this site.  Here is what they say.

Carbon Dioxide Emissions Facts: Ocean Acidification Impact On Marine Species Overestimated, Study Finds

New research is documenting the actual carbon dioxide emission facts – the impact of ocean acidifcation on marine species has been exaggerated by alarmists

Read here. Alarmists and anti-CO2 activists have loudly suggested that sea water that becomes more “acidified” will significantly harm marine species. Listening to the alarmists, one would surmise that mollusks such as clams and oysters would literally have their shells disappear from lower pH levels of oceans.

A new peer reviewed study by Parker et al. punctures this hot air balloon of alarmism with empirical evidence from actual experiments.

“The authors write that studies on the impact of ocean acidification on marine organisms that have been conducted to date “have only considered the impacts on ‘adults’ or ‘larvae’, ignoring the potential link between the two life-history stages and the possible carry-over effects that may be passed from adult to offspring,”…placed adults of wild-collected and selectively-bred populations of the Sydney rock oyster which they obtained at the beginning of reproductive conditioning – within seawater equilibrated with air of either 380 ppm CO2 (near-ambient) or 856 ppm CO2 (predicted for 2100 by the IPCC)…found that the larvae spawned from adults living in the “acidified” seawater were the same size as those spawned from adults living in near-ambient seawater; but they report that “larvae spawned form adults exposed to elevated CO2 were larger and developed faster.”…concluding that the results of their work suggest that “marine organisms may have the capacity to acclimate or adapt to elevated CO2 over the next century.”” [Laura M. Parker, Pauline M. Ross, Wayne A. O’Connor, Larissa Borysko, David A. Raftos, Hans-Otto Pörtner 2012: Global Change Biology]

Conclusion: Climate alarmists claims of the ocean acidification impact on marine species has not been factual. As researchers continue their research, the carbon dioxide emissions facts are being firmly established with empirical evidence while exposing the frequent fearmongering and exaggerations to scientific sunlight.

Rather than launch into a long spiel about cherrypicking, I will just include and highlight the very important parts of the results, discussion and conclusion that were left out so that readers of this blog will have all the important information. Here they are…

“There was no effect of ‘adult exposure’ on the percentage survival of larvae after 19 days. There was, however, a significant effect of both ‘oyster type’ and ‘Pco2’ and no interaction. The larvae from the wild oysters had a lower percentage survival than the selectively bred larvae [mean square (MS) = 2410.58, df = 1 × 16, F = 10.39, < 0.01; Fig. 2a]. After 19 days under ambient conditions, the average survival of larvae was 82% in the wild oysters and 91% in the selectively bred oysters (Fig. 2a). In addition, elevated Pco2 caused a significant reduction in the survival of larvae (MS = 3012.74, df = 1 × 16, F = 12.99, < 0.01; Fig. 2a). At the elevated Pco2 level of 856 μatm, the average percentage survival of larvae fell to levels of 48% and 79% in the wild and selectively bred oysters respectively

“This adaptive strategy can reduce the time that larvae spend in the water column, reduce their dependence on exogenous food and provide them with a competitive advantage following settlement (Allen et al., 2008; Moran & McAlister, 2009). One disadvantage of such an investment, however, is that it can come at a cost to fecundity, with fewer larger eggs produced by a mother in contrast to more numerous smaller eggs (Allen et al., 2008). In this study, gametes needed to be obtained from adults via strip spawning, which makes it impossible to accurately determine fecundity.”

“The negative effects of elevated Pco2 on the larvae of S. glomerata, as found in this study could have major consequences for oysters at the population level (Gazeau et al., 2010). A reduction in the survival of larvae will reduce the number of individuals reaching settlement (Ross, 2001; Ross et al., in press). Under natural conditions, juvenile mortality of benthic invertebrates is already thought to exceed 90% (Thorson, 1950). If survival were further reduced during this critical stage of development due to exposure to elevated Pco2, reduced numbers may also be seen at the population level. In addition to reduced survival, reduced larval size and rate of development will increase the age at metamorphosis, increase the time for predation of larvae and presumably reduce the competitive ability of larvae during settlement (Byrne, 2009).”

“Despite this, the capacity for genetic adaptation may be limited such that elevations in atmospheric Pco2 over the next century will still have negative ecological and economic consequences for the wild population of S. glomerata and potentially other marine invertebrates. In addition, synergistic stressors such as increased temperature and food-limitation may add to the negative effects of ocean acidification. Multi-generational and multi-stressor experiments are needed to anticipate the adaptive capacity of wild S. glomerata and other marine organisms over the next century given the current rate of increase of atmospheric CO2 (Royal Society 2005).”

What this exercise demonstrates is this. Not only do idiots running these denier sites not understand climate science, but they continually cut and paste from each other without checking the voracity of the claims being made. I have come to the point now whenever a climate denier claims that they have “peer reviewed” evidence that supports their lunacy, I become extremely sceptical and cannot help but satisfy the desire to actually read their source. Inevitably it becomes evident that either the source isn’t legitimate, they haven’t read it, have read it but don’t understand it, or have deliberatley cherrypicked and/or misrepresented the conclusions of the paper. Meanwhile, the Climate Sceptics Party, themselves scientifically illiterate, will take the word of these idiots and formulate their policies based on garbage. Garbage in, garbage out.

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