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Subject:  Re: Scientists Allay Fears around Jellyfish Boom Date:  1/4/2013  5:32 PM
Author:  LorenCobb Number:  40181 of 90466

DB2: With popular science articles it is a case of 'aiding and abetting'; many of the news articles include supporting quotes from scientists. There are also articles in the research literature...

1. From the abstract of the first article:

As models produced under all climate-change scenarios indicate a move toward a positive NAO, and pH of the oceans is predicted to decrease with rising CO2, we suggest that jellyfish frequency will increase over the next 100 years.

That sounds like instigating alarm or panic about global warming to you?


2. Here is the conclusion from the second article:

Although we cannot rule out anthropogenic causes for the ecosystem perturbations we observed, our results provide an example of how climate change might influence an Arctic ecosystem, though we are not able to identify the underlying processes that transferred the physical changes through the ecosystem resulting in the observed increase of medusae biomass.

That sounds like instigating alarm or panic about global warming to you?


3. Here is the conclusion from the third article:

While it is not possible to disentangle completely the specific effect of climate change on the jellyfish population in the Irish Sea from wider ecosystem changes and/or changes in fishing practice, we have explored alternative hypotheses and conclude that it appears that within the current 16-year jellyfish time-series, the strongest driver of long-term changes in jellyfish abundance is climate variation (Table 3a).

That sounds like instigating alarm or panic about global warming to you?


4. Okay, maybe your real point is that journalists take studies like these -- and the comments of scientists -- and extrapolate them into something to be alarmed about.

On reading the Daily Mail article that you cite as an example of this instigation of alarm and panic, I see that the focus of this news article is on ocean acidification due to carbon dioxide:

Since the start of the industrial revolution, acidity levels of the oceans have gone up 30 per cent, marine biologists say. The report, published in December 2010 by the UN Environment Programme, warns that the acidification of oceans makes it harder for coral reefs and shellfish to form skeletons — threatening larger creatures that depend on them for food. The decline in creatures with shells could trigger an explosion in jellyfish populations... Populations have boomed in the Mediterranean in recent years. Some marine scientists say the changing chemistry of the sea is to blame.

This does not look to me like the work of a panicky journalist. To me it looks like matter-of-fact reporting about the possible effects of ocean acidification on jellyfish populations, as mediated by the exoskeletons of shellfish.


Jesus Christ on a Crutch, Bob, what do you want these oceanographers and journalists to do? Not explore these questions? Censor their publications so that nothing that might alarm anybody ever appears? Protect your delicate mind from any suggestion or hypothesis that parts of the environment might be having trouble? Repeat panglossian reassurances that all is for the best, in this best of all possible worlds?

"Aiding and abetting" indeed. That is language lifted straight from the law on treason. By using this phrase you are implying that these scientists are doing something akin to treason. I think you need to back off and think about this.

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