408b ABC Science Show Preaching Climate Doom
Coral Acidification is the new Hockey Stick

bleached coral

Radio ABC Australia science Show took the Coral disaster story featured in the AAAS Science magazine as it's lead story http://www.abc.net.au/rn/scienceshow/ transcript

some of the programme was OK - notes about the other parts

It had the normal Climate Catastrophe propaganda. How all the science is settled and there very few skeptics.

- Then the main story - A coral scientist told us coral is dying in many places, and it will eventually be wiped out by Acidification - CO2 making the oceans too acid- "the magic number is 450ppm CO2 after that we will lose all coral and shell fish. remember that !"

The prog was more emotion than science, really irritating -"Coral is doomed it all be gone by 2050 if we continue, so far it's already died all over the world. "

- It would be good he explained the dying process more. .. what all corals for sure ? why doesn't the Ocean dilute the CO2 more ? etc

- an earlier edition explained the hypothesis -
- "The world's oceans act like a large buffer system for carbon dioxide. When carbon dioxide enters the ocean, it reacts with water to form carbonic acid. (fails to mention much is absorbed by organisms) As the acidity increases, the concentration of other ion species also changes. In the case of one ion, the all important carbonate ion, the decrease is precipitous. For a change in small change in the acidity of seawater (that is, a decrease in pH from 8.2 to 7.9), the carbonate ion concentration decreases by over 40%. The problem, of course, is that this change is set to occur with a simple doubling of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. As you are probably aware, we are currently on a pathway in which we will triple and quadruple the carbon dioxide concentration over the next 100 years."

- eh , starts off plausible, then says CO2 is sure to quadruple.If you are not careful then the obvious slips past you i.e. if CO2 concentrations fail to double then the rest doesn't happen. (I guess by doubling they meant from the pre-industrial level of 280ppm not an actually doubling of todays levels of 380 )

For God's sake shut up and go and do a Climate Activist programme

The tone of prog was nuts I had to write and suggest he split's it in 2

He's cutting it close, and being counterproductive : Believer listeners say "We know Robin, we know, I'll buy some more green stuff", and skeptic listeners get annoyed by the preaching and go and buy some Orange Ruffy just to piss the Reverend Williams off.

Why don't you guy's make 2 programmes :
- 1. A Science facts show honestly edited.
- 2. A Climate Actions show on the Democracy Now network.
Featuring not banging on about evidence, but showing positive actions that people can take and instead of pandering you your naive young guests views give her some hard facts like :
- 1. explaining manufacturing everything you buy consumes energy even solar panels never mind pseudo green stuff. So get off the consumer society bandwagon.
- 2. That if we all had as many children as Gore we would triple our CO2 EVERY generation.
- 3. That you can't have your cake and eat it !. e.g. commuting - You can’t live far from your job and be green, even if you get public transport - Live near your job - you stupid people.

To summarise - the biggest thing you can do to help the ecology is not to go on a march, not to recycle, but just NOT TO !

- not to have kids- not to travel - not to commute - not to buy - not to switch on the X or the Y or the Z

Funny that the same network had another coral expert on a year back saying how much rubbish is talked about the Great Barrier Reef and how fish stocks are improving.

- With dramatic music and finger wagging the Reverend Robin Williams said "remember it must go no higher than 450 or else !" ... that's impartial program making for you.
- (later he mentioned how he phoned a supermarket executive .. he can't be an activist and an impartial programme maker)

- Williams is always asking the leading question "so what about climate change ?", but never examines positive claims critically and he gets frustrated when they say something else.
- Recently a geologist replied to him past changes were theory due to changes in Earths axis

Analysis -

Coral Catastrophe is shaping up to be the one to nail Climate Catastrophe Theory as true ... The new hockey stick. - but every other story turns out to be a squib which has grown legs, it's just in this case it's not so obvious yet. So I think it's Too bad to be true !

- I knew instantly it wasn't true, like all the outrageous claims "you just have to believe", it will turn out to have another side, which makes all the earnestness all the more irritating.

- It's a complex new issue so it wasn't so easy to find debunks. My guess it's too complicated for most people to dissect, so they'll just accept it and what kind of coral scientist is going to say "No, it's OK we don't any more money for research" ?. But I found a few convincing debunks as well as consolidating my own doubts

- 11/1/2008 found the debunk Good Acidification debunk

- Another huge debunk From - A Critique of Hansen

3 Another good debunk

: From http://www.junkscience.com/oct07.html

- Poorly aimed scare piece: "Oceans are 'soaking up less CO2'" - "The amount of carbon dioxide being absorbed by the world's oceans has reduced, scientists have said.

- University of East Anglia researchers gauged CO2 absorption through more than 90,000 measurements from merchant ships equipped with automatic instruments.

- Results of their 10-year study in the North Atlantic show CO2 uptake halved between the mid-90s and 2000 to 2005." (BBC)

- Never mind that this is a mere decade of data restricted to the North Atlantic let's just look at the ways this misfired:

- tramples on another scare: if oceans 'saturate' and stop taking more CO2 then ocean acidification will decline to nothing and builders of chalky skeletons are safe (they are anyway but never mind) automated ship cooling water intake measures only sample the very top ocean layers and don't tell us whether more CO2 is being mixed deeper by wind and wave action or biological activity data is constrained to increasingly busy shipping lanes which may factor in increased upper layer mixing -- there's a lot of induced turbulence from all that merchant fleet plying the waters in set lanes and considerable crowding of lanes even hundreds of miles from ports, there is zero possibility of sampling undisturbed waters atmospheric levels are not keeping up with increased emissions, telling us that sinks are more active than previously estimated or that the half-life of atmospheric CO2 is much less than previously estimated -- either way projections and 'storylines' are significant overestimates Not their best scare piece of late, is it?" =====================================
2nd part claims coral has lived with 10 times the CO2 in the past

- This again... "Acid oceans warning" - "The world’s oceans are becoming more acid, with potentially devastating consequences for corals and the marine organisms that build reefs and provide much of the Earth’s breathable oxygen.

- The acidity is caused by the gradual buildup of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere, dissolving into the oceans. Scientists fear it could be lethal for animals with chalky skeletons which make up more than a third of the planet’s marine life." (ARC Centre of Excellence in Coral Reef Studies)

- Wouldn't you think an entity named ARC Centre of Excellence in Reef Studies would know something about the evolution of critters with chalky skeletons?

- The Ordovician period (510-438 million years ago) was an era of extensive diversification and expansion of numerous marine clades. Although organisms also present in the Cambrian were numerous in the Ordovician, a variety of new types including cephalopods, corals (including rugose and tabulate forms), bryozoans, crinoids, graptolites, gastropods, and bivalves flourished. Ordovican communities typically displayed a higher ecological complexity than Cambrian communities due to the greater diversity of organisms. However, as in the Cambrian, life in the Ordovician continued to be restricted to the seas.

- What's significant about this? Not much, it's just that the Ordovician is characterized by atmospheric CO2 levels of 4,000-5,000 ppmv, more than 10-times higher than current (or worried about) levels. Do we really think current historically near-record low levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide could so reduce the alkalinity of the oceans as to trouble taxa that evolved under much more extreme conditions? Really

Debunk 4 - "The ocean acidification scare is bunk for some very sound reasons"

- from http://forum.onlineopinion.com.au/thread.asp?article=5453&page=2
-1 It is dependent on, at least, a doubling of atmospheric CO2 which not even the barking mad have suggested will occur within 30 years as claimed by the ACF.
-2 Even a doubling by 2100 is dependent on no substitution of nuclear for coal etc, and assumes that India, Africa and China will not only achieve fully developed status by 2100, but do so under the USA development model rather than the Japanese model that produces much less CO2.
-3 The doubling of atmospheric CO2 is dependent on a slow rate of absorption of CO2 by the oceans which is supposed to cause the build up in the atmosphere but for acidity to get within cooee of harming the GBR in 30 years the ocean absorption would need to be faster than the projected emission rate.
-4 The modelling done by the UK Royal Society on ocean acidity assumed that the mixing of CO2 in sea water only took place in the top 100 metres. The average ocean depth is actually 4000 metres so the CO2 was assumed to be concentrated in the top 2.5% of ocean volume.
-5 This ignored the fact that eddies from the Gulf Stream reach depths of 1.2km and also ignored the presence of thermohaline circulation of deep ocean water. They also pretended that deep ocean upwelling, like the one that produces EL Ninos, don't exist. "

- The general view is that complete ocean circulation needs about 400 years to complete. So a modelled projection of ocean CO2 absorption over 100 years must assume that CO2 will be absorbed by 25% of the entire ocean volume.

- The UKRS used only 2.5% of ocean volume or a tenth of the correct volume to claim a concentration of acidifying CO2 that is 10 times stronger than the correct result.

- The "acid ocean" threat to the reef is as weak as water.
Posted by Perseus, Thursday, 1 February 2007 3:40:55 PM

My Own Initial Analysis

My background and unbias - If Climate Catastrophe Theory turns out to be what "the activists" or some scientists say then so be it but up until now I have been dazzled by a constant scare stories , which when I spend 2 hours searching I can basically kill.

Now hang on a cotton picking minute : I as a skeptic would have asked a series of questions, but instead the presenter preached "450ppm CO2 is the magic number remember that !" I already know the ocean isn't like a can of coke been unble to nail the story yet almost all coral experts seem to agree coral is doomed and public enemy number 1 is acidification

- "I am too tight to pay for the original article so have researched around it"

1. I have found is the Lead researcher's Ove Hoegh-Guldberg figures keep droppping tho 450-500 ppm on his website climateshifts.com

12/14/07 Ove's cp-researcher Long Cao quoted in the media about the same report : (http://www.ciw.edu/news/coral_reefs_unlikely_survive_acid_oceans) "But if atmospheric CO2 stabilizes at 550 ppm -- and even that would take concerted international effort to achieve"

- 660 ppm was the limit in the same show last year http://www.abc.net.au/rn/scienceshow/stories/2006/1644874.htm - But Today Science Show's Robyn Williams banged on about 450 being the absolute limit.

2 CRUCIALLY .Hoegh-Guldberg uses startling figures on his own profile webpage http://profiles.bacs.uq.edu.au/Ove.Hoegh-Guldberg.html Ove.Hoegh-Guldberg "Recent UNEP estimates have put the loss of reefs by the year 2100 at 30-50% of currently healthy coral reefs" he must have forgotten to update.

- see how the number keeps dropping 660-550-(450-500) to 450 suspicious and the date from 2100 to now saying 2050

3. some coral can withstand acid : I found was that an Israeli study has shown that some coral can withstand acid

4. Another associate (I think) David I. Kline has written he think's sewage is the main source before and said that on a previous edition of the same show, also in the Panama News website

Now hang on... important questions arise.

- 1. I wouldn't expect the worlds oceans to be like one can of coke. I would expect pH would vary with location, local temperature, local ecology, date, depth, time of day. So I would expect that measuring it would be very complicated. Am I wrong ?
- 2. Has the pH really increased uniformly ?
- 3. Is there a big system of measurement that confirms this ? credibilty
- 4. Are we sure that CO2 is the cause of pH change and not all the other garbage we dump in the sea, oil industry, mining, ocean bed scraping driftnet fishing, lack of fish etc?
- 5. Are we sure that everywhere pH is increasing and coral dying ? (your lobster guest says there are so few records for the southern ocean)
- 6. Are we sure that other negatives, like pollution, oil leaks, tourists, dynamite fishing, coral calcium magic cure industry etc are less significant ? .. (I didn't know this from the SS, but I checked afterwards and most articles do say this)
- 7. When you reported in 2006 660 ppm was the limit then. So the new report is saying the old data was wrong ?
-8. a report before said "presence of simple sugars or organic carbon was causing high levels of coral mortality; up to 90% mortality in my experiments." what about this ?

Possible Solutions Positive actions
- 1. What are the possibilities for adapation ? Coral has recovered from a "hot year" before and adapted pretty quickly to bacteria (Palau Island 1998)
- 2. What about phytoplankton seeding ? Should we target areas where there are coral ?
- 3. Same for iron filing seeding, should this be targeted around coral ?

My Own Analysis 2

- 0. It is a respected journal and I imagine it's peer reviewed (not it's pop science magazine ), but so far it's only one report and it' message is filtered through the media.
- 1. The doomsday prediction is based on projected CO2 levels which are unrealistic
- 2. It assumes that man made CO2 dissolves only into the top layer of the ocean and that the bottom layers mix too slowly for them to dilute the acid effect.. this too maybe very unrealistic
- 3. Another study say some corals can withstand acid
- 4. the scientist's old webpage reflects a more optomistic line
- 5. The same reporter has changed her opinion about coral doom before
- 6. Peter Ridd says it's imppossible to get coral research funding from the old boys club, unless you toe the Climate Catastrophe line.
-7. http://icecap.us/index.php/go/political-climate/P3/ calls the report "National Enquirer", but offers no evidence it just attacks the AAAS editor.. that's shoddy
-8. earlier paper contradicts methods use http://www.co2science.org/scripts/CO2ScienceB2C/articles/V8/N40/B1.jsp
- 9. From A Critique of Hansen, has 4 pages dissecting coral claims. One thing they say is that negative sayers never talk about positives of a warmer ocean for coral. http://www.co2science.org/scripts/CO2ScienceB2C/education/reports/hansen/HansenTestimonyCritique.pdf

My Own Analysis 3 - putting it alltogether

-1- Williams gives it legs : "Remember 450 after than doom !", but again this has grown legs cos the same scientists have used 500 and 550

- Ove Hoegh-Guldberg found that a rise of CO2 levels to 450-500 ppm yet Robyn Williams has picked the 450 level ie down graded

- but it was 550 see http://www.ciw.edu/news/coral_reefs_unlikely_survive_acid_oceans "But if atmospheric CO2 stabilizes at 550 ppm -- and even that would take concerted international effort to achieve -- no existing coral reef will remain in such an environment."

That's funny last year the same show reported 660 ppm was the limit .. http://www.abc.net.au/rn/scienceshow/stories/2006/1644874.htm

-2- On the radio he talks about no coral by 2050 .. yet on his own website he talks about "loss of reefs by the year 2100 at 30-50%"
- http://profiles.bacs.uq.edu.au/Ove.Hoegh-Guldberg.html
"Recent UNEP estimates have put the loss of reefs by the year 2100 at 30-50% of currently healthy coral reefs. My laboratory is located both in St Lucia and on Heron Island on the southern Great Barrier Reef and has become a focal point for studies trying to understand the basis of stress in reef-building corals."

-3- Israel research shows some coral thrived in acid Corals can survive acidic waters - Grist.org
- Mediterranean corals could strip, but not die, in response to climate change. -Daemon Fairless "Reef-building corals may be more resilient against climate change than scientists had previously thought. Researchers have discovered that some species are able to survive an increase in seawater acidity, even though it strips the individual coral polyps of their protective calcium carbonate skeletons." A Fine Discovery same story spun negatively

- (3/29/2007) Several studies have shown that increased atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are acidifying the world's oceans. This is significant for coral reefs because acidification strips carbonate ions from seawater, making it more difficult for corals to build the calcium carbonate skeletons that serve as their structural basis. Research has shown that many species of coral, as well as other marine microorganisms, fare quite poorly under the increasingly acidic conditions forecast by some models. However, the news may not be bad for all types of corals. A study published in the March 30 issue of the journal Science, suggests that some corals may weather acidification better than others.

-4- On SS april 2006 David Kline then at STRI blamed it on Sewage see quote " Less than 10% of the sewage in Central America and the Caribbean receives any sewage treatment at all, so all these chemicals and compounds are going directly onto the reefs, and when I tested a large suite of stressors to look at what was affecting the corals directly, what we found out is that the normal players - nitrogen and phosphate - weren't causing damage directly to the corals, and an unexpected result was that simple sugars or organic carbon was causing high levels of coral mortality; up to 90% mortality in my experiments." ... weblink, this is also in a Panama News Article more in rtf file

-5- French 2003 study contradicts and criticises others
-"Calcification under normal temperature did not change in response to an increased CO2. This is not in agreement with numerous published papers that describe a negative relationship between marine calcification and CO2."

-6- This forum has a lot of opinions against the hypothesis

-7- If you look at the Panama News story you will see that the SS version grew legs in 2 ways
- 1. Kline put acidification at No 2 problem
- 2. Didn't say everything would be wiped out., but predicted different species would become dominant. Kline is only 33 and paid by Rio Tinto .. credibilty ?

-8- A much older American expert appeared on ABC Counterpoint last year speaking positively about thefish on GBR saying it's not as bad as people say http://www.abc.net.au/rn/counterpoint/stories/2006/1732277.htm

-9- Peter Ridd (Marine Physics expert) is Oves arch-enemy wrote The Great Great Barrier Reef Swindle an essay saying reef doom is hyped up , but doesn't mention acidification.
- from seeming pro-Industry Aus Enviromental site aefweb.info

Peter Ridd also appeared on Triple J saying the panic was overstated Ove Hoegh-Guldberg and Peter Ridd on Triple J Radio http://www.abc.net.au/triplej/hack/notes/s2038601.htm A LOT OF SENSE, BUT NO DIRECT REBUTTAL of acidification

-10- a very spirited discussion on the matter http://www.jennifermarohasy.com/blog/archives/001209.html tho of course it's on a right wing blog it seems if the ice core measuring of CO2 is wrong then the discussion falls apart

-11- Same journalist has changed her mind before : History of the story The same journalist Elizabeth Pennisi published coral panic articles in the past then in 1997 "Brighter Prospects for the World's Coral Reefs? " Of course if you keep changing your mind about something it gives it less credibilty.

-12- Is Acidity Uniform ? - I say Williams fails to understand that CO2 varies time of day and place extensively, so his statement is like saying humans will drown if world water depth reaches 3m. Of course water level is actually way higher than than that, but cos land height varies, the parts we live on are above water. So it many cases the CO2 around some coral is often way below the world average of 383 and other places it's way above and CO2 varies with time of day as well.

-13- Todays booming crustaceans is a contradiction, but contradictions happen in nature so that doesn't negate the CO2 acidification leading to catastrophe hypothesis.

-14- Not all the press supports some are doubting

Links: - mongabay.com biggest Coral news
- news : Global warming will degrade 98% of coral reefs by 2050

University of Queensland sites are most extreme as this is where Ove works
- site http://www.climateshifts.org/ Ove's own site
they link to NPR http://www.sciencefriday.com/program/archives/200712142 NPR prog almost as hyping not quite
seems will weaken, but to say destroy is overegging - also picked up coral is not a CO2 sink story

- very hyping : probable source of Williams panic http://www.uq.edu.au/news/index.html?article=13738

- Oves's mate http://oceanacidification.wordpress.com/


- http://wcsj2007.internetguruhosting.net/program/session/reefs-going-going-gone/ science journalists congress 90 minute prog actually says bad, but not dead in 2050 harvesting of coral is good cos it puts value on coral panelists say CO2 is the main harm, but clipped off other answer.

- http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/5064870.stm a BBC scare story last year admits "a small minority disagree"

- NOT HYPING The Year of the reef website doesn't hype it up http://www.iyor.org/reefs/status.asp

- AAAS podcast doesn't hype it up mentions it . downloads v slow http://www.sciencemag.org/multimedia/podcast/

- QUITE Positive http://news.mongabay.com/2005/1117-corals.html In the long run they produce CO2 but not much compared to man now this says it will recover - "Over the longer term, reefs will recover. According to Hoegh-Guldberg model, under the best -case global warming scenario -- where temperatures stabilize around 2100 -- the Great Barrier Reef will recover within a century. Under the pessimistic, it will take at least 500 years for the reef to regenerate, populated by coral species adapted to living in warmer"

- http://news.mongabay.com/2005/1117-corals.html this says 95% will be dead recover in 100 years .....

- http://news.mongabay.com/2005/1117-corals.html In the long run they produce CO2 but not much compared to man now this says it will recover Over the longer term, reefs will recover. According to Hoegh-Guldberg model, under the best -case global warming scenario -- where temperatures stabilize around 2100 -- the Great Barrier Reef will recover within a century. Under the pessimistic, it will take at least 500 years for the reef to regenerate, populated by coral species adapted to living in warmer waters. Hoegh-Guldberg says reefs are unlikely to migrate to cooler, higher latitude waters due to other conditions -- including light levels and ion concentrations -- required for their growth. http://news.mongabay.com/2005/1117-corals.html

- http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/5064870.stm a BBC scare story last year admits "a small minority disagree"

- http://wcsj2007.internetguruhosting.net/program/session/reefs-going-going-gone/ science journalists congress 90 minute prog actually says bad not dead in 2050 panelists say CO2 is the main harm, but clipped off other answer.

- The Year of the reef website doesn't hype it up http://www.iyor.org/reefs/status.asp

- aaas podcast doesn't hype it up mentions it . Talks about year of reef harvesting of coral is good cos it puts value on coral


You wouldn't trust something you read in the Sun, it's just not reliable. But it seems to getting the same with most science reporting.

The science isn't always as clear and simple as we would like it to be. Maybe he's too smart to ask dumb questions

- yes you guys are so keen to put the CC message the actual science details get drowned out

- Ove quotes from 1998 yet he must know the Palau Island coral made a big recovery from a "hot year"

- next guest said there are so few records for the Southern ocean.. so how are they sure on acidity ?

AAAS Science report claims southern Ocean has not absorbed any new CO2 it's at "historical level". How do they know this ? 1. some would drop into the water so it would get more acid 2. some would be absorbed by life like plankton so they'd be more plankton. If she means the acidity of the water, which is surely good news for the coral. But did they check anywher else if the CO2 is in lifeforms for example ? she thinks that the oceans only absorb 25% of CO2, which contradicts other reports saying majority is absorbed in ocean. As ever the report is short on figuree r the only other figure is that the output has risen 40% ?? when ? where ?

Helen Scales has a posive article - Corals May Have Defense Against Global Warming

- someone talks about success in saving reefs "Here I agree with Karin. Bonaire is spectacular and a model that should be emulated and exported world-wide. But to hold up the well-funded, relatively affluent, politically stable and uncorrupt Netherlands Antilles as somehow representative of most coral reef destinations and MPA systems is just wrong"

- lobster ......... "So I was actually up there just recently and it's amazing that there's still no real firm understanding on why this big increase has happened." .."I guess .. fish predators"

- My Original notes a few more details - rtf file 1 - rtf file 2,