Update 7/30/2010: WUWT debunks this scare: here!
Reading the German online daily news this morning, today’s scare-de-jour is the “shocking” reduction of phytoplankton now underway, all due of course to manmade climate change. The “news” is based on a report just published in Nature by scientists Daniel Boyce and Marlon Lewis of the Dalhousie University (Halifax) and Boris Worm of the German Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (think Schellnhuber and Rahmstorf).
When reading about such stories, it’s a very good idea to first read the following:
Here’s a sampling of today’s headlines in Germany:
The cause of the phytoplankton decrease is “warming of the oceans”, Nature reports. Satellite measurements since the end of the 1970s have shown fluctuation in oceanic plankton levels, but have not delivered a clear picture.
That’s why the researchers went back and looked at data of ocean chlorophyll content. The team analysed almost 450,000 measurements from the period 1899 to 2008. The result, according to Die Welt:
In eight of ten oceanic regions, phytoplankton has decreased during the 20th century. Content dropped with increasing sea surface temperature, especially in the tropics and subtopics regions. It is suspected that as a consequence of warming, a more pronounced layering of water occurred.
Süddeutsche Zeitung writes that phytoplankton concentrations in the oceans have declined by two thirds since 1899.
What do I think?
The study involves the Potsdam Institute For Climate Impact Research, directed by Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, visionary of The Great Transformation , and Stefan Rahmstorf, who predicts sea levels will rise 1.7 meters in the next 90 years, but refuses to even bet on a 60 cm rise. This is an institute that is well well-known for activist science and fear-mongering, with the clear agenda of reorganizing how people live. A dangerous social engineering experiment.
I’m sure the findings of this study will turn out to be more plankton-crap.
UPDATE: Beware of science authority. Above I mentioned the Science Turns Authoritarian story, which looked at how often certain authoritarian phrases are used in the media. Click on the following graphic:
Be wary, be very wary, of media claims on climate science.