Climate alarmists and their establishment media allies are peddling a new and fictitious scare
this week, claiming global warming is devastating marine life populations and causing rapid
extinctions. The basis of the scare is a newly published paper that uses several levels of theory and conjecture to speculate that marine species have a difficult time adjusting to rising ocean
temperatures. A review of objective data, however, provides a devastating rebuttal to the theory.
The lead author of the paper is Malin Pinsky, who is already on record as a climate alarmist. This
predisposition toward alarmism does not by itself invalidate the paper’s conclusions, but it does
provide good reason to take a close look at the paper’s assertions – something the establishment media has not done.
The paper speculates that marine life has a smaller “thermal safety margin” than terrestrial
species. Accordingly, the authors assert, warming global temperatures are taking a dramatic and
negative toll on marine life, and will continue to do so. The paper contains no compelling
empirical data to back up its alarming view, but instead relies on conjecture and modeling. The
authors explain, “Higher sensitivities to warming and faster rates of colonization in the marine
realm suggest that extirpations will be more frequent and species turnover faster in the ocean.”
“Local populations of fish, mollusks and other marine animals are disappearing at twice the rate
of land-based species, new research shows,” summarizes Inside Climate News.
Similarly, “Fish and other sea creatures have no escape from rising temperatures. They are disappearing from their habitats at a faster rate than land animals,” asserts The Weather Channel ). Moreover, “Pinsky also pointed out that not only are sea creatures an important part of nature, they are also a primary food source for many people and provide jobs for people who fish and harvest them,” claims The Weather Channel.
Putting aside the common-sense notion that fish would seemingly have an easier time migrating short distances poleward in response to gradually warming temperatures, real-world data contradict the assertion that global warming is disproportionately devastating “fish and other sea creatures.” The World Bank reports a dramatic increase in recent decades in global fish catch. This would seem rather difficult to do if fish populations are being devastated by global warming. According to World Bank data, global fish production has increased 46 percent since the turn of the century, and has more than doubled since 1980. So much for Pinsky’s stated concern that sea creatures are “a primary food source for many people and provide jobs for people who fish and harvest them.” If anything, global warming appears to be substantially benefiting global fish populations.
Additionally, the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change extensively
documents studies showing marine life is thriving in today’s slightly warmer conditions.
Ultimately, the question is whether we should trust convoluted theories presented by alarmists
who have already staked out a position in the climate debate, or whether we should trust objective data that reveal a reality that is quite different than the convoluted theories. We at
CFACT will trust data over conjecture.