Aletho News


Ocean acidification claims by researchers run into the ‘decline effect’

Tallbloke’s Talkshop | February 4, 2022

There are no ‘acidified’ oceans so the whole topic was over-hyped from the start. ‘Seawater is slightly basic (meaning pH > 7), and ocean acidification involves a shift towards pH-neutral conditions rather than a transition to acidic conditions (pH < 7)’ – Wikipedia. Another climate scare gets deflated.

– – –

As humans fill the atmosphere with excess carbon dioxide, much of it gets absorbed by the oceans, acidifying them (claims—a potential concern for marine life.

According to a new study publishing February 3rd in PLOS Biology, however, previously high-profile worries about an effect on fish behavior appear to have declined.

The research led by Jeff Clements and Fredrik Jutfelt at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, along with Josefin Sundin (Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences) and Timothy Clark (Deakin University), demonstrates that the apparent severity of ocean acidification impacts on fish behavior, as reported in the scientific literature, has declined dramatically over the past decade.

The researchers used meta-analysis to analyze trends in reported effects of ocean acidification on fish behavior in studies published from 2009-2019. While early studies reported extremely clear and strong effects, the magnitude of those impacts has decreased over time and have been negligible for the past five years.

“A textbook example of the decline effect”, explains Dr. Clements, lead author of the study.

“The decline effect is the tendency for the strength of scientific findings to decrease in magnitude over time. While relatively well-recognized in fields like psychology and medicine, it is lesser known in ecology—our study provides perhaps the most striking example of it in this field to date.”

To determine what might have caused the decline effect in their meta-analysis, the authors explored numerous biological factors, but found that biological differences between studies through time could not explain the results.

Instead, common scientific biases largely explained the decline effect.

“Science often suffers from publication bias, where strong effects are selectively published by authors and prestigious journals”, says co-author Prof. Jutfelt. “It’s only after others try to replicate initial results and publish less-striking findings that true effects become known. Our analysis shows that strong effects in this field are favorably published in high impact journals.”

Alongside publication bias, studies that reported severe effects tended to have smaller sample sizes.

Full article here.

February 4, 2022 - Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular

1 Comment »

  1. “Ocean acidification”….Back in the 1960’s we(in Australia) were told that the Great Barrier Reef would be destroyed by the “Crown of Thorn Starfish” within 10 years,(and, to keep the scare going, they’re still going on about it 60 years later.

    Beware of Politicians who want to “keep you scared/worried” about all sorts of threats(or, “Hobgoblins, as H.L.Menken warned us about), while they do vile things behind your backs


    Comment by brianharryaustralia | February 4, 2022 | Reply

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