One Scientist Whose Research DOES NOT Contradicts Man-Made Global Warming Scares

As I was catching up on all of my favorites blogs, I noticed that James Hrynyshyn at The Island of Doubt posted about the recent oddness at the Heartland Institute. To catch you up to speed the DeSmogBlog notes…

Dozens of scientists are demanding that their names be removed from a widely distributed Heartland Institute article entitled 500 Scientists with Documented Doubts of Man-Made Global Warming Scares. The article, by Hudson Institute director and Heartland “Senior Fellow” Dennis T. Avery, purports to list scientists whose work contradicts the overwhelming scientific agreement that human-induced climate change is endangering the world as we know it.

One quote by a scientist particularly stuck out to me at The Island of Doubt

Why can’t people spend their time trying to identify and evaluate the facts concerning climate change rather than trying to obscure them?” — Dr. James P. Berry

So out of curiosity I went over to the “Institute” and downloaded the list of 500 scientists. Low an behold James Barry’s (not Berry) name is there among 499 other scientists.

Who is James Barry? Nothing short of senior scientist at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute who, as chance would have it, is my post-doctoral advisor. OMG, is my advisor a climate-change denialist? Am I fraternizing with a climate-change skeptic? Can I not find a faculty position because I am affiliated with Dr. Barry? Is my career over? Did I forget to read one my advisor’s papers? Will he find out I didn’t read is paper throughly? Does he know that I know? If I speak out against him will I come back from our next trip out to sea?

Of course all this is in jest and I cannot think of anything more absurd than the claim of the Heartland Institute. You can see Jim’s publications here. More than likely the paper in question is “Climate-Related, Long-Term Faunal Changes in a California Rocky Intertidal Community” a true classic paper of marine biology. You should also note here that Jim’s research has also been instrumental in understanding how the deep sea, and in general the oceans, will respond to ocean acidification as well sequestration of carbon dioxide in the deep. To summarize that research quickly…it doesn’t look good for the organisms of the deep. Jim also gave the Ricketts Memorial Lecture entitled Changing the World One Breath at a Time: Humans, Climate, and Ocean Ecosystems at the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Symposium entitled Oceans of Change: Our Climate, Our Sanctuary, Our Future. Of course maybe there are two James Barry’s at MBARI. Maybe one is bizzaro Jim, an evil climate-change denialist.

Now I originally planned to cover every nuance of the above seminal paper but the abstract really says it all (bold mine).

Changes in the invertebrate fauna of a California rocky intertidal community between the period 1931 to 1933 and the period 1993 to 1994 indicate that species’ ranges shifted northward, consistent with predictions of change associated with climate warming. Of 45 invertebrate species, the abundances of eight of nine southern species increased and the abundances of five of eight northern species decreased. No trend was evident for cosmopolitan species. Annual mean shoreline ocean temperatures at the site increased by 0.75 degrees C during the past 60 years, and mean summer maximum temperatures from 1983 to 1993 were 2.2 degrees C warmer than for the period 1921 to 1931.

The folIowup paper to this lead by Sagarin with Jim Barry as a coauthor provides further support for this idea. Both papers document that southern species (adapted to warmer temperatures) increase in abundance at the site, whereas northern species (cold adapted) decreased. Important here is that it is not the intention of the paper to test whether the warming is the result of anthropogenic activities. Rather, the paper elegantly documents changes that occurred to an intertidal community over a 60 year period and attributes them to a well-documented temperature changes at the site.

But Avery must not of understood everything in the paper because he likely greatly construes this paragraph…

Anthropogenic impacts must also be considered but are expected to be minor. Before 1907, the site was adjacent to a Chinese fishing community that likely exerted heavy foraging pressure (30) on some invertebrates (for example, abalones, large limpets, and mussels). Since 1917, the site has been the property of HMS, with no public access, and has been fully protected as an ecological reserve since 1980.

It is COMPLETELY obvious that the anthropogenic effects here include habitat degradation and fishing pressure. I assume that Avery believes this to include anthropogenically induced climate change which it does not.

So perhaps in the future Avery should read a little more carefully or ask for some help when he gets to the “tough bits”. How dare Avery besmerch the name of my advisor! All I will say is that I am ready to FREAKIN’ BRING IT if the Heartland “Institute” wants to continue with this sham.

Dr. M (1801 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Executive Director of the Lousiana University Marine Consortium. He has conducted deep-sea research for 20 years and published over 50 papers in the area. He has participated in and led dozens of oceanographic expeditions taken him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses on how energy drives the biology of marine invertebrates from individuals to ecosystems, specifically, seeking to uncover how organisms are adapted to different levels of carbon availability, i.e. food, and how this determines the kinds and number of species in different parts of the oceans. Additionally, Craig is obsessed with the size of things. Sometimes this translated into actually scientific research. Craig’s research has been featured on National Public Radio, Discovery Channel, Fox News, National Geographic and ABC News. In addition to his scientific research, Craig also advocates the need for scientists to connect with the public and is the founder and chief editor of the acclaimed Deep-Sea News (http://deepseanews.com/), a popular ocean-themed blog that has won numerous awards. His writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web.


2 Replies to “One Scientist Whose Research DOES NOT Contradicts Man-Made Global Warming Scares”

  1. Heartland and their allies are completely shameless in misrepresentation of the science. Sadly, they know their target demographic is not inclined to check any of their facts. And could it be more scary that this target demographic can be found in the White House?

    Say, is there any way to get a copy of Dr. Berry’s paper without buying it from Science?

  2. Phoca – if you have accesss to a local or university library science database, you’ll be able to get the article for free.

    Boy are you right about the target audience not checking their facts – I watch my father telling his parishiners (he’s a Baptist preacher) that the “science is still out” on whether climate change is caused at all by human activities. He’s quoting FOX News, and never bothers to check it out for himself – but then again, he doesn’t trust “science” anyway. Gah

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