JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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Zebra Fish like it warm – they swim faster and adapt even better to climate change

Experiments with Zebra Fish show that if their embryo’s develop in warmer water, they not only are able to swim faster but they cope better in both warmer and colder water. (How catastrophic can that be, I ask you?)

ScienceDaily (Aug. 14, 2012) — New research by McMaster University biologist Graham Scott suggests that growing up at warmer temperatures helps some aquatic animals cope with climate change, raising questions about the limits of adaptation.

Scott and Johnston found that when embryos raised in warm water experienced temperature variation as adults, they could swim faster, their muscle was better suited for aerobic exercise, and they expressed at higher levels many of the genes that contribute to exercise performance.

The improvements were true for the adult fish in warmer and colder water alike — a finding that surprised the researchers.

“We thought that they might do better under warmer conditions because they grew up in warmer conditions. We didn’t think they’d also do better under colder conditions, but they did.

Their research shows the fish are hardier after being raised in a warm-water nursery, and raises the question of how far the temperature can rise before the advantage becomes a liability, as inevitably it will, Scott says.

The question then for Zebra Fish lovers is to ask what we are doing to stop the world cooling? Clearly a cooler ocean is a threat to their health and welfare. We simply can’t allow those baby fish to develop in water that is not warm enough for them to reach their full potential.

Abstract

Global warming is intensifying interest in the mechanisms enabling ectothermic animals to adjust physiological performance and cope with temperature change. Here we show that embryonic temperature can have dramatic and persistent effects on thermal acclimation capacity at multiple levels of biological organization. Zebrafish embryos were incubated until hatching at control temperature (TE = 27 °C) or near the extremes for normal development (TE = 22 °C or 32 °C) and were then raised to adulthood under common conditions at 27 °C. Short-term temperature challenge affected aerobic exercise performance (Ucrit), but each TE group had reduced thermal sensitivity at its respective TE. In contrast, unexpected differences arose after long-term acclimation to 16 °C, when performance in the cold was ∼20% higher in both 32 °C and 22 °C TE groups compared with 27 °C TE controls. Differences in performance after acclimation to cold or warm (34 °C) temperatures were partially explained by variation in fiber type composition in the swimming muscle. Cold acclimation changed the abundance of 3,452 of 19,712 unique and unambiguously identified transcripts detected in the fast muscle using RNA-Seq. Principal components analysis differentiated the general transcriptional responses to cold of the 27 °C and 32 °C TE groups. Differences in expression were observed for individual genes involved in energy metabolism, angiogenesis, cell stress, muscle contraction and remodeling, and apoptosis. Therefore, thermal acclimation capacity is not fixed and can be modified by temperature during early development. Developmental plasticity may thus help some ectothermic organisms cope with the more variable temperatures that are expected under future climate-change scenarios.

REFERENCES

Scott G. and Johnston I. (2012, August 14). Temperature during embryonic development has persistent effects on thermal acclimation capacity in zebrafish. PNAS. [abstract] [PDF (paywalled)]

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Zebra Fish like it warm - they swim faster and adapt even better to climate change, 8.9 out of 10 based on 37 ratings

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43 comments to Zebra Fish like it warm – they swim faster and adapt even better to climate change

  • #
    Dave

    .
    Great idea!
    Training our Aussie swimmers from embryo to adult in heated water – may have produced more Gold at London?

    But since July 1st & the $23 per tonne CO2 Tax – Australia has cooled and as a result – silver, bronze & nothing?? Damm!


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  • #
    turnrdoutnice

    The great thing about zebra fish is that if you like dark meat and your partner likes white meat, you can both have your favourite……


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  • #
    Sonny

    Cmon Joe,
    Suggesting that some animals will benefit from a warming world?
    Sounds unreasonably open minded to me.


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  • #
    Bloke down the pub

    I prefer mine grilled rather than poached.


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  • #
    Sonny

    Completely off topic.
    Melbourne dam capacity is at 74.7% full as of today. Compare this to August 2010 when the capacity was 40%.
    http://www.melbournewater.com.au/content/water_storages/water_report/water_report.asp

    We have effectively seen storage DOUBLE in the space of two years.
    Now recall all the histrionic alarmist clap trap about the endless drought to come by such climate experts as Tim Flannery… Just as well no large scale investments (at tax/bill payer expense) were made on the basis of such dreary and bogus prognostications…

    I find It confusing that that Melbourne Water comes to a very different conclusion on the meaning of this graph:

    What does this graph show?

    “Total storage level of Melbourne’s reservoirs. This shows a trend of decreasing storage levels during the first half of the year, and then increasing or stabilising during the second half of the year when inflows to the reservoirs are more frequent.”

    Funny that no mention of a trend of increasing storage levels to the point that they have DOUBLED in two years.

    Then they have another grapgh with total yearly inflows, with this conclusion:

    What does this graph show?
    “Annual inflows into Melbourne’s 4 major reservoirs since 1913. While ups and downs are a constant feature, the average has dropped rapidly by almost 40% in the past 15 years. This included a devastating drop in 2006, which the CSIRO had forecast could occur under a ‘severe’ climate change scenario in 2050.”

    Firstly, their calculaion of 40% is wrong (it’s actually 30%).
    Also notice the shameful cherry picking of a single year 2006 and comparing that to the “severe” presumably long term decline in rainfall by 2050.

    I think it is time to write to Melbourne water and point out that their climate propaganda is 2 years passé.


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    • #
      MadJak

      Sonny,

      We’re running a serious risk of having 100% water capacity.

      This is a serious problem for the propagandists.


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      • #
        AndyG55

        From a drought security risk assessment point of view, I think Melbourne still needs another big dam.

        Pity (and stupidly) there wasn’t one ready to catch all that recent flooding.


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        • #
          AndyG55

          Build that one in central Vic, (can’t remember the name)

          Built Welcome Reef,

          Built Tillegra (Newcastle),

          And build the secong SE QLd one,

          and all the east coast capitals are pretty much secure against drought for quite a long time, even with large population growth.


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          • #
            AndyG55

            And of course, build a few more modern coal fired power stations and power is no longer an issue, either.


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          • #
            Popeye

            No AndyG,

            Let’s build a whole bundle of nuclear power stations – F*&K the Greenies.

            THEY know this is the ONLY way of the future but they’re too bloody pig-headed to admit it.

            The Labor party won’t endorse nuclear power either BUT still export uranium and cash in on it – bloody hypocrites the lot of them!!

            Cheers,


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          • #
            AndyG55

            YEah, I’d go for nuclear.. just that coal ones are usually much quicker to build.


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    • #
      Rereke Whakaaro

      It is only off topic if there are no Zebra fish in the Melbourne dams.


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      • #
        Sonny

        If there are you can be assured that they will be swimming sluggishly at best given Melbourne’s unusually cold weather these last few years. Jo, you must have these humorous posts more often!


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  • #

    It’s imperative that we save the Zebra Fish.
    Otherwise the Lion Fish will have nothing to eat.


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  • #
    Bruce of Newcastle

    The Holocene Climate Optimum was called the Holocene Climate Optimum because it was warm.

    The Landscheidt Minimum will be called the Landscheidt Minimum because it will be cold.

    I know which I’d rather live in (and no my house is not on the beach or riverside).

    OK, the solar minimum may not happen but it sure looks to me like it will.


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  • #
    Speedy

    Scott and Johnston can kiss their next round of research funding goodbye! Imagine – a global warming good news story…

    (Apart from the Roman warm period, the Medieval warming, accelerated plant growth rates – but then again, they didn’t happen, did they???)

    Cheers,

    Speedy


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    • #
      Rereke Whakaaro

      Scott and Johnston can kiss their next round of research funding goodbye!

      No, no, not true – they are Biologists.

      That means they are doing real science, and they don’t need to put the word “science” in the name of their discipline to try to convince you that they are not just playing.

      Real scientists get funding. And besides, everyone likes Zebra fish – fishes in pyjamas – how cute is that?


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  • #
    memoryvault

    .
    Jo,

    I don’t think you’ve thought through the implications of this.
    If warmer temperatures means bigger, stronger, faster, more agile Zebra fish, then what are the implications for Great Whites? I can just see the headlines now …

    “Global Warming Causes Monster Sharks”, according to studies by the CSIRO, and

    “Swimming Will Be A Thing of the Past” says Professor Will Steffen”, and

    “This Is Mother Gaia’s Revenge” warned Professor Flim Flannery.

    .
    Let’s face it: – it’s worse than we thought.


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    • #
    • #
      Andrew McRae

      Monster sharks? Nah, it’s the Loan Sharks you have to watch out for.

      Using the government to rip off the public has found bipartisan support. They’re only divided on whether that should be done by having government extort money directly, or by having government refrain from intervening in private sector extortion. In other words, ripping off Barry Public is fine as long as Their Wing gets the loot.

      The carrot lure for getting a better job is having a nicer standard of living. The poor don’t need this usury stick for extra motivation.


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    • #
      Sonny

      Idea:
      A children’s picture book with a new outrageously stupid climate change prediction on each page.
      Each must be illustrated and be properly sourced to the original news or science article.
      I’d do it myself but I cannot draw and I’m too lazy.


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  • #

    Close the beaches. A killer Zebra fish spotted. We’re gonna need a bigger boat …

    Pointman


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  • #
    wes george

    This is the great idiocy of pretending that we can control the Earth’s temperature. That Canberra, Washington or the UN have a global thermostat they can turn up or down at will, controlled by taxation knobs on the economy.

    Xerxes had the Hellespont whipped when its waves would not recede so that his army could cross to invade Greece. Herodotus, the Greek historian of the Persian Wars, “calls Xerxes a barbarian when he punishes the waters. “(Xerxes’) act of hubris — of overweening pride — reflects the shift to the second meaning: a barbarian is someone who violates the norms of reason and measure.”

    http://www.uh.edu/engines/epi2310.htm

    The idea that we can manipulate the Earth’s temperature by technocratic force is an insane conceit. If we could control the climate, why didn’t parliament simply outlaw drought long ago? Why? Because we weren’t an insanely conceited people until quite recently.

    Today we have become barbarians in our own land. No need for an invasion, we willingly occupy and destroy ourselves with no outside coercion.

    But let’s join ABC la-la land for a moment and pretend that we could actually create the ideal global climate stasis…

    Just as creating incentives for people to pay criminal gangs to ride on leaky boats to Australia has unintended consequences, believing that government can force the climate into a stasis has vast moral implications that have never been considered.

    Just what is the optimum temperature for planet Earth?

    Should we ask a Siberian wheat farmer or a Victorian wheat farmer? Whose evolution is more important, the zebra fish or the arctic hare? What is more valuable–the dry eucalyptus forests of New England or the rain forests of York Peninsula? Should we turn the red centre into a vast garden market or stop evolution completely and freeze the world as it is?

    The Green Luddites believe the climate should NOT be evolving naturally or otherwise, they want to “stop climate change now.”

    That’s what I call Green “climate creationism.”

    Because Greens are atheistic they’ve substituted man for God. Man creates the climate now in his own image, the Greens believe.

    Since we’re the new god on this planet, why not create an utopian climate stasis, say the Greens? But they never specify who the utopia will be for. Who will be the winners. Who will suffer.

    We can expect the Greens to consider the moral implications of such an impossible exercise with at least as much care as they sent a thousand asylum seekers to their watery tombs.

    +

    Perhaps Ironically, I’m off to track down and kill the wild hogs rooting the forest. But at least I will take full responsibility the blood on my hands when the hunt is done.

    Later, dudes.


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  • #
    Ian Hill

    Sorry, this can’t wait for the next Unthreaded.

    I bought the Adelaide Advertiser today, something I do about three times a year.

    Page 1 – Uni (Adelaide) proposes cutting ‘vanity degrees’ to focus on job skills:

    Pardon my ignorance, what is a “vanity degree”?

    Page 12 – Solar boom predicted:

    Tim Flannery predicts another “tipping point” to occur this year, towards a clean-energy era. “In eastern Australia this year, we have reached grid parity, where it is about the same price in terms of megawatt costs for solar over a 25-year period”.

    Putting aside this false argument, at least to me, one point overlooked is that about half the population change address every five years. I don’t think you can take it with you, so the market seems limited.

    Page 15 – Beach town under threat:

    “The entire town of Thompson Beach may have to be raised above the height of future sea level rises or fall victim to climate change, a Federal Government report has warned”.

    Mayor of Mallala, Marcus Strudwicke said “… climate change will have an extensive impact”.

    Page 33 – Series of man-made islands planned for Maldives:

    This includes a floating golf course, and it will be ready by the end of 2013. Really?

    Plenty of other articles and a cartoon where the PM turns into an Abbott lookalike.


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    • #
      Popeye

      Ian,

      As an ex Adelaide “crow eater” I reckon that’s about $3.60 you’ve wasted this year already and it’s only August!!

      Save your money and stay away from mainstream newspapers and media.

      The WWW is where it al happens nowadays.

      Cheers,


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  • #

    More than 99% of everything that ever lived on this planet is extinct.

    Global warming is a fraud!

    There is a 50% chance that the world will get warmer in the foreseeable future and a 50% chance that it will get colder.

    It is all about survival of the species and may the best critter win!


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  • #

    The site went down again with another DOS attack an hour ago (two in one day). If you see a 403 message please email support AT joannenova.com.au. We can restore it, but the sooner we know, the better.


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  • #
    Gee Aye

    Hope the site stays up!

    I shudder to read the comments above. Did anyone here equate the above abstract with the fish’s ability to adapt to climate change? If so into the sin bin you go, where you will be given text books on ecological changes in response to temperature and on adaptation.


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  • #
    Gee Aye

    Sorry I realise there is levity here..ho ho and no one thankfully in the sin bin yet, but Jo… they live in rivers and they are tropical. There are oceanic fish called zebra fish but they are not the one popularly used for studies of development and genomics. Of course ocean temperatures affect air temps which affect river temps so I guess you don’t need to change this

    Clearly a cooler ocean is a threat to their health and welfare.


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  • #
    Bulldust

    Lomborg is in The Australian arguing for better reporting of facts and less pandering to erroneous extremist messages:

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/opinion/thirst-for-facts-should-override-myths-about-water-and-climate/story-e6frgd0x-1226451260496

    As usual non-subscribers will need to do the work around of Googling the article title and clicking the link to read the “pay-walled” story.


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  • #
    Bulldust

    Sara Philips of the ABC is trying to revive the “Muller conversion” story again:

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-08-15/phillips-climate-sceptic-reborn-a-believer/4199130

    I posted – let’s see if it gets up this time. Didn’t last week on Redfearn’s blog:

    Seriously folks … this post deserves the trololo video as a byline. Muller, if he was ever a bone fide sceptic, is certainly not one in recent years. By recent years, I mean since well before he started “verifying” the global temperature in the BEST Project. Why can I say this with some degree of certainty? Well…

    Seeing as the ABC won’t allow me to post any links, how about you the reader do a search on your preferred search engine for “Muller & Adssociates.” A quick browse of the site will reveal the main focus of this company is to consult people on climate change and clean energy alternatives. Who are the founders of this company that has been around for years? None other than Richard Muller and his daughter. Oh and BTW his daughter helped out on the BEST Project as well.

    Obviously no conflict of interest here at all. This man is a professor so he is beyond reproach!

    For the record Sara, you would have a lot more credibility if you didn’t use disingenuous terms like “climate change” and refer to people as being in “denial.” At least you don’t froth “denialist” every sentence like Redfearn, but seriously … try to be aloof from the political advocacy and argue the facts.

    BTW This comment has been copied to another web site because the ABC “moderated” a similar comment when I put it on Redfearn’s blog last week. More evidence of ABC moderation bias.


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    • #
      Bulldust

      Another comment copied for insurance:

      Hockey sticks of various hues. Fraud is too kind a word for it. I assume you are intelligent enough to know what “hide the decline” referred to. If not I shall have to educate.

      Are there also sceptics doing dubious data manipulations? I have no doubt, but with the sceptics’ argument, a cost of billions of dollars and millions of lives do not ride on the outcome. As long as governments of every colour keep pouring money into the arena seeking justification for their proposed policies the science will be corrupt as. There is no way around it. Do I need to define confirmation bias?

      You keep harping on about the Standard Model Meredith and other trivially true facts, but these are not the crux of the debate. And as I have asked you before, and you failed to answer, where is the empirical evidence to show that the feedback _assumptions_ in the IPCC models are accurate, or even the correct sign? To the best of my knowledge there is none, and without that key evidence the models are simply that … models. Cute but of no siginificance.

      It is the utmost in scientific arrogance to claim that they are even vaguely accurate. I have done plenty of modelling in my time and i know for a fact that all long range forecasts of such complex nature are pure, unadulterated BS.

      *Hey ABC mods … copied elsewhere as insurance.


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    • #
      Bulldust

      Lastly, inviting Lisa Meredith to come out of the ABC echo chamber:

      PS> Meredith, if you ever feel the courage to straty away from the ABC echo chamber, sites like WUWT and Jo Nova would love to hear your opinions and debate with you. Given that you are polite you will be treated in kind … a consideration completely absent at warmist sites such as this one.

      * Yes, copied again.


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    • #
      handjive

      What a failure in cognitive thinking from the editor of the ABC’s environmental portal.

      If you ‘believe’ that a ‘tax’, or a ‘price’ on carbon (sic) will tackle climate change, and put forward Sara Phillip’s childish argument, then we all would agree that taxes during the Roman Warming Period would have ‘tackled’ the climate then, or taxes during the Medieval Warming Period would have ‘tackled’ the climate & stopped it changing, or taxes during the Little Ice Age would have ‘tackled’ the climate, again.
      When cO2 levels were much lower than now.

      But, the ‘sandwich board wearing warming catastrophists’ like Sara Phillips, & her ABC, plus the head nodding commentators would have to acknowledge these climate periods would have had to exist when cO2 levels were much lower than now, and that would show their fraudulent science hypothesis to be false.

      No-one ‘denies’, or questions the climate never changes. No-one ever has.
      Skeptics question the cO2 levels of human influence in the past 30 years of a billion year cycle, and/or human ability to ‘tackle’ the minute climatic changes with taxes, or a ‘price’ on carbon (sic).


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  • #

    [...] Jo Nova Share this:PrintEmailMoreStumbleUponTwitterFacebookDiggRedditLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. This entry was posted in Climate Change and tagged climate research, critters. Bookmark the permalink. ← Peter Foster: Biofuel policy on thin ice [...]


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  • #
    handjive

    The ABC now carries this story, 17/08/2012:

    Tropical fish turning up off Tasmania

    The water at Hobart’s Taroona Beach is chillier than what most Australians are used to, but increasingly it is home to northern visitors of the finned variety.

    That would explain the increased frequency of extreme cyclones in Tasmania as they follow the warmer water currents as well.


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