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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Life adapts — fish evolved from salt to fresh water in just fifty years

In 1964 an earthquake made some parts of the Pacific into ponds on a few islands. Fifty years later and the fish in those ponds are now freshwater fish. Apparently the genes for dealing with that sort of wild extreme change are held by some of the fish in the crowd and natural selection can work its wonders in a decade.

In terms of ocean acidification, this is as catastrophic as it gets, not only did the ocean become “more acidic” but it stopped being an ocean.

I can’t get much worse than this for a fish, and yet somehow life on Earth had the answer.

What’s the pH of those ponds — The ocean pH is 8.1, rain is 5.5. Those ponds will be somewhere in between.

And some people think a man-made “ocean acidication” that’s smaller than this and slower, will devastate the ocean.

 

Science Daily

Evolution is usually thought of as occurring over long time periods, but it also can happen quickly. Consider a tiny fish whose transformation after the 1964 Alaskan earthquake was uncovered by University of Oregon scientists and their University of Alaska collaborators.

The fish, seawater-native threespine stickleback, in just decades experienced changes in both their genes and visible external traits such as eyes, shape, color, bone size and body armor when they adapted to survive in fresh water. The earthquake — 9.2 on the Richter scale and second highest ever recorded — caused geological uplift that captured marine fish in newly formed freshwater ponds on islands in Prince William Sound and the Gulf of Alaska south of Anchorage.

Stickleback, the researchers concluded, have evolved as a species over the long haul with regions of their genomes alternatively honed for either freshwater or marine life.

And this is not just a plastic change, like becoming tan in the sun; the genome itself is being rapidly reshaped,” she said. “Stickleback fish can adapt on this time scale because the species as a whole has evolved, over millions of years, a genetic bag of tricks for invading and surviving in new freshwater habitats. This hidden genetic diversity is always waiting for its chance, in the sea.”

“In some of the populations that we studied we found evidence of changes in fewer than even 10 years. For the field, it indicates that evolutionary change can happen quickly, and this likely has been happening with other organisms as well.”

From the paper

Significance

On several Alaskan islands, phenotypically variable threespine stickleback fish now live in ponds that were formed during uplift caused by the 1964 Great Alaska Earthquake. We analyzed phenotypic and genome-wide genetic divergence of resident freshwater and oceanic threespine stickleback populations from three islands. These data support the hypothesis that the freshwater populations evolved repeatedly from their oceanic ancestors in the past half-century, and have differentiated to nearly the same extent as populations that were founded thousands of years ago. This work raises the possibility that much of the evolution that occurs when oceanic stickleback invade fresh water takes place in fewer than 50 generations after colonization, rather than gradually over thousands of years.

Abstract

How rapidly can animal populations in the wild evolve when faced with sudden environmental shifts? Uplift during the 1964 Great Alaska Earthquake abruptly created freshwater ponds on multiple islands in Prince William Sound and the Gulf of Alaska. In the short time since the earthquake, the phenotypes of resident freshwater threespine stickleback fish on at least three of these islands have changed dramatically from their oceanic ancestors. To test the hypothesis that these freshwater populations were derived from oceanic ancestors only 50 y ago, we generated over 130,000 single-nucleotide polymorphism genotypes from more than 1,000 individuals using restriction site-associated DNA sequencing (RAD-seq). Population genomic analyses of these data support the hypothesis of recent and repeated, independent colonization of freshwater habitats by oceanic ancestors. We find evidence of recurrent gene flow between oceanic and freshwater ecotypes where they co-occur. Our data implicate natural selection in phenotypic diversification and support the hypothesis that the metapopulation organization of this species helps maintain a large pool of genetic variation that can be redeployed rapidly when oceanic stickleback colonize freshwater environments. We find that the freshwater populations, despite population genetic analyses clearly supporting their young age, have diverged phenotypically from oceanic ancestors to nearly the same extent as populations that were likely founded thousands of years ago. Our results support the intriguing hypothesis that most stickleback evolution in fresh water occurs within the first few decades after invasion of a novel environment.

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204 comments to Life adapts — fish evolved from salt to fresh water in just fifty years

  • #
    Popeye26

    Jo – not meaning to be picky:

    “I can’t get much worse that this for a fish,”

    I think should probably read:

    “It can’t get much worse than this for a fish”

    Cheers,

    83

    • #
      Radical Rodent

      Pedant.

      But, while you are at it, Ms Nova, please return to the grocer his bucket of apostrophe’s – tell him you would rather grow you’re own.

      014

      • #
        Lloyd

        If you’re (you are) really going to be pedantic your (a possessive pronoun) second last word should be “your”. Grow your own apostrophes.

        Ahem, thanks for the proof reading. I was typing with eyes barely open. Fixed. Sorry – Jo

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        • #
          Lloyd

          Actually, my reply was directed at Radical Rodent whose post was full of grammatical errors.

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        • #
          Annie

          Green thumb for Jo; tiredness and predictive text make for errors that are not intended. I’m a bit pedantic but try to ignore mistakes on the assumption that those are the reasons for them. :)

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        • #
          Radical Rodent

          I know – i woz trying to bee ironic (or sumfink).

          10

    • #
      Frank

      Jo,shame on you ,as a biologist you should know that you cant extrapolate one instance of succesful adjustment to the rest of the ocean’s life forms and conclude everything will be OK.

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      • #

        Frank as usual, you have to create strawmen to have anything to criticize. I am merely pointing out yet another example of how the overblown exaggerated 97% certain fear campaign could be wrong. Yet another mechanism where biology is more adaptable and more able to deal with the wild swings of natural climate change which are so much worse than the pussy foot panic merchant 1.5C “disaster”.

        When the conglomerate UN-World-Bank-Academia extrapolate one instance of a computer simulation ad infinitum you cheer them wildly, lay down prostrate and declare them beyond question. Careful your ideological hypocrisy is showing…

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        • #

          OK here is the straw man that Frank and later I think you might possibly be raising. It is encapsulated by

          more adaptable

          more than who or what level of adaptation as defined by who? As a biologist, you and I and all other biologists, ecologist etc should not be surprised by this. It is not “more” at all but within our expectations. If you are comparing biologists with the “overblown exaggerated 97% certain fear campaign”, also undefined but left to your audience to fit with their existing biases, then you are certainly creating a straw man. Show me where a scientific assessment (I know but but there are all these green groups that say …) of the impacts of climate change (in whatever direction and human caused or not) have defined adaptability in a way that excludes a salt-water stickleback colonising a newly formed freshwater water habitat.

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          • #
            Greg Cavanagh

            I think it should be read as “more adaptable than expressed by (these people)”.

            Word for word, Jo didn’t express it that way, but I think that’s how it should be read.

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            • #
              Wayne Job

              The biological world is no more understood than the physical sciences our modern world has come about by invention, not by scientific discovery. Science can not even explain electricity, they have no clue how a diode works and are completely baffled how all solid state technology operates. Yet we have our modern marvels, one day they may even be able to tell us how the temperature of the Earth is controlled. Modern science is full of imaginary particles, borrowing from the vacuum, dark matter, dark energy, pixies unicorns and imaginary particles. It would be a giant leap forward if biology got creative and did some real research, maybe the others will follow. Hope to post some stuff soon that is rather confounding to science, weird stuff, doing vids and stuff,i have no idea of the stuff we are recording it will take better brains than mine.

              10

          • #
            Just-A-Guy

            Gee Aye,

            You wrote:

            Bla, bla, bla . . .

            Please take heed and pay attention.

            Step 1.

            Frank claims that Jo is using one example of successful adaptation, the example given in the OP, to conclude that all life forms will successfully adapt.

            Frank wrote:

            . . . you cant extrapolate one instance of succesful adjustment to the rest of the ocean’s life forms . . .

            That’s a perfectly clear example of the strawman logical fallacy. Nowhere did Jo make that claim. It wasn’t implied nor can it be infered.

            Step 2.

            Jo ponits out to Frank that he’s created a strawman, which he’s done now and has done in the past, and explains where the strawman is.

            Jo wrote:

            I am merely pointing out yet another example of how the overblown exaggerated 97% certain fear campaign could be wrong.

            You, Gee Aye, have been commenting on this bolg long enough to know that:
            a) Every study done by CAGW ™ funded technocrats, claims that Climate Change ® will adversely affect whatever creature they happen to be studying. And by adversely, more often than not, I mean extinct. (cf. polar bears for a perfect example.)
            b) Every time we, the bulk of the commenters, examine these so-called scientific studies, they invariably contain flaws. Not just minor flaws, but fundamental errors that totally invalidate the conclusions that are claimed.

            Step 3.

            Jo then reinforces the previously quoted statement with this:

            Jo wrote:

            Yet another mechanism where biology is more adaptable and more able to deal with the wild swings of natural climate change which are so much worse than the pussy foot panic merchant .5°C “disaster”.

            So when you ask, “[M]ore than who or what level of adaptation as defined by who?”, the answer is right there in black and white!
            More adaptable than the repeated claims made by “the pussy foot panic merchant[s].”

            While it’s true that you, Gee Aye, will sometimes make some insightful remarks, on other occasions you just go off on some will incongruence. This is one of those occasions.

            Abe

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        • #
          Frank

          Jo,
          From a site riddled with logical fallacies and cognitive bias your straw man acusation is very funny, your conclusion is unprofessional.
          Yes,the 97% could be wrong but you haven’t shown them to be so. Even by basic risk management procedures an effort to lower CO2 emissions must be undertaken.

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          • #

            Frank, Keep on bluffing.
            Basic risk management is to do a cost benefit analysis. The cost of changing the worlds temperature is exorbitant, the benefits minimal (or even negative).

            Basic common sense says we ought understand the climate before we start trying to change it.

            The models are broken, disproven by their own failed predictions — the missing upper tropospheric warming, the exaggerated warming that didn’t happen, the Antarctic that didn’t melt. The hundreds of proxies and boreholes that show the medival period was as warm as today, and the models don’t know why.

            351

            • #
              Frank

              Jo,
              Of course your cost benefit analysis says its too expensive because you dont believe in agw in the first place, a bit circular dont you think ?.
              Basic common sense says that because your counter evidence is rejected ( please dont wheel out the old excuses ), the science is correct until shown otherwise, do you think I want agw to be true ?. Like with the other scientific disciplines I listen to the bods who know what they’re talking about.

              014

              • #

                Circular? Not at all Frank… even if we assume the IPCC numbers are correct (ECS = 3C) there is no possible way to keep global temps at the 1.5C level without spending “trillions” of dollars. Same for the 2C level. Do the maths. We have.

                Who cares what bods say or how anyone “feels”? The numbers are what they are.

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              • #
                Egor TheOne

                Get a life , and get a real science project Herr Frank !

                50

          • #
            Leo Morgan

            The 97% could be wrong? Even the figure 97% is wrong!

            131

          • #
            sophocles

            Frank, the scenario Jo has held up is the very reason almost all animal lifeforms and many plants selected (aka evolved) sexual reproduction 3.5 billion years ago. It gives the lifeform the reproductive agility to produce young which can survive the sudden change. Yes, it’s darned rough on most individuals of the affected species who won’t survive to reproduce. They are sacrificed by their lack of `fitness’ for the new situation. The young of those who can reproduce will rebuild the population. The species survives, preserved by its genetic diversity and is better adapted to its new situation. That’s how evolution works, and it’s why sexual reproduction hasn’t been selected out.

            There weren’t any complex life forms around 3-3.5 GYA, just very small and very simple ones, so this characeristic appeared very early in the evolution of life. Given the huge disruptions of the Hadeon ers, all emergent species needed to be nimble.

            So yes, Jo is correct. She can hold up that one example and conclude it fits all other species in the same or a similar situation. If what you claim is true, then organ transplants between individuals of the same species wouldn’t be rejected by the recipient so quickly, so immediately and so completely.

            There may be only 3% genetic difference between chimpanzees and man but within a species, the genetic differences between individuals, even between those sharing the same parents, is far greater. The necessity is well proven: it gives all individuals superb reproductive agility within the evironments those individuals can survive.

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          • #
            Geoffrey Williams

            I’m with Jo Frank.
            Seems to me your just seeking attention!
            Poor Boy! Not to be taken seriously.
            Oh and a Merry Xmas to all.
            Regards
            Geoff W Sydney

            10

        • #
          Leonard Lane

          Jo. Is it evolution or adaptation?

          80

          • #
            RB

            Doubtful that they adapted because of a recent mutation. There is a lot of genetic variation in an animal ready to combine in a small number of the next generation that fits well with a new niche.

            30

      • #
        RB

        you cant extrapolate one instance of succesful adjustment to the rest of the ocean’s life forms and conclude everything will be OK.

        You can conclude that alarmists make assertions while completely ignorant of how animals will cope.

        91

      • #
        tom0mason

        That’s right Frank, nearly all species are identical genetic clones of their ancestors and as such natural genetic variations are not allowed.

        /sarc_off.

        10

      • #
        James McCown

        Frank, there is nothing unusual about this example of the adaptability of aquatic life. There are many species of fish that can and do live in both fresh and salt water (e.g. salmon).

        And this phenomenon is not restricted to fish. In Lake Tanganyika in Africa there are freshwater jellyfish and sponges.

        00

      • #
        gai

        Well Frank if you do not like the salt to fresh switch for Sticklebacks how about the salt to fresh water switch for sharks right there in Oz?

        Back in 2011, all the lakes on Carbrook Golf Club in Australia flooded after a heavy storm. Aside from lots of excess water, a group of eight 10-foot-long bullsharks found their way into the pond by the 14th green.

        Now that is what I call a REAL Water Hazard!
        (Article has a vid of the sharks swimming.)

        Information from Carbrook says the sharks have been there since the 1990s and are now breeding according to biologists.
        http://www.carbrookgolfclub.com.au/sharks.php

        00

  • #
    Peter OBrien

    Here is a link to a study that shows lizards can do the same thing:

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2008/04/080421-lizard-evolution.html

    141

  • #

    I’ve been reading about numerous such discoveries about the natural world that contradict predictions by the global warming elite; however, they never feature in any public discussions about global warming. I wonder why?

    261

    • #

      because they are not relevant

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      • #
        RB

        that contradict predictions by the global warming elite;

        because they are not relevant

        Both results of a 50/50 outcome are due to climate change, nearly all the money goes to promoting the cause, pal-review and this sort of logic, and still losing the PR exercise.

        171

        • #

          RB… I should clarify that that is exactly what I meant. Predictions about the outcome in the natural world are not relevant and therefore contradictory observations are not worth reporting.

          230

          • #

            What I was talking about weren’t predictions, but actual verified observations that counter many of the scary stories and computer predictions made by the warmenistas. The only reason that they aren’t reported is because it would simply add to the increasing distrust of so called climate change experts and the entire scam would unravel faster than it is.

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          • #
            Manfred

            Does it not appear nauseatingly self-evident that ‘prediction’ and ‘propaganda’ are words used interchangeably in the climate arena by a variety of self-interested parties and ideologues, apparently justified by ‘noble-cause’ corruption required to advance the UN post-2015 development agenda (The Agenda)?

            Contradictory empirical findings are worth their weight in gold. They afford a glimpse of truth, they exercise observational science, they maintain moral in a World institutionally obsessed with and possessed by weather monsters.

            “He who fights with monsters should be careful lest he thereby become a monster. And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into thee.” Nietzsche

            91

      • #
        Leo Morgan

        @ Gee Aye
        I have to upvote some of the wittiest sarcasm I’ve ever seen.
        However, this is the Internet. An ‘/sarc’ tag would be really, really useful.
        You were being sarcastic, right?

        30

      • #
        AndyG55

        “because they are not relevant”

        Neither are you.. but we still have to put with your pointless twitters.!

        81

    • #

      Once again, it’s just not in the terms of reference for IPCC biodiversity studies.

      Only outcomes which prove the hypothesis (policy) are relevant, or in Michael Mann’s case, they can still be included, but given one hundredth or less of a weighting, and placed in the small print (or not, as the case may be).

      To think, all the Catholic Church in the medieval period had to do was to create a terms of reference for solar system models, and Copernicus could have been neutered … oh wait, they did, they are called Encyclicals.

      Maybe the IPCC learned from the medieval Church that publishing publicly ones own bias is not the most effective method … sending in the inquisition first, after controlling by stealth all the official academic nodes, is far more effective than publicizing ones agenda openly.

      But they still needed CEO Vatican Inc., Francis to issue an Encyclical … to keep with tradition!

      81

      • #
        tom0mason

        EyesWideOpen,

        Agreed, like so much from the IPCC — biodiversity studies, weather studies, and climate reports, etc., natural variation is neither properly studied, nor allowed to be fully reported.

        60

    • #
      Tedo

      Because there’s no money in it

      20

  • #
    TdeF

    It means rapid change was common in the ancestry of these fish, as you conclude. The swap between fresh water and salt water, acid and alkali must be part of the evolutionary history of most fish. What scares Green voters is that they do not want any change at all. These are the people against everything, even a slight and uncontrollable increase in CO2. They do not want to be selected against. It is not about the future of man, it is about them. They are the people against everything, all change, natural or not.

    Yes, fish survive but they are not exactly the same fish. That is their point. Greens fear nuclear waste, war, loss of power, loss of food supply, everything. They have a vision of a primitive Eden among the flowers and trees, frolicking with their wooden iPhones and bamboo bicycles while munching on lentils from China. That is why all the ultra expensive windmills are built in places which do not need them, like South Australia. Desalination plants too. Neither are switched on. Meanwhile they protest to stop all mining and farming and manufacturing so they can survive on twice the GST of Western Australia with the same population, because they are now so needy. They need compensation. So you have HG Wells’ evil Morlocks of WA prepared to work hard to develop their resources and the elfin Eloi of South Australia. Now multiply this by a world. Do the Greens care about pollution and CO2 in China or India? No.

    What is terrible for most Australians is that these swinging Green voters are so driving our politicians that the traditional voters on both sides are being disenfranchised. Voters no longer choose a Prime Minister, whether Rudd or Abbott. Voters no longer get a say in whether we have a carbon tax or ETS. All this is decided behind closed doors by politicians, all looking after themselves and their careers.

    Perhaps it would be better to halve the pay of politicans, so we only had people who wanted to do the job, not plan to retire to the luxury at the UN like Clarke, Rudd, Gillard, Bishop and Turnbull, having bought their places in the politicians’ version of heaven. Now our faux PM Turnbull is talking about putting race in the Constitution to right the great wrong of a race free constitution where all men are created equal. When did Australia vote for this? Just like Bob Brown’s Labor party of 2010, could we, the people of Australia please have our elected government back?

    Could both side of politics start listening to the electorate, not pandering to the Greens and the UN? We are the threatened species, the voters. With their windmills, hot rocks, no new dams, no nuclear power, no mining, no coal, high priced electricity, no refineries, plummeting currency and no manufacturing we will soon be a fragile totally dependent and fragile species while the hardworking Chinese buy up the place and we serve drinks. Global Warming is a crock. We have wasted all the money from the long mining development and we are heading to an annual deficit of $50Bn a year, 10% of our total income while the power is being turned off and the refineries and factories closed. Bring back Tony Abbott and elect a non Green Senate which is prepared to reduce the size of government. We do not need a 50% jump in GST to pay for more government and reduce CO2. 98% comes from overseas anyway. Perhaps we should worry about the fish too and stop commercial fishing and remove all the locks on the Murray? Does any other species self destruct entirely through politics?

    493

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      TdeF:

      Don’t forget that SA ‘sells’ REC’s to the rest of Australia, without which cash flow those wind turbines would not be built.

      And since they do work on occasions it is not the wind turbines that are not switched on, it is the SA government. However with the closure of the remaining conventional electricity generation in the next 18 months followed by the inevitable blackouts, I predict another case of rapid evolution.

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    • #

      It means rapid change was common in the ancestry of these fish, as you conclude. The swap between fresh water and salt water, acid and alkali must be part of the evolutionary history of most fish.

      yes but a long long time ago. What is not reported here are lab experiments that have defined tolerance limits and potential for breeding tolerance. Unfortunately the “evolutionary potential” or the “heritability of traits” are not in favour of this for many fish. What is also not reported are the many wipe outs of fish populations plus extinctions of entire species in fresh water systems due to various forms of pollution.

      025

      • #

        What is also not reported are the many wipe outs of fish populations plus extinctions of entire species in fresh water systems due to various forms of pollution.

        Pollution is and always has been a completely separate issue, and any decent person would support any initiative to counter pollution. However, when did the giver and sustainer of life on Earth (CO2) become a pollutant?

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      • #
        Stephen Garland

        Very true. I believe they fed all of the data from the studies on evolutionary potential and breeding tolerance into a computer model to predict the development of life on earth. It still crashes at protozoa, but they’re working on it. Gee Aye, you should give them a hand. By the way, which Dunning-Kruger type are you? Remember which ever one you think you are, you’re actually the opposite.

        20

        • #

          I’m the publishing evolutionary biologist type. What about you?

          02

          • #
            Stephen Garland

            I’m the type with a poor publishing record.

            I have a question for you Professor. Given 10 generations of selective pressure, is phenotypic change alone enough to prove that a laboratory population has evolved?

            10

            • #
              Gee Aye

              I don’t know the answer to that because “phenotypic change” is not quantified and the data not evident in your statement. Did you have something specific in mind or if you have a general question could you flesh it out? I’ve experienced enough instances of “gotcha” when I think I am rounding to an honest question only to find that the vague wording was a trap.

              00

              • #
                Stephen Garland

                But the “gotcha” is your speciality.

                I was reading a paper on sexual selection in mice. The study involved control and treatement lines (housed in the same facility and conditions) where females were either mated with one male or with three males to see if post-copulatory sexual selection (i.e. in the lines with multiple matings) produced evolutionary changes to the male genitalia (length, width, shape). Would it be justified to say that an observed increase in width after 27 generations of post-copulatory selection (not 10 as I previously and mistakenly said) was evidence for evolution?

                I suggest that unless there was evidence of genetic change (i.e. mutations) you could not rule out epigenetic changes to gene expression which would not be classified as evolution. What do you think?

                00

              • #
                Gee Aye

                Your question is a valid one and you’ve raised the question I’d have asked. Did the study examine the persistence of the trait once the selective conditions were relaxed in the treatment lines?

                One point to note about your genetic comment is that, even if you threw the genomics book at the problem (and this will change in the future I am sure), is that a polygenic, additive genetic response is out of reach of direct genetic analysis.

                00

              • #
                Stephen Garland

                Thanks for the response Gee Aye. The authors did not examine the persistence of the trait in this case (i.e. by removing the selective pressure). However the authors had demonstrated in the study, and in other studies, that 1 or 2 generations of sexual selection was enough to produce morphological changes. Knowing this, simply removing the selective pressure for a few generations would not be enough to demonstrate anything if only phenotypic data were collected. This really highlights the error in using only morphological changes to prove evolution, and for the work under question, highlights the lack of power in their experiment

                I agree that the identification of the actual genetic causes is unrealistic. Some assessment of changes to genetic diversity and heterozygosity would have been easily achievable (e.g. SSR , AFLP, SNP analysis, ) and in my opinion essential. The authors could have been lucky and identified a unique genetic marker but this may or may not have been linked with the phenotypic change. It would at least provide some evidence of possible genetic association. In addition the identification of loss of gene diversity would have at least indicated some genetic affect of the sexual selection (e.g. possibly on linked genomic regions). I would not describe the loss of genetic diversity as evidence that treatment lines had evolved. The word ‘evolved’ could simply mean change but it also implies that evolution has occurred (as in the theory of evolution) and therefore the study looks more important than it is. I would therefore limit evidence of loss of genetic diversity to the possibility that sexual selection had occurred.

                Given the discovery that epigenetic changes to human sperm can be passed to children, it is quite possible that epigenetic changes in the sperm of the mice under sexual selection (polygamy) were totally produced by non-genetic changes. (Wild hypothetical suggestions of causes e.g. epigenetic changes to the sperm of one male mouse after exposure to another’s ejaculate or alternatively in the fertilized egg under sexual selection) It could simply be an adaptive mechanism in response to changes in population density that affect fecundity in some way or fertilization success rates for males in general (increased polygamy equals good conditions and time for higher fecundity, increased polyandry stimulates changes to an individual male to increase it’s chance to fertilize an egg)

                Given that there was no genetic evidence and the distinct possibility that the cause of increased thickness was non-genetic, can the authors state they have proof of evolution by sexual selection? I would say no! I suggest that epigenetically produced phenotypic change unassociated with a specific genotype is not evolution, just an adaptive response.

                I think there is justification for a letter to the editor of the publishing Journal. What do you think?

                00

              • #
                Gee Aye

                People still do AFLPs? You must be of my vintage… Sorry that was not a good use of my time. Am not in a position to easily answer atm. I’sm not sure what help I could give. I could not appraise detail in any argument involving epigenetics due to my own knowledge, but also I don’t know, from what you’ve written, how they have excluded other possibilities to come to their conclusion.

                If you contact the authors, other experts, the editors etc and don’t think you’ve had a good hearing, the next step is a big grind to produce a counter paper or even a detailed blog post.

                00

              • #
                Gee Aye

                Quick question… What d you think that neutral markers for estimating changes in variation will achieve

                00

              • #
                Stephen Garland

                I thought I had contacted the author Gee Aye! Back to the drawing board!

                SSRs are a bit old school as well (at least for model organisms)!

                You must be on your last legs as a publishing evolutionary biologist if you’re not up with epigenetics. Some say, using common garden experimental designs removes all the need to worry about epigenetic factors. I would have to disagree with that belief.

                You’ve got my number though, a counter paper sounds like too much hard work.

                Dear readers, just in case my ideas in the previous post are novel and of value I want to officially announce my hypotheses.

                1) Polyandry and the mixing of ejaculate in mice promotes epigenetic modifications in sperm that produce intergenerational changes to genital morphology and reproductive fitness of individuals and tends to stabilise genetic diversity in high density populations.

                2) Polygyny in mice increases fecundity through epigenetic modifications of the egg and promotes increased population growth under good environmental conditions (i.e. a positive feed back system with increased polygyny).

                If used please reference these two blog posts, otherwise send money.

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              • #
                Gee Aye

                Thanks for the lesson on behavioural ecology! I’ve published on mating systems myself.

                Just to clarify, I am “up” with epigenetics but, and you will find this with a huge proportion of people who label themselves evolutionary biologists, that dos not mean I would feel confident advising on the worthiness of a letter to an editor critiquing that particular specialisation.

                00

              • #
                Gee Aye

                Oh… I just looked at the paragraph headings having only read the first part of your post and assumed you were giving definitions to the two terms.

                In point 1 did you mean competition in the ejaculate? How would you test 2?

                00

              • #
                Stephen Garland

                Neutral markers could be linked to genes under selection and any loss of genetic diversity (compared to the controls or relative to what you could expect to lose by chance given the breeding plan) would suggest that some form of selection may have occurred. Some sort of polymorphism screening system (I’m not up with the new technologies) with whole genome coverage would ensure the sampling of linked markers.

                I was not thinking about competition between sperm in the ejaculate, but possibly some sort of non-self recognition between sperm.

                Assessing Point 2: I haven’t thought that far ahead it was just wild speculation. I am not familiar with the literature; I have only read a few papers from one research group. My background is predominantly in PCR based diagnostics (frog chytrid) and marker development (plant breeding- rice, tomato), with a brief stint in medical research (cell culture and small scale gene expression). You should have no trouble finding my papers if interested (JCU, QDPI, SCU). I haven’t worked in research for about five years.

                If you are genuinely interested I’ll put some thought into point 2. I hope I have given you at least a little doubt about your abilities to define the truth. I am asking you to come to this blog with humility, an open objective mind, and respect for others.

                Cheers Gee Aye
                Happy Christmas.

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                Stephen Garland

                Quick suggestion for Point 2: Intergeneration study using an inbred line, single and multiple matings without plug removal, measure fecundity. epigenetic analysis (e.g. ChIP) of eggs after mating/s and simulated mating/s.

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              Gee Aye

              Rounding is “responding” due to an overactive spell check and my typo

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      PeterPetrum

      A rant, TdF, but a bl**dy good one! I agree with everything you said in it. I know TA did some silly things that did not help his ‘image’ with the meeja, but at least he was on the right track with some very important issues, covered in your piece above. I would love to have him back, the LNP would have won the next election anyway, and he would have had a mandate to ease off on CO2 emission reduction and we could gradually have got our sanity back. Not going to happen now!

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        TdeF

        Thanks. The media are the problem, pushing their favorite subjects like gay marriage, which is just not a problem for 99% of Australians and not even a request of the small gay population while the brutal mass murder of gay people in Syria does not rate a mention. Gays can get a civil union today. Why do they need a church wedding? Why should a priest be charged with an offence for refusing to agree?

        As for Tony’s alleged blunders, I read in these pages that the palace formally requested an award for 94 year old Prince Phillip as recognition of a lifetime of service. That seems fair even if pointless from the country of Sir Elton John. A political mistake yes and it seemed harmless enough and no award was given, to Prince Phillip or anyone else.

        However in the press, Abbott was attacked as a madman when the average observer knows that is nonsense. Only now are people starting to see that they had a very good PM and now debts are rocketing, taxes are rocketing and we are handing out billions overseas when our interest on borrowed money is flying past $20Bn a year and this with a coalition government! Now the boats are starting again and just watch as Malcolm introduces his ETS, ably supported by UN aspirant Bishop.

        I was intrigued when Ian Macfarlane was pictured yesterday as a traitor and a man who put ambition above public duty. This by Turnbull and Bishop who demand total loyalty or else? What arrogant hypocrisy. Malcolm is tearing a good government apart, now with the support of the Nationals, if only by a few votes again and don’t the left media love it! How can we expect science to be respected when the voters of Australia and scientists are being totally ignored by the press and subservient politicans who care more about the press than the people. Who cares what Tim Flannery thinks? We want our elected government back.

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          TdeF

          Really, when Malcolm Turnbull just promised a $1Bn donation overseas, as a banker he does realise we are borrowing this money from overseas and to buy his Carbon Credits we print truckloads of IOUs in the form of Bonds as guarantees? Isn’t that a huge conflict of interest for a banker? With $1.5Bn a month in interest payments alone, it is just more funny money.

          We did not elect Malcolm, but he is spending our money like water, money we do not have. More cash to the CSIRO and BOM and ABC. Now he wants to increase taxes on superannuation, increase State taxes by 50% and tax child care and bring back a carbon tax where we send the money to bankers overseas? Even tax the family home? When was this part of the platform at the last election? These are real Captain’s picks, rule by unelected PM, not even by the parliament. His answer is that we have to be ‘agile’ and ‘innovate’? How does that pay the bills again? It isn’t about the survival of the species. It is about our very survival as a prosperous country and our self sufficiency which is vanishing rapidly.

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            Amen to that! It just goes to show how much of a paper tiger Australian ‘democracy’ is though right? We have no mass protests at what was obviously a coup, but when the average Aussie can’t afford beer or a football ticket, then watch their concern, but of course that doesn’t happen until the future, so Turnbull can sell us out all he wants in the meantime whist Shorten lines up behind him to give the old one-two punch, whilst the Greens laugh like hyenas from their third party cover position. We are right royally screwed!

            And think of the irony of Tony Abbott being the only monarchist, who gave the meaningless knighthood to Prince Philip, co-founder of the WWF, and father of the ‘green’ Prince Charles, who is like Tim Flannery with a crown!!! Maybe the debate is in fact over in Australia, because they had our deck stacked a very long time ago, and our ‘democratic’ system is probably more of a farce than any other Anglosphere country. Was Tony Abbott pandering to the constructed zeitgeist in order to keep Australia out of the grips of the UN? We will never know, but Julie Bishop’s knives were well thrown, and she’ll get a shiny blue seat at the UN just like Rudd.

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      OriginalSteve

      The general public wont “get it” until they lose power regularly or their aged parents die during an operation because the hospital generator doesnt kick in properly during a regular ( now 3rd world conditions ) power outage occurs yet again….

      All the public see is the MSM handwringing propganda about CAGW, but it wont sink until until they cant buy beer or worse, the bottlos fridge is off becasue of the monsterous price of ( unreliable ) power.

      The sock pupper pollies will stand up and tell everyone they have to make sacrifices to “save the planet”….a rerun of the infamous “the recession we had to have”…..conicidentally also at the hands of leftists….

      “It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere” – Voltaire.

      “Those who can make you believe absurdities can also make you commit attrocities” – Voltaire.

      And right now, the 2nd quote bothers me the most….

      “I was just following orders…”

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      Does any other species self destruct entirely through politics?

      I’m sure that if Endoparasites could vote, they’d all vote for a free lunch too, but there’s no need to formalize something that is inbuilt in their design.

      I’ve come to the conclusion after attempting to coexist as a Greenpeace member when younger, that the swinging Greens are actually a new form of blood parasite. I wouldn’t mind if they were symbiotic, if they were actually interested in human existence on planet earth, but they mostly are actually more akin to a death cult. Sustainable Development is just code speak for No Development to the vast majority of them, because there is no technological inertia forwards, just backwards to windmills which kill all the birds.

      There is no critical thinking in this mob, in fact, in order to be accepted as one of their own, you have to have a clinically induced form of double-think. Socialists avidly supporting the creation of the biggest monopoly capitalist market ever – Carbon Credits and Derivatives – can only be explained as a double-think mass movement. People such as Malcolm ‘Goldsachs’ Turnbull, are laughing all the way to the bank at the zombie hoard they have helped to create with their donations and support of the ‘green’ movement (a capital investment in a double-think movement).

      Back in the late 1990′s and early 2000′s there were still a few people who volunteered for Greenpeace who were decent, but the hard core socialist minded ones were technocrats and authoritarians through and through; these were the ones who were elevated into the inner sanctum. No skepticism is allowed in the inner sanctum, it is a heresy. They spent all their time talking about ALL industry indiscriminately as the great evil, but celebrated whenever the monetary donations from certain industry, or industry funded groups, increased.

      There is only one word for this functionality, and that is parasite. Add to this the infiltration of this crooked ‘science’ and outright public policy bias into primary schools and high schools, and we have a BORG scenario on our hands: “We are the Borg. Your biological and technological distinctiveness will be added to our own. Resistance is futile.” … the developing minds of younger children are the real target though. Controlling early development of children is key because the resistance is far less after the mind is won to the cause.

      Resistance is Futile, should be the slogan of the Greens, who seem now to have infected the Labor and Liberal parties almost critically. Our country is being suicided.

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    David S

    I wonder how many billions of dollars had to be transferred to developing nations to save these fish?

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    A good Article……more evidence against these increasingly lame predictions that the the greens come up with, i.e that AGM will cause acidification of the oceans that will in turn deplete the planet of oxygen. How ridiculous.
    This sort of propaganda by the Green Blobs needs to be dealt with though. At the moment, If you google search “climate change skeptics websites” and associated articles like this one, Google comes up with a list of skeptics sites and links to skeptic articles etc. as expected, but with the following disturbing bias.
    Right at the top of the list on the first page of results on all Google searches that involve the word “climate or related words, you get the following link to a AGM indoctrination site (complete with Al Gore etc etc) in No. 1 position and other ad links to sites like Goldman Sachs on Climate Change, as No.2. 3 etc. even though you are not searching for these subjects.
    Well hello, I didn’t Google search “Climate Change thought indoctrination” or “speeches by Al Gore”, I Googled “climate change skeptic websites” and this is what I got!

    The Climate Crisis – ClimateRealityProject.org‎

    This unwanted Google link urges you to “Watch the two hour presentation and get involved. Sign our petition” it says. With all the usual AGW garbage, this “Climate Crisis” site pushes the lie that the Paris climate talks are a huge success and other things like the planet will be depleted from oxygen. This link comes up everywhere, regardless of your search criteria, because it is a sponsored advertisement link (as is the Goldman Sachs and other similar links that pop up everywhere). Googling the words “global warming scam” will even bring up this site as number one on the search result list! This is disturbing when it is not in the search criteria that you entered. It shows that the AGW crowd obviously figure that if you tell a lie to enough people enough times with a blanket approach, even the skeptics, a percentage of those people will eventually accept the lie as fact.

    This shows just how much the AGW thought engineers are well and truly out there in full force using every trick available to promote their emotional baggage.
    If all this one sided AGW indoctrination is to be offset by truth for a change as presented in this article about the adaptation of fish, groups who are trying to expose the fallacious arguments behind anthropogenic global warming need to offset this type of search engine manipulation. They need to figure out how to bring respectable real science, exposing the AGW scam, to viral levels of penetration, in the same way as the climate change opportunists put their stuff out by optimising the search engines.

    Sponsored links to skeptic articles like this blog site explaining the real facts and genuine science behind climate need to appear at the top of search results lists in an optimized way. Can something be done about this to get the truth and facts behind climate to appear more prominently……putting great articles like this latest one, out there to the masses on a more viral scale? Are enough people reading them?

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    Greg Cavanagh

    I believe some sharks can spend time up a fresh water river too. Not sure what time frames are involved.

    As a side note: I work as a civil designer for a council, and on several occasions we’ve needed to push through a connecting road between two locations. Naturally we get an environmental assessment report done. So far, we’ve encountered a unique species of grass, frog, lizard, plant, that only exists in this small 300m radius location. This has happened so many times that I’m now of the opinion that every 300m you’ll find a unique something that only exists at that location. (I’m over it.)

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      Of course none of these unique species have ever been discovered until plans for some form of development are proposed.

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        Graeme No.3

        A geiger counter is an instrument that discovers radioactive substances and unique species.

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          Robk

          As does a development application of any sort. A number of times here in West Aust.rare plants have had to be delisted after they were found to be relatively common. One can only guess how much development has been needlessly thwarted by poor science masquerading as good science. The precautionary principle reigns supreme at the Department of Environmental Regulations.
          Most occurrences of listed plants seem to be along roads and anywhere there is development. It is understandable because the bush itself in many places is full of prickles, ticks and snakes.

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      Aaron M

      Saltwater crocs are going further and further up the roper river into the freshwater areas.

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        Greg Cavanagh

        An old zoo at Rockhampton got flooded out many years ago and all the crocks floated out. They now inhabit the fresh water swamps just to the west of town.

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          I lived in Townsville in the late 80s and heard that same thing happening in Townsville. I never did find out whether it was factual or not, so it could have been a tall tale. That said, a four metre or so crock was captured in McKay that same year and it filled the back of the flat bed truck in the news photo.

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            Dave

            A few questions

            The Saltwater Croc is present over most of QLD
            I lived in Townsville mid 60′s

            There were crocs then in the Ross River near the meat works at Rosslea

            But read this report “saltwater crocodiles cannot drink saltwater

            Up to the 1st weir – there was no fresh water at all in the Ross River.

            Is this true
            “saltwater crocodiles cannot drink saltwater”?

            Hard to find details

            But ABC says Climate Change is forcing Saltwater Crocs up rivers in search of fresh water?

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              Raven

              But ABC says Climate Change is forcing Saltwater Crocs up rivers in search of fresh water?

              Sydney Morning Herald has a story saying:

              Saltwater crocodiles may move south to flee warmer water

              Saltwater crocodiles, considered to be one of the most resilient species in Australia, have a weakness that could force them to migrate to southern waters, research from the University of Queensland has found.
              []
              UQ School of Biological Sciences Professor Craig Franklin and University of Queensland PhD student Essie Rodgers exposed juvenile saltwater crocodiles to long-term elevated water temperatures and found they spent less time submerged in water the warmer the water became.
              []
              “However, we were surprised to find they had little capacity to compensate for water temperature changes and seemed to be hard-wired to operate at certain temperatures.”
              []
              The water temperatures used in the research ranged from 28 degrees celsius, reflective of current summer temperatures, up to 35 degrees celsius, the potential water temperature levels expected in extreme climate change models.

              Really? . . so they cooked the crocodiles alive and then wondered why they were affected by temperature?
              I don’t recall even the IPCC suggesting a 7ºC rise in ocean temps.

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      Leonard Lane

      And salmon.

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    el gordo

    Humans are best at adaptation, because of our superlative brain we can live practically anywhere on this planet and are now venturing beyond. At this early stage nobody is mooting genetic changes over the next half century.

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      King Geo

      Surely “our superlative brain” doesn’t apply to the CAGW alarmists, especially the Greenies. Their brains are far from superlative – I will leave it up to others on this fine blog to describe this sub-species of Homo Sapiens (clue: genus – Homo, species – sapiens, sub-species – ?).

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    Roy Hogue

    Will wonders never cease? Who would have thought life on Earth could adapt to changing conditions? Only the climate change skeptics I think. ;-)

    Actually, according to some reading I did recently there’s ample evidence that a genetic change might not be necessary. At least some human genes can have their influence modified by conditions encountered along the road from birth to the grave. An example of identical twins separated at birth by circumstances showed marked differences in one sister compared with the other. Neither had been mistreated or abused but their life’s paths and stresses were quite different. It seems that in childhood this kind of overriding of a genetically determined trait by circumstances must be fairly common.

    Of course if I’d known I would want the link to it later I could have saved it. Right? Dumb, huh!

    I did find a lot of stuff on the subject, of which this is one. But I didn’t find the one I remember reading.

    Anyway, the point is this. Do you suppose such a mechanism could have helped these fish along toward becoming able to live in fresh water? I’m no expert but 50 years seems very short for the process of “evolving” to have gotten it right so they could keep thriving as the water changed from salt to fresh.

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      Greg Cavanagh

      I understand some humans move from very cold climates to the Bahamas’s for holidays, without dyeing mind you. My grandparents moved from London to Australia around 80 years ago now. They came out on wooden sailing ships that (If memory serves) took about 6 months to get here.

      Unbelievably they survived the change in environment from Land, Ship (while traveling through the equatorial regions), and back to land in Australia.

      Adaptable is almost an understatement; some of the crazier ones go to extreme locations just for the fun of it.

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        Roy Hogue

        True, Greg. And some move from very low altitudes near sea level to high altitudes, 5 – 6,000 feet or more just for a vacation without even noticing the lower air density — even to the top of Pikes Peak at 14,440 feet above sea level and never die.

        I’ll never forget trying to square dance in Denver though. Once I started moving on the dance floor it became quickly evident that I was breathing much faster than I would at home. So I had to adapt right on the spot in real time. Isn’t life amazing? ;-)

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    PeterS

    A fish going from salt water to fresh water is not evolution – it’s adaptation. It’s still a fish! Many fish species today are able to adapt to both fresh water and salt water within their own lifetimes. This is not new.

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      Roy Hogue

      Many fish species today are able to adapt to both fresh water and salt water within their own lifetimes.

      True. The salmon is an example, hatched in fresh water, lives its entire life in salt water then returns to where it was hatched to spawn and die.

      I wonder if this is a case of adaptation or something built in genetically that allows them to flourish in both salt and fresh water as they need to change their environment.

      Are there any ichthyologists in the audience?

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        PeterS

        I wonder if this is a case of adaptation or something built in genetically that allows them to flourish in both salt and fresh water as they need to change their environment.

        It’s both actually. There are cases where one species will adapt from one environment to the other and back again over time. What’s happening is natural selection, which comes into action such that only the fish with the genes that allow them to survive in the alternate environment continue and proper, while the rest die off because the gene information that allowed them to survive in the alternative environment has already been removed by mutation and the like. As long as there is sufficient fish with the ability to survive in either environment, the whole process of adaptation can be reversed to the original environment. This kind of switching can be repeated indefinitely as long as there is sufficient fish with the ability to survive in both environment. It’s presumably possible that eventually there will not be enough, especially after a very long period and the species will no longer be able to adapt to the alternate environment. This is a good example of natural selection using existing information, not the generation of new information by some evolutionary process. Many people confuse the two as the same process but they are not.

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    Gary in Erko

    The first generation of saltwater fish, before evolving to suit the changed conditions, survived and bred in freshwater.

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    I can do anything to the environment that I like because I am a part of nature and life will adapt.

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      Roy Hogue

      Probably not. But you can do a lot that the so-called experts don’t like.

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      PeterS

      Anything? I don’t think so.

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        can so. Life will adapt.

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          PeterS

          Yes under certain circumstances but certainly not all. We would not survive an unexpected explosion of our Sun for example.

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          FACT: Biodiversity will be boosted by higher CO2.

          More CO2 means more plant (and coral) growth, and thus more food on the land and in the sea for the lower order creatures and plants. More lower order creatures and plants means more food for higher order creatures … rinse … repeat … much better for biodiversity.

          What does controlling CO2 emissions have to do with bio-diversity? ANSWER: The opposite of alarmist propaganda. Issues of deforestation, industrial waste, and environmental spills, are separate from CO2 emissions, and can be brought under control for a small fraction of the cost of funding a fraudulent carbon trading platform and/or a behemoth global bureaucracy which will only see growth opportunity in being inefficient; the primary definition of bureaucracy is to make more jobs for mates, not to achieve outcomes: Apparatchik growth is not a positive outcome.

          All this article is saying, is that a major bone of contention used by alarmists to discredit skeptics, is countered by short term natural adaptability, thus there is no need to be so alarmed in the first place. Is it politically correct to be alarmist, but politically incorrect to moderate emotional exchange based on scientific facts backed by actual observation rather than assumption?

          One thing this article DIDN’T say, is that you ‘can do anything to the environment that I like because I am a part of nature and life will adapt’.

          Thus, you infer that the largest problem with this article is that it is saying something that it is not, all the while ignoring by omission that the IPCC and alarmists ACTUALLY say things that are blatantly false!?! Or am I assuming too much about your passive aggressive tactic?

          Get a grip on your bias.

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      KinkyKeith

      Gee whiz, that’s a load of sad sarcasm.

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    Roger

    Salmon and sea trout accomodate the change routinely – spawned in fresh water, migrate to the sea and then later migrate back to rivers to spawn.

    Ditto european eels, spawned in the sargasso sea, cross the ocean before ascending rivers where they grow and mature – often crossing into and out of ponds to reach another water body through wet grass – on reaching maturity they return to the sea and thence to the sargasso sea to breed.

    Many species of estuarine fish move from salt to brackish to fresh water – often several times a day.

    Just another aspect of the adaptability of fish / aquatic life to different ph that has (carefully?) been ignored by the warmists claiming all fish life will disappear…..

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    Jo,

    I fear from the comments here already that the level of understanding of the implications of this study is very very low. In terms of balance but at the risk of being very dry, do you have any plans to inform your readers about the extensive research into quantitative genetics and the relationships between genotypic and phenotypic change during adaptive evolution. These suggest a wide range of responses and no study either in lab or in the field has ever seen an adaptive response to abrupt change do anything other than completely change an ecosystem.

    What you have done is the equivalent of saying, “my grandma lived to 90 and smoked all her life and therefore dot dot dot”. Pulling out one species that shows a particular response to environmental change does not prove anyone wrong unless they were saying something as stupid as “nothing will adapt everything will die”. I know you wouldn’t waste your time responding to such a statement. So what happened to all the other living things that were living in the same location prior to the water changing from salt to fresh? What was the rate of local extinction?

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      PeterS

      You sound like a politician.

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      ROM

      What you seem to totally overlook Gee Aye in any fixation you might have with the fate of any or even a set of species is that as soon as one of Nature’s niches are vacated through extinction of the former inhabitants or through a change in habitat and the local species move on to somewhere more salubrious from their point of view, another species or a whole range of species adapted to that niche’s new environment will immediately take over and fill that vacated natural niche.

      There seems to be very closely fitted set of blinkers [ blinkers of course severely restrict the vision of horses so as to very largely reduce the possibility of something suddenly appearing and scaring the horse with often severe consequences.] to anybody who supposes themselves as “environmentalists”supposedly caring for the environment”. usually from the A/C and/or heated offices and buildings somewhere in the precincts of a few millions population megapolis.

      They seem incapable of absorbing the fact that Nature is forever changing, often drastically the very things we like to believe are fixed for all time.

      And in fact it is ONLY through a set of extreme extinction events, five of them major global extinction events which wiped out most of and up to an estimated 96 % of the pre-extinction species on this planet in the case of the Permian Mass Extinction, that the niche was created that over some many tens of millions of years allowed our species, Homo sapiens to evolve and become so adaptable and so rise to the top of the food chain amongst the global species.

      Overlooked also is the extraordinary adaptability of mankind ourselves where we have adapted to just about every environment on this earth despite not having a protective covering of fur or scales or armour.
      Not having any inbuilt ability to defend ourselves with such weapons as beaks and claws and heavy powerful snouts nor a muscular arrangement to suffocate and swallow any prey.

      There is an extraordinary blindness by the environmentalists and in fact just about everybody including posters here on Jo’s blog to the rapid loss and extinction of the hundreds of thousands of species and sub types and sub species of ancient food plants and pasture plants that have been selected through the twelve thousand year long history of known agriculture.
      Plant types and sub types, Land Races as they are known in the plant breeding science sciences that have been selected by those ancient farmers over those thousands of years past.

      Food and pasture sub species were selected because they were observed to provide higher yields and better quality and disease and insect resistance in quite confined locations including such seemingly minor environmental differences as a couple of hundred metres difference in altitudes where they were grown.

      The worlds food and pasture crop scientists and breeders, the guys who are ultimately responsible for the fact that we are now feeding some 7.4 billions of humans on this Earth plus their animals and we now have the lowest percentage of hunger and famine ever in the human race’s history due to these scientists and plant breeders.
      These guys and gals have been in a race of more than fifty years to collect as many of these landrace crop and pasture species plus as many of the wild grasses and plants that were the original species from which the first farmers, probably the women folk, selected their plants for their seed and vegetative production.

      These old plant and even animal species and sub species and types both natural and human selected and bred plus many crop varieties bred over the last century have an immense number of genes in them that are extremely useful for giving our new varieties of plant food crops their resistance to disease and fungal infections and root infections plus many, many other essential to modern food production characteristics and quality parameters and yield increases and drought and frost and excess water tolerance, the list just goes on and on as anybody who has grown plants and livestock for a living will testify.

      Nowhere have I seen any sort of hand wringing or emotionalism displayed by any of the bloody do-gooer and basically quite ignorant environmentalists about the loss and the slow and sometimes rapid extinction of these ancient farmer selected and modern varieties plant breeder food crop types being lost together with their often quite unique gene set.
      Ensuring the feeding the growing global population by preserving the vast gene pool of mankind’s ancient farmer selected and the wild plant and grass ancestors of our food crops gene pools comes a very bad last to the supposed extinction of polar bears or some butterfly on some remote mountain top where they were quite likely to go extinct as the climate changes as it has always done.

      The ignorance and casuals dismissal of the real plant and animal gene pool factors by the greens and environmentalists and assorted climate alarmists, that have and are continuing to feed mankind and his animals is an almost criminal ignorance in itself.

      Arrogance, stupidity and utter ignorance are all dance partners when the greens and so called environmentalists start talking about extinctions and mankind’s role in those extinctions

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        What you seem to totally overlook Gee Aye in any fixation you might have with the fate of any or even a set of species is that as soon as one of Nature’s niches are vacated through extinction of the former inhabitants or through a change in habitat and the local species move on to somewhere more salubrious from their point of view, another species or a whole range of species adapted to that niche’s new environment will immediately take over and fill that vacated natural niche.

        to paraphrase me above… I can do anything to the environment because I am part of nature and life will adapt.

        I don’t think any of those things you mentioned are overlooked but it is you who overlooks or is ignorant of the vast amount of research into those things you think overlooked. Try looking.

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        btw all of your very long rant says nothing about my comment, which you might note, has some substance and presents a challenge. The paper Jo quotes is not unusual in any way (it is edited by John Avise ffs!) and the notable scientific interest is not the fact of the rapid adaptation but in the mode of it. Sticklebacks have some interesting biology and a heap of genomic and population data to support and refine studies of selection and change, and that is the reason it got into PNAS.

        So since Jo has not indulged me… what about you?

        So what happened to all the other living things that were living in the same location prior to the water changing from salt to fresh? What was the rate of local extinction? Is it relevant to Jo’s argument?

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          PeterS

          So what happened to all the other living things that were living in the same location prior to the water changing from salt to fresh? What was the rate of local extinction? Is it relevant to Jo’s argument?

          Certainly not all life that survives in salt water will survive in fresh water. Most fish in fact will not survive the change. There are only a small number of fish species that can survive in both. So going the other way, imagine the water increased in salinity to 95%. Would you expect any of the fish species to survive? Absolutely not. The Dead Sea has a salinity of about 35% and no fish live there.

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            glad someone understands and is not blown away by a singular example of survival in an otherwise devertated ecosystem.

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              Winston

              The point, gee aye, that you deliberately avoid in your usual intellectually dishonest fashion, is that the above example is incredibly abrupt in the aftermath of a massive earthquake, while any changes in CO2 of the order of a mere 3ppm pa, are far less abrupt. There is no reasonable expectation that rising atmospheric CO2 will produce any environmental change of any similar speed or magnitude that matches this abrupt change. It is presented by alarmists like you as a fait accompli that abrupt environmental changes will occur, mostly with the most bogus reasoning and tenuous evidence, and such instances as above highlight the extent to which we are unaware of just how adaptable various species might be in the time frames posited by rising CO2 and minor rises in atmospheric temperature, the latter of which that fails to rise above the level of statistical significance in ver the last nearly two decades.

              I wish you would apply the same degree of skepticism to both sides of the climate equation. Is that really too much to ask?

              And no, nobody believes we can do anything to the environment and species will adapt, that is a figment of you fevered imagination and your desperate desire to denigrate your betters.

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          Stephen Garland

          The marine organisms in the surrounding areas (not affected by the change) would have simply continued to exist.

          Show as your publication list Gee Aye! Go on!

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          Yonniestone

          Gee Aye you’d have to be one of the biggest pompous twats on this planet.

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          Robk

          Wouldnt that question be better directed to the people who did the study. Presumably they were there to measure the place up. In that sense perhaps it’s only half a study. The fish must be relying on something as a food source.

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      TdeF

      You seemed to have missed the point of the original study entirely. Personally I have a great fondness for stories of the stickleback which was a favorite of behavioral scientists, at least when I studied ecology.

      In this particular case the authors have proven quite remarkably and simply that genetic memory exists of previous changes in salinity and this permits very rapid adaption. This is quite fascinating, as it shows that DNA has a memory which prevents species extinction and facilitates rapid adaption. No it is not about whether this is generally the case. It is just that it is true in this one case and therefore possibly true in many cases.

      So of the current scares about salinity, acidity, CO2 levels, this experiment in genetics is telling us that it has all happened before and that this is so common that rapid adaption is in the order of decades, only a few generations, not millenia or millions of years. Why you bang about arguments which are not being made is not understandable.

      Having established that you have no knowledge of school level chemistry, mathematics or physics, you now claim to be “As a biologist, you and I and all other biologists, ecologist etc” a biologist and ecologist? There is no detectable scientific argument in your reasoning but at least no one has been labelled stupid today. Feel free to read and learn, but please stay off the personal abuse.

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      ghl

      “So what happened to all the other living things that were living in the same location prior to the water changing from salt to fresh? What was the rate of local extinction?”
      Best question yet.

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      Presumably, because the fish also didn’t die, the food chain was also intact, meaning that the rest of the aquatic environment was quite fine with the change and adapted, creating an equally viable ecosystem. Just because the scientists were studying the fish, doesn’t mean that its only the fish that adapted in short order. If a tree falls in the woods and nobody is around, does it make a sound? They were only studying the fish, which also had to eat I presume.

      This proves that the higher order creatures can adapt WITHOUT evolution to major changes, because they already carry/retain the ability in their genomes. Is this the same for other important aquatic bio-organisms? Don’t expect to see any funding grants for anymore of these studies soon, because the CAGW machine will recognize the threat, and kill such lines of inquiry by diverting such funds to waste study areas that can only be used to prove or maintain the fraudulent theory of slow adaptability.

      One of the main tenets of CAGW alarmist logic when attacking ‘deniers’ who bring up paleo-climate (if they have the guts to even talk about it), is that the current CO2 increase is too fast compared with historical CO2 spikes – which is actually false – known as the system shock defense of CAGW.

      This evidence is just a single case-in-point for why the system shock defense, whilst sounding plausible, is greatly exaggerated, like most CAGW mantras. As far as I can see, Jo’s commentary in the article never even tried to infer that ALL swift changes in environmental variables are categorically true in this regard:

      Jo’s article: And some people think a man-made “ocean acidication” that’s smaller than this and slower, will devastate the ocean.

      Smaller … and slower … and still alkaline I might add, because unless it sinks below neutral it is not classified as ‘acid’, and not even the IPCC claims that the ocean WILL become an ACID, because this is impossible due to the chemical composition (salt) … they just take advantage of the fact that movements on the scale towards acid can be called ‘acidification’: Taking advantage of the mutability of language is probably a 101 course at the IPCC before admittance is granted.

      Less Alkaline becomes Acidification
      Warming becomes Change
      Skeptic becomes Denier
      Cherry Picking becomes Consensus
      Heresy becomes Big Oil Money
      No Energy becomes Green Energy
      Wind Mill becomes Cutting Edge Technology
      Load Power becomes A Future Innovation (a Unicorn)
      Bankruptcy becomes Sustainability
      Creating Poverty becomes Helping Poor People

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    jeff in Canada

    Along the same lines here, one has to look at the polar bears. They evolved over time from brown bears and have over time been very successful in their adaptations. Of course there are those folks who don’t want to hear this as their gravy train would come to an end. Polar bears have survived periods like the MWP.. Funny how they managed to do this without us! We as humans did them a huge favour in the 50′s by introducing better management practices, as well. Current numbers show this. Check out polarbearscience.com for additional information.

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    ROM

    Ocean acidification:

    Where Humanity’s CO2 goes; [ ?? ]

    Source ; Alarmist promoting CO2 Now .org

    Annual emissions. 2010;

    [ edit; As with all such numbers of both emissions and source sinks, these following numbers are the output of models and are entirely subject to the assumptions adopted by the modellers and the inherent biases and the very large levels of ignorance by the modellers and climate science of both the sources of CO2 emissions and the global sinks for CO2.]
    ———–
    Where the annual CO2 emissions go ; ie the global sinks for CO2 emmissions

    .
    Atmosphere ; — 50% ; — 18.4 billion metric tonnes

    Land ; ——– — 26% ; — – 9.5 billion metric tonnes

    Oceans;—- ——–24%; ——8.8 billion metric tonnes

    ———–
    a / One cubic meter of sea water weighs approximately 1.1 tonnes

    b / One cubic kilometre contains One billion cubic meters

    = 1000 x 1000 x 1000 cubic metres.
    = 1000,000,000, x 1.1 tonne per Cubic metre

    One cubic kilometre = 1.1 billion tonnes of sea water.

    c / Global ocean volume = approx; 1.3 billion cubic kilometres; [ 1,300,000,000 cubic Kms ]
    . . [ Sydney Harbor volume = 0.56 cubic kilometres ]

    ————–

    Therefore;
    .
    8,800,000,000 [ billion ] tonnes of CO2 per annum

    is supposed to acidify

    1.430,000,000,000,000,000 [ quintillion ] tonnes of sea water;

    ie;

    Very roughly, the amount of CO2 supposedly taken up by the global oceans each year has the same effect on ocean acidification as putting about 40 kgs of “Dry Ice” [ frozen CO2 ] into the 0.56 cubic kilometre volume of Sydney Harbor waters once a year.

    [ as my 65 year old high school maths is very, very rusty , somebody might like to check my calculation above and provide corrections if needed. ]

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      TdeF

      This distribution of CO2 in the biosphere was the basis for the famous Bern diagram, which predicts a quite different C14 decay curve and is demonstrably wrong.

      No from what happened to C14 after the atom bombs, there is only one sink with a half life of 14 years. This is the ocean. The only way proponents of Global Warming can justify this distribution is to discount most of the ocean’s ability to absorb CO2 by arguing that the deep oceans do not play a part because deep ocean currents take a thousand years to mix. There is no reason to believe this is true for dissolved gases, especially CO2 which is particularly soluble at pressure. As noted in previous comments by a marine geologist on these pages CO2 plumes come from the ocean bottom, as do hydrocarbons.

      Even better, AGW proponents struggle to explain why heat created by increased CO2 would go selectively into the oceans when the far simpler explanation is that the oceans heat and release CO2. It is agreed that 98% of all free gaseous CO2 is dissolved in the ocean like a giant coke bottle 3.4Km deep on average across 2/3 of the planet, so this is a very obvious conclusion and never mentioned.

      In fact all through AGW, logic is regularly inverted like this, twisting it to make CO2 the culprit and then Western democratic industrial society the sole villain. Physical chemistry laws like Henry’s law of gaseous equilibrium are just ignored and very deliberately. In fact our best efforts can barely touch CO2 levels because all the CO2 we generate is just sucked into the oceans. That is a good thing but who could afford to admit it in Paris? $1,000,000,000,000 a year is spent on fixing a non problem. Who can afford that to stop?

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    An obvious example in Australia is the mangrove jack. Will thrive in a freshwater garden pond if you feed it. (But don’t put it in with Koi or similar – you’ll just end up with one very large jack.)

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      the Koi should have adapted.

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        AndyG55

        you haven’t.. you are still a fool… or maybe that is your adaptation.

        You may as well be a fool, because you have nothing else to offer.

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          Greg Cavanagh

          Adaption; you might be on to something AndyG55.

          Gee has found a niche which is not currently occupied anyone or anything (no competition), so has adapted to this niche and guards it fiercely.

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        Stephen Garland

        You have something there Geigh Aye. You could apply for a grant. After looking at your blog (linked to your pseudonym) I think you will need some help writing the proposal. Wasn’t that a coincidence, the only people commenting on your blog were also called Gee Aye. Maybe Jo could find someone at the University of Western Australia to provide assistance with your writing. I see you mentioned that you worked with Marlene Zuk many years ago, that must have given you some experience. Anyway, time to sit back and relax knowing that it is almost Christmas and that you have presented your true self on this blog for the world to see.

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    pat

    India obviously believes its people will adapt.
    although McKinley put out a Press Release on 14 Dec, only the Indian Press have picked it up.
    why don’t we have a single politician in Australia, who is willing to put out a similar statement?

    15 Dec: EconomicTimesIndia: PTI: Paris deal window dressing as India to double coal production
    Citing India’s announcement to double its coal production by 2020, an influential US lawmaker today alleged that the Paris agreement on climate change is just a “window dressing” in the absence of mandatory
    targets for reduction in carbon emissions.
    “The ink on the agreement is barely dry, and India has already indicated it will continue with plans to double coal production by 2020. Developing countries like China and India will continue to need affordable energy as they grow, and no agreement can change that,” Congressman David McKinley (R-W.Va) said.
    In a statement, McKinley alleged that the Obama administration deliberately shaped the agreement to circumvent Congress because it knows this plan wouldn’t stand a chance of approval.
    “The agreement could not be ratified as a treaty, because Congress will not go along with a policy to move away from coal and natural gas and hurt our economy, increase energy prices, and destroy jobs in the
    process,” he said.
    “As the public reads through the Paris climate agreement they will understand that it is simply window dressing”…
    “It appears to be more about President Obama’s desire to embellish his legacy than making a tangible difference in global temperatures,” the lawmaker said…READ ON
    http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/paris-deal-window-dressing-as-india-to-double-coal-production/articleshow/50191583.cms

    15 Dec: OregonLive: Rich Lowry: Climate make-believe in Paris: Rich Lowry
    The fact is that Paris is very meta. The agreement is about the agreement, never mind what’s in it or what its true legal force is — namely, nil…
    India still wants to double its output of coal by 2020. As The Guardian put it, India “says coal provides the cheapest energy for rapid industrialization that would lift millions out of poverty.” India would be correct…
    It speaks to a naive belief in the power of global shame over the sheer economic interest of developing countries in getting rich (and lifting countless millions out of poverty) through exploiting cheap energy — you know, the way Western countries have done for a couple of centuries.
    If this is the best hope of the climate alarmists, their global campaign will be a welcome fizzle. All things considered, it probably is best that they occupy themselves with grand meetings and with the exertions attendant to believing their own PR. Otherwise they could do real damage.
    http://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2015/12/climate_make-believe_in_paris.html

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    pat

    11 Dec: Bloomberg: China’s Wind Companies Decline on Pessimism Caused by Idle Power
    Wind-related stocks led by Xinjiang Goldwind Science & Technology Co. and Concord New Energy Group Ltd. extended losses in Hong Kong trading as analysts sounded a warning about idled capacity in China.
    Goldwind, China’s largest wind turbine maker, declined as much as 14 percent to HK$11.36 and traded at HK $11.52 as of 3:28 p.m. local time. Concord, a Chinese wind-farm operator, fell as much as 11 percent, while China High Speed Transmission Equipment Group Co., another wind-power equipment maker, lost 9 percent…
    Record installations ahead of planned cuts in wind power prices may exacerbate the situation next year, he said.
    The wind power output of the nation’s biggest project developer, China Longyuan Power Group Corp Ltd., plunged 7.5 percent in November, the largest decline in 14 months, according to Bloomberg Intelligence…
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-12-11/china-s-wind-companies-decline-on-pessimism-caused-by-idle-power

    some data is more of a concern than CAGW data itself:

    15 Dec: Council on Foreign Relations: Elizabeth C. Economy: China and Climate Change: Three Things to Watch After Paris
    The Data Dilemma: I know it is boring to hear about the problems with Chinese statistics yet again, but actually addressing climate change, not simply pledging to do so, requires accurate reporting of such
    things as coal consumption or renewable energy use.
    When considering China’s adoption of renewable energies, for example, it is important to distinguish between existing capacity and actual deployment of that capacity in electricity production. The International Renewable Energy Agency published a report in 2014 that suggests a significant discrepancy between the two due to factors such as electricity pricing, lack of grid interconnectivity among the three national electric grids, technical concerns over such things as the intermittency of wind power, and the continued priority given to coal companies in power production. In 2012, for example, 22 percent of installed wind power was running idle…
    In one sample test comparing the Chinese method with an internationally-recognized method of accounting, the team discovered that the Chinese methodology resulted in an assessment of the contribution of renewables in 2010 that was twice that calculated through the internationally-recognized system…
    http://blogs.cfr.org/asia/2015/12/15/china-and-climate-change-three-things-to-watch-after-paris/

    taking into consideration the above Bloomberg story, the facts about wind energy in china are no doubt far worse now than the CFR article claims.

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    pat

    VIDEO: 19 Nov: KAKE-TV Kansas: Ben Jordan: El Doradoans fed up with broken wind turbine
    What was intended to save residents millions of dollars hasn’t worked in nearly a year. For the past ten
    months, patience has turned into frustration as the wind turbine at the city’s waste water treatment site
    sits idle.
    “It’s a very sad shame because when that thing is rolling not only is it pretty and impressive, but it’s
    doing its job so it looks like we’re going to have to fork up some more on our electric bills,” said El
    Dorado resident Kay Fisher…
    The turbine that originally cost the city around a million dollars isn’t working right now because of
    bearing issues which is a problem they’ve faced in the past. This time the fix could cost nearly half a
    million dollars.
    “The question is if we fix it now, would it continue to run and be dependable and I think that’s where we
    have some doubts,” said Bookout.
    Bookout tells KAKE News that the city is looking into taking legal action against its consultant…
    Until a decision is made, the treatment facility will continue to use Westar Energy and a backup generator
    for power. If the city chooses to pay for the repairs, it will be funded by increasing waste water rates.
    http://www.kake.com/home/headlines/El-Doradoans-frustrated-by-broken-wind-turbine-351920781.html

    15 Dec: ABC Qld Country Hour: Kallee Buchanan: Queensland cane grower installs solar power for irrigation in a bid to beat rising electricity costs
    Kelvin Griffin has borrowed $100,000 to install solar panels on his 80-hectare cane farm at Bargara, east of Bundaberg, in a bid to cut his power bill.
    So far three concrete slabs have been laid in preparation for the installation, which Mr Griffin said was inspired by spiralling costs…
    But as Mr Griffin takes control of his own costs, his plan could end up costing others more.
    Dale Hollis from the Bundaberg Regional Irrigators Group said power generators adjusted their prices to compensate for the loss of people like Mr Griffin from the network, and over time, that would impact on
    the community…
    Mr Hollis said the frustration for many irrigators was they preferred using the grid as a reliable source of power, but it had become so costly many were choosing to downsize their crops, rather than pay bigger bills.
    He said ultimately, those that can’t afford to go off the grid will end up paying the price.
    “That’s exactly what happened with the solar on roofs and the domestic purposes,” he said…
    “The current Director General of the Department of Energy and Water Supply has actually written a paper on a thing called the death spiral, which is what is happening to the network here in Queensland”…
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-12-15/cane-grower-goes-solar-to-save-power-costs/7026820

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    Ross Stacey

    I don’t know why we even need to discuss climate adaptation. The whole CAGW fantasy resolves on CO2 being the driver. I think Prof. Carter is adequately disproving the theory. Let us keep to the Science and help publish the Scientific proof. If the science holds up it must eventually make all other CO2 based arguments superfluous. All the anti fossil fuel arguments can then disappear.

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    Catches of whiting have been on the increase in Tassy. The assumption being the population is moving south.

    http://www.themercury.com.au/news/tasmania/call-for-controlled-fishing-of-king-george-whiting-in-tasmanian-waters/story-fnj4f7k1-1226866454663

    As a keen recreational angler living in the north of Tassie, its just another reason I choose warming lol :D

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    Doug Proctor

    The question is whether it is genetic changes or genetic expression changes. Big difference, that being many creatures are ALREADY evolved for a variety of environments. It takes environmental forces to change the expression.

    Standard genetic evolutionary theory does not consider this. But if you look at just the GMO crops, you see strange things. The “terminator” gene in specialized wheat, for example, stops the seeds from being fertile. However, it doesn’t take long before the seeds are fertile again – some of them don’t stay turned off and they come to dominate.

    The simpler one is our coloured flowers in our backyard. We buy them blue but after several years of reseeding themselves they are white. White, I would imagine, attracts pollinators better.

    We are supposedly 90% or so filled with “junk” genes. Right. I’ll bet that most of those are useful and can be “turned on” with the right environmental cues. Again, not simple mutations-cause-changes theory, but there you are.

    Perhaps like having short sons of tall people: not a genetic issue at all, but an expressive issue (even if probabalistic). We all have the potential to have either small children or large ones. Our environment does make some impact.

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    handjive

    Claim: Baby fish will be lost at sea in acidified oceans

    Warmists believe in evolutionary theory until it comes to global warming, when a concept like adaptation gets thrown out the window.

    “The ability of baby fish to find a home, or other safe haven, to grow into adulthood will be severely impacted under predicted ocean acidification, University of Adelaide research has found.”

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      Graeme No.3

      Increasing CO2 will cause warming.
      Increasing CO2 will cause ocean acidification.
      Neither claim backed up with real evidence.

      It is interesting that warming the oceans will make CO2 less soluble.
      Also that as the pH drops the rate of conversion to carbonate (supposedly the driver for acidification) also reduces.
      Known facts that directly contradict the unproven claims.
      The known facts never get reported by the alarmists, presumably melted by by the increasing, but non-existent, rise in temperatures.

      “Climate science” is certainly versatile.

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    handjive

    Something fishy going on here …

    NZ PM doubts international climate change predictions

    “I’ve seen a lot of leaders get up and say that this is potentially the biggest threat to mankind.
    Well that may be true, but my point really would be it’s not going to get there.”

    ~ ~ ~
    What climate ‘deal’? New Zealand not changing any policies after Paris, either.

    “Tim Groser said New Zealand would only have to change what it’s currently doing if those targets had to be met in 10 to 15 years.

    “This is 85 years away. A future New Zealand Government will have to do more than we’ve put on the table for the period 2020 to 2030, and the Government beyond that Government will have to do more.”
    ~ ~ ~
    24 hours after Paris ‘deal’, Japanese PM says, ‘Sayonara, CO2 suckers.’

    Japan will not sacrifice growth in combating climate change: Abe

    (all original links from stevemilloy@junkscience.com)

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    Ruairi

    For warmists the science is done,
    And settled, concluded and won,
    But a group-thinking throng,
    For science is wrong,
    Leaving skeptics far from undone.

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      john karajas

      Amen to that. Nature is never static and full of wonderful surprises for proper scientific researchers. “The Science is settled?”-Pigs #1$se!

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    STJOHNOFGRAFTON

    This is an example of adaptation and not of evolution per se.

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    Has the species evolved to become a new species or merely adapted to a new environment? Could the fish revert back to seawater?

    Can members of the population of “evolved” fish still interbreed with the original population of saltwater fish?

    I think these biologists ought to read Mayr, Ernst (1970). Populations, Species, and Evolution. Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. (This is 0674690109, an Abridgment of Animal Species and Evolution; 0674690109.

    Niles Eldredge’s book may be more interesting for some:

    Niles Eldredge, Time Frames: The Rethinking of Darwinian Evolution and the Theory of Punctuated Equilibria, Simon & Schuster (1985)

    Jeffrey Schwartz has another approach, outlined in Sudden Origins (Wiley, 1999). He outlined the potential of hox genes to produce neotony.

    Some speciation appears to result in neotony (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neoteny) something that S.J. Gould speculated about. As Schwartz discusses neotony in relation to the hox genes.

    Hox genes could theoretically cause genetic changes that would appear to fit saltation, but without Goldschmidt’s “hopeful monsters”.

    For an overview, do a search on “saltation”. URL: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saltation_(biology) or try “Richard Goldschmidt”.

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    I suppose that a few species might need to adapt if this keeps up:

    The Arctic Ocean is warming up, icebergs are growing scarcer and in some places the seals are finding the water too hot, according to a report to the Commerce Department yesterday from Consulate, at Bergen , Norway

    Reports from fishermen, seal hunters and explorers all point to a radical change in climate conditions and hitherto unheard-of temperatures in the Arctic zone.

    Exploration expeditions report that scarcely any ice has been met as far north as 81 degrees 29 minutes.

    Soundings to a depth of 3,100 meters showed the gulf stream still very warm.

    Great masses of ice have been replaced by moraines of earth and stones, the report continued, while at many points well known glaciers have entirely disappeared.

    Very few seals and no white fish are found in the eastern Arctic, while vast shoals of herring and smelts which have never before ventured so far north, are being encountered in the old seal fishing grounds.

    Within a few years it is predicted that due to the ice melt the sea will rise and make most coastal cities uninhabitable.

    Hmm! Scary news indeed.

    Oh, wait a minute. That’s from November of 1922.

    Link to article. (one page pdf document, and scroll to bottom for article titled The Changing Arctic, and note there that even back then they couldn’t remember Archimedes Principle, where floating sea ice could all melt and still not raise the sea levels.)

    Tony.

    PostScript – I know this is old news, but it’s worth mentioning every so often.

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    Mjw

    Big deal, in Australia three generations of PC has turned a race of independent men into spineless unthinking milk-sops.

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    • #

      luckily we have strong women.

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      • #
        llew jones

        Yeh I’ve got one of them and she’s been around for as long as most “old white Anglo Saxon men”. She confronts every “mad warmist” she can find and tells them they are ignorant and haven’t been around long enough to know anything about the history of Aussie weather.

        She has knocked the PC warmist nonsense out of many of her male converts in our long street.

        She tells me women are a lot smarter than men when it comes to seeing through the UN warmist scam and few of her female contacts need converting.

        Oh almost forgot she also hates Turnbull’s and Bishop’s warmist guts.

        Lucky indeed.

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    kuhnkat

    No evolution. The number of individual changes that would be required for these fish to adapt to the new environment makes evolution an impossibility in so[short a time. Their genomes already contained the information needed and was expressed due to the change in environment. Their designer was really smart…

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      el gordo

      Salmon survival technique is extraordinary, but not unique. In the case of this particular fish the genome may have been set up in some previous epoch.

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    pat

    will the Brits learn to adapt if this comes to pass?

    15 Dec: UK Express: Jake Burman: Britons will have to scrap GAS BOILERS and COOKERS thanks to Paris climate deal
    MILLIONS of British families are being warned they will be forced to scrap gas cookers, boilers and fires so the nation can meet new strict targets aimed at stopping rises in global temperature.
    The Government’s Committee on Climate Change (CCC) is currently hunting for boiler alternatives to install in four million homes by 2030 – with each installation costing a staggering £12,000.
    One of the alternatives considered by the Tories are heat pumps – devices which extract warmth from the ground or air – which could replace gas heating in homes by 2050…
    CCC chief executive Matthew Bell said: “For something like heating, by 2050 gas will be playing a much more limited role and a range of other technologies will have taken its place, meaning low-carbon sources of warmth – heat pumps and so on.”
    All gas-fired power stations must also close by the mid-2030s unless they strip CO2 from emissions…
    Policy director at the Grantham Research Institute of Climate Change Bob Ward warned the UK’s days of cooking with gas are numbered.
    He said: “The only possible use of fossil fuels that will continue is if they are used to generate electricity, but this will only happen if the carbon dioxide they create is captured and stored.
    “Gas cookers will be phased out, probably as soon as possible. I suspect manufacturers will simply stop making them.”
    http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/626694/Paris-Climate-Change-Agreement-United-Nations-Gas-Boilers-Cookers-Scrapped

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      Blah blah blah.

      I see stuff like that which pat has linked to here and it makes me wonder.

      Note how all the emphasis is on power generation and how those CO2 emissions will have to come down. Then there’s the other things as well.

      And yet at no time does anyone ever mention that they’re also coming after your cars. The Transportation Sector makes up almost 35% of all emissions, second most after power generation, so that’s passenger cars, trucks, (small and large) trains and boats and planes.

      So any overall reduction targets must also include this pretty large sector.

      I guess putting that in headlines that they are coming after one car in every three or so might just see the ordinary people saying, ….. “Hey! Hang on a minute. What’s that you’re saying?”

      The truth no one dares mention.

      Not just in the UK, but everywhere, the EU, and all its car manufacturing, the U.S. likewise, here in Oz.

      Who gets to choose which cars get culled, eh?

      Tony.

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        ROM

        I’ve got an old [ still useful ] Holden ute that should have been culled about a 100,000 kilometres ago.

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        ScotsmaninUtah

        Tony, great post…

        and what is interesting perhaps….
        CO2 emissions restrictions for aicraft and trains is not to be found in the COP21 agreement.

        I still do not have accurate figures but the industry is set to add 32,400 new aircraft to the skies by 2035.

        India also just made a deal with Japan for a new series of trains. and China is expaniding it’s rail system and stock in proportion to it’s power generation targets.

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      This is one the most amazingly stupid things I have ever heard in my life……………

      Britons will have to scrap GAS BOILERS and COOKERS thanks to Paris climate deal

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    pat

    given this:

    12 Dec: US Senate Ctee on Environment & Public Works: Inhofe Statement on Final COP21 Climate Deal
    “Despite this administration’s desperate effort to demonstrate an international agreement on climate change, the announcement of a final climate deal from Paris is no more significant to the United States than the Kyoto Protocol announcement 18 years ago. While the Clinton administration also signed that agreement, it was never submitted to the U.S. Senate for ratification, and instead the U.S. Senate passed a resolution against the agreement by a vote of 95-0.
    “The news remains the same. This agreement is no more binding than any other ‘agreement’ from any Conference of the Parties over the last 21 years. Senate leadership has already been outspoken in its positions that the United States is not legally bound to any agreement setting emissions targets or any financial commitment to it without approval by Congress. China, the largest carbon dioxide emitter will continue to emit for the next 15 years before even considering taking any action. India, the third largest emitter of carbon dioxide continues to condition its commitments on getting trillions of dollars from developed nations”…
    “The Senate EPW Committee will continue oversight of the president’s climate agenda and the final Paris climate ‘agreement.’ Many questions have remained unanswered since the administration refused to testify in October to its plans to meet emissions reduction targets. I will invite key administration officials from EPA, CEQ and the State Department to testify early next year to assess the Senate’s role and explain what exactly this final agreement means for the American people.”
    http://www.epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases-republican?ID=59BD6386-5E65-4A22-81BE-352770A6FFCB

    how to explain this possibility?

    15 Dec: WSJ: Congressional Leaders Appear Close to Spending and Tax Deal
    by Kristina Petersen & Siobhan Hughes
    The biggest policy victory for Republicans is likely to be a provision lifting a 40-year-old ban on U.S. oil exports. In exchange, Democrats are expected to win a five-year extension of wind and solar tax credits, tweaked so that more projects will be able to qualify for the solar tax break. Democrats said they expected to resist other GOP efforts to curb the Obama administration’s energy and climate agenda…
    Mr. Reid also said he was confident the spending bill would enable the president to fulfill a pledge to contribute to an international fund that supports reduced emissions and climate preparedness in poorer countries. Republicans had sought to block any funding to the U.N. program, called the Green Climate Fund…
    http://www.wsj.com/articles/oil-export-ban-drags-down-spending-negotiations-1450198702

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      pat mentions this:

      Democrats are expected to win a five-year extension of wind and solar tax credits, tweaked so that more projects will be able to qualify for the solar tax break.

      That comes in at between $13.8 Billion (2 year extension) and $28.4 Billion, (10 year extension) depending on the date of construction. Each plant qualifies for that for a period of ten years from coming on line.

      That’s just the PTC (production tax credit for both wind and solar) On top of that, there is a further subsidy just for solar power, the ITC (Investment Tax Credit) and if both are extended for ten years, that comes in at $38.5 Billion.

      Besides extending out the date, they also want to extend out the date so that it takes in plants still to be constructed and not coming on line until 2017.

      That’s flat out subsidies.

      The Federal Government pays a set amount for every KWH of power being generated by the plant, over and on top of whatever they can sell their electricity for, a dedicated amount no matter what.

      And that folks is how wind and solar can artfully claim to be cheaper than fossil fuels, an incorrect statement even with those credits.

      Tony.

      Link to reference

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    pat

    divide and conquer! it seems to work every time:

    15 Dec: ClimateChangeNews: Ed King: Foie gras, oysters and a climate deal: How the Paris pact was won
    An alliance of over 100 countries credited with ensuring the Paris climate talks ended on a high was realised in a Michelin starred restaurant famous for its fine wines, foie gras and oysters…
    It’s not clear whose idea the ‘High Ambition Coalition’ really was.
    ***EU climate commissioner Miguel Arias Canete said on Monday it was a “masterplan” from Brussels…
    It’s unclear if the group is here to stay…
    And already some splits have emerged. Tuvalu envoy Ian Fry, who was at the Sunday dinner and supposedly a member, did not sound keen late on Saturday.
    “It’s a self proclaimed group – we’re not part of it – they can do what they like,” he told Climate Home…
    Still, perhaps the brief alliance served its purpose.
    ***“The critical development is that we have put science back at the heart of the talks. 1.5C did’t come from nowhere,” said (Marshall Islands negotiator Dean) Bialek.
    “If we are able to find ways to ramp up ambition and technology, then perhaps we can give it a go.”
    http://www.climatechangenews.com/2015/12/14/foie-gras-oysters-and-a-climate-deal-how-the-paris-pact-was-won/

    15 Dec: ClimateChangeNews: Alex Pashley: Venezuela: From bloodied hand to shock climate pledge
    “We support this agreement and have submitted our INDC,” lead envoy Claudia Salerno revealed to huge applause…
    Long an agitator in negotiations along with allies in the ALBA negotiating bloc, the French COP presidency entrusted Salerno with writing the opening segment of the new treaty.
    The one-page ‘preamble’ notes the importance of protecting Mother Earth, empowering women and the concept of “climate justice”…
    It was a shrewd play by the French to defuse one of the loudest critics of UN negotiations in past rounds.
    And it paid off…
    http://www.climatechangenews.com/2015/12/14/venezuela-from-bloodied-hand-to-shock-climate-pledge/

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    TdeF

    With our 9 month gestation, live birth, female incapacitation at maternity, high mortality (30% for women in Victorian times) and few natural defences, humans are nearly the least adaptable creatures on the planet, except perhaps herbivores like elephants with a gestation period of 18 months. At least we are omnivores. However our exceptional intelligence and language gave us weapons and agriculture and has enabled to get to the moon and the poles and Mt Everest, something no other creature can do. Prior to the current millenium, we had a society run on slave power and 90% of the people in the empires were slave classes. Now freed from slavery by machines, we adapt our environment.

    If you want to see how, just go to Dubai. The train stations to the dog kennels and bus stops and walkways are airconditioned. Water comes only from desalination and the whole place is utterly unsustainable, based on fossil fuel power. Now it has no oil and is dependent on tourism entirely. Not bad for a dirty little creek in a useless desert just a hundred years ago. 4.5 million people now live as you would in a moon colony in an artificial world. No windmills. Useless things.

    Even in selection, modern travel means the races which have drifted apart over 50,000 years are coming back together with sun adapted black peoples from the tropics meeting large snow adapted white blond blue eyed peoples from the far north and everything in between. Selection is being defeated. All this due to fossil fuels. So the two issues are natural selection, which we refuse and sustainability which is meaningless without new sources of power.

    The Greens want to stop all this and get everyone back in caves with massive mortality. We want need power which will live after the fossil fuel runs out but the Greens say we have to invent something else? Innovate! The fact is wind and solar will not do it, nor hydro. There is not enough sunlight to run even the state of Victoria, Australia, unless regardless of the hundreds of trillions in cost, you covered the entire state with solar panels and then where would the people, plants and animals live? What would we do when the sun went down? Innovate?

    We know solar is not enough. Wind is not enough. Wishing will not change this. Only nuclear will do and we Australians are doing nothing. Just sitting on it and saying no to the world, a very dangerous position. We should be the leaders in Thorium power, 100% utilization (not the 2% of U235) and bomb proof and explosion proof. So what do the Greens want? Windmills. What do our political leaders want? To keep their jobs by agreeing with everyone and doing absolutely nothing, a real crisis of leadership after Australia dragged itself up by its bootstraps since WW2. We are turning back into a dreamy pacific tourist island with open cut mines, at the mercy of everyone else but who cares when it is BBQ weather? Our politicians have failed us, but they love going to Paris at our expense and handing out money and asking for taxes, this time on behalf of people who have not achieved as much in the same time. Thanks, Malcolm.

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      Git rid of the Climatariat!
      Oh and a few other costly
      white elephants like the
      one voice ABC.

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        Dennis

        But if costs are cut the deterioration of the budget position would slow and that would not meet UN approval not being in line with socialist plan to collapse capitalist societies.

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    I am merely pointing out yet another example of how the overblown exaggerated 97% certain fear campaign could be wrong. Yet another mechanism where biology is more adaptable and more able to deal with the wild swings of natural climate change which are so much worse than the pussy foot panic merchant 1.5C “disaster”.

    I can’t help note that you are moving the goalposts.

    You appear to have given up postulating that there will not be any significant rise in the earth’s temperature, and arguing that whatever happens to temperature, that all life, including human life, will adapt.

    You’re having two bob each way……….

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      Rollo

      I can’t help note that you are moving the goalposts.
      You appear to have given up postulating that there will not be any significant rise in the earth’s temperature, and arguing that whatever happens to temperature, that all life, including human life, will adapt.
      You’re having two bob each way………

      1. Anthropogenic CO2 is not the main control knob for the earth’s temperature.
      2. Paleontological and genetic evidence suggests that life has coping mechanisms for both rises and falls in temperature.

      This is not 2 bob each way. These are 2 separate questions.

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        Greg Cavanagh

        The first of which is very likely true, the second has been demonstrated to be true (for temperature ranges, ice ages tend to cause mass extinctions, but life does continue).

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      handjive

      Wait! You mean to say Paris COP21 was NOT a success?

      “NOAA chief scientist Richard Spinrad said changes in the Arctic portend changes that are likely to spread to the wider world – higher air temperatures, longer hot seasons, anomalous weather spikes and fish fleeing north only to be replaced by new species swimming from areas south.

      This is what happens when the Arctic warms twice as fast as the rest of the planet (SMH)

      And you thought we were saved.

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    pat

    no mention anywhere that the money for the Green Climate Fund got approved:

    16 Dec: Bloomberg: Congress Reaches Fiscal Deal That Ends U.S. Oil Export Ban
    The measure also would extend tax credits for renewable energy such as wind and solar power — measures sought by Democrats in exchange for lifting the oil export ban, she (Republican Representative Ann Wagner, Missouri) said…
    http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2015-12-16/congress-reaches-fiscal-deal-that-ends-u-s-crude-oil-export-ban

    15 Dec: Reuters: House Republican: funding bill lifts ban on crude oil exports
    Ribble, a Wisconsin Republican, also said the spending bill will include tax credits for wind and solar power but they are temporary and expire in several years…
    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-congress-fiscal-crude-idUSKBN0TZ0AX20151216

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    What I see people missing here is the difference between adaptation and evolution.

    Shades of Lamarck and Lysenko!

    Actually Darwin leaned in the direction of Lamarckian theory at the end. And it was not until the rediscovery of Mendel’s work that the importance of the distinction between adaptation and evolution was recognized.

    (Whether or not Mendel adjusted his results to fit his theory is not really relevant today.)

    In my opinion, the claim of S.J. Gould and Nigel Eldredge is still valid: the Modern Synthesis of the 1930′s, led by Ernst Mayr and others, has still not been fully incorporated into neo-Darwinian theory.

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    Geoff Sherrington

    There are many accounts of rapd genetic change.
    These stickleback fish are but one.
    The lovely barramundi in our northern waters goes from fresh to salt water and back in a season if it chooses. (It also changes its gender at about 5 years of age).
    So too does the salt water crocodile adapt immediately to fresh water.
    In Europe, coal ash changed the colour of the bark of trees on which certain moths dwelt. Their wing colours were camouflaged. When the ash was cleaned up, the wing colours adapted and became paler camouflage.
    The magpie bird here learned to open cardboard-topped milk bottles a few weeks after they were adopted. Not in one place, it seems, but in numerous separate places, possible confirmation of genetic expression.
    Within the time span of a couple of human generations, we saw the emergence of genetic traits that made scientists working on climate become untruthful and accepting of outrageous fairy tales.
    Our two sons went from being bog ignorant to accepting of the wisdom of their parents in their first 21 years. This seems to happen independently in many families also.
    And so on into the night.
    Geoff.

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    RB

    If you’re about to put up a story on Sydney’s unprecedented storm with 213km/h winds at Kurnell. This is interesting.

    BOM data at Kurnell
    91 29 49 - - -
    16/10:47am - - - - - SSW 63 102 34 55 - - -
    16/10:44am - - - - - SSW 76 106 41 57 - - -
    16/10:37am - - - - - WSW 83 213 45 115 - - -
    16/10:36am - - - - - W 82 213 44 115 - - -
    16/10:35am - - - - - W 76 213 41 115 - - -
    16/10:34am - - - - - WNW 70 213 38 115 - - -
    16/10:33am - - - - - WNW 59 213 32 115 - - -
    16/10:32am - - - - - NW 50 104 27 56

    The first two digit number after wind direction is the wind speed over 10 minutes. I now that the 213km/h was for only4 minutes but the gusts were over 100km/h for 15 minutes. To get 76 km/h average for 10 minutes at 10.35, it must have been -wind speed?

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    Clive Watson

    I hate to quibble, but the use of the word ‘evolution’ conflates two things: large scale genomic change, with new genetic information added to create novel phenotypical features, and adjustments on the current genetic platform which is well known and well observed, but leads to minor phenotypical but no taxonomic change.

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    el gordo

    “Building climate models is like building a ladder to the Moon,” Emile-Geay said. “They are not perfect but they are reaching for the heavens. It’s a long process, and one in which the paleoclimate record can teach us a lot about the inner workings of the climate system.”

    wuwt

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    Sunray

    Thank you Jo, that was fascinating. The effect of the Mt St Helens eruption erased a few widely held consensus theories about timelines to do with fossilization.

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    Rod Stuart

    There is a fantastic article by cartoonist Bill Leak in the Australian today.

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    Rod Stuart

    I can’t help but wonder if this evolutionary tale is also related to the Steelhead Trout.
    For those not from North America, the Steelhead and Rainbow Trout are the same species.
    However, only the Steelhead is anadromous and during its life cycle goes to sea.

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    ScotsmaninUtah

    Belgium relaunches its Tihange 2 reactor

    Belgium once vowed a withdrawal from nuclear power, but due to a lack of reliable “alternatives” is now returning some of its reactors to full operation.

    The Greens are not gonna like this :o

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    Dennis

    James Hansen, the former NASA scientist who is considered “the father of global awareness of climate change,” has condemned the recent climate change talks in Paris in which the leaders of nearly 200 nations gathered to determine how best to fleece taxpayers and industry in the name of environmentalism and socialist redistribution.

    Read more at http://freedomoutpost.com/2015/12/father-climate-change-awareness-reveals-climate-change-science-license-steal/#stmQW6sD3I2Fk4cK.99

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    poitsplace

    A lot of scientists seem to have built up in their minds the idea that most of the specialized species are something to be treasured. But a very large portion of that evolutionary work is done when the numerous, very old, generalist species…simply get stuck in a limited environment and expend their massive treasure-trove of genetic diversity for the ability to fit into the one niche that isn’t quite as limited as the others. As should always be pointed out, this is not a choice or an order imposed. Its just the only way any of the trapped group survives well, and as such their lines simply didn’t die out.

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    Egor TheOne

    Which oceans are Acidic ?

    It is in the same place as the CAGW !

    Within the minds of the mentally impaired !

    Thou art with the need for Crusades …….That is as long as it is not with their money .

    How convenient that must be that saving the Earth can also turn a profit !

    Benny Hinn , eat your heart out .

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    tom0mason

    From what I understand some guy a few years ago investigated how some birds when stranded on some land masses managed to adapt then some birds evolved to better fit into their newly acquired niche habitats. Those that could not adapt and evolve were out competed for available food or shelter and died out.

    Or maybe he got it wrong?
    Maybe all the individuals within any species is just identical genetic clones of their ancestors? Maybe there is no natural variation?

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      Roy Hogue

      Tom,

      This is just my own understanding of genetics and others may differ in opinion. But genetics isn’t some magic thing that guarantees anything. It’s a chance process by which, statistically there will be some combinations that are viable and the individuals thrive and some variations that are not so viable and the individuals do not thrive and may not even survive to reach the age where they can reproduce.

      In a large population there will be many who thrive and perpetuate their species. But when a population becomes small — a few birds stranded in a new environment — the statistical chances of any outcome, good or bad for that population are much reduced and there’s a high probability that many more examples such as you just quoted resulted in the whole group dieing out rather than being able to adapt because the available gene pool was too small. This same problem affects groups where there’s a lot of inbreeding because the available gene pool becomes smaller over time without new possibilities being introduced by having a wider selection of mates.

      We tend to forget that nature prefers viability of the species over viability of the individual. It always seemed wasteful to me from an engineering point of view. But the obvious success of the chance combination scheme for perpetuation of species speaks for itself. If the population can become large enough there will always be some who can transition to new environments as they happen.

      There is one thing which works against the theory of evolution and that’s the, so far at least, complete lack of transitional species remains showing us how our ancestors made it to become the humans we are today. The apparent jumps from one to the next are too large. So it’s very hard to imagine that if one mutation or one chance combination resulted in a superior being, that superior being could mate with offspring of its progenitors and successfully reproduce those superior traits. So when evolution is pushed so hard as the way modern humans emerged from our less capable ancestors I always wonder what else might have happened that resulted in a large enough population of the new human to successfully reproduce itself and thrive.

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        tom0mason

        Just so Roy, although I find it arguable that there were only a few stranded birds in a new environment — maybe there were a substantial number but only a few had the right combination of genes and behaviors to initially adapt enough so that their genetic variation allows evolution to proceed.

        IMO, evolution relies on initial innate behavior variations (the initial viability to overcoming the new habitat stresses), providing a basic adaptability platform (and initial survivability) from which genetic variance gets its toe-hold in refining the physical animal to better fit into a new habitat. I suspect the stress of one may initialize the other — it would be nice to see research in this direction.

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    dp

    They’re tasty, too.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sockeye_salmon

    The Kokanee variant of sockeye salmon are often land-locked and live out their lives in fresh water. Blocking landslides, for example, prevent salmon from returning to the sea and they’re quite at home in our Pacific Northwest lakes where they are known as kokanee.

    The world is crawling, literally, with fresh water crustaceans. Kokanee, for example, feed on crayfish. Crayfish are tasty fresh water lobsters (to be sure, many generations removed from their ancestral waters) that live all over the Pacific Northwest and the US, generally. They are a Cajun food staple. It would be an interesting test to see how long it takes Atlantic lobsters to adapt to fresh water.

    Land crabs use available water, no matter the source. One of the great grossnesses in the world is the crabs that migrate across highways in the Yucatan. Miles and miles of them, and they’re completely incompatible with automobile tires. Adaptability is life’s way of not being stupid.

    They’re also opportunists. http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-VIObkTfWuoY/UifFmOcoQkI/AAAAAAAArrM/lnAeq7Ck8MM/s640/coconutcrab.jpg

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    Interesting, thanks.

    Of course most salmon varieties move from fresh to salt water then back again. (On return they may spend a couple of weeks in mixed water near the mouth of rivers, that’s the case with the Fraser in B.C.)

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