Beware Latest BBC Fake Ocean Pollution & Climate Claims

Written by John O'Sullivan

Recently, the BBC ran this story, ‘Climate change: Oceans running out of oxygen as temperatures rise’ (by Matt McGrath) which claims that:

Climate change and nutrient pollution are driving the oxygen from our oceans, and threatening many species of fish.”

The article asserted that the findings were the conclusion of “the biggest study of its kind, undertaken by conservation group IUCN.”

We asked two PhD-qualified, independent scientists with specialist professional knowledge in chemistry to examine these claims and offer their own unbiased assessment of the report. Below are their damning rebuttals of the IUCN and BBC’s alarmist assertions.

Dr Klaus L E Kaiser (pictured, right) is a widely-respected expert in chemistry. He has served as Project Manager at Environment Canada’s National Water Research Institute and elsewhere.

He told us to beware when reading these doomsaying ‘scientific’ studies because,

“One problem (with this and other missives of that kind), generally is that they talk about “anomalies” without ever specifying what their exact reference value is.”

The issue being that such studies will take outlier data and/or cherry pick the worst-case scenarios to mislead and exaggerate conclusions for bigger dramatic affect on an ill-informed and scientifically-illiterate public.

Dr Kaiser, with a lifetime professional career as an expert in chemical science told Principia Scientific International that:

  • I cannot possibly see how mid-Atlantic surface water with average depths of 3000+ m and could suffer from “de-oxygenation“ due to “climate change,” or any changes in atmospheric CO2 levels.
  • In fact, the IUCN report (588 p in a 75 MB pdf file), in the Summary on p 25, states “The equilibrium state of the ocean-atmosphere system has been perturbed these last few decades with the ocean becoming a source of oxygen for the atmosphere even though its oxygen inventory is only ~0.6% of that of the atmosphere. Different analyses conclude that the global ocean oxygen content has decreased by 1-2% (not 2%, as in the BBC report) since the middle of the 20th century. Global warming is expected to have contributed to this decrease, directly because the solubility of oxygen in warmer waters decreases, and indirectly through changes in the physical and biogeochemical dynamics.”
  • Even the currently deployed freely-drifting, self-diving, and self-reporting ~5000 ARGOS buoys only cover parts of the oceans to intermediate depths. Besides, that program and the buoys did only come about since, roughly, the year 2000.
  • Therefore, one has to wonder about where and how the older “1960 reference” values were determined.
  • As in many other reports, from various sources, cause and effect are often falsely claimed to be from “climate change” while (rightly) acknowledging local pollution, like over-fertilization, etc.
  • An example of that is Fig. Figure 2.1.6 (p. # 33) and accompanying text about a fish die-off in Narrangansett Bay in 2003. It’s “sold” to readers with the statement “wastewater treatment plants reduced the amount of nitrogen discharge into the water and … oxygen returned to normal levels by 2014 leading …to increased home prices in this region.”

Dr Kaiser’s Summary

My impression is that local nearshore areas, at the coasts of highly populated can and do suffer at times from oxygen depletion.

However, this is mostly an effect of over–fertilization, especially with nitrogen and phosphorous-materials (like from plain sewage). Indeed, many coastal communities have little or no sewage treatment at all, all around the world, even in Europe and North America (including Canada). To ascribe such to “climate change” is pointing the finger in the wrong direction.

Where ocean currents carry these nutrients rapidly offshore, and they become diluted, they’ll actually increase primary production and, consequently, aquatic life all up food chain. I could give examples of rather shallow (~10 m deep) freshwater lakes/embayments in Canada that, in summer, look like “green pea soup” and are teaming with a variety of fish that do not appear to suffer from a lack of oxygen.

Meanwhile, Dr Pierre R Latour, (pictured, right) recently honored by an international award for lifetime achievement in science had this to say:

“I agree with Dr Kaiser. It is well known chemistry that solubility of gases like O2 & CO2 in water decreases with temperature, causing them to effervesce (escape to air). As ocean temperatures rise, O2 would deplete.”

Both scientists warn that gas concentration in water can also decrease for other reasons, at constant temperature.

It is a serious error to conclude CO2 causes significant global warming, which alone causes ocean temperature to rise, which alone causes O2 depletion. These kinds of dramatic claims are typical of the group think of government-funded academics who are on the bandwagon about blaming the trace gas CO2.

They resort to false logic and scare tactics in a self-serving scam to recruit more grant funding in the furtherance of government tax raising policies.

It seems unbiased, independent scientists very well qualified to discuss these issues are  happy  to declare CO2 is entirely innocent – it is not a pollutant at all. Carbon dioxide is green plant food and the more we have of it in the natural environment, the more abundant and healthy will be the biosphere.


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Comments (6)

  • Avatar

    Barry

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    Many thanks to both of these gentlemen for sharing their knowledge with us less educated who are trying to navigate our way through the deceptions.

  • Avatar

    Andy Rowlands

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    Good article and very useful comments from Drs Kaiser and Latour. You can guarrantee Matt McGrath and Roger Harrabin at the BBC will continue to scream ever louder their fantasy of our imminent demise in a cloud of CO2. It will never happen as Joe Postma has amply pointed out; it violates the laws of thermodynamics.

  • Avatar

    Squidly

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    It is a serious error to conclude CO2 causes significant global warming

    Or any warming at all .. since that would be impossible to begin with.

  • Avatar

    Gerald Wolff

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    It is comforting to read eminent independent scientists discount the hysteria of global warming due to rising levels of CO2. I am still trying to understand the link from CO2 to Carbon and why we are constantly being told to reduce our carbon footprint. Other than a means of measuring the energy used to manufacture an item or to transport it from A to B, carbon itself is a necessary element of life and should not be persecuted as the evil element.

    • Avatar

      Andy Rowlands

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      You’re absolutely right Gerald, many confuse carbon and carbon dioxide, and the alarmists do nothing to unconfuse them. I bet many youngsters don’t even know we are made of carbon.

  • Fake News--The BBC | Pearltrees

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    […] Beware Latest BBC Fake Ocean Pollution & Climate Claims. Published on January 31, 2020 Written by John O'Sullivan Recently, the BBC ran this story, ‘Climate change: Oceans running out of oxygen as temperatures rise’ (by Matt McGrath) which claims that: “Climate change and nutrient pollution are driving the oxygen from our oceans, and threatening many species of fish.” The article asserted that the findings were the conclusion of “the biggest study of its kind, undertaken by conservation group IUCN.” […]

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