IPCC Expert Behind Eight Discredited Ocean Acidification Papers

Written by Donna Laframboise

Last week, Nature published a damning refutation of a significant body of climate change research. The title of that article is self-explanatory: Ocean acidification does not impair the behavior of coral reef fishes.

The authors studied more than 900 fish from six different species over a period of three years, attempting to verify earlier findings by a team of researchers at Australia’s James Cook University.

Their attempts failed.

Scholarly convention being what it is, the now-discredited work isn’t identified in a clear manner. Readers are compelled to sift through footnotes to locate the “several high-profile papers” that are being refuted. So here they are:

Dixson 2010
Danielle L. Dixson, Philip L. Munday, Geoffrey P. Jones
Ocean acidification disrupts the innate ability of fish to detect predator olfactory cues.
Ecology Letters, 2009/2010

Munday 2010
Philip L. Munday, Danielle L. Dixson, Mark L. McCormick, Mark Meekan, Maud C.O. Ferrari, Douglas P. Chivers
Replenishment of fish populations is threatened by ocean acidification
PNAS, 2010

Ferrari 2012
Maud C. O. Ferrari, Mark I. McCormick, Philip L. Munday,  Mark G. Meekan, Danielle L. Dixson, Oona Lönnstedt, Douglas P. Chivers
Effects of ocean acidification on visual risk assessment in coral reef fishes
Functional Ecology, 2012

Nilsson 2012
Göran E. Nilsson, Danielle L. Dixson, Paolo Domenici, Mark I. McCormick, Christina Sørensen, Sue-Ann Watson, Philip L. Munday
Near-future carbon dioxide levels alter fish behavior by interfering with neurotransmitter function
Nature Climate Change, 2012

Munday 2013
Philip L. Munday, Morgan S. Pratchett, Danielle L. Dixson, Jennifer M. Donelson, Geoff G.K. Endo, Adam D. Reynolds, Richard Knuckey
Elevated CO2 affects the behavior of an ecologically and economically important coral reef fish
Marine Biology, 2012

Chung 2014
Wen-Sung ChungN. Justin MarshallSue-Ann Watson, Philip L. Munday, Göran E. Nilsson
Ocean acidification slows retinal function in a damselfish through interference with GABAA receptors
Experimental Biology, 2014

Munday 2014
Philip L. Munday, Alistair J. Cheal, Danielle L. Dixson, Jodie L. Rummer, Katharina E. Fabricius
Behavioral impairment in reef fishes caused by ocean acidification at CO2seeps
Nature Climate Change, 2014

Welch 2014
Megan J. Welch, Sue-Ann Watson, Justin Q. Welch, Mark I. McCormick, Philip L. Munday
Effects of elevated CO2 on fish behavior undiminished by transgenerational acclimation
Nature Climate Change, 2014

The author in common is research leader Philip Munday. When eight of this man’s papers were double-checked, other scientists were unable to confirm his findings. They performed the same experiments but got different results. Every. Single. Time.

The James Cook University website tells us Munday is “in the top 1% of cited researchers in the ISI fields of Plant and Animal Science” (bold added). He sits on the editorial board of three scientific journals.

He also – ding, ding, ding – “has contributed to IPCC reports” on ocean acidification. In fact, Munday’s name appears 46 times in this 174-page document about a 2011 IPCC workshop on that topic.

You heard it here first, folks. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s pronouncements about tropical fish rely on a man whose work falls to pieces whenever anyone tries to verify it.

Read more at Big Pic News


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Comments (7)

  • Avatar

    Andy Rowlands

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    I can understand a mistake being made in perhaps one paper, but eight all on the same subject? Hardly credible research to be found to be in error eight times out of eight. Probably ‘peer-reviewed’ by fellow alarmists and published in alarmist-leaning publications. Hardly surprising then that the IPCC are happy to use his work.

  • Avatar

    Jerry Krause

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    Hi Donna and Andy,

    I noticed that the name Danielle L. Dixson appeared in 6 of the 8 papers you (Donna) brought to our attention. And I believe you maybe have overlooked her. James Cook University (JCU) does not identify where and when their faculty got their degrees but the University of Delaware, where Danielle is a professor does. Danielle L Dixson got her doctorate at JCU in 2012.

    JCU does list where and when their faculty did post-doctorate research. So Philip L. Munday had received his doctorate before 2000 and Geoffrey P. Jones had received his doctorate before 1981.

    Hence, it is obvious that the experimental basis of these three coauthors of the 2010 paper was the research actually being done by Danielle L. Dixson. And you report it is the research of these 8 papers which cannot be reproduced.

    Donna, you wrote: “Readers are compelled to sift through footnotes to locate the “several high-profile papers” that are being refuted.”

    Wen-Sung Chung received his doctorate in 2014 from Queensland Brain Institute, The University of Queensland, AUSTRALIA. But somehow Philip L. Munday (JCU) was involved as a coauthor.

    Megan J. Welch received her doctorate in 2018 from JCU.

    So it seems that the research, whose results cannot be reproduced, was done by these three graduate students.

    Now a fact is that an article (https://principia-scientific.org/nobel-prize-winning-scientist-frances-arnold-retracts-paper/) was posted only 11 days ago. This article was retracted because a graduate student’s results could not be reproduced.

    Now I speculate a bit. Frances Arnold did not carefully question the experimental results of the retracted because the results supported what she considered to be the case, but previously there had been no results to support that which she only considered. If you read only a little bit about Philip L. Munday and Geoffrey P. Jones, it seems evident that Danielle produced the results that they considered must exist, but had not yet been observed. And it seems the rest is history.

    Another fact is at the time of my thesis research, it was a common belief that some of the Russian research results could not be reproduced. But I do not know if these results were important enough that anyone tried to reproduce their reported results.

    That most research is not important enough to try to reproduce is a critical fact. So, if a graduate student knows what the major professor would like the research results to demonstrate, it is easy enough to manufacture these results. And to be comfortable with the possibility that no one will try to reproduce the manufactured results And, of course, a major professor would probably highly recommend such a graduate student for future employment.

    Now, another fact is that Richard Feynman, in his 1974 commencement address (titled Cargo Cult Science) at Caltech stated to the graduates: “But there is one feature I notice that is generally missing in cargo cult science. That is the idea that we all hope you have learned in studying science in school–we never explicitly. It’s a kind of scientific integrity, a principle of scientific thought that corresponds to a kind of utter honesty–a kind of leaning over backwards.”

    Feynman went on to give much detailed advice. And one can read his entire address at the end of his book (“Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!”). And I assure you that Feynman was not joking in this address.

    Have a good day, Jerry

  • Avatar

    Robert Beatty

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    I see Danielle L. Dixson was complicit in 6 of the 8 papers.
    With associates like that what could possibly go wrong?

    • Avatar

      Jerry Krause

      |

      Hi Robert,

      Earlier I had composed the following and had tried to submit it. But there was no evidence that I had submitted it. So I submitted it again and was told that it had been submitted. But still no evidence of it. So I submit again as part of this comment. I have learned to copy and save what has taken me sometime to compose when it seems things are not working.

      Hi Donna and Andy and now Robert,

      I noticed that the name Danielle L. Dixson appeared in 6 of the 8 papers you (Donna) brought to our attention. And I believe you maybe have overlooked her. James Cook University (JCU) does not identify where and when their faculty got their degrees but the University of Delaware, where Danielle is a professor does. Danielle L Dixson got her doctorate at JCU in 2012.

      JCU does list where and when their faculty did post-doctorate research. So Philip L. Munday had received his doctorate before 2000 and Geoffrey P. Jones had received his doctorate before 1981.

      Hence, it is obvious that the experimental basis of these three coauthors of the 2010 paper was the research actually being done by Danielle L. Dixson. And you report it is the research of these 8 papers which cannot be reproduced.

      Donna, you wrote: “Readers are compelled to sift through footnotes to locate the “several high-profile papers” that are being refuted.”

      Wen-Sung Chung received his doctorate in 2014 from Queensland Brain Institute, The University of Queensland, AUSTRALIA. But somehow Philip L. Munday (JCU) was involved as a coauthor.

      Megan J. Welch received her doctorate in 2018 from JCU.

      So it seems that the research, whose results cannot be reproduced, was done by these three graduate students.

      Now a fact is that an article (https://principia-scientific.org/nobel-prize-winning-scientist-frances-arnold-retracts-paper/) was posted only 11 days ago. This article was retracted because a graduate student’s results could not be reproduced.

      Now I speculate a bit. Frances Arnold did not carefully question the experimental results of the retracted because the results supported what she considered to be the case, but previously there had been no results to support that which she only considered. If you read only a little bit about Philip L. Munday and Geoffrey P. Jones, it seems evident that Danielle produced the results that they considered must exist, but had not yet been observed. And it seems the rest is history.

      Another fact is at the time of my thesis research, it was a common belief that some of the Russian research results could not be reproduced. But I do not know if these results were important enough that anyone tried to reproduce their reported results.

      That most research is not important enough to try to reproduce is a critical fact. So, if a graduate student knows what the major professor would like the research results to demonstrate, it is easy enough to manufacture these results. And to be comfortable with the possibility that no one will try to reproduce the manufactured results And, of course, a major professor would probably highly recommend such a graduate student for future employment.

      Now, another fact is that Richard Feynman, in his 1974 commencement address (titled Cargo Cult Science) at Caltech stated to the graduates: “But there is one feature I notice that is generally missing in cargo cult science. That is the idea that we all hope you have learned in studying science in school–we never explicitly. It’s a kind of scientific integrity, a principle of scientific thought that corresponds to a kind of utter honesty–a kind of leaning over backwards.”

      Feynman went on to give much detailed advice. And one can read his entire address at the end of his book (“Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!”). And I assure you that Feynman was not joking in this address.

      Have a good day, Jerry

  • Avatar

    Joseph Olson

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    Climaclownology is an incestuous echo chamber of self delusional group think luddites. Luckily, they self delusion is difficult to transmit, and ending their taxpayer funding stream will banish them to the dustbin of faux science history.

  • Avatar

    Michael Clarke

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    Dare I suggest that a simple experiment be carried out.
    Take 10 liters of sea water, carefully measure its PH.
    Warm it a little say 5 degrees C and carefully measure its PH.
    The introduce 1 kg of dry ice and seal the container.
    Shake occasionally, to ensure the air+CO2 in contact with the sea water is given ample opportunity to dissolve the CO2.
    Wait 24hrs.
    Carefully measure the resultant ph.
    Simple math will then give how many giga-tons of CO2 would be needed to make sea water neutral ph let alone acidified.
    Michael Logician

  • Avatar

    Jerry Krause

    |

    Hi Michael,

    What significant thing have you overlooked?

    Have a good day, Jerry

Comments are closed