The Dead Sea: Global warming blamed for 40 per cent decline in the ocean's phytoplanktonApril 13, 2011 - Nature:
The microscopic plants that support all life in the oceans are dying off at a dramatic rate, according to a study that has documented for the first time a disturbing and unprecedented change at the base of the marine food web.
Scientists have discovered that the phytoplankton of the oceans has declined by about 40 per cent over the past century, with much of the loss occurring since the 1950s. They believe the change is linked with rising sea temperatures and global warming. . .
They found that phytoplankton had declined significantly in all but two of the ocean regions at an average global rate of about 1 per cent per year, most of which since the mid 20th Century. They found that this decline correlated with a corresponding rise in sea-surface temperatures -- although they cannot prove that warmer oceans caused the decline.
The study, published in the journal Nature, is the first analysis of its kind and deliberately used data gathered over such a long period of time.
Recently, Boyce et al. reported an alarming, century-long decline in marine phytoplankton biomass of 1% per year, which would imply major changes in ocean circulation, ecosystem processes and biogeochemical cycling over the period and have significant implications for management of marine fisheries. Closer examination reveals that time-dependent changes in sampling methodology combined with a consistent bias in the relationship between in situ and transparency-derived chlorophyll (Chl) measurements generate a spurious trend in the synthesis of phytoplankton estimates used by Boyce et al. Our results indicate that much, if not all, of the century-long decline reported by Boyce et al. is attributable to this temporal sampling bias and not to a global decrease in phytoplankton biomass.Conclusion: As Willis Eschenbach says on Watts Up With That?:
The Boyce paper was nonsense, the claimed trend was spurious, plankton biomass is holding somewhere near steady or even increasing, and a number of independent records show that the Boyce et al. paper is garbage built on bad assumptions.(via Global Warming Policy Foundation)
I bring this up for three reasons. The first is to show the continuing shabby quality of peer-review at scientific magazines when the subject is even peripherally related to climate. Nature magazine blew it again, and unfortunately, these days that’s no news at all. It’s just more shonky science from the AGW crowd . . . and people claim the reason the public doesn’t trust climate scientists is a "communications problem"? It’s not. It’s a garbage science problem, and all the communications theory in the world won’t fix garbage science.