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The big splash for The Independent is to say that the vital plankton in the oceans is declining thanks, inevitably, to global warming.

Hmmm…

The report does not prove that, rather puts 2 and 2 together in a manner familiar with followers of the CRU debacle.

In fact what the report does is test the clarity of the oceans (as a proxy) and conclude that the change is due to plankton decline and that decline is due to rising temperatures.

However …
“The Secchi disk transparency measurement is perhaps one of the oldest and simplest of all measurements. But there is grave danger of errors in such measurements where a water telescope is not utilized, as well as in the presence of water color and inorganic turbidity (source: Vollenweider and Kerekes, 1982)”

Phytoplankton has survived climate (and CO2) variations way in excess of what we have now. But don’t let that spoil a clever Indy front page splash

UPDATE

Further comment from more analytical minds than mine pour more, err … cold water on the splashes made by the Indy.

Australian biologists have estimated that about,

”12,000 sperm whales in the Southern Ocean each defecate around 50 tonnes of iron into the sea every year after digesting the fish and squid they hunt.   The iron is a terrific food for phytoplankton – marine plants that live near the ocean surface and which suck up CO2 from the atmosphere through photosynthesis.”

Those Japanese whalers and their Norwegian cousins have a lot to answer for.  Can’t help think Greenpeace are missing a trick.