Global warming "could enrage sharks"

"Grr, who turned up the heater?"

Enraged goldfish: "Grr, who turned up the heater?"

Stick with it. This journalist clearly hasn’t heard of Climategate and still believes every press release about global warming that lands on his desk.

Warmer ocean temperatures caused by global warming could [important word, that – Ed] cause sharks and other fish to become more aggressive, according to a new Australian study.

Research conducted by the University of New South Wales [Note to self: remember not to send kids to UNSW – Ed] found that a slight lift in water temperatures — just two or three degrees — can cause some fish to become up to 30 times more aggressive than they normally would be.

The studies were conducted on young damsel fish, but head researcher Dr Peter Biro told ninemsn it is possible that sharks could also undergo a similar transformation in warm water.

[And this is what happened next. The poor journo thought the story was just too boring with only damsel fish (whatever they are), so, desperate for an alarmist headline, asked the “scientist” if it would affect sharks, because sharks = scary. And the response below was just what was needed – phew. Scary headline in the bag – Ed]

I would imagine that it might also affect sharks … we think it is linked to the metabolism of the fishes — it increases their need to feed,” Dr Biro said.

The research involved putting the damsel fish in varying temperatures of water and placing other fish behind glass to see how they reacted.

Dr Biro said it was “obvious” the warmer water had an effect.

“Some fish would literally charge at the glass,” he said.

“I’m quite confident that if the glass was not there they would have torn the other fish to shreds.”

So next time you see a flounder getting mugged by a marauding gang of barramundi, you’ll know why.

Read it here.


  1. It must be true. Just reading this makes me enraged! Plonkers.

  2. Hmmm … after reading this story, I can’t get this image out of my mind:

    One more thing to add to the Never-ending List, I guess:

  3. From memory (and any marine biologists around might want to clarify this) but some species of damselfish are notoriously territorial aren’t they? Especially when the males are protecting eggs (or think its that time of year to protect eggs), I’m sure someone with more background in fish ecology could easily come up with several reasons why their behaviour could change, eg a rise in temperature signalling its breeding season? I can imagine their behaviour would differ tremendously based on the different species of fish they were “shown”, too. Extrapolating that out to a top, often pelagic predator like a shark and then tying it in with AGW is a bit of a stretch, to say the least.

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