Tropical fish on Barrier Reef adapt in two generations

Am I bovvered?

From the Science is Settled Department comes the news that the fauna of the Barrier Reef can adapt to even sudden changes in water temperature extremely quickly. The Daily Telegraph reports:

ONE of the direst warnings about the effect of climate change on Australia – that rising sea temperatures will devastate the marine life of the Great Barrier Reef – has been dramatically challenged by new research.

Scientists from the CSIRO and James Cook University found that tropical fish easily adapted – and actually thrived – despite being forced to live in water up to 3C warmer than normal, a temperature increase at the highest end of global warming predictions.

They found that it took just two generations of tropical damsel fish, common on the Great Barrier Reef, to adapt when they were reared from birth in tanks of warm water.

The scientists warn that previous methods of studying the ability of tropical fish to cope with rising sea temperatures – by looking at one generation of fish – is flawed.

“We demonstrate that a tropical reef fish is highly sensitive to small increases in water temperature but can rapidly acclimate over multiple generations,” the scientists said in peer-reviewed work published in prestigious journal Nature Climate Change.

“Acute exposure to elevated temperatures predicted to occur this century caused a 15 per cent and 30 per cent respective decrease in individuals’ maximum ability to perform aerobic activities such as swimming or foraging, known as aerobic scope.

“However, complete compensation in aerobic scope occurred when both parents and offspring were reared throughout their lives at elevated temperature.

“Such acclimation could reduce the impact of warming temperatures and allow populations to persist across their current range.

“This study reveals the importance of trans-generational acclimation as a mechanism for coping with rapid climate change and highlights that single generation studies risk underestimating the potential of species to cope. (source)

Once again, the alarmist argument that the planet and its inhabitants cannot adapt to climate change has been shown to be flawed in this case. If the planet were so fragile, how come we have a diverse and thriving ecosystem that has suffered through multiple changes in climate more dramatic than that occurring at present?

Clearly the tropical fish haven’t got around to enacting a carbon tax to “tackle climate change”, so they’re stuck with boring old adaptation which they can clearly accomplish very rapidly. Maybe we should follow their lead?


  1. As a scientist of sort and doing water studies I also found out has fast systems clean themselves up! We aren’t as smart as the alarmists, remenber/lmao.

  2. Could we have a link to the actual paper please

  3. Lew Skannen says:

    Wow. Life adapts. Who knew?

  4. OOPS! no more Government funding for you guys…..

  5. Streetcred says:

    Well when you see their adaptive capacity in captive environments it makes you wonder why it was ever thought otherwise.

  6. UzUrBrain says:

    If global warming is caused by CO2 then why are the alarmists against Nuclear Power – which produces NO CO2?

  7. Not in the tank, but in environment for fish is important the amount of oxygen in the water – different temp = different oxygen level. They don’t say, why?

    If IPCC says: chickens have wings, will fly to the moon and mess up the surface! Than CSIRO and other scientist would have stated: without sun reflection from the moon > nocturnal animals that depend on moonlight will suffer, they will research; how much they will suffer. Than the active Skeptic D/H will point that: light from the stars would be enough and they will adopt. Because nobody wants to join me and say: the king is naked!!! The reef will not get 3C degrees up! They are researching to keep the fear alive > Skeptics are faithfully assisting them… IPCC will produce bullshit, as long as there are consumers / bullshit collectors. Merry Christmas to all the sceptical nerds, don’t drive if you drink; we need you, warriors.

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