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257 comments

Yet another inconvenient fact. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36581116)

Well covered in Al Gore's Movie, [youtube.com] and it's all coming true now.

Re:Yet another inconvenient fact. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36581168)

Pretty convenient for the whales, I would have thought?

Re:Yet another inconvenient fact. (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36581296)

For the gray whale, and only in a limited way and for a time. If the Northern Atlantic becomes an attractive habitat for a species that wasn't there before, that could mean the climate and ecosystem are changing significantly, and other species that were there before will no longer thrive. It could also mean other habitats will change, with their own resulting migrations and extinctions.
Sudden changes in the world's ecology aren't rare on a long-term scale, but they often have catastrophic consequences for a lot of the world's species. Since we're one of them, we should be at least slightly concerned about it.

On the other hand, Wikipedia cites several claims that the gray whale was native to the North Atlantic until being hunted to extinction in the 18th century. If this is so, then their return would only be good news since their population would be increasing.

Re:Yet another inconvenient fact. (0)

furbearntrout (1036146) | about 3 years ago | (#36581170)

Never mind him, that's just how he rolls.

Re:Yet another inconvenient fact. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36581186)

That is a rick rolled! I wont fall for that! The real link is here [collegehumor.com] .

What happened in the 18th century? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36581146)

What happened in the 18th century for the whale to go there? Running from whalers?

Re:What happened in the 18th century? (3, Informative)

riverat1 (1048260) | about 3 years ago | (#36581214)

From the Wikipedia article on Gray whales:

North Atlantic populations were extirpated (perhaps by whaling) on the European coast before 500 AD and on the American coast around the late 17th to early 18th centuries.

Re:What happened in the 18th century? (3, Informative)

capnkr (1153623) | about 3 years ago | (#36581656)

And the non-climate-scare angle of that Wikipedia entry (and this part of this story), which immediately follows [wikipedia.org] the above quoted line (screengrab) [tinypic.com] :

However, on May 8, 2010, a sighting of a gray whale was confirmed off the coast of Israel in the Mediterranean Sea,[7] leading some scientists to think they might be repopulating old breeding grounds that have not been used for centuries.[7]

So, is climate change responsible? Or is it simpler, Occam - like growth of the species allowing a return to former breeding grounds? Guess it depends on your/the 'viewpoint' you need to support...

Only the beginning (5, Funny)

caitsith01 (606117) | about 3 years ago | (#36581172)

Al Gore predicted all of this in An Inconvenient Truth:

As the planet warms, the ancient machines of the gray whalean master race will begin to stir. Their instruments of death powered by minute rises in sea temperature, they will begin to send their agents of terror out on increasingly bold missions of destruction. At first the human population will be oblivious. The occasional ship sinking or swimmer mauled with characteristic baleen bite marks will be reported locally, but the dots of this sinister global movement will not be connected until it's far too late. Their algal slime will gradually colonise the land, allowing them to slither across huge distances by night. By the time the 2012 Republican presidential candidate is revealed to be a pygmy sperm whale wearing a top hat and monocle, the gray whales will have assumed total dominion over the affairs of humans, or "mega-plankton" as we are known to the grays.

In 1995 I proposed a bill to impose a 0.2% of surcharge on the use of high fructose corn syrup in candy. The money raised was to be appropriated to fund a crack team of scuba specialists to wage humanity's covert war against whalean infiltrators. The bill was defeated. Now, alas, it may be too late.

Why won't people listen to this guy? It's like everyone fell asleep or left after the first half of the movie or something.

Re:Only the beginning (1, Offtopic)

7-Vodka (195504) | about 3 years ago | (#36581192)

His movie had a second half?

Re:Only the beginning (0)

stms (1132653) | about 3 years ago | (#36581326)

Of course it has a second half the second quarter of the movie was the second half.

Re:Only the beginning (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36581392)

The whole of the second quarter was the second half of the first half. The quarter after that was the first half of the second half of the movie, the second half of which was completed by an additional quarter.

Re:Only the beginning (1)

ThunderBird89 (1293256) | about 3 years ago | (#36581202)

Maybe his script was written by Frank Schätzing. The Swarm hits pretty close to this, and dramatized as it is, it's an awesome novel.

Re:Only the beginning (0)

Rogerborg (306625) | about 3 years ago | (#36581666)

Novel? I thought it was a screenplay. Did your edition have the appendix with his suggestions for casting it?

Re:Only the beginning (0)

ThunderBird89 (1293256) | about 3 years ago | (#36581680)

I don't think so, but it sure read like a novel. I'd love to see it adapted for film, though.

Re:Only the beginning (4, Insightful)

PixetaledPikachu (1007305) | about 3 years ago | (#36581206)

Why won't people listen to this guy? It's like everyone fell asleep or left after the first half of the movie or something.

because it's an Inconvenient truth

Re:Only the beginning (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36581286)

Why won't people listen to this guy? It's like everyone fell asleep or left after the first half of the movie or something.

For the same reason people doesn't listen to greenpeace.
While he says a lot of things that are true the hit/miss ratio is too bad for anyone to be able to take anything he says at face value.
It's not enough to say a lot of things that are true. If you wan't people to start listening to you you will also have to stop telling things that aren't.

Re:Only the beginning (0)

zill (1690130) | about 3 years ago | (#36581406)

Shut up and take my money!

There is no such thing as climate change (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36581174)

really, there isn't.

just put your head in the sand like me.

and be one of the assholes that helps fuck the world.

Re:There is no such thing as climate change (-1)

JSBiff (87824) | about 3 years ago | (#36581786)

No one says there's no such thing as climate change. What they say is "the climate is constantly changing, and has been constantly changing FOREVER; so what?".

This is bad because? (4, Insightful)

ghostdoc (1235612) | about 3 years ago | (#36581180)

So if a species dies out and disappears from an ecosystem, that's bad for biodiversity and can potentially cause the collapse of the ecosystem.

Now we find out that if a species that used to be part of an ecosystem re-enters it that's also bad and can potentially cause the collapse of the ecosystem.

Is there *anything* good that can happen to an ecosystem? Surely *some* changes are good?

Re:This is bad because? (3, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about 3 years ago | (#36581198)

Is there *anything* good that can happen to an ecosystem?

Gradual change.

Re:This is bad because? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36581242)

800,000 years is fast?

Re:This is bad because? (1)

Arlet (29997) | about 3 years ago | (#36581274)

Yes, if all the change happened in the last few decades of those 800,000 years.

Re:This is bad because? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36581314)

Is the North Atlantic supposed to get half a whale before it gets a full one?

Re:This is bad because? (1)

caitsith01 (606117) | about 3 years ago | (#36581536)

Is the North Atlantic supposed to get half a whale before it gets a full one?

No, don't be ridiculous.

One whale is supposed to get right to the northern edge of the South Atlantic and verrrrrrrrrry slowly put first a fluke, then a bit of its tail, and eventually its whole body across the line, as though it's getting into a hot bath. Which, effectively, it is.

Re:This is bad because? (2)

Sulphur (1548251) | about 3 years ago | (#36581852)

Is the North Atlantic supposed to get half a whale before it gets a full one?

No, don't be ridiculous.

One whale is supposed to get right to the northern edge of the South Atlantic and verrrrrrrrrry slowly put first a fluke, then a bit of its tail, and eventually its whole body across the line, as though it's getting into a hot bath. Which, effectively, it is.

The Gray or Schrodinger's Whale is sometimes observed doing the hokey-pokey.

Re:This is bad because? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36581548)

Is the North Atlantic supposed to get half a whale before it gets a full one?

Eh, barring teleportation, I'm pretty sure it did.

Re:This is bad because? (0)

Pino Grigio (2232472) | about 3 years ago | (#36581352)

What do you mean "gradual change"? A whale is either there or it's not. It isn't half there. The same applies to the algae. Current "global warming" is well within the bounds of natural variation. So when you say "gradual", what you mean is "natural" or "normal". Well, can you state anything at all that is abnormal about these events?

Re:This is bad because? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36581420)

Take a rest, don't be an imbecile all your life.

Re:This is bad because? (3, Insightful)

Arlet (29997) | about 3 years ago | (#36581440)

A whale is either there or it's not. It isn't half there.

But two whales can be half there.

Current "global warming" is well within the bounds of natural variation

Irrelevant. What's relevant is the current global warming is caused by human activity, how it will impact our lives, and what options we have to change it. The fact that millions of years ago it was even hotter due to some natural phenomenon doesn't change anything. It's like saying: "it's not a problem that your house is flooded, because 165 million years ago, there used to be a sea in that place"

Re:This is bad because? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36581472)

What's relevant is the current global warming is caused by human activity, how it will impact our lives, and what options we have to change it.

NO. The fact that the change is caused by humans is interesting but not relevant to our course of action. The other questions are important - is what's going on good,bad or neautral for us and can we do anything about it? The same types of actions should follow whether we caused it or the sun or squirrels or R'lyeh rising from the depths.

Re:This is bad because? (4, Informative)

Arlet (29997) | about 3 years ago | (#36581564)

NO. The fact that the change is caused by humans is interesting but not relevant to our course of action

Of course it is relevant to understand what's causing a certain phenomenon. If we understand how current warming is caused by increasing greenhouse gases, then we also know how much we can influence warming by reducing the amount of those gases we produce.

And even if we choose not to limit CO2 production, we can use the knowledge to estimate how big the warming is going to be, and what kind of problems it could cause within a certain time frame. That knowledge could be used to allocate the necessary funds to deal with the problems.

Re:This is bad because? (1)

capnkr (1153623) | about 3 years ago | (#36581674)

What's relevant is the current global warming is caused by human activity, how it will impact our lives, and what options we have to change it.

NO. The fact that the change is caused by humans is interesting but not relevant to our course of action.

Are we even sure that this change has been human-induced? Proof for that posit is still hotly debated - and in fact could be called 'the debate' in and of itself, from what I see.

Re:This is bad because? (5, Insightful)

Arlet (29997) | about 3 years ago | (#36581726)

It's only hotly debated by some politicians, laypeople on blogs and in the popular press. The debate in the scientific literature is almost non-existent.

Re:This is bad because? (3, Insightful)

Pino Grigio (2232472) | about 3 years ago | (#36581498)

This graph is instructive [photobucket.com] (note, Michael Mann had no part in its construction). What do you notice about temperature (left hand side is most recent)? Yes. It's not only highly variable (sampling error?) but that variability is not unprecedented. In fact current changes in temperature as measured over the last few hundred years are well within the bounds of natural variability.

Re:This is bad because? (2)

Arlet (29997) | about 3 years ago | (#36581532)

Since 1 pixel on the graph equals about 100,000 years, it's impossible to say whether our current rate of change is unprecedented on a century-timescale, or not.

And, even assuming the current variability is not unprecedented on a 100-million year scale, that does little to comfort somebody living in a low lying coastal city, or on a flood plane, getting threatened by higher sea levels and increased precipitation.

Re:This is bad because? (2)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 3 years ago | (#36581708)

We know there were times in the distant past where CO2 was 4X as high as now, global temp was 12degC higher, and yet life still flourished, however the point is that a sharp jump, (geologically speaking), to a Jurassic climate will make mince meat of our modern infrastructure and agriculture causing humanity to be dramatically downsized (and other life-forms to flourish).

Re:This is bad because? (1)

wmbetts (1306001) | about 3 years ago | (#36581528)

A whale is either there or it's not. It isn't half there.

But two whales can be half there.

How can 1 whale not be half there, but 2 whale can be?

Re:This is bad because? (1)

jc79 (1683494) | about 3 years ago | (#36581614)

How can 1 whale not be half there, but 2 whale can be?

Wait, can two whales not half be not there but 1 whale can be not half there?

Not half.

Re:This is bad because? (1)

wmbetts (1306001) | about 3 years ago | (#36581740)

I've apparently been up way to long and need to go to bed.

Re:This is bad because? (1)

Krneki (1192201) | about 3 years ago | (#36581604)

Is there *anything* good that can happen to an ecosystem?

Gradual change.

Like the dinosaur extinction?

Re:This is bad because? (1)

deadhammer (576762) | about 3 years ago | (#36581874)

That was bad, in fact. Big asteroid hits, giant dust clouds, 75% of species on the planet go extinct within a few thousand years. It took millions of years for diversity to recover.

Ecosystems don't go through gradual change (1, Interesting)

Colin Smith (2679) | about 3 years ago | (#36581952)

Ecosystems are driven by exponential processes, change is always "catastrophic".

Re:This is bad because? (3, Insightful)

Arlet (29997) | about 3 years ago | (#36581218)

Who said it was bad ? It's just a sign that things are changing, but the return of the whales or algae in itself aren't bad.

Re:This is bad because? (2, Insightful)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | about 3 years ago | (#36581230)

It's almost as if the natural world is nothing more than bunch of delicately balanced equilibriums! Who would have thought!?

Re:This is bad because? (3, Interesting)

hawkinspeter (831501) | about 3 years ago | (#36581412)

This fallacy was explored by a recent BBC documentary (All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace). Ecosystems aren't balanced equilibriums at all - they are constantly changing and have always been changing (i.e. before humans were around).

However, this doesn't mean that a particular change is going to be good for us humans.

Re:This is bad because? (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 3 years ago | (#36581436)

Ecosystems aren't balanced equilibriums at all - they are constantly changing and have always been changing

Balanced doesn't imply static. An acrobat on a wire doesn't stand still, he's constantly making small movements, and yet he doesn't fall.

Pretty much all ecosystems we can observe change, but only within a limited range. That's because ones that don't do that cease to exist, or at least transition into something else.

Sigh (5, Informative)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | about 3 years ago | (#36581636)

Well smartass, that was EXACTLY what the parent and the documentary are claiming isn't true. Nature was thought for a long time to be a balanced machine (to many rabbits, the foxes do well reducing the number of rabbits and then the excess of foxes dies as there are fewer rabbits to eat allowing the rabbits to restore themselves).

And the documentary showed how this believe came into being, how it was used and then how it was completely and utter debunked. In nature this does NOT happen. Not that nature doesn't appear to balance out but there is no balancing mechanism in place. It is VERY possible for the foxes to eat all the rabbits. No magic rebalancing act. Nature has plenty of example in all the extinct species.

Welcome to new century, some old ideas are going to be replaced by new ones. Constantly balancing eco system is so last century.

Re:Sigh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36581730)

Mod parent up. He's hit the nail on the head.

Re:This is bad because? (3, Informative)

Cyberllama (113628) | about 3 years ago | (#36581504)

Depends on what you consider to be an equilibrium. For instance, imagine a teeter-totter. It goes back and forth, but it does so predictably. That, to me, is equilibrium. That's a very simple system, but ecosystems are not simple at all.

When Steven Jay Gould spoke of stasis and punctuated equilibrium, I don't think he was really using those terms in the way most people might consider them. Certainly, day to day, things change. But in the bigger picture, evolution will naturally drive us towards what, relatively speaking, is equilibrium. There's a steady rhythm, a natural cycle that might not seem very predictable to human eyes.

Check out this double pendulum.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8VmTiyTut6A

Seems chaotic, right? But its not. It's just complex--too complex for humans. Your average ecosystem is like a ten-thousand part pendulum. One year there might be 10x as many frogs running around as the year before, due to a confluence of other conditions, and the next year there's a drought and there's hardly any. Even though everything seems to be in flux, it's still in a state of equilibrium. From day to day, things seem different, but if you look at a much, much bigger picture, you find that things stay the same for long periods of time until there's some massive disruption.

Re:This is bad because? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36581638)

Check out this double pendulum.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8VmTiyTut6A

Seems chaotic, right? But its not.

You know, words have meanings, and flatly denying them does not change it, it just makes you look like an idiot.
Chaos Theory [wikimedia.org]
Double Pendulum [wikimedia.org]
Perhaps you meant it's not "random" or "non-deterministic" -- they're different words with different meaning -- but it most certainly is chaotic.

Re:This is bad because? (0)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 3 years ago | (#36581728)

Your average ecosystem is like a ten-thousand part pendulum.

I've got nothing to say, I just like that quote. :)

Re:This is bad because? (-1, Flamebait)

DesScorp (410532) | about 3 years ago | (#36581246)

Is there *anything* good that can happen to an ecosystem? Surely *some* changes are good?

Yes, humans can become extinct, which is what I suspect some environmentalists are hoping for eventually. They see us all as an infection on their Earth Mother.

Re:This is bad because? (3, Insightful)

Nursie (632944) | about 3 years ago | (#36581390)

You know it's funny that you think they want humans extinct, yet they are usually the ones shouting loudest to do something to stop humans going extinct.

It's the non-environmentalists that seem to have the deathwish.

Re:This is bad because? (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 3 years ago | (#36581742)

Yes, humans can get speeding tickets, which is what I suspect some postmen are hoping for eventually. They see us all as an infection on their roads.

Re:This is bad because? (2, Insightful)

jovius (974690) | about 3 years ago | (#36581384)

The gist of the article is the opening of North West passage by which the whale and the algae have passed from Northern Pacific to Northern Atlantic.

The ecosystems always adapt. Some species die out and others find a microscopic ecological niche - it's a natural process. At the moment species are becoming exinct en masse. Are the changes introduced by steady oscillating processes or abruptly as a planet wide catastrophe? The humanity is the unbalancing factor in the process - we are a sort of super predator that consumes available resources at an alarming pace.

Your question evades the real question about the anthropogenic changes on Earth. We are at the top of the food chain, so it's us who will eventually suffer from the disruptions below. The more gradual and easy the changes the more time we have for adaptation. So there's still a lot to learn.

Re:This is bad because? (0)

bryan1945 (301828) | about 3 years ago | (#36581388)

Kind of what I thought. If the whales are coming back after a few hundred years, doesn't that mean that it was just that warm back then, too? And maybe the algae just wanted a vacation? These are interesting occurrences, and possible bad, but if a moose sneezes does that indicated climate change/global warming/Al Gore did laundry, every single time?

Re:This is bad because? (2)

pnot (96038) | about 3 years ago | (#36581396)

TFA states:

The (re)introduction of a species into any ecosystem is a potentially disruptive phenomenon.

I don't think any ecologist would disagree with that. Somehow you got from that to

can potentially cause the collapse of the ecosystem.

Where did you find that? I can't see it anywhere in the article.

Re:This is bad because? (2)

Xest (935314) | about 3 years ago | (#36581480)

It's a question of rate of change. Whilst long term change is inevitable, if change is happening quickly because of man's actions then those habitats may not have time to adapt. If you consider that coral reefs might be able to adapt to say a 3c increase over 10,000 years, it doesn't mean they will over 100 years- you need a number of generations of a species to adapt to the change, the pressures are just too great over a shorter period.

This is what many people don't get with the climate change issue- you have sites that cater to dumb people like The Register parroting on about how parts of the world were much hotter hundreds of years ago than they are now and the world and life didn't end as a result of that change, completely ignoring that such changes happened gradually over hundreds of thousands of years, not over a hundred years.

It is there that the problem lies. Change is indeed good, and in fact inevitable, it just has to happen at nature's pace, not our pace, else it leads to extinction.

Re:This is bad because? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36581836)

It's a question of rate of change. Whilst long term change is inevitable, if change is happening quickly because of man's actions then those habitats may not have time to adapt.

So if this year we only found part of a Gray Whale in the North Atlantic and then next year we found another part then maybe another little bit...

Re:This is bad because? (2)

wrook (134116) | about 3 years ago | (#36581686)

Is there *anything* good that can happen to an ecosystem? Surely *some* changes are good?

Depends on who you are. Things change all the time. There are areas that have been grazed as a result of human farming for a couple of hundred years. These have developed into ecosystems that are threatened because farming practices like hill farming (where you let your livestock wander around the hills grazing) has gone out of fashion (we reduced the price of meat to the point where it's no longer sustainable). There are species of birds that are threatened because the way we used to farm has changed. But the thing is that those ecological niches weren't there before we stuck out fingers in. There have even been huge debates over whether we should allow grazing and keep threatened species, or forbid grazing and allow the ecosystem to go back to what it was before we fucked with it. It's all very complicated.

We are part of nature. Our actions have an impact, but it's a mistake to think that having an impact is somehow evil. Every species has an impact. It's that whole "web of life" thing (cue crappy Disney tunes). It's also a mistake to think that we should be controlling every aspect of nature. As much as possible, we should let it get along on its own. But we need to allow it to get along. If we go and bulldoze every surface for the hell of it, then our world is not going to be very interesting/useful/comfortable.

Right now our value systems are skewed. We are geared in to production. If it doesn't aid in production, then I don't want to think about it. We aren't paying much attention to quality of life. Or rather, we are letting people bulldoze our quality of life in the name of production without much oversight. IMHO, this is where we need to be careful.

How embarrassing.... (3, Funny)

cbytes (1736804) | about 3 years ago | (#36581182)

When I get lost, I only have to answer to my wife...

Immigration policy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36581188)

Clearly this means the North Atlantic needs to get tougher on illegal immigrants. I recommend building a fence around the place.

Nice try, but the two are unrelated (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36581224)

Gray Whales are returning to the North Atlantic since they're no longer being hunted en masse and now their numbers are rebounding. Southern-Hemisphere algae appears in the North due to ships dumping their ballast water - the same way the zebra mussel has spread EVERYWHERE despite being native to the Black and Caspian Seas.

Re:Nice try, but the two are unrelated (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36581294)

That explains the record average temperature increases, the melting of the polar ice caps, and why Republicans always vote against reality and for stupidity.

I'd love to see the ship that spread whales to the North Atlantic in its ballast tanks..

I'll bet it looks alot like the evidence that Republicans have ever helped the country instead of kneekapping the middle class to help the wealthy, while pushing the poor to the gutter.

Re:Nice try, but the two are unrelated (2)

JimboFBX (1097277) | about 3 years ago | (#36581328)

[quote]I'd love to see the ship that spread whales to the North Atlantic in its ballast tanks..[/quote]

Dude, me too. Imagine the look on their faces when they empty their tanks and find THAT!

Re:Nice try, but the two are unrelated (1)

Sean_Inconsequential (1883900) | about 3 years ago | (#36581402)

It looks like Abraham Lincoln?

Re:Nice try, but the two are unrelated (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36581416)

If I remember correctly, Abraham Lincoln, like the Republican party believed in states rights, and human rights.

I'm sure all those Republican states that once formed the Confederacy really identify with Abraham Lincoln. And not just when they are trying to find an example of a Republican that didn't totally fuck over black people in the name of "states rights"

Re:Nice try, but the two are unrelated (-1, Flamebait)

Pino Grigio (2232472) | about 3 years ago | (#36581302)

Great points. This is just more hype from the Green movement. I expect an appeal for funding is due soon.

Says who? (4, Informative)

Michael Woodhams (112247) | about 3 years ago | (#36581268)

That was a terrible article. It has almost no detail. In particular, the only source given for this information is "scientists".

Here's [sahfos.ac.uk] a better reference for the algae.

I find lots of articles online linking the whales and the algae, which, while much better than the one linked to in the summary, don't say much more about the whale than that it was spotted off the coast of Israel.

Re:Says who? (2, Informative)

Pino Grigio (2232472) | about 3 years ago | (#36581386)

What's more, it was apparently first found in the North Atlantic in 1999. A good 12 years ago. So what, apart from an appeal for funding (and consequently necessary media hype), has prompted this article, apart from the author's 2007 paper attempting to link its arrival to polar ice melting? As someone else has suggested, it's more likely to have arrived from ballast, as many other species have.

Re:Says who? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36581584)

That was a terrible article. It has almost no detail. In particular, the only source given for this information is "scientists".

Because it didn't really happen unless politicians and TV preachers say so, right?

Re:Says who? (1)

Michael Woodhams (112247) | about 3 years ago | (#36581916)

It didn't happen unless they name the scientists and cite the paper.

Hasn't strayed or hasn't been spotted? (1)

dohzer (867770) | about 3 years ago | (#36581270)

Hasn't been there, or hasn't been found there?

Re:Hasn't strayed or hasn't been spotted? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36581310)

Exactly. Let's not forget that we have no idea of what the Gray Whale's natural habitat really is/was. We didn't have a chance to study it because were too busy killing them for a couple hundred years. By the time we banned whaling, all that was left were isolated communities in the Southern Hemisphere.

As a gray whale skeptic... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36581272)

I suggest that there was in fact no gray whale. I am no marine biologist, nor have I ever studied marine biology, however I have read a newspaper article on these things and I suggest that whoever claims they saw the gray whale is only doing so that they can receive more government grants. Seriously, these "experts" - if I can use that term - can't get their facts straight. One moment it's a gray whale, the next it's algae. You don't have to be an expert to tell that these things are totally different and the "experts" are obviously confused. I am waiting for Lord Monckton's explanation - now there is true expert on this.

Re:As a gray whale skeptic... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36581312)

This passes for informative on Slashdot, right?

You may want to tie this in with some half baked libertarian theories, but that's just a suggestion. You're the expert.

Whoosh! - satire alert (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36581370)

I never mod up ACs, but the grandparent post takes off The Daily Mail to a T.

Re:As a gray whale skeptic... (1, Funny)

GrumblyStuff (870046) | about 3 years ago | (#36581670)

If it's "Informative", it's because someone has a sense of humor. If it's "Funny", it's 'cause someone takes pity on people like you and decided to make it obvious. If I get modded down and you up, it's because I failed to see the meta-joke even though I mentioned it in this sentence.

Were they panicking in 18th century as well? (3, Funny)

X.25 (255792) | about 3 years ago | (#36581324)

The gray whale hasn't strayed to the Northern Atlantic since the 18th century.

So, what happened in 18th century that made gray whale stray to the Northern Atlantic?

Re:Were they panicking in 18th century as well? (1)

Farmer Tim (530755) | about 3 years ago | (#36581346)

Plankton discount coupons.

Taxonomy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36581356)

Dudes, species names are supposed to be written in italic.

Actually, since I was there ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36581364)

... the algae were there 789,981 years ago as of this past May. ;) Always check your assumptions. You may adopt someone's beliefs (an old earth) because they are convenient. But how can you be sure about the distant past without eyewitness evidence?

What's with these lost animals? (1)

antdude (79039) | about 3 years ago | (#36581444)

This whale and that lost penguin in NZ [google.com] . :(

Re:What's with these lost animals? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36581914)

This whale and that lost penguin in NZ [google.com] . :(

Hey at least they don't have GPS. Humans get lost all the bloody time, even when they have gps.

Some people have too much time (1)

michelcolman (1208008) | about 3 years ago | (#36581464)

Really, roaming the Atlantic for 800,000 years looking for a specific kind of algae? I mean, if they say it hasn't been there during all that time, somebody must have been checking, right? Boy, some people have waay too much time on their hands.

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more algae -- a good thing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36581600)

We often hear about the negative global-warming accelerators such as the methane release from the thawing Siberian permafrost.. but are there any natural positive counterbalances we can expect? Will the algae not HELP a little?

Gay whale (1)

Smigh (1634175) | about 3 years ago | (#36581616)

What I read on my rss feed was "Gay whale... seen in N. Atlantic"

I'm kind of disappointed now that they haven't found a gay whale...

Re:Gay whale (1)

rossdee (243626) | about 3 years ago | (#36581658)

How would you know it was gay, unless there were two of them (of the same sex)

Re:Gay whale (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36581664)

I'm sorry you didn't find your Moby Dick. There are, however, plenty of sperm whales and humpbacks in the N. Atlantic.

Thar' he blows! Hurry and harpoon him...

How is Israel the North Atlantic? (1)

Shivetya (243324) | about 3 years ago | (#36581784)

OK, I read the article and searched google. How is a city in Israel somehow part of the North Atlantic? I would be more interested in how the whale got that far into the Med without being spotted.

As for the algae, if ships are making the passage they are doing the same thing they did to the great lakes, bringing lifeforms across that have no natural enemies to an environment similar to the one they left. I really doubt the algae is flowing from the Pacific to the Atlantic, I am more sure its because of the ships passing through the area. Either pumping out their bilge water or barnacles and other assorted life attached to the hulls coming off.

The True Question (1)

chill (34294) | about 3 years ago | (#36581866)

The article doesn't address the most important question. Did the whale cause the algae to drift, or did the algae cause the whale to migrate?

Re:The True Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36581948)

Or option number three, they aren't related.

What this really means... (1)

PortHaven (242123) | about 3 years ago | (#36581892)

Is that we've been lied too...yup.

This isn't showing that global warming is some how destroying our ecosystem. What this shows is all that BS about it being the hottest ever was bogus. Clearly, if the Gray whales migrated back in the 1800's to the northern Atlantic. And they're "just now" doing it again. Then our global temperatures have really just become on par with the 1800's again.

Hmm...food for thought rather than hysteria.

Re:What this really means... (1)

pnot (96038) | about 3 years ago | (#36581970)

Clearly, if the Gray whales migrated back in the 1800's to the northern Atlantic. And they're "just now" doing it again. Then our global temperatures have really just become on par with the 1800's again.

Grey Whales didn't "migrate" to the North Atlantic in the 1800s; there was a pre-existing native population there which died out in the 18th century (probably due to whaling). Reference here. [jstor.org] Temperature didn't have anything to do with it.

Hmm...food for thought rather than hysteria.

I didn't see any hysteria in the article.

Re:What this really means... (1)

Arlet (29997) | about 3 years ago | (#36582002)

No, what's more likely is that the whales left in the 1800's because they were hunted, and they are returning because they aren't (as much) anymore.

The article's claim that they returned as a result of higher temperatures isn't very well supported (it certainly doesn't provide any citations). It may be different for the algae, though.

BTW, nobody ever claimed that recent years were "the hottest ever". The claim was that those years were the hottest in the modern temperature record, which goes back to 1880. Based on proxy data, it is likely that last decade was the hottest since at least a couple thousand years.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:2000_Year_Temperature_Comparison.png [wikipedia.org]

The algae, not from southern oceans, but N Pacific (1)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | about 3 years ago | (#36581900)

The previously known distribution of the algae included the North Pacific (http://us.mirror.gbif.org/species/13292500, click the agreement), not southern oceans as claimed in the title

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