Proliferations of jellyfish can show a substantial, visible impact on coastal populations -- clogged nets for fishermen, stinging waters for tourists, even choked cooling intake pipes for power plants -- and recent media reports have created a perception that the world's oceans are experiencing trending increases in jellyfish. Now, a new multinational collaborative study, involving the University of Southampton, suggests these trends may be overstated, finding that there is no robust evidence for a global increase in jellyfish over the past two centuries.Amazing! Unprecedented! You mean there's one change in Nature that is NOT LINEAR? One variable that RUNS IN CYCLES? One phenomenon that is NOT CAUSED BY EVIL KKKARBON? How can we possibly comprehend this? It's beyond all imagining!
The key finding of the study shows global jellyfish populations undergo concurrent fluctuations with successive decadal periods of rise and fall, including a rising phase in the 1990s and early 2000s that has contributed to the current perception of a global increase in jellyfish abundance. The previous period of high jellyfish numbers during the 1970s went unnoticed due to limited research on jellyfish at the time, less awareness of global-scale problems and a lower capacity for information sharing (e.g. no Internet).Seriously, this is pure sanity, and the authors deserve applause for fighting fashion to publish facts. The online article doesn't seem to have graphs or data lists available, so I can't examine the pattern more closely.... but I'll bet $11 that the "decadal" patterns are actually 11-year patterns. As in sunspots. When Nature does decades, she does 11.
Polistra was named after the original townsite of Manhattan (the one in Kansas). When I was growing up in Manhattan, I spent a lot of time exploring by foot, bike, and car. I discovered the ruins of an old mill along Wildcat Creek, and decided (inaccurately) that it was the remains of the original site of Polistra. Accurate or not, I've always liked the name, with its echoes of Poland (an under-appreciated friend of freedom) and stars. ==== The title icon is explained here. ==== Switchover: This 2007 entry marks a sharp change in worldview from neocon to pure populist. ===== The long illustrated story of Polistra's Dream is a time-travel fable, attempting to answer the dangerous revision of New Deal history propagated by Amity Shlaes. The Dream has 8 episodes, linked in a chain from the first. This entry explains the Shlaes connection.