Global Warming… Jumping the Shark…

Wikipedia tells us,

The term jumping the shark alludes to a specific scene in a 1977 episode of the TV series Happy Days when the popular character Arthur “Fonzie” Fonzarelli literally jumps over a shark while water skiing. The scene was so preposterous that many believed it to be an ill-conceived attempt at reviving the declining ratings of the flagging show. 

The expression is used to refer to tired TV shows which have similarly passed their peak.

Once a show has “jumped the shark” fans sense a noticeable decline in quality or feel the show has undergone too many changes to retain its original appeal. 

Now, the same is true of the much over-cooked global warming. The Observer reported at the weekend:

Surge in fatal shark attacks blamed on global warming 

But, of course, we need the numbers.

Two deaths in the waters off California and Mexico last week and a spate of shark-inflicted injuries to surfers off Florida’s Atlantic coast have leftbeachgoers seeking an explanation for a sudden surge in the number of strikes. In the first four months of this year, there were four fatal shark attacks worldwide, compared with one in the whole of 2007, according to the International Shark Attack File at the Florida Museum of Natural History inGainesville.  

Gosh. Interesting. But correlation and causation, and all that. We ought to be careful. What is the warming climate doing to the sharks, to make them attack us?

‘The one thing that’s affecting shark attacks more than anything else is human activity,’ said Dr George Burgess of Florida University, a shark expert who maintains the database. ‘As the population continues to rise, so does the number of people in the water for recreation. And as long as we have an increase in human hours in the water, we will have an increase in shark bites.’ 

Hmmm. That’s not global warming though, is it?

Some experts suggest that an abundance of seals has attracted high numbers of sharks, while others believe that overfishing has hit their food chain. 

Hmmm. Still not getting the ‘global warming’ thing…

Another contributory factor to the location of shark attacks could be global warming and rising sea temperatures. ‘You’ll find that some species will begin to appear in places they didn’t in the past with some regularity,’ he said. 

“Could be”. Things “regularly appearing” where they hadn’t been “in the past”. We’re not going to worry about it until we see sharks in rollerblading rinks. It turns out that the headline is misleading.

The only sense which can be distilled from this absurd article is that sharks only attack you when you’re wet. Global warming has nothing to do with it.