NGO pleads for $15 billion “ocean acidification” monitoring system

Via Eurekalert, from the NGO Partnership for Observation of the Global Oceans (POGO), a press release that says, “panic! please send money”. Here’s the punch line:

The Foundation says the average level of pH at the ocean surface has dropped from 8.2 to 8.1 units, “rendering the oceans more acidic than they have been for 20 million years,”

Note that any pH lower than 7.0 is considered “acidic”. Distilled (pure) water has a pH of 7.0. Right now the ocean with a pH of 8.1 is considered “basic”.

Even more interesting is this map below from WikiMedia showing the change in global ocean pH over the last two hundred years. The map information says:

Estimated change in annual mean sea surface pH between the pre-industrial period (1700s) and the present day (1990s). Δ pH here is in standard pH units. Calculated from fields of dissolved inorganic carbon and alkalinity from the Global Ocean Data Analysis Project climatology and temperature and salinity from the World Ocean Atlas (2005) climatology using Richard Zeebe’s csys package . It is plotted here using a Mollweide projection (using MATLAB and the M_Map package). Note that the GLODAP climatology is missing data in certain oceanic provinces including the Arctic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea, the Mediterranean Sea and the Malay Archipelago.

click to enlarge

So, with accuracy like this, and such small pH changes obviously measurable, and the pH not yet anywhere near acidic, why do we need a global $15 billion pH measurement system again? It seems all they need is a few places covered to infill some data.

Here’s the press release:

Speed installation of system to monitor vital signs of global ocean, scientists urge

‘It is past time to get serious about measuring what’s happening to the seas around us’

The ocean surface is 30 percent more acidic today than it was in 1800, much of that increase occurring in the last 50 years – a rising trend that could both harm coral reefs and profoundly impact tiny shelled plankton at the base of the ocean food web, scientists warn.

Despite the seriousness of such changes to the ocean, however, the world has yet to deploy a complete suite of available tools to monitor rising acidification and other ocean conditions that have a fundamental impact on life throughout the planet.

Marine life patterns, water temperature, sea level, and polar ice cover join acidity and other variables in a list of ocean characteristics that can and should be tracked continuously through the expanded deployment of existing technologies in a permanent, integrated global monitoring system, scientists say.

Caption: A mooring with a suite of ocean acidification and other environmental sensors at Heron Island on the Great Barrier Reef is the latest tool in an expanding global network of ocean measurements, informing scientists of changes in ocean chemistry.

Credit: Dr. Bronte Tilbrook, CSIRO, Australia

The Partnership for Observation of the Global Oceans (POGO), representing 38 major oceanographic institutions from 21 countries and leading a global consortium called Oceans United, will urge government officials and ministers meeting in Beijing Nov. 3-5 to help complete an integrated global ocean observation system by target date 2015.

It would be the marine component of a Global Earth Observation System of Systems under discussion in Beijing by some 71 member nations of the intergovernmental Group on Earth Observations.

The cost to create an adequate monitoring system has been estimated at $10 billion to $15 billion in assets, with $5 billion in annual operating costs.

Some 600 scientists with expertise in all facets of the oceans developed an authoritative vision of characteristics to monitor at a 2009 conference on ocean observations, (www.oceanobs09.net).

Furthermore, as documented in the forthcoming proceedings of the 2009 conference (to be published shortly by the European Space Agency), the value of such information to the world’s financial interests and to human security would dwarf the investment required.

“Although the US and European Union governments have recently signaled support, international cooperation is desperately needed to complete a global ocean observation system that could continuously collect, synthesize and interpret data critical to a wide variety of human needs,” says Dr. Kiyoshi Suyehiro, Chairman of POGO.

“Most ocean experts believe the future ocean will be saltier, hotter, more acidic, and less diverse,” states Jesse Ausubel, a founder of POGO and of the recently completed Census of Marine Life. “It is past time to get serious about measuring what’s happening to the seas around us.”

The risks posed by ocean acidification exemplify the many good reasons to act urgently.

Caption: Scientists explore on and beneath polar ice. Their aircraft remotely sense animals through properties of scattered light. Marine animals themselves carry tags that store records of their travels and dives and communicate with satellites. Fish carry tags that revealed their migration past acoustic listening lines. Sounds that echoed back to ships portray schools of fish assembling, swimming, and commuting up and down. Standardized frames and structures dropped near shores and on reefs provide information for comparing diversity and abundance. Manned and unmanned undersea vehicles plus divers photograph sea floors and cliffs. Deep submersibles sniff and videotape smoking seafloor vents. And nets and dredges catch specimens, shallow and deep, for closest study.

Credit: E. Paul Oberlander / Census of Marine Life

POGO-affiliated scientists at the UK-based Sir Alister Hardy Foundation for Ocean Science recently published a world atlas charting the distribution of the subset of plankton species that grow shells at some point in their life cycles. Not only are these shelled plankton fundamental to the ocean’s food web, they also play a major role in planetary climate regulation and oxygen production. Highly acidic sea water inhibits the growth of plankton shells.

The Foundation says the average level of pH at the ocean surface has dropped from 8.2 to 8.1 units, “rendering the oceans more acidic than they have been for 20 million years,” with expectations of continuing acidification due to high concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Because colder water retains more carbon dioxide, the acidity of surface waters may increase fastest at Earth’s high latitudes where the zooplankton known as pteropods are particularly abundant. Pteropods (see links to images below) are colorful, free-swimming pelagic sea snails and sea slugs on which many animals higher in the food chain depend. Scientists caution that the overall global marine impact of rising carbon dioxide is unclear because warming of the oceans associated with rising greenhouse gases in the air could in turn lead to lower retention of carbon dioxide at lower latitudes and to potential countervailing effects.

Says Foundation Director Dr. Peter Burkill: “Ocean acidification could have a devastating effect on calcifying organisms, and perhaps marine ecosystems as a whole, and we need global monitoring to provide timely information on trends and fluxes from the tropics to the poles. Threatened are tiny life forms that help the oceans absorb an estimated 50 gigatonnes of carbon from Earth’s atmosphere annually, about the same as all plants and trees on land. Humanity has a vital interest in authoritative information about ocean conditions and a global network of observations is urgently needed.”

Ocean conditions that require monitoring can be divided into three categories:

  • Chemical – including pollution, levels of oxygen, and rising acidity;
  • Physical / Geological – including sound, tide and sea levels, as well as sudden wave energy and bottom pressure changes that could provide precious minutes of warning before a tsunami; and
  • Biological – including shifts in marine species diversity, distribution, biomass and ecosystem function due to changing water conditions.

Benefits of the comprehensive ocean system envisioned include:

  • Improved short-term and seasonal forecasts to mitigate the harm caused by drought, or by severe storms, cyclones, hurricanes and monsoons, such as those that recently put one-fifth of Pakistan temporarily underwater and left 21 million people homeless or injured. International lenders estimate the damage to Pakistan’s infrastructure, agriculture and other sectors at $9.5 billion. Improved weather forecasting would also enhance the safety of the fishing and shipping industries, and offshore operations such as wind farms and oil drilling. Sea surface temperature is a key factor in the intensity and location of severe weather events;
  • Early identification of pollution-induced eutrophication that spawns algal blooms responsible for health problems in humans and marine species, and harm to aquaculture operations;
  • Timely alerts of changes in distributions of marine life that would allow identification of areas needing protective commercial re-zoning, and of immigration by invasive species;
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201 thoughts on “NGO pleads for $15 billion “ocean acidification” monitoring system

  1. Whats even more amazing is that pH varies with latitude and also with water depth ….. to a much greater degree than o.1 units. And given that CO2 levels have risen and fallen in the past, one must ask – is there a perfect ocean pH ?

  2. Where is the imminent threat to coral reefs, if they had survived thousands ppm of atmospheric CO2? What was the pH of oceans then? How long have I to read “scientists believe”, “scientists urge”, “scientists warn”?

  3. Amazing! It all comes down to the dreaded “poison” CO2. It’s much ‘much worse than we thought’ – panic now! Tomorrow will be too late.

  4. And these people have absolutely NO vested interest in this project.

    The monkey madness continues…

  5. 15 billion for something we already know and measure? They really have no shame at all do they?

    BTW: I am still waiting for my Big-Oil paycheck.

  6. Cold water holds more CO2 than warm. Warm water releases it, making the it less acidic. So to “save the oceans” it seems we need to let the climate warm up a bit.

  7. Alarmists don’t like the ocean temperatures the Argo buoys record so why should Project Alka Seltzer, designed to monitor non-existent acidification, be any different?

  8. 14.9 billion dollar idea:
    Instead of spending $15 billion on constant ocean pH monitoring, spend $0.1 billion on a second reading using more traditional methods. $15 B is a lot of dough to satisfy the curious.

  9. Quick buy shares in litmus paper! Ocean acidification hype is another utter waste of money that could be usefully spent on almost anything not to do with biodiversity/wind/solar/climate………

    When will the penny drop with these morons? They probably scoff at Alchemy/Witches and Fool’s Gold and they are from the same pathetic mould.

  10. A question, don’t the Argo bouys have pH monitoring already? (I know they have both pH and salinity.) As far as monitoring goes, remeber the Argo bouys were deployed with the expectation that they would show heat building in the world’s oceans. Much to the chagrin of the alarmists, the oceans were found to have a stable heat content since their deployment in 2003. Despite much effort to “correct” the results, Trenbreth knew the data was of sufficient quality that he was confounded about the fact that the heat allegedly being added to the system from green house gases could not be accounted for. So while I am suspicious about the need for special pH monitoring system in addition to what is aready available, the amount of variability in climate data is what leads to shenigans like adjustments to suit a pet theory. Thorough, accurate and precise data, well distributed through the oceans is how things will really be settled.

  11. I can think of better things to do with$15 billion.

    Is monitoring global ocean pH one of the core responsibilities of government? I don’t think so. But if someone is going to do it, could it be done for a lot less than $15 billion? I’m pretty sure it could.

  12. Let’s see, that is ** 15,000 million of dollars **, they like it short, $15B, basically for litmus paper !!!!… and I thought the DOD’s paying of $420 for toilet seats was a crime!

  13. Another version of the novel “Use of a dragon” written by Stanislaw Lem-the industry & Co-workers need some money for performing of useless activities.

    Reply: In all my years I’ve never seen a public reference to what is probably my favorite writer…until now. ~ ctm

  14. What happens to the pH of seawater when it rains? I’m thinking if coral can survive coastal rainfall they can survive a slight overall reduction in pH.

  15. Sean says:
    November 1, 2010 at 4:26 am

    > A question, don’t the Argo bouys have pH monitoring already? (I know they have both pH and salinity.)

    I think you meant “temperature and salinity.”

    I think that’s all they measure (and depth and surface position). I imagine it wouldn’t be too hard to add pH, though some care is warranted as they have to measure it very precisely.

    http://gosic.org/ios/MATRICES/ECV/OCEAN/SUB-SURFACE/ECV-GCOS-OCEAN-SUB-SURFACE-ocean-acidity.htm

    has some interesting notes:

    Indications of climate variability are present at all depths in the ocean. Argo can document change in temperature and salinity in the upper 2000 m of the ice-free ocean. The only effective current approach to observing the full suite of ocean sub-surface ECVs involves reference-type repeat deep-ocean surveys. Accurate deep-ocean time series observations are essential for determining long-term trends. Ocean water column surveys from research vessels are also our only present means for determining the large-scale decadal evolution of the anthropogenic CO2 inventory on a global and basin scale. Several overarching Actions are proposed that the international ocean community should take to ensure that a global sub-surface ocean observing system is implemented that will satisfy climate requirements.

    Ocean Acidity: Ocean acidification, commonly referred to as the ongoing decrease in the pH of the Earth’s oceans caused by their uptake of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, is a major and growing threat to marine ecosystems, particularly to marine calcifying organisms such as corals and calcifying plankton. It is mainly determined by the prevailing equilibrium in solution of calcium (as carbonates and bicarbonates) and CO2. In order to fully characterise this chemical state of the inorganic carbon system in the surface ocean, a second property, in addition to pCO2, needs to be measured, i.e., either dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), alkalinity (Alk %G–%@ a measure of the content of carbonate or bicarbonate), or pH. These measurements need to be undertaken with high accuracy and precision, otherwise wrong conclusions about critical properties, such as the saturation state of the seawater with regard to CaCO3, will be drawn. High accuracy and precision measurements systems have been available for all parameters for quite some time already, i.e., pH, Alk, and DIC, but continuous systems are currently available only for pH. However, these continuous pH systems are generally not accurate enough. Development activities are currently underway, but need to be substantially enhanced.

    Current network activities include a small number of ship-board-based time series sites where at least two of the four inorganic carbon properties are regularly measured, a small number of mooring sites and a few underway systems, where either pH or DIC is regularly measured.
    Since no plans currently exist for a scale-up of these activities, a major development effort is required in order to

    1. Develop the technology/automation for autonomous systems that pay attention to careful calibration.
    2. Development of an internationally-agreed implementation strategy to identify priorities for the sustained system.
    3. Start a pilot trans-basin sustained observing programme, and develop new programmes according to implementation strategy priorities.

  16. There exists the Monaco Declaration, which worries about CO2 input to the ocean. One argument there also is acidification. It is true that presently 5 Gigatons of Carbon is deposited per year as CO2 – adding to the 40000 GtC already in the ocean.
    It is also a fact that 100 Million ton of sulfur is added per year to the ocean in the form of sulfuric acid. One way to distribute sulfur very efficiently is to allow heavy fuel oil for ships to carry 4.5 % sulfur. As sulfur dioxide has the reputation to generate aerosols which are supposed to cool and to counter global warming, it seems to be pardonable to do so.

  17. “”Manned and unmanned undersea vehicles plus divers photograph sea floors and cliffs.””

    And if they just happen to be under the Arctic ice they can keep an eye on what the Russians are doing.

  18. Note that any pH lower than 7.0 is considered “acidic”.

    At 25ºC, at lower temperatures the neutral pH is higher, 7.47 at 0ºC.
    Also -0.1 is an increase in [H+] of 25%.

  19. Here’s a thought: Why not get a proper network of temperature stations for 30 billions first? I mean, people are really interested in those figures…

  20. “Most ocean experts believe the future ocean will be saltier”

    Hold on a minute. If CAGW is true then the oceans will become progressively less saline as all the fresh water locked up as ice over Greenland and Antarctica warms and melts.

    Who are these “experts” and WTF could they possibly be thinking?

    I can’t trust these people at all anymore. They’ve become hysteric and irrational.

  21. Has anybody ever noticed how many NGOs there are that support leftist causes? There’s a lot of them and they play a fairly large role in getting their causes implemented.

  22. BTW, I’ll have you know I just wasted several precious minutes looking up whether that elevated position for bleach (pH 13) was valid.

    I found a few references to pH 12.6. The main thing I found was an equlibrium reation involving hypochlorite and hypochlorous acid, so it appears that’s what scrounges up the H+ and leaves excess -OH. NaOCl + H2O == HOCl + Na+ + OH

    I also found that my one and only experiment of mixing some bleach and ammonia (done outside on the driveway and mainly downwind of me) may not have created chlorine, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bleach . However, lowering pH shifts an equlibrium reaction in favor of releasing chlorine, see http://chemistry.about.com/b/2009/02/02/why-people-mix-bleach-and-vinegar.htm . A number of comments to that blog are from people who thought bleach and vinegar was safe and found out otherwise. So I guess I have to try that some breezy day. I think I’ll pass on pool chemicals though….

  23. Don’t worry. It won’t happen. The Chinese will never fund such a stupid idea. Not unless it cripples the West.

  24. How can anyone say the ocean is more acidic today than it has been in 20 million years? Our complex measuring instruments aren’t 20 million years old. And then they are talking a 0.1 drop in pH as being the end of the world. Furthermore, how do you know that the average ocean pH has always been 8.2? How do you know that 8.2 is the pH the ocean should be at?

  25. Honestly, how expensive would be to ask to drop but a couple buoys, instrument some commercial ships, and ask some of the ocean racer (you know the loonies who race around the antarctic in single man sailboats every couple of years or so, and so forth) to have some logging gear aboard?

    I’ll bet I could get some university engineering students to make the gear as a science/manufacturing project, for peanuts, the rest of themwould do it for free, the installation might need to be professional, but we’re talking thousands, not millions.

    Add in a Phd’s salary & expenses for for a couple of decades and we’re still talking very low millions… on the outside.

  26. Even if they were right, why should I care if a few corals die? There’s a lot better things I could do with my share of the $15 billion – such as spend it on my boat.

  27. You guys aren’t quite so dumb as to think that ‘ocean acidification’ means that anyone thinks the oceans will turn to acid are you?

    What term do you expect to be used? How about de-alkalination?

    Increasing (or decreasing) acidification refers to change in pH. pH is a log scale so a change of 0.1 is actually a change of 30%.

    Does anyone really think that increasing the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere will have no effect on the amount of CO2 absorbed by the ocean, and that this in turn will have no effect on life in the oceans?

    If you truly believe this, you need your bumps feeling.

  28. In the case of this headline, “less is more.”

    Cutting the lead line down to “NGO pleads for $15 billion” tells us all we need to know about this story – their motivation, the level of integrity behind their request, and our necessary response.

  29. Let me guess – 15,000,000,000 dollars and a decade later the data will show no appreciable change either way until someone “applies corrections”. This “corrected” data will then be merged with proxy and best guesses from the extensive pH sampling network in operation for the last two hundred years and… oh, look, another hockey stick. Colour me shocked, I just didn’t see that one coming.

    Can’t wait for the paper (around 2030) that dumps the Argo data and “discovers” the missing heat using pH as a proxy. The pH version of “Robust Tropospheric Warming Revealed by Iteratively Homogenized Radiosonde Data”.

    [stamp] Project Rejected.

  30. Just curious . . .
    – Ocean Acidification is directly related to CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere
    – For much of earths history (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Phanerozoic_Carbon_Dioxide.png) the earth has experienced significantly greater levels of CO2 than at present?
    – So how did marine life survive in the past?

    Guess we need to give these “scientists” $15B to find out? Can I have a piece of this action . . .

  31. Anthony, you say “So, with accuracy like this, and such small pH changes obviously measurable, and the pH not yet anywhere near acidic, why do we need a global $15 billion pH measurement system again?”

    This is an excellent question. The fact that POGO is asking for $15B to purchase assets, followed by $5B per year in perpetuity, shows that an adequate monitoring system does not exist today. It is impossible to create a global map showing today’s absolute ocean pH (let alone a small change in global pH from 2 centuries ago) because the data does not exist with sufficient spatial resolution. This is tele-connections gone wild.

    It also exposes the fact that the purported bicentennial global pH decrease of 0.1 units relies heavily on paleo proxies. Claiming accuracies of <<0.1 pH based on paleo proxies is, shall we say, wishful thinking.

    I support the idea of funding an upgrade to ARGO to add pH and perhaps spectrally-resolved turbidity measurements. We may start to understand ocean pH after collecting 3 decades of data on ocean pH.

    A price-tag of $15B plus $5B per year probably means the UN is somehow involved.

  32. Several years ago, the NY times posted online a story about how some of these ocean acidification = death of coral tests were done (sorry.. I don’t have a link). The original experiments were done by dumping carbonic acid directly into the tank containing the coral. Result: Lower pH and coral death.

    The experiments were then re-done by bubbling in CO2, instead of dumping acid into the tank. Very different results. Algae growth became very healthy. The algae in turn produced by products that helped the coral grow. Result: Reduced pH, but very healthy coral.

  33. Bit of a correction to one statement is needed: pure distilled water in equilibrium with the atmosphere has an acid pH, can be as low as about pH5, precisely because of dissolved CO2. Surface waters are near neutral because the natural acidity of rain is neutralised when it reacts with the planet surface.

    Another point: the measurement of pH. If you think we’ve seen some numberwang with temperature measurements, wait until you see this. Measurement of pH is far more fraught with pitfalls than measurement of mere temperature, especially in the environment. If they start telling us the pH is going down by 0.001 units per year (or something), I for one won’t believe a word of it.

  34. NGO pleads for $15 billion “ocean acidification” monitoring system

    Why?

    “This paper’s results concerning average seawater salinity and acidity show that, on a global scale and over the time scales considered (hundreds of years), there would not be accentuated changes in either seawater salinity or acidity from the observed or hypothesized rises in atmospheric CO2 concentrations. ”

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2006…/2006GL026305.shtml

    Here are other contrary papers and reports:

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/sci;320/5874/336

    http://www.whoi.edu/page.do?pid=7545&tid=282&cid=63809&ct=162

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080421160728.htm

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100108101425.htm

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-11511624

    http://www.seafriends.org.nz/issues/global/acid.htm

  35. The oceans contain 50 times the CO2 contained in the atmosphere. So, if atmospheric CO2 is, say, doubled and Henry’s law comes into action, then things start getting a bit complicated. What would be the effect of an insignificant increase in atmos CO2 on the gigantic scale of CO2 existing in the oceans and their acidification?

    Can I have the 15 billion dollars? Upon receipt of the money I will produce a peer-reviewed report (peer reviewed by two of my best friends) to the person signing the 15-billion dollar cheque. This report will conclude anything this chap would wish to be concluded. Such as: ITS WORSE THAN WE THOUGHT……… CATASTROPHIC…… THE FISH WILL ALL DIE………………. JUST ANYTHING THAT WOULD MAKE HIM HAPPY

  36. Has anyone read the Argo Homepage?? I’m not quite sure why we spent so much on a state of the art monitoring system when they already knew the results of what it was going to monitor. I wish they actually made the data available in a handy format as I would be interested in plotting up some data. Surely this is the kind of thing that Google could easily plot live on Google Earth…

    http://www.argo.ucsd.edu/

    “Why do we need Argo?

    We are increasingly concerned about global change and its regional impacts. Sea level is rising at an accelerating rate of 3 mm/year, Arctic sea ice cover is shrinking and high latitude areas are warming rapidly. Extreme weather events cause loss of life and enormous burdens on the insurance industry. Globally, 8 of the 10 warmest years since 1860, when instrumental records began, were in the past decade. “

  37. “Most ocean experts believe the future ocean will be saltier, hotter, more acidic, and less diverse,”
    ===============
    “Hotter” and “more acidic” seem mutualy incompatible, if the source of acidification is supposed to be CO2 absorption. How is atmospheric CO2 going to simultaneously warm the oceans and get into them in order to make them more acidic?

    “Saltier” also seems rather incompatible with the constantly announced future melting of land ice sheets. How is the expected addition of fresh water going to make the oceans saltier?

    Having it both ways is never a problem with this kind of science.

  38. True story. At one time in my professional career, I had responsibility for manufacturing a specialty chemical with a product specification for pH to be within the range 8.0 to 8.3. The pH meters were routinely tested against known laboratory standards, and periodically calibrated by instrument technicians. The product was tested during manufacture, again in product storage, and finally a sample directly from the truck that carried the product to the customer was tested and retained.

    One particular customer would occasionally return shipments as being out of specification on pH. We would retest our retained sample, and re-sample the returned product, with our results showing it to be within the required specification. After several such returns, we brought in an independent analytical chemist to help us resolve the discrepancy. He met with our people and with the customer, and reviewed testing protocols at both sites.

    His conclusion was – we were using pH meters from company ONE, they were using pH meters from company OTHER. Both were respected instrument suppliers. When set up side by side, tests of product and standards showed a consistent offset of about 0.2 pH units between the two instruments. This was apparently due to small differences in the built-in reference electronics. And recall that, with an acceptable specification range of only 0.3 pH units, an offset of 0.2 was enough to appear out of specification sometimes, if measured on the other instrument. Our answer was to purchase pH meters from BOTH companies, and to ensure that our testing for that customer was always performed on the same model instrument that the customer used.

    Note that the pH for the seawater at 8.1 is in this same nominal range. Determining pH can be tricky, even in a ‘pure’ sample. Seawater, with organics, dissolved gasses, and various buffering minerals, would make either a pH instrument reading or an alkalinity titration more problematic. When I see an ‘offset’ of -0.08, I am reminded of how hard it can be to get good accuracy and precision in pH measurements. ( /sarc – and the electronics in the pre-industrial period (1700s) were probably not up to standard /sarc off)

  39. Wade – see http://www.oceanacidification.org.uk/pdf/OA_FAQs_PDF03_19_10.pdf
    How do we know what ocean pH was in the past
    even though the pH scale was not introduced
    until 1909?
    When ice sheets build up into glaciers, air
    bubbles become trapped in the freezing ice.
    Scientists have analyzed the CO2 concentration
    of air in these bubbles and have developed a
    record of the atmospheric CO2 concentration in
    the recent past. Because large parts of the surface
    ocean CO2 concentration remains roughly in
    equilibrium with the atmospheric CO2
    concentration, the ocean CO2 content can be
    calculated from these air bubbles, and ocean pH
    can also be calculated. In fact, the ice core record
    shows that the atmospheric CO2 concentration
    has never been higher than about 280 ppm
    during the last 800,000 years, creating conditions
    leading to an average preindustrial surface ocean
    pH of ca. 8.2. — J. Bijma

    How do we know what ocean pH was tens of
    millions of years ago?
    To estimate physical or chemical parameters
    such as temperature or pH for periods before
    instruments were available, scientists use socalled
    proxy parameters or “proxies,” which are
    measurable parameters that can be related to
    desired but unobservable parameters. For
    instance, marine calcifying organisms
    incorporate many other elements into their hard
    shells and skeletons besides the calcium, carbon,
    and oxygen in calcium carbonate. When the hard
    parts of these organisms that are preserved in
    sediment are analyzed, the additional elements
    provide information about environmental
    conditions during the animal’s lifetime.
    Historical ocean pH values and changes can be
    studied using the concentration of the element
    boron and the ratio of its stable isotopes (∂10B
    and ∂ 11B) in marine carbonates. Additional
    geochemical evidence and modeling provide
    strong evidence that the average surface ocean
    pH has not been much lower than about 8.2 for
    millions of years. — J. Bijma

  40. Okay, Either

    They have measuring equipment in place today that can satisfactorly measure pH and can therefore make this claim.

    or

    They dont.

    If they can make the claim about pH, why do they need billions now?

    If they dont have measuring equipment today, how can they claim they have measured anything?

  41. I don’t understand the WikiMedia map provided, in the context of “Estimated change in annual mean sea surface pH between the pre-industrial period (1700s) and the present day (1990s)”. Taking the most prominent change represented, that of 0.06 pH or thereabouts, and calculating the total change over the 200 year period suggested by “change in annual mean sea surface pH”, I get a result of 12 pH. Surely those who provide this eye-catching map don’t mean that, do they?

    Elsewhere it is suggested the pH has become “30 percent more acidic today than it was in 1800″. This would mean, if I calculate correctly — change from a baseline of 7 pH — that in 1800, ocean pH was approximately 8.58 pH [((1.58-1.1)/1.58)*100=30.4%] Is that the pH discerned from the records for 1800?

    Converting this 30% change to the attempt to present annual change in the WikiMedia map, would result in an mean annual change of 0.0024 pH [0.48/200=0.0024], rather than something around/above 0.06 pH.

    What am I missing that otherwise would make sense of the information provided?

  42. I love this one: “The ocean surface is 30 percent more acidic today than it was in 1800.” A statistic designed to mislead. Presumably the justification is that a 0.1 decrease in pH means that concentration of H+ ions has increased by ~30%. [I get closer to 26%, but then perhaps the claimed change in pH is 0.11.] But pH is expressed logarithmically for a reason, and no scientist would express it this way; it has to be a PR guy trying to oversell the situation.

    And compare this to the natural spread of ocean pH. See wikipedia diagram here. The spread is about 0.3 pH units, with a small area being even more basic.
    My goodness, the western coast of Mexico is “30% more acidic” than the average! Let’s start a multi-billion dollar program to dump lime into the Pacific there.

  43. The Foundation says the average level of pH at the ocean surface has dropped from 8.2 to 8.1 units, “rendering the oceans more acidic than they have been for 20 million years,”

    […]

    Δ pH here is in standard pH units. Calculated from fields of dissolved inorganic carbon and alkalinity from the Global Ocean Data Analysis Project climatology and temperature and salinity from the World Ocean Atlas (2005) climatology using Richard Zeebe’s csys package .

    Firstly… the oceans are not “more acidic than they have been for 20 million years.” Average annual pH reconstructions and measurements from various Pacific Ocean locations:

    60 million to 40 million years ago: 7.42 to 8.04 (Pearson et al., 2000)
    23 million to 85,000 years ago: 8.04 to 8.31 (Pearson et al., 2000)
    6,000 years ago to present: 7.91 to 8.28 (Liu et al., 2009)
    1708 AD to 1988 AD: 7.91 to 8.17 (Pelejero et al., 2005)
    2000 AD to 2007 AD: 8.10 to 8.40 (Wootton et al., 2008)

    The low pH levels from 60 mya to 40 mya include the infamous Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM); a period in which large scale subaerial and submarine flood basalt eruptions probably dislodged a massive volume of methane hydrates into the Atlantic Ocean, causing a shoaling of the lysocline (AKA ocean acidification). Even then, the oceans did not actually “acidify;” the lowest pH was 7.42 (still basic).
    Over the last 20+ million years, oceanic pH has ranged from ~7.9 to ~8.4… It’s currently ranging from ~7.9 to ~8.4.

    Secondly, They’re deriving pH from a function of DIC… So… Yeah… The calculated pH will decline as DIC rises. There’s nothing wrong with using the Henderson–Hasselbalch equation to calculate pH when you don’t have a handy direct pH measurement… But it is hugely disingenuous to assert a significant correlation between atmospheric CO2 and oceanic pH whne you are basically deriving pH from a function of atmospheric CO2.

  44. Louise says:
    November 1, 2010 at 6:04 am

    You guys aren’t quite so dumb as to think that ‘ocean acidification’ means that anyone thinks the oceans will turn to acid are you?

    No, we realize that the denotation of the word is “moving in the direction of acidity.” but the connotation is “turning to vinegar.” So it’s a loaded, alarmist term.

    What term do you expect to be used? How about de-alkalination?

    How about “neutralization? That’s a neutral term. It’s never going to move beyond neutral.

  45. There are probably some people involved who “have no shame” but for the most part this is a brainless self-reinforcing feedback loop. Those who don’t get with the program are weeded out via one mechanism or another very early on — probably because they are not “team players” among other things. The situation is similar to the pension fund managers who essentially predicted that Dow would reach 300K by 2015 some years ago in order to show they could meet their obligations. Anyone who raised any issues with that scenario was probably a “difficult person” and a “naysayer” who really should be working somewhere else. I blame Dale Carnegie, patron saint of obsequious spinelessness.

  46. Louise says:
    November 1, 2010 at 6:04 am

    Increasing (or decreasing) acidification refers to change in pH. pH is a log scale so a change of 0.1 is actually a change of 30%.
    ———–

    Never mind my previous comment. It’s been a long time since I took chemistry and had forgotten about this.

  47. I’m not an oceanographer, but I can understand a map, and I can infer at least part of what’s going on.

    According to the map, most of the pH change is occurring near the poles, with less effect toward the equator. The text explains that these are the pH changes, in the sea surface (not the entire volume of the oceans), since the 1700s.

    Since the 1700s, the earth has been recovering from the Little Ice Age. As the ice at the poles has melted, and continues to melt, fresh water flows into the salty ocean.

    Because of density issues, the fresh water tends to stratify on the surface, with some slow mixing with the salt water already there (and below).

    The pH of ice tends to be very close to 7, while the sea water of the 1700s (according to the text) was around 8.2. From basic chemistry, when you mix two fluids of different pH, the resulting fluid will have a pH between that of either starting fluid.

    The bottom line is that since the LIA, melting polar ice has mixed with nearby sea water, lowering its pH. The melt water also will affect tropical ocean sea surface pH, but since this long distance mixing takes longer, the effect is delayed.

    So, tell me again, why does this have anything to do with CO2?

  48. My question is who are these NGOs and where have they received funding in the past. I would be interested in the list. My guess is close to what Kramer says (5:33 am ): “Has anybody ever noticed how many NGOs there are that support leftist causes? There’s a lot of them and they play a fairly large role in getting their causes implemented.” Chris Y (6:14 am) suggests that with a price-trag of $15B plus $5B per year, the UN is somehow involved.

    My guess is that with the global economic slow-way-down, the Chinese are the funders of last resort. Therefore, Beijing. What will the NGOs include that will make it palatable for the Chinese to fund this boondoggle? The UN is billions in arrears, I have read, and not just from U.S. non-payment. The marxist-left funders of global-pseudo-environmental NGOs like Soros and others of his ilk are having trouble keeping their sinking U.S. ship afloat. If the above assumptions are correct, this move is one of pure desperation. Let them sink under the increasingly cold financial waters.

    Best idea. Can the ARGO buoys be outfitted with additional sensors, e.g., ph monitors? I would go for this and its funding if, and only if, more that one center of “authority” reads and records the data with all raw data maintained in a public record.

  49. Louise says:
    November 1, 2010 at 6:04 am

    You are being misled. One could talk about an increase or decrease in pH rather than alkalisation and acidification but relative pH can’t be made to sound alarming enough. It would take an unbelieveable amount of CO² to get anywhere near acidification and that’s if the oceans could absorb that much being as it is controlled by so many parameters. partial pressure, sea temp etc.
    Secondly, pH is unbelieveably difficult to measure and to measure consistently down to 0.1 over a prolonged period nearly impossible.*

    Thirdly, what the H is that sum of taxpayer’s money per annum for operating it. That is just absolutely ridiculous.

    I think we have got to the stage where our universities are producing so many sub standard graduates that they all spend their time touting for money in order to stay at school.!!

  50. The $15B is absurd when it is clear there is already the capability to monitor. Unlike the warming associated with increased CO2 emissions, the impact on the ocean is real. While emissions play a small part in the overall CO2 cycle, the emissions are adding CO2 into the oceans at an increased rate.

    It is disingenuous to show the pH scale that includes gastric acid. pH is a log scale of the OH- and H+ ions in a water solution. Considering the size of the ocean and a log scale of ratio’s it would not be expected to show over a large range. That the CO2 is likely changing the pH shows that it is significant.

    The stated threat is alarmist, but the oceans are the one actual place where the emissions could have a negative impact and that should be studied. The one problem is that all large natural variations in CO2 have also been associated with rapidly rising or dropping sea levels which causes many other disruptions to the oceans. Separating the impacts of coral when they are all dead from being exposed above sea level from changes in pH is kinda difficult.

    John Kehr
    The Inconvenient Skeptic

  51. I love the ocean and going boating, so it is always sad when you see how poorly most people/countries treat the ocean. People don’t think twice about dumping trash and waste, with few countries making an effort to police anything beyond their shore.

    When you consider all the horrible things that happen to the ocean, like the recent BP spills or all the waste being dumped off the coast of Africa, it is not surprising to hear that the ocean is changing significantly. Definitely sad, but not very surprising :(

  52. There seems to be some confusion as to calculating percentage, with regard to pH H+, logarithmic scale.

    To calculate a percentage, the entire H+ range must be used on the logarithmic scale.

    ie 100% H+ = pH 0
    —50% H+= pH 7
    —- 0% H+ = pH 14

    Of course the opposite (OH-) calculation is useful.

    ie 100% (OH) = pH 14
    —50% (OH) = pH 7
    —- 0% (OH) = pH 0

    This then gives one a LINEAR 0-100% scale to apply percentage calculations.

    It is now plain to see, that a 0.1 change in pH is minute, percentage wise. GK

  53. these NGO’s want money? No problem. We will pay their grants with pennies, nickels and dimes which can be delivered by cement trucks.

  54. Louise says:
    November 1, 2010 at 6:04 am
    You guys aren’t quite so dumb as to think that ‘ocean acidification’ means that anyone thinks the oceans will turn to acid are you?

    What term do you expect to be used? How about de-alkalination?

    Increasing (or decreasing) acidification refers to change in pH. pH is a log scale so a change of 0.1 is actually a change of 30%.

    Does anyone really think that increasing the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere will have no effect on the amount of CO2 absorbed by the ocean, and that this in turn will have no effect on life in the oceans?

    If you truly believe this, you need your bumps feeling.

    Corals, sharks, and most of the other predominant marine genera evolved during the Phanerozoic Eon when atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations were 3000 to 4400 ppmv in the pre-Carboniferous and 1200 to 1400 ppmv post-Carboniferous epochs. The last 20 million years of the present and ongoing ice age has seen the lowest concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide ever experienced by the Earth. If anything, the atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations are dangerously low because they risk the potential of a mass extinction of all macroscopic life by falling below the minimum level required to sustain photosynthesis in plant life during a natural catastrophe.

  55. Louise says:
    November 1, 2010 at 6:04 am

    Does anyone really think that increasing the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere will have no effect on the amount of CO2 absorbed by the ocean, and that this in turn will have no effect on life in the oceans?

    The question is, in what way is it a problem? What effects are you talking about, like the fact that algae love C02, and krill love algae? Oops, wait, that would be a good effect, not bad.
    “Ocean Acidification” is the Alarmists fall-back position. Trouble is, even they know it’s completely bogus.

  56. Quick everyone stop pissing. All that Ph 6 stuff is going to lead to global catastrophe. Also stop eating. That Ph 1 gastric acid a real hazard. But sorry, there is no way I will do without my coffee.

  57. Ocean life is adapted to the current Ph. If it changes in either direction some life forms my not be able to adapt.

  58. Don’t the POGO people know that they have met the enemy and it is them?

    The governments are bankrupt and do not have billions of dollars to give these people to calm their self-promoted hysteria.

  59. How do they know PH moved from 8.2 – 8.1 if they don’t already have a PH monitoring system? Things that make me go hmmm.

  60. chris y said at 6:14 am
    The fact that POGO is asking for $15B to purchase assets, followed by $5B per year in perpetuity, shows that an adequate monitoring system does not exist today.
    While I agree with most of the rest of your comment, i.e., “…funding an upgrade to ARGO to add pH and perhaps spectrally-resolved turbidity measurements…”, a request for funding – on to itself – is NOT proof of a need.
    And beyond the questions of “What would this monitoring system tell us that we NEED to know or that we do not already know” and “What is the definition of adequate” – how many gallons of bleach will $20 billion (1/2 of the above costs) buy over the next 5 years? Dumped into the ocean it’s more than enough to offset…..
    All right, that’s a back of the envelope calculation and a silly idea but is it any more silly than spending $40 billion on a ocean monitoring system say as compared to – – -? Speaking of water, did you know 20,000+ people (mostly children) died yesterday because of a lack of fresh/clean water? Oh yes, and the day before that, and the day before that, and the day before that, ….. Now it costs less than $300 to put in a well that can supply a whole village with clean water almost anywhere in the world. Back of the envelope says that’s about 130,000 wells. So the question for the POGO folks is: “Is the data that you would get from the monitoring system more important to you (and the rest of the world) than the lives of 35 million people – mostly children – over the next 5 years?
    But hey, if the answer is “yes” and you folks over in the UK where POGO is HQ’ed want to spend billions of YOUR tax money on this, who I’m I to question your priorities?

  61. “The Foundation says the average level of pH at the ocean surface has dropped from 8.2 to 8.1 units”

    Seems like a small range or values, perhaps they should be asking for money to research the lack of acidic diversity.

  62. Louise says:
    November 1, 2010 at 6:52 am
    geochemical evidence and modeling provide
    strong evidence that the average surface ocean
    pH has not been much lower than about 8.2 for
    millions of years. — J. Bijma
    =============================================

    Well thank you J. Bijma.
    Now that we know that elevated atmospheric CO2 has no effect on ocean pH,
    nothing to see here.

  63. Dave in Delaware – November 1, 2010 at 6:43 am>

    If it’s not a stupid question, why didn’t you just titrate manually for a reference value?

  64. The only thing that will stop this Green inspired rent seeking is when they run out of other peoples’ money to spend.

  65. Ric, thanks for the correction. I did mean temperature. I also appreciate the material you pasted into your response. I’m glad to see that they are looking at more than just pH as acid rain or acidic effluent from rivers will show up in the pH measurement even though it would not be from CO2. However, the CO2 measurent and calcium analysis does not look like something that is simple and straightfoward to do in an automated and continuous fashion. Perhaps that why it costs so much.
    That said, its odd that we rely on a single reading of the CO2 in the atmosphere at Mona Loa to get a reading of the CO2 that has been added to the atmoshpere by fossile fuel combustion yet we also know from satellite measurements that the distribution of CO2 is not uniform even though it is a relatively well mixed gas. My next question would be if you can measure how the CO2 varies in the atmosphere via satellite, could you make a rational sampling scheme of dissolved CO2 in the oceans based on temperature and CO2 at different locations that would allow a much more efficient use of resources?

  66. First it was global warming; then Climate Change; now Ocean Acidification. These people must think the feds have a golden goose to fund these preposterous and useless projects

  67. So did I learn Martian Chemistry in school or what; isn’t “Baking Soda” just sodium bicarbonate. So what is it that you get when CO2 dissolves in sea water ? So why does baking soda drive the pH up, and not down. I’m about as rusty as Truk Lagoon, when it comes to how buffer solutions work ?

  68. Mike from Canmore says:
    November 1, 2010 at 8:36 am
    How do they know PH moved from 8.2 – 8.1 if they don’t already have a PH monitoring system? Things that make me go hmmm.

    They derive pH from Dissolved Inorganic Carbon (DIC), which they derive from atmospheric CO2.

    Andrew30 says:
    November 1, 2010 at 8:40 am
    “The Foundation says the average level of pH at the ocean surface has dropped from 8.2 to 8.1 units”
    Seems like a small range or values, perhaps they should be asking for money to research the lack of acidic diversity.

    Particularly since the diurnal pH variation can often be >1 (Wootton et al., 2008) and that the Pacific Ocean pH varies by about 0.5 over a PDO-coincident cycle (Pelejero et al., 2005).

  69. The pH of urine is close to neutral (7) but can normally vary between 4.4 and 8.

    Any takers?

    Clearly POGO are.

  70. Louise
    November 1, 2010 at 6:52 am

    BS! I am sorry by that is just a bunch of warmest propaganda. It is obvious that you are just regurgitating pseudo-scientific babble that you do not really understand. Ocean PH can be as low as 7.8 to as high as 8.5. Any claims of 0.1 change in global PH is nonsense as there is absolutely no way to get the data needed to produce that figure. A delta of 0.1 is also the smallest delta that can accurately be measured. On top of that there is so much chemical and biological feedback in marine systems, that even if we were trying to change the Oceans PH by adding CO2, we could not do it

  71. $15 billion? There has to be a way to do this much cheaper. Maybe by satellite?

    Speed = Quality x Expense

    ““act urgently”? Get real. How about we do some sane analysis of the issue and figure out how to cost effectively. Yes that will take some time (see above) but can we do something right without the hype about urgency for once?

    PS. How about taking the money saved from this and cleaning up the plastic garbage patches we have in our oceans? You know that REAL pollution stuff.

  72. A few days back Global news out of Vancouver B.C. ran an item from the University of B.C. about ocean acidification. They used a sample of water taken out of Coal Harbour in Burrard Inlet. This inlet is in the heart of Metro Vancouver and Coal Harbour borders downtown Vancouver. I would think not a good location for a sample unless digging for money.

  73. Does anyone really think that increasing the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere will have no effect on the amount of CO2 absorbed by the ocean, and that this in turn will have no effect on life in the oceans?

    When a) the oceans already contain more than 50 times the CO2 of the atmosphere, and b) the surface pH of the ocean immediately surrounding a tropical atoll can vary from 8.3 to 7.9 over the course of a single day, the answer to the question is an emphatic “yes, this will have no effect on life in the oceans.”

    For detailed studies, see http://www.co2science.org/data/acidification/acidification.php .

  74. Whereas;
    1) No part of the constitutuion authorizes spending for that purpose.
    2) The US government is over $13 trillion in debt and has $45 trillion in unfunded future liabilities. We are basically broke.
    3) Our current condition of being broke is due in large part to decades of spending on programs not authorized by the constitution.
    Hence;
    Your request for $15 billion is denied.

  75. This reminds me of a situation here in my city. It may sound off-topic, but bear with me:

    The airport is going to be adding a new runway or extending an existing runway soon (to handle A380s, actually). Now, one of the main roads providing access to the airport will have to be closed, making it difficult to access the airport for fully 1/4 of the city. One of the suggestions is to build a tunnel under the new runway… or to put it another way, since they’re digging up ground for the runway anyway, they can just dig a little further and add some roadway.

    Estimates of the cost for this modification are currently running close to a billion dollars ($800 million). In contrast, a private company built a road under our main freeway to access a shopping mall at a cost of around $20 million.

    So how, exactly, can we justify a 40x higher cost for what is essentially the same thing?

    How exactly can anyone justify $15B for a network of sensors when something like Argos already exists and a new sensing capability can be added to the existing system?

    As was already pointed out, Argos data is poison to warmers since it stubbornly refuses to show their predetermined belief… maybe they have a blind spot to it?

  76. Talk about screwed up priorities — the majority of bloggers on this site don’t realize the importance of tools –NOT MODELS — such as this one to monitor the oceans. My first thought was why hasn’t this testing been done before? — considering how important it is to the welfare of billions of people.

    $15Billion dollars is a paltry sum for a worldwide net of monitors to measure if the oceans are acidifying and, if so, could it harm the reefs?; is it linked to the “Dead Zones”– oxygen starved pockets of water that have popped up near Oregon?, does a change in PH help predict devastating algae blooms?, does it affect phytoplankton? — an absolutely vital link in the food chain.

    The “whatsupwithyourthinking” mob scream bloody murder about the unreliable models of climate and now here is a tool for actual OBSERVATIONS and you ridicule that. A lot of you are long on comment, but short on logic.

  77. I have to find that a concentration of Hydrogen ion (strictly H3O+) changing from

    pH = 8.2 = [H3O+] =0.00000000063 Molar
    to
    pH = 8.1 = [H3O+] =0.00000000079

  78. Who cares about the pH! What about the Viscosity?!! We need to the know the Viscosity of Sea water and how it is changing or all the rest is just nonsense!

    As it happens, I have a plan to test the Viscosity of seawater and how it is changing. Just write me a check for 1 billion dollars and I will get right on it.!

  79. I seem to remember someone pointing out that the ph of freshwater hasn’t changed, sort of indicating that there isn’t really a problem. Freshwater sources much easier to measure I would have thought.

  80. As for that 0.1 change in ocean pH since the 1700’s it is worth remembering that the pH scale wasn’t invented until 1909, and the formulation for it used today is from 1924.

  81. With the oceans having warmed perhaps .6C, maybe they should start calling ocean warming (which has stalled) “ocean boilification”. It’s only a question of time before they find that rascally “missing” heat which, travestically has gone AWOL.

  82. drewski,
    Oregon dead zones have not “popped up” off Oregon and they are not related to any acidification or other AGW tall tale.
    You are victim of fabricated science and the worldwide distribution of it by alarmists
    without ethics.

    Jane Lubchenco and her Oregon State University research team spent 5 years and a $9 million NAS grant studying Oregon’s historical & seasonal ocean dead zones and were unable to establish any link to anything AGW.

    Despite this she and her peers went on to speculate about a possible link and a google search is now full of her science by fabrication. There is zero evidence supporting her fabrication.
    Those supposed AGW dead zones are seasonal and cyclical and have provided record dungenus crab havests this year.
    Yet she is among the unethical ilk who would like to spend endless millions supporting her hobbies and scandelous approach to science.

  83. drewski

    If you have been following this site no one is against honest research, it is how that research, tools and models always seem to be adjusted. That is where the scepticism comes in, from past practise. Oh and those adjustments always seem to bias the warming side. Coincidental?

  84. In my previous life as a chemist, I had to do many pH measurements. That required buffering and restandardizing the pH meter every shift. It is not the most stable of instruments. So I am with Juraj V. in being concerned with measuring pH reliably within 0.1 pH units.

    And drewski has a good point, why should we be afraid of real world data, if we believe in accepting the truth of wherever the data leads us.

    But there lies the rub. I’m afraid all of the “gates” have us being not so naive any more, making us wary about providing the opportunity for more agenda-driven “science”. A quick search shows that POGO came out of Scripts and the Wood’s Hole institutions, long known for their (sarc on) even handedness in dealing with AGW issues (sarc off).

  85. Sorry, I meant to say that I don’t this a very impressive change, especially as the the pK for H2CO3 +H2O = H3O+ + Hco3- is 6.1. Typically marine organisms regulate their pH at about 7.2, i.e. 10 times more acidic and this may vary by +- .15 pH units. I am not sure how much inorganic calcium salts are in the oceans, but an increase in CO2 will drive the reaction towards forming insoluble carbonates.

  86. If I had 15 Billion US dollars to spend on the oceans, I would chose to spend it on buoys which could measure the temperatures (and other uselful information) all over the globe.

    Mind you, if that happened, we would have such accurate figures recorded, that the CAGW crowd would have to fold up their tents and creep back into their holes.

    Peter Walsh

  87. Why do lefties buy every alarm farce their academia progressives gin up?
    The ocean acidification tale can be revealed by any half wit simpleton and a google.
    Just Google ocean acidification fraud:

    And go look at Lubchenco’s absurd demonstration.

    Too stupid

    “The Moniker Osteoporosis of the sea”

  88. Isn’t the pH scale logarithmic?

    i.e. a glass of tomato juice is 10 times more acidic than a cup of black coffee?

  89. David S says:
    November 1, 2010 at 9:48 am

    Whereas;
    1) No part of the constitutuion authorizes spending for that purpose.

    That depends on how you interpret “provide for the general welfare” below. My bold.

    Section 8 – Powers of Congress

    The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

  90. Actually, a disclaimer needs to go on the neutral pH marker. Water which was distilled in a CO2 free environment and kept isolated from CO2 (and at 25 C, as Phil points out) has a pH of 7.0. Under normal atmospheric conditions distilled water which has equilabrated with the atmosphere and is at 25 C has a pH of about 5. Dissolved CO2 reacts with water to form hydrogen and carbonate ions at a concentration of about 10^-5 (thus, pH 5). This is because carbonic acid is a weak acid. If carbonic acid were a string acid the pH would be more like 3.5, similar to the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere.

    In sea water, however, there are basic cations at much higher concentrations than CO2 in the atmosphere, resulting in the fact that sea water is strongly buffered against pH swings. Increasing CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere HAVE to bring the pH down – slightly. But it would take a whopping amount of CO2 to make a significant difference.

    Just for the record, I have maitained coral in tanks for years. The pH in my tanks is seldom above 8. Corals bleaching and other supposed horror results of slight lowering in pH is not in the offing.

  91. drewski says:
    November 1, 2010 at 9:52 am

    Talk about screwed up priorities — the majority of bloggers on this site don’t realize the importance of tools –NOT MODELS — such as this one to monitor the oceans. My first thought was why hasn’t this testing been done before? — considering how important it is to the welfare of billions of people.
    Billions of people? LOL! It’s important for the welfare of the pocketbooks of the NGOs, “scientists” and other carpetbaggers studying this pseudo-problem, that’s all.
    Yes indeed, “ocean acidification” could be a nice side line of non-productive make-work, as long as they play their cards right, and crank out sufficiently alarming-sounding reports the MSM can latch onto.

  92. I admire the competence of scientists that can measure pH within 0.1 units for 1.3 BILLION cubic kilometers of water over hundreds of years. I mean, that’s extraordinary data collection.

  93. Dave Springer
    James Madison, the father of the constitution, answered the question of what the term “general welfare” means, in the last 4 paragraphs of Federalist #41 http://www.constitution.org/fed/federa41.htm
    Basically he said it is common practice to describe something by first defining it in general terms and then spelling out the specific terms. The general welfare is a general term and the specifics of it are spelled out in the rest of that section. He asks what purpose there would be to even listing specific terms if the general term gives unlimited powers to the federal government.

  94. drewski says:
    November 1, 2010 at 9:52 am
    Talk about screwed up priorities — the majority of bloggers on this site don’t realize the importance of tools –NOT MODELS — such as this one to monitor the oceans. My first thought was why hasn’t this testing been done before? — considering how important it is to the welfare of billions of people.

    $15Billion dollars is a paltry sum for a worldwide net of monitors to measure if the oceans are acidifying and, if so, could it harm the reefs?; is it linked to the “Dead Zones”– oxygen starved pockets of water that have popped up near Oregon?, does a change in PH help predict devastating algae blooms?, does it affect phytoplankton? — an absolutely vital link in the food chain.

    The “whatsupwithyourthinking” mob scream bloody murder about the unreliable models of climate and now here is a tool for actual OBSERVATIONS and you ridicule that. A lot of you are long on comment, but short on logic.

    If you want to spend your own 15 billion dollars to play make believe, go knock your self out. If you want my money, my fellow citizens’ tax monies, and changes in the laws to perpetrate a scientific hoax and a fraud, you will have to do without and swallow your disappointment. If you insist upon using force and imposing the spending on your scientific hoax, we will encourage the investigation, discovery, and prosecution of any fraud associated with your scientific hoax.

    The Communist government of the Soviet Union bankrupted itself and starved its people with irrepsonsible management of its economy, resources, and environment. Now, the Marxists, socialists, Socialists, communists, communists, and so-called Progressives are trying to wreck the world’s other societies with the same types of irresponsible and deceitful schemes to wrest control of economies, resources, and the environment from the People and destroy them with mismanagement by central planning and controls based upon pseudo-scientific hoaxes and frauds. This proposal for a $15 billion dollar system for studying what we already have scientific reason to know is a non-existant problem deserves to be highlighted as a shining example of the scientific and political incompetence of the people proposing and supporting such a fraudulent scheme.

  95. Milwaukee Bob-

    I agree that spending $5B per year to monitor ocean pH is way too much, and that there are myriad other better uses for that money. However, I think some money should be spent to learn more about ocean pH, to at least provide enough understanding to thoroughly debunk the climate alarmist claims.

    As I already stated, it can be done for much less than $15B + $5B/year, by piggybacking on the ARGO floats currently being maintained for $20 MILLION per year.

    For example, here-

    http://celebrating200years.noaa.gov/magazine/argo/welcome.html#float

    “The annual cost of the worldwide Argo program is about $20 million,..”

    It is always a good idea to collect and build a believable observational dataset. Right now the alarmists depend on lack of reliable observations to enable nonsensical adjustments that always favor a pending catastrophe.

  96. One can google ocean acidification fraud and get plenty but watching Jane Lubchenco’s absurd demonstration is special.


    It’s too stupid.
    She like the “The Moniker Osteoporosis of the sea”

  97. One can google ocean acidification farce and get plenty but watching Jane Lubchenco’s absurd demonstration is special.

    She like the “The Moniker Osteoporosis of the sea”

  98. Bob from the UK
    November 1, 2010 at 10:07 am

    The PH of seawater is more stable then freshwater. One of my fields of study is fresh water ecology. I use to spend my weekends taking measurements of the local streams, ponds, rivers, and mud puddles. I confidently achieved an accuracy of 0.1 on my trusty hatch. I emphatically would not trust anyone else to take such precise measurements as it is a real pita! In the same river, the PH can go from 6.5 to 7.5 in a day at the same spot. I have taken measurement in still areas of 5.5 while in adjacent flowing areas the PH was 6.8!

  99. Dave Springer says:
    November 1, 2010 at 10:37 am
    David S says:
    November 1, 2010 at 9:48 am
    Whereas;
    1) No part of the constitutuion authorizes spending for that purpose.
    That depends on how you interpret “provide for the general welfare” below. My bold.
    Section 8 – Powers of Congress
    The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

    Fortunately, way back in 1788, several States were leery of the Defense and Welfare clause as it applied to Congress’ power to lay and collect taxes. In an effort to encourage ratification of the Constitution, Alexander Hamilton,James Madison and John Jay wrote a series of explanatory notes called “The Federalist Papers.”

    The Federalist No. 41
    General View of the Powers Conferred by The Constitution
    Independent Journal
    Saturday, January 19, 1788
    [James Madison]
    [...]

    Some, who have not denied the necessity of the power of taxation, have grounded a very fierce attack against the Constitution, on the language in which it is defined. It has been urged and echoed, that the power “to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises, to pay the debts, and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States,” amounts to an unlimited commission to exercise every power which may be alleged to be necessary for the common defense or general welfare. No stronger proof could be given of the distress under which these writers labor for objections, than their stooping to such a misconstruction.
    Had no other enumeration or definition of the powers of the Congress been found in the Constitution, than the general expressions just cited, the authors of the objection might have had some color for it…

    [...]

    If the different parts of the same instrument ought to be so expounded, as to give meaning to every part which will bear it, shall one part of the same sentence be excluded altogether from a share in the meaning; and shall the more doubtful and indefinite terms be retained in their full extent, and the clear and precise expressions be denied any signification whatsoever? For what purpose could the enumeration of particular powers be inserted, if these and all others were meant to be included in the preceding general power? Nothing is more natural nor common than first to use a general phrase, and then to explain and qualify it by a recital of particulars.

    [...]

    The General Welfare is not an “unlimited commission” for Congress to lay and collect taxes for whatever they deem to be in the interest of the General Welfare of the nation. Common Defense and General Welfare are the general purposes for which the Constitution grants Congress certain “enumerated powers.” The only enumerated power that good even remotely be construed as authorizing Federal funding of science projects is the power “To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.” Which actually only authorizes Congress to issue patents, pass copyright laws and otherwise protect intellectual property.

    The fact that our Congress has routinely exceeded its enumerated Powers, particularly since the 1930’s, does not justify further abuse of congressional Powers.

  100. Peter Walsh says:

    If I had 15 Billion US dollars to spend on the oceans, I would chose to spend it on buoys which could measure the temperatures (and other uselful information) all over the globe.

    Mind you, if that happened, we would have such accurate figures recorded, that the CAGW crowd would have to fold up their tents and creep back into their holes.

    Brilliant! However, for those who have never heard of them, these buoys are:

    http://www.argos-system.org/welcome_en.html

    Tragically, they do not show warming, or any other “bad” thing, therefore nobody talks about them. I don’t see any tents being folded up… sigh.

  101. There have been several independent studies that show a long term multidecadal cyclic variation of oceanic pH between 7.9 and 8.3 mostly in sync with the PDO.

    http://www.co2science.org/articles/V12/N22/EDIT.php

    http://tucsoncitizen.com/wryheat/2009/12/14/ocean-acidification-by-carbon-dioxide/

    One of the most quoted recent studies of oceanic pH,

    http://www.pnas.org/content/105/48/18848.full.pdf+html

    did show a decline in pH over the 7 year period of the study, but it also showed up to 0.3 variation based on TOD and increasingly large ranges of variability for each temporal division on up to a 7.5-9.0 range for the seven year study. (See fig. 1 A & B. pg. 2)

    If the oceanic biosphere was as sensitive to variations in pH as the alarmists suggest, the world’s oceans would have been as barren as the Antarctic icecap long ago.

  102. @drewski
    > … if the oceans are _acidifying_ and, if so, could it _harm_ the reefs?; is it
    > linked to the “_Dead_ Zones”– oxygen _starved_ pockets of water that
    > have popped up near Oregon?, does a change in PH help predict
    > _devastating_ algae blooms?, does it affect phytoplankton? — an _absolutely_
    > _vital_ link in the food chain.

    Drewski. Dude. Drop the alarmist vocabulary and you’ll do fine here at WUWT. We’re not trying to deny or hide any warming (which is good), we just want someone (like you) to provide providing _convincing_ proofs of imminent ‘catastrophe’ caused by warming.

    Mother Earth is a pretty tough old girl, resilient and adaptive to change. Oceans are not turning to acid. CO2 is not toxic. Warm is good. Else none of us would be around here to muse about it.

  103. Dave Springer says:
    November 1, 2010 at 10:37 am

    See:
    SPENDING FOR THE GENERAL WELFARE
    Scope of the Power

    http://www.gpoaccess.gov/constitution/pdf2002/011.pdf

    There has been a standing controversy in Congress over the meaning of “the General Welfare” ever since the U.S. Constitution was adopted. In the case of United States v. Butler the Supreme Court of the United States, Justice Roberts wrote a decision favoring the more liberal interpretation favored by Alexander Hamilton and rejected James Madison’s interpretation of an enumerated powers limitation. The current Tea Party political movement in the United States is determined in part to reassert Madison’s interpretation and restrain the ability of Congress to tax, spend, and legislate without the consent of the electorate and/or unconstitutional trespasses upon the inalienable rights of the the minority guaranteed by the Bill of Rights.

  104. That’s great. The oceans are totally in the alkaline range and will be for the foreseeable human future.

    I’d like £15billion for my dandruff problem.

    Of course, solving the dandruff will be a tiny fraction of that, but at least I could say it was £10 well spent.

  105. NGO? Only the government would think of calling an organization which:

    1.) takes $15Billion dollar checks and
    2.) advances its own policies

    a “Non Governmental Organization.”
    Ha ha ha ha.

  106. I was hoping someone would have brought this up by now, but as no one was, I guess I will. The reason PH is a log scale is because its physical effect is logarithmic. A PH of 0.1 sounds small because it is small. Calling it a 30% change is just misleading rhetoric to make it sound like it is big.

    Greenies are all a bunch of liars. The proof that they resort to such nonsense should be proof to everyone that these guys can not be trusted with anything more complicated sweeping floor, and only that with supervision!

  107. D. Patterson says:
    November 1, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    Dave Springer says:
    November 1, 2010 at 10:37 am

    See:
    SPENDING FOR THE GENERAL WELFARE
    Scope of the Power

    http://www.gpoaccess.gov/constitution/pdf2002/011.pdf

    There has been a standing controversy in Congress over the meaning of “the General Welfare” ever since the U.S. Constitution was adopted. In the case of United States v. Butler the Supreme Court of the United States, Justice Roberts wrote a decision favoring the more liberal interpretation favored by Alexander Hamilton and rejected James Madison’s interpretation of an enumerated powers limitation. The current Tea Party political movement in the United States is determined in part to reassert Madison’s interpretation and restrain the ability of Congress to tax, spend, and legislate without the consent of the electorate and/or unconstitutional trespasses upon the inalienable rights of the the minority guaranteed by the Bill of Rights.

    Important distinction:

    Madison elaborated on the restrictive interpretation prior to the ratification of the Constitution.

    Hamilton elaborated on the expansive interpretation after the ratification when he was Treasury Secretary.

    If someone is trying to get you to sign a contract and they make a written assurance of something before you sign and then renege on that assurance after you’ve signed that contract, you have been defrauded.

  108. I know it’s late in the post, but an interesting paper here by Tim Casey on volcanoes CO2 output in which he notes that 139,000 active submarine volcanoes affect the CO2 budget more than anything else, and “could partly explain the recent increase in ocean acidification discussed by Archer (2009, pp. 114-124)”

  109. George E. Smith says:
    November 1, 2010 at 9:08 am
    So did I learn Martian Chemistry in school or what; isn’t “Baking Soda” just sodium bicarbonate. So what is it that you get when CO2 dissolves in sea water ? So why does baking soda drive the pH up, and not down.
    —————-
    They’re totally different beasts George. If you add up the atoms, NaHCO3 is CO2 + NaOH. So if you put that in water, the OH- in the equilibrium makes the pH go up.

    From Wikipedia:

    Aqueous solutions are mildly alkaline due to the formation of carbonic acid and hydroxide ion:
    HCO3- + H2O → H2CO3 + OH−

    CO2 just forms carbonic acid, without the OH-

  110. I have some old litmus paper at the back of a cupboard. Happy to donate it to the Great Project.

    But I fear it will still turn blue (alkaline) when seawater is tested. Not red (acidic).

  111. Come to think of it, this project cost as much as 2 Large Hadron Colliders, the LHC is to date still the most expensive scientific instrument ever build.

    The Grid is going to provide the internet infrastructure with the much needed means to increase capacity of the internet, just like CERN had done in the past and pretty much started the Internet as we enjoy it today.

    What are these boffins (the acid guys, not the LHC) on their POGO-sticks going to give us other than more unsubstantiated scare stories about impending doom if we don’t act now?

  112. Has anybody supporting the 15 billion measuring system ever tried to calculate what it would take to inflate the PH of the oceans towards a complete neutral level , we do not talk about acidity , a ph of 7 . It would require such a huge amount of added acids that may be it would take a minimum of 10.000 years to raise it with a only fraction .
    The alarmists really have no idea what they are talking about and want the world to share their fears . A healthy person will make compliments when he is presented a critical well thought way of reasoning . Where are the compliments of the alarmists for a person showing dedication and a critical personal contribution to the discussion ?
    What did you experience Anthony ?

  113. tty says:
    November 1, 2010 at 10:14 am
    As for that 0.1 change in ocean pH since the 1700′s it is worth remembering that the pH scale wasn’t invented until 1909, and the formulation for it used today is from 1924.
    ==========================================================

    They proxified it tty….

    ……..they found this one snail that was really really old

  114. ———————————
    “Mike Jowsey says: November 1, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    I know it’s late in the post, but an interesting paper here by Tim Casey on volcanoes CO2 output in which he notes that 139,000 active submarine volcanoes affect the CO2 budget more than anything else, and “could partly explain the recent increase in ocean acidification discussed by Archer (2009, pp. 114-124)”
    ———————————

    Thanks and that is very interesting to me at least.

    I’ve always wondered how many undersea thermal vents and volcanoes there were. I know the ocean is huge but you can heat a lot of water with that many vents. I’ve also been curious if the rise and fall of the number of vents could be correlated with any cyclical patterns as that could be a possible source of el-Nino and possibly long term climate changes.

    Cheers

  115. G. Karst says:
    November 1, 2010 at 7:44 am

    “There seems to be some confusion as to calculating percentage, with regard to pH H+, logarithmic scale.

    To calculate a percentage, the entire H+ range must be used on the logarithmic scale.

    ie 100% H+ = pH 0
    —50% H+= pH 7
    —- 0% H+ = pH 14

    Of course the opposite (OH-) calculation is useful.

    ie 100% (OH) = pH 14
    —50% (OH) = pH 7
    —- 0% (OH) = pH 0

    This then gives one a LINEAR 0-100% scale to apply percentage calculations.

    It is now plain to see, that a 0.1 change in pH is minute, percentage wise. GK”

    It is amazing to see how many posters make fools of themselves by propagating misinformation when they could simply look things up on Wikipedia and get things right.
    The account of pH given by the above poster is his own invention and totally wrong.
    pH =- log(10) of the hydrogen ion concentration.
    If pH= 8, the concentration of hydrogen ions = 10-8
    The ratio of the difference in hydrogen ion concentration between ph 8.1 and ph 8.2
    i= 10^-8.1/(10^-8.2) =1.26.
    So the concentration of hydrogen ions increases by 26%.
    This is not a miniscule change in concentration percentagewise.

    It also seems that no one has read the article that Anthony so kindly printed in total, and have invented a straw man to beat up. What is requested is a comprehensive monitoring system that will do much more than simply look at the pH of regions that are not currently being measure. The scientist quoted in the article clearly says:

    Ocean conditions that require monitoring can be divided into three categories:

    * Chemical – including pollution, levels of oxygen, and rising acidity;
    * Physical / Geological – including sound, tide and sea levels, as well as sudden wave energy and bottom pressure changes that could provide precious minutes of warning before a tsunami; and
    * Biological – including shifts in marine species diversity, distribution, biomass and ecosystem function due to changing water conditions.

    It seems that the overwhelming majority of posters here are so intent on bashing scientists, that they don’t even bother to understand any of the basic facts before they start posting. So many minds here are driven by avoiding cognitive dissonance, that facts don’t seem to matter.

  116. Personally, I would like a complete break down by this NGO of where each and every penny is spent and if they can not justify every penny then no deal. But that is wishful thinking because they would not want anyone to know where the money is going!

  117. $15 Billion dollars…

    Isn’t that money enough for NASA to send humans back to the moon a couple of times?

  118. Phil. says: November 1, 2010 at 5:29 am
    Note that any pH lower than 7.0 is considered “acidic”.
    At 25ºC, at lower temperatures the neutral pH is higher, 7.47 at 0ºC.
    Also -0.1 is an increase in [H+] of 25%.

    At ph 8.2 [H+] = ~[.00000000631]
    at ph 8.1 [H+] = ~[.00000000794] or 26%

    At ph 7.5 [H+] = ~[.00000003388] or 437% or 16. 8 times as much.

    Scary stuff there.
    What’s your point Phil?

  119. Robinson says:
    November 1, 2010 at 5:37 am
    I’m thinking of moving to another planet, because a lot of the people on this one are insane.

    Why should we move to another planet, we don’t think it needs fixing based on pseudo science, why not make those who think the planet is ruined move to Mars and create their own “Utopian Society.”

    Just my two cents.

    As for the subject of this, I think its stupid and worthless, but we are already spending much more then this amount on windmills, which to me is basically throwing your money into the air for an energy source that is 3-4 times less efficient then other forms of power on top of killing birds and being a NIMBY problem since it causes people to have sleep issues due to the noise. Give me coal or nuclear in my backyard any day, but please leave those poor birds alone.

  120. The ocean surface is 30 percent more acidic today than it was in 1800,

    So it will be neutral in say ~3059 years.

  121. #
    #
    eadler
    November 1, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    Boy you’re dull. What almost all of the posters who are not greeny trolls are denigrating is not science, but the political motivation of activists that want to spend an astronomical amount of money so that they can apply a patina of science onto preconceived ideas. I have no problem with instrumenting the ocean. Instrumentation is my business. I love instrumentation. On the other hand, making up scare stories to extort $15 billion, rightly gets those who can see past their greeny addled minds, a little peeved.

  122. eadler says:
    November 1, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    “It seems that the overwhelming majority of posters here are so intent on bashing scientists”

    THATS CORRECT EADLER !!!! And guess why……

  123. DesertYote says:
    November 1, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    #
    #
    eadler
    November 1, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    <i."Boy you’re dull. What almost all of the posters who are not greeny trolls are denigrating is not science, but the political motivation of activists that want to spend an astronomical amount of money so that they can apply a patina of science onto preconceived ideas. I have no problem with instrumenting the ocean. Instrumentation is my business. I love instrumentation. On the other hand, making up scare stories to extort $15 billion, rightly gets those who can see past their greeny addled minds, a little peeved."

    You rant didn’t reply to the substance of my posts, which is that the facts don’t matter , to the posters who are denigrating scientists, for whatever reason. They don’t know understand the significance of the pH change, and missed the purpose or the $15B, which is not to measure pH, but rather to make comprehensive studies of the Ocean, not simply measure pH at more places.

    Also they are making theassumption that scientists who are proposing this are wrong to ask for this money, that they somehow don’t really believe in what they are asking for, and are doing it simply to earn more money. There is no real evidence for this assumption. The scientists do have evidence of damage to the ocean ecosystem and it is more than just acidification due to increases in CO2.

  124. Sitting here, the other side of the pond, and having just watched Jane Lubchenco’s video I think you have a serious problem with corrupt science in NOAA coupled with a lack of morality.

    I cannot see how Jane Lubchenco could defend herself against charges that she is deliberately misrepresenting science. Was her Doctorate in a science-based subject or was it in Marketing/PR ?

    Thank you to all contributors for the factual information provided.

  125. eadler
    November 1, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    I was right. You are dense. I hate to break it to you but, some of the posters here actually do know something about the subject. All you know is propaganda. BTW, I use to go out on boats taking PH measurements. I dislike marine ecology because it is so friggin stable and boring. That is why I switched my interest to fresh water. And guess what, green one, acid rain was an overblown myth too!

  126. P Wilson says:
    November 1, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    eadler says:
    November 1, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    “for fear of going over this topic again – even the royal society in the UK leave out the crucial calculations and formulae on this matter to prove ocean acidification- here’s a link instead:

    http://www.seafriends.org.nz/issues/global/acid2.htm

    It isn’t clear to me what argument you are making. The author of the website, J Floor Anthoni is some kind of amateur scientist with a PhD in computer science. He seems to have amassed a large number of extracts from articles by other amateurs who blog about climate science.

    The first thing that I read was his discussion of CO2. His convoluted discussion of how the observed increase in CO2 in the atmosphere came about is total nonsense, and all of the details are a diversion. The fact is that after being stable for centuries, the industrial age kicked off an increase in CO2, stored in the atmosphere, that is about one half the amount of CO2 emitted due to human activity. So the natural environment has been absorbing the CO2 emitted due to human activity, which is known accurately. Contrary to what Anthoni implies in his website, it is clear that human emissions are responsible for the increase in CO2 that has been observed in the atmosphere.

    I didn’t get to his calculations on acidification because it is clear from his discussion of CO2, that it is not worth my time to read further on a fishing expedition. If you have a point to make about ocean pH, please state what it is.

  127. DesertYote says:
    November 1, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    eadler
    November 1, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    “I was right. You are dense. I hate to break it to you but, some of the posters here actually do know something about the subject. All you know is propaganda. BTW, I use to go out on boats taking PH measurements. I dislike marine ecology because it is so friggin stable and boring. That is why I switched my interest to fresh water. And guess what, green one, acid rain was an overblown myth too!”

    So the sulfate and nitrate pollution was not responsible for sterilization of lakes in the high country of the northeast and the disappearance of fish, and the killing of spruce trees , which I have observed with my own eyes? It is all in my imagination and an overblown myth.

  128. This is just crazy. $15B to measure the pH of oceans based on an inaccurate ‘adjusted’ fantasy global average value… Please.

    As others have rightly pointed out there are far cheaper ways of improving coverage and accuracy. They should be looking at those first and get the logic behind the need to act solid first. Any government or agency that even thinks of entertaining signing any monies away to this before confidence on the current measurements is improved really needs to wake up and smell the coffee of reality..

    This needs nipping in the bud before it gets any traction.

  129. If they can measure acidity from 20 million years ago with complete accuracy using currently available equipment, why do they need $15 billion worth of new equipment.

  130. Steve Oregon says:
    November 1, 2010 at 10:31 am

    “Why do lefties buy every alarm farce their academia progressives gin up?
    The ocean acidification tale can be revealed by any half wit simpleton and a google.
    Just Google ocean acidification fraud:

    And go look at Lubchenco’s absurd demonstration.

    Too stupid

    “The Moniker Osteoporosis of the sea””
    The problems with Lubchenco’s presentation are not evident to me. You need to make some kind of argument to convince me that there is something wrong with it. The fact that you scoff at it may convince the cheerleaders on this site, but it doesn’t represent a reasoned argument.

    The presentation makes sense. The map shows that acidification is especially intense in the northern oceans, which are the coolest and will therefore absorb the most CO2. This has proceeded to a point where recent measurements have shown that CO2 concentrations have increased sufficiently to slow down the absorption of CO2 by the southern oceans. The 26% increase in acidification is in line with the percentage of increase in CO2 in the atmosphere from 280 to 390ppM.

  131. keith says:
    November 1, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    This is just crazy. $15B to measure the pH of oceans based on an inaccurate ‘adjusted’ fantasy global average value… Please.

    As others have rightly pointed out there are far cheaper ways of improving coverage and accuracy. They should be looking at those first and get the logic behind the need to act solid first. Any government or agency that even thinks of entertaining signing any monies away to this before confidence on the current measurements is improved really needs to wake up and smell the coffee of reality..

    This needs nipping in the bud before it gets any traction.
    Get a grip man. Despite the misconceptions that have been propagated by so many posters on this web site, the $15B is requested for a comprehensive observation program of the worlds oceans, not simply to make more measurements of pH.
    If you had read the news article that was posted at the end of Anthony’s commentary you would have seen this:

    “Ocean conditions that require monitoring can be divided into three categories:

    * Chemical – including pollution, levels of oxygen, and rising acidity;
    * Physical / Geological – including sound, tide and sea levels, as well as sudden wave energy and bottom pressure changes that could provide precious minutes of warning before a tsunami; and
    * Biological – including shifts in marine species diversity, distribution, biomass and ecosystem function due to changing water conditions.

    Benefits of the comprehensive ocean system envisioned include:

    * Improved short-term and seasonal forecasts to mitigate the harm caused by drought, or by severe storms, cyclones, hurricanes and monsoons, such as those that recently put one-fifth of Pakistan temporarily underwater and left 21 million people homeless or injured. International lenders estimate the damage to Pakistan’s infrastructure, agriculture and other sectors at $9.5 billion. Improved weather forecasting would also enhance the safety of the fishing and shipping industries, and offshore operations such as wind farms and oil drilling. Sea surface temperature is a key factor in the intensity and location of severe weather events;
    * Early identification of pollution-induced eutrophication that spawns algal blooms responsible for health problems in humans and marine species, and harm to aquaculture operations;
    * Timely alerts of changes in distributions of marine life that would allow identification of areas needing protective commercial re-zoning, and of immigration by invasive species;”

    Since Anthony himself appears not to have noticed this, it is understandable that most his followers would have missed it. This kind of mistake shows how a biased mind can cause one to miss key facts involved in an issue. Why am I the only one who caught this problem out of the scores of posters on this site?

    It doesn’t seem like $15B is an outlandish some when you look at the variety of phenomena that the system is proposed to look at.

  132. David Middleton says:
    November 1, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    Important distinction:

    Madison elaborated on the restrictive interpretation prior to the ratification of the Constitution.

    Hamilton elaborated on the expansive interpretation after the ratification when he was Treasury Secretary.

    If someone is trying to get you to sign a contract and they make a written assurance of something before you sign and then renege on that assurance after you’ve signed that contract, you have been defrauded.

    Yes, and your observation of such fraud makes you the target of scorn as a “fringe racist right-wing radical” by the people and MainStream Media (MSM) decrying the obstructionism and smearing the reputations of strict Constitutional constructionists. Welcome to the club.

  133. @eadler
    “So the sulfate and nitrate pollution was not responsible for sterilization of lakes in the high country of the northeast and the disappearance of fish, and the killing of spruce trees , which I have observed with my own eyes? It is all in my imagination and an overblown myth.”

    No, not a myth, acid rain is also a natural phenomenon that has been happening for thousands of years.

    @wikipedia

    Natural phenomena
    The principal natural phenomena that contribute acid-producing gases to the atmosphere are emissions from volcanoes. Thus, for example, fumaroles from Laguna Caliente crater of Poás Volcano create extremely acid rain and fog with acidity 2 of pH, clearing an area of any vegetation and frequently causing irritation to the eyes and lungs of inhabitants in nearby settlements[21]. Acid-producing gasses are created also by biological processes that occur on the land, in wetlands, and in the oceans. The major biological source of sulfur containing compounds is dimethyl sulfide.
    Nitric acid in rainwater is an important source of fixed nitrogen for plant life, and is also produced by electrical activity in the atmosphere such as lightning.
    Acidic deposits have been detected in glacial ice thousands of years old in remote parts of the globe.[12]

  134. eadler says:
    November 1, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    It seems that the overwhelming majority of posters here are so intent on bashing scientists, that they don’t even bother to understand any of the basic facts before they start posting. So many minds here are driven by avoiding cognitive dissonance, that facts don’t seem to matter.

    eadler says:
    November 1, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    So the sulfate and nitrate pollution was not responsible for sterilization of lakes in the high country of the northeast and the disappearance of fish, and the killing of spruce trees , which I have observed with my own eyes? It is all in my imagination and an overblown myth.
    ———————————-
    Congratulations Eadler, you are doing a fine job showing the control freakery you guys love so much. You sound so frustrated that you can’t control every comment that’s made on here to be to your liking in terms of subject matter. I’m guessing you’re not gonna like this one either.

    You know what though – there are moderators on here who read every comment and it’s not your blog. So why don’t you you go look in a mirror and ask yourself why you want to control people to write comments that deal with the subject matter you want them to – on someone else’s blog ?? We comment however the **** we want to dude, as long as it’s within Anthony’s rules.

    I too saw dead fish, chemically disgusting rivers and other pollution where I grew up. The problems were solved directly by head-on action, and now salmon spawn again via those rivers. The problems were not solved by global moron science, promoted by control freak politicians with a fake planet-saving agenda.

    I am a scientist with over 200 peer-reviewed publications, and I am embarrassed by the pathetic standard of “science” in the climatology field, not to mention the elitist cover-up. The fact that many non-scientists on here heap sh*t on scientists in general is the backlash that we (if you are a scientist) are going to have to live with because of it.

  135. eadler says:
    November 1, 2010 at 4:37 pm

    “If you have a point to make about ocean pH, please state what it is.”

    the fact that it is alkaline, always will be and will continue to be so, thus rendering all this alarmism about acidification of the oceans about as useful as a fart. Its impertinent.

    Its just an alternative to the c02 scare, when it falls flat on its face.

  136. eadler says:
    November 1, 2010 at 5:06 pm
    “The map shows that acidification is especially intense in the northern oceans, which are the coolest and will therefore absorb the most CO2. ”

    Acidification begins at 7, as you know.

    please demonstrate with relevant examples where this is the case in the northern oceans

  137. The “30 percent more acidic” phrase is very popular. It turns up tens of thousands of hits on Google.

    This got me thinking of a novel counter-PR strategy. (But I’m no chemist, and it’s been a while since I dealt with pH at school. So correct me if the following musings are off.)

    I understand that the pH of KoolAid is supposed to be around 3.

    So 5 full pH units below 8 would mean that (based on its concentration of H+ ions) KoolAid is 100,000 TIMES more “acidic” than ocean water. No?

    That sounds big. But there is a way to make it sound a lot bigger.

    Each factor of 10 carries a 1,000 percent increase, right?

    So we can legitimately say that Kool Aid is 1,000,000,000,000,000 PERCENT more acidic than ocean water.

    In the US, this should be read as:

    KOOL AID IS ONE THOUSAND TRILLION PERCENT MORE ACIDIC THAN OCEAN WATER.

    I propose this as an appropriate answer to put the”30% more acidic” mantra in context.

    Why are the KoolAid addicts so concerned about 30%, and so relaxed when happily imbibing a thousand trillion percent more “acidic” substances than ocean water?

  138. John Day says:
    November 1, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    “@eadler
    “So the sulfate and nitrate pollution was not responsible for sterilization of lakes in the high country of the northeast and the disappearance of fish, and the killing of spruce trees , which I have observed with my own eyes? It is all in my imagination and an overblown myth.”

    No, not a myth, acid rain is also a natural phenomenon that has been happening for thousands of years.

    @wikipedia

    Natural phenomena
    The principal natural phenomena that contribute acid-producing gases to the atmosphere are emissions from volcanoes. Thus, for example, fumaroles from Laguna Caliente crater of Poás Volcano create extremely acid rain and fog with acidity 2 of pH, clearing an area of any vegetation and frequently causing irritation to the eyes and lungs of inhabitants in nearby settlements[21]. Acid-producing gasses are created also by biological processes that occur on the land, in wetlands, and in the oceans. The major biological source of sulfur containing compounds is dimethyl sulfide.
    Nitric acid in rainwater is an important source of fixed nitrogen for plant life, and is also produced by electrical activity in the atmosphere such as lightning.
    Acidic deposits have been detected in glacial ice thousands of years old in remote parts of the globe.[12]”
    Your comment is simply inapplicable to the case of acid rain in the northeastern US.

    No doubt volcanoes may be natural sources of acid rain, but there are no volcanic sources anywhere near the Adirondacks of NY State, and the Green Mts. of Vermont which saw the disappearance of trout in mountain lakes, and the death of high altitude spruce trees due to acid rain. There are however plenty of coal burning power plants upwind from the Northeast, in the midwest, which were the documented sources of acid rain.

    http://www.adirondackcouncil.org/acrapub.pdf

  139. P Wilson says:
    November 1, 2010 at 7:03 pm

    “eadler says:
    November 1, 2010 at 4:37 pm

    “If you have a point to make about ocean pH, please state what it is.”

    the fact that it is alkaline, always will be and will continue to be so, thus rendering all this alarmism about acidification of the oceans about as useful as a fart. Its impertinent.

    Its just an alternative to the c02 scare, when it falls flat on its face.”

    The word acidification in this context clearly means to make the hydrogen ion concentration greater. It does not necessarily mean to make the pH actually become less than 7. This will have an effect on the viability of shellfish and other organisms that evolved to take advantage of oceans with a lower concentration of Hydrogen ions than the concentration we will get if CO2 emissions continue on their present course.

    Your misinterpretation of the use of acidification does not make your argument correct.

  140. eadler says To Desert Yote:
    November 1, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    So the sulfate and nitrate pollution was not responsible for sterilization of lakes in the high country of the northeast and the disappearance of fish, and the killing of spruce trees , which I have observed with my own eyes? It is all in my imagination and an overblown myth.

    At the risk of letting the thread go OT, mountain top spruce had an alternate concern – the claim was that winter winds would stress and break root hairs, leaving the tree in poor condition to take up water the next summer.

    I started looking at the understory in areas with some taller spruce in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, and in areas where the tall trees were dead or dying, the shorter spruce in the understory were doing fine.

    I don’t fish, so I have no first hand experience with that, and haven’t really followed the acid rain story since TV met were reporting the pH of significant rainfalls.

  141. Francisco says:
    November 1, 2010 at 7:25 pm
    KOOL AID IS ONE THOUSAND TRILLION PERCENT MORE ACIDIC THAN OCEAN WATER.
    ===================

    On second thought, it looks like I was triple jumping zeros in too much of a happy rush, and so I ended up with 11 zeros too many. The above should be:

    KOOL AID IS TEN MILLION PERCENT MORE ACIDIC THAN OCEAN WATER.

    Still pretty scary compared with 30%

  142. Francisco says:
    November 1, 2010 at 7:25 pm

    “The “30 percent more acidic” phrase is very popular. It turns up tens of thousands of hits on Google.

    This got me thinking of a novel counter-PR strategy. (But I’m no chemist, and it’s been a while since I dealt with pH at school. So correct me if the following musings are off.)

    I understand that the pH of KoolAid is supposed to be around 3.

    So 5 full pH units below 8 would mean that (based on its concentration of H+ ions) KoolAid is 100,000 TIMES more “acidic” than ocean water. No?

    That sounds big. But there is a way to make it sound a lot bigger.

    Each factor of 10 carries a 1,000 percent increase, right?

    So we can legitimately say that Kool Aid is 1,000,000,000,000,000 PERCENT more acidic than ocean water.

    In the US, this should be read as:

    KOOL AID IS ONE THOUSAND TRILLION PERCENT MORE ACIDIC THAN OCEAN WATER.

    I propose this as an appropriate answer to put the”30% more acidic” mantra in context.

    Why are the KoolAid addicts so concerned about 30%, and so relaxed when happily imbibing a thousand trillion percent more “acidic” substances than ocean water?”

    I guess you are trying to be funny.

    Why stop at Kool Aid? Why not say, what is so bad a bout a pH of 1 or 2, which is what we all have in our stomachs? How could that be harmful to sea life? If you believe that, you are clearly ignorant.

    How about trying to put some chalk dust in Kool Aid and leave there to see if it will dissolve. It probably will. This is what would happen to corals over time if they were put in Kool Aid.

  143. Francisco says:
    November 1, 2010 at 7:25 pm

    I understand that the pH of KoolAid is supposed to be around 3.

    So 5 full pH units below 8 would mean that (based on its concentration of H+ ions) KoolAid is 100,000 TIMES more acidic than ocean water. No?

    That sounds big. But there is a way to make it sound a lot bigger.

    Each factor of 10 carries a 1,000 percent increase, right?

    No. percent is just 1/100ths of something. The root is cent, which traces back to 100. 1/100 of a dollar is one cent, the Roman numeral for 100 is C, etc.

    So we can legitimately say that Kool Aid is 1,000,000,000,000,000 PERCENT more acidic than ocean water.

    No. Only 10,000,000 percent _as_ acidic, 9,999,900 percent _more_ acidic.

    In the US, this should be read as:

    KOOL AID IS ONE THOUSAND TRILLION PERCENT MORE ACIDIC THAN OCEAN WATER.

    Please don’t shout, please don’t shout nonsense.

  144. eadler says:
    November 1, 2010 at 7:53 pm

    Actually, calling a subject the “acidification of the oceans” when they are as benign to life in all their alkalinity is grosser than the claim of aerial c02 causing global warming.

    It is simply incorrect and only has one context: How acid are the oceans.

    Well they are clearly not, and are not becoming more so.

    there isn’t enough c02 in the atmosphere to cause any such problem, and neither was there in the past when oceans absorbed much more co2 than they do now. Which is a dilemma, as it is pretended that the carbon sinks are not absorbing c02 as they should, since it stays in the atmosphere. When oceans did absorb large amounts of c02, there was no acidification or extinction of marine life. Its simply impossible.

    to take up an aforementioned post, a ph of 5 has 1,000 times as many H+ ions as seawater for a given volume, Fresh water has 100 times as many -so it isn’t anything to do with acidity whatsoever pertaining to oceans.

    The VITAL factor is salinity – we wouldnt expect marine life to live in freshwater, so if any cause of concern with oceans needs to be studied, it is salinity/freshwater equilibrium.

  145. PhilinCalifornia says:
    November 1, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    “eadler says:
    November 1, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    It seems that the overwhelming majority of posters here are so intent on bashing scientists, that they don’t even bother to understand any of the basic facts before they start posting. So many minds here are driven by avoiding cognitive dissonance, that facts don’t seem to matter.

    eadler says:
    November 1, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    So the sulfate and nitrate pollution was not responsible for sterilization of lakes in the high country of the northeast and the disappearance of fish, and the killing of spruce trees , which I have observed with my own eyes? It is all in my imagination and an overblown myth.
    ———————————-
    Congratulations Eadler, you are doing a fine job showing the control freakery you guys love so much. You sound so frustrated that you can’t control every comment that’s made on here to be to your liking in terms of subject matter. I’m guessing you’re not gonna like this one either.

    You know what though – there are moderators on here who read every comment and it’s not your blog. So why don’t you you go look in a mirror and ask yourself why you want to control people to write comments that deal with the subject matter you want them to – on someone else’s blog ?? We comment however the **** we want to dude, as long as it’s within Anthony’s rules.”

    Phil,
    I also can comment however I want. Why should the comments section be one sided?
    If people don’t want to be called on their mistakes, they should be more careful. If they are misinforming others, why shouldn’t they be corrected?

    I stick to the issues. Many posters on this thread, even Anthony himself, object to spending $15B to make better measurements of acidification. I would object to spending this amount also.

    The point I am making, and it needs to be made, is that the request for $15B is for a comprehensive system to monitor all aspects of ocean phenomena, not just pH. So a lot of people are getting their knickers all twisted up for no reason.
    There is a lot of misinformation propagated by bloggers and posters who don’t know what they are talking about. I think it is healthy to have a little give and take. If you can’t take the heat, stay out of the kitchen.

  146. drewski says:
    November 1, 2010 at 7:41 pm
    Philincalifornia, care to provide your list of 200 peer-reviewed publications?
    ——————————-
    Naaah, not really, but I might if you promise me you don’t pilot a black helicopter.

    Ph.D. age 23 in 1978 in carbon chemistry. 14 papers in PNAS, 4 in Nature (how embarrassing is that ?) and 7 in Science. Then another 50 or 80 in more specialist and better journals. Lots of data analysis over the years, including data regulated by the FDA. Major consultancies with entities requiring scientific due diligence for multi 10 million dollar investments. Major ability to rapidly identify the fraud that is the global warming hoax, and its illegitimate Goebbelsian offspring.

    How about you ??

  147. eadler says:
    November 1, 2010 at 8:17 pm
    PhilinCalifornia says:
    November 1, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    Phil,
    I also can comment however I want. Why should the comments section be one sided?
    If people don’t want to be called on their mistakes, they should be more careful. If they are misinforming others, why shouldn’t they be corrected?

    I stick to the issues. Many posters on this thread, even Anthony himself, object to spending $15B to make better measurements of acidification. I would object to spending this amount also.

    The point I am making, and it needs to be made, is that the request for $15B is for a comprehensive system to monitor all aspects of ocean phenomena, not just pH. So a lot of people are getting their knickers all twisted up for no reason.
    There is a lot of misinformation propagated by bloggers and posters who don’t know what they are talking about. I think it is healthy to have a little give and take. If you can’t take the heat, stay out of the kitchen.

    ———————–

    Absolutely agree. Post whatever you want. Correct people. Don’t be an elitist control freak though. Just educate them.

    It appears to be one-sided here, because the sheeple (and educated or pseudo-educated people who should know better) come on here blabbing about what they heard in the MSM and they get their asses handed to them.

    Al Gore, former Vice-President of the USA, alleged President of the USA almost, would get his ass handed to him big time on here, obviously. So, at least you have more bollox than him posting here.

  148. eadler,

    If you need an explaination of the problem with Lubchenco’s demonstration you’re lacking too much common sense to bother.

    But try this Lubchenco video with the same demonstration towards the end and the comment section I plucked the quotes below from.

    http://www.youtube.com/comment_servlet?all_comments=1&v=dFqu6DpQlO4

    These are quotes from the comments in the video link :

    “This lady is a liar. The pH of the ocean is 8 and has been 8 for hundreds of years. She is adding far more CO2 into the tap water (pH of 7) than is possible in nature – also, if she waited then almost all of it would’ve simply outgassed from the water – that’s why she has to rush and do it right away since you can see the CO2 bubbling out of the water – it can’t hold it at that room temps.

    Also, corals evolved when CO2 was FAR higher than it currently is – .
    Sorry, but as good as for vegetation, corals and shellfish need CO2 and not only survived much higher CO2 levels in the (far) past, but produced thicker and more abundant shells. The white cliffs of Dover (UK) are remnants of the 10-12 times higher CO2 levels (and higher temperatures) during the Cretaceous time period.

    This a shame! Dr. Lubchenco either has not the slightest knowledge of (ocean) chemistry, or she is simply lying.
    She “forgets” that seawater is not fresh water. Seawater has an enormous buffer capacity to widthstand large changes in pH and it is alkaline, not neutral. Fish, corals and coccoliths trive under much higher CO2 levels of te atmosphere. Most of the carbonate deposits we see today are from the Cretaceous when CO2 levels were 10-12 times higher than today. This is pure misleading.

    Well, that is the lie! Of course if you add extreme quantities of CO2 or a strong acid (like acetic acid in demo 2), you ultimately reach low pH’s and the solution will become acid. But that is practically impossible for seawater, even if you burn all known reserves of oil and coal. But please, don’t believe me on my words, just ask anybody with a chemistry background who knows what a buffer solution does…

    Her PHD is not in oceanography–no wonder she doesn’t understand the ocean’s chemistry–but I would at least expect her to understand what a PH value is.

    Since the ocean is alkaline and can never be acidic, “ocean acidification” is a lie.

    “Slightly reduced alkaline level” wasn’t as scary as “ocean acidification,” and even that is ridiculous because the maximum reduced alkaline level that could be caused by CO2 by 2050 is less than the margin of error of the alkaline level measurement.

    She also doesn’t say that where CO2 in the ocean is slightly higher, phytoplankton bloom along with all other life, including whales.

    Acidification: to make or become acid; convert into an acid.

    PH value of 7 is neutral, lower than 7 is acidic, higher is alkakine. The ocean’s PH is over 8.

    Isn’t there a law against lying to congress?
    Dr. Lubchenko should be arrested.
    To take such great risk of doing something so despicable and illegal, there must be a lot at stake for her–perhaps a job in a major corporation exploiting the carbon credits markets when she leaves NOAA?”

  149. eadler. In the continental US, the primary stress on native fish species is introduced piscavorous game fishes. This is followed by a distant second of structural changes such as damming. As for your precious lake trout, PH had nothing to do with their decline. Any study that you might be referencing that claims such (and there are quite a few, greenies are always busy concocting spin) is bogus. Salvelinus namaycush can tolerate an enormous range of water chemistry. The only real constraints is on O2 and temperature. If I remember correctly, they are found in waters with PH’s that range from 5.0 to 8.5! The primary factors related to population declines is over harvesting, as they have a min population doubling time of 4.5 years to 15 years depending on the phenotype. Just for your info, my field is not botany, but I do have some knowledge where it impacts aquatic habitats. One often deliberately ignored fact is that many tree species tend to die off in groves. Ever wonder were mountain meadows come from? Beavers don’t do all the work. The primary culprit in your spruce are beetles which have periodic population explosions. In some areas this might be exasperated by particulates.

  150. Ric Werme says:
    November 1, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    “No. Only 10,000,000 percent _as_ acidic, 9,999,900 percent _more_ acidic.”
    =============
    Yes, I did realize this shortly after I posted the initial figure, and my own correction appears just a couple of posts above yours, coinciding with what you say. I suppose you did not see it.

    The point remains entirely valid that the much advertised “30 percent more acidic” mantra looks idiotic and deceitful (because it is *meant* to be deceitful) if we start expressing acidity variations by that method, whereby Kool-Aid would be 10 million percent more acidic than ocean water, and the full range of the pH scale from 14 to 0 would cover a ten thousand trillion (10^16) percent increase in “acidity”. I have never seen acidity variations expressed in this grotesque fashion, other than in the depressing field of climate charlatanism, where the “30 percent more acidic” phrase is enthusiastically repeated tens of thousands of times all over the web like a universal braying contest.

  151. eadler said:
    November 1, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    “The account of pH given by the above poster is his own invention and totally wrong.”

    Just what part of:

    ie 100% H+ = pH 0
    —-50% H+= pH 7
    —– 0% H+ = pH 14

    is wrong?? I certainly did not invent the standard expression of pH. Obviously, you are comfortable with greater than 100% of a total. I am not. There is not one incorrect statement in my comment. It is merely stated in a simpler format, than what you are used to. For what it’s worth… I would like to see the whole globe instrumented, but I doubt, whether I could sell the expense, to the public. Of course this may be because I cannot give 110%, like you. GK

  152. eadler says:
    November 1, 2010 at 8:17 pm
    The point I am making, and it needs to be made, is that the request for $15B is for a comprehensive system to monitor all aspects of ocean phenomena, not just pH. So a lot of people are getting their knickers all twisted up for no reason.

    So, it’s entirely OK with you that they spend $15B on KoolAid science, as long as they promise to throw in some other stuff as well, to make it look like they are doing actual science. Got it.

  153. DesertYote says:
    November 1, 2010 at 10:18 pm

    “eadler. In the continental US, the primary stress on native fish species is introduced piscavorous game fishes. This is followed by a distant second of structural changes such as damming. As for your precious lake trout, PH had nothing to do with their decline. Any study that you might be referencing that claims such (and there are quite a few, greenies are always busy concocting spin) is bogus. Salvelinus namaycush can tolerate an enormous range of water chemistry. The only real constraints is on O2 and temperature. If I remember correctly, they are found in waters with PH’s that range from 5.0 to 8.5! The primary factors related to population declines is over harvesting, as they have a min population doubling time of 4.5 years to 15 years depending on the phenotype. Just for your info, my field is not botany, but I do have some knowledge where it impacts aquatic habitats. One often deliberately ignored fact is that many tree species tend to die off in groves. Ever wonder were mountain meadows come from? Beavers don’t do all the work. The primary culprit in your spruce are beetles which have periodic population explosions. In some areas this might be exasperated by particulates.”
    The science you quote comes out of your imagination. The science behind the death of red spruce at high altitudes is very clear. Acid clouds have caused it. The tips of branches die in a uniform mode around the circumference of the entire tree. Juvenile trout are killed off first as the pH of the water decreases. Lakes that have no limestone to buffer the acid, are the places where the trout disappear. It has nothing to do with overfishing or predators. Your figures on the tolerance of trout agree with what the table shows for the maximum pH of trout, but the pH of acid rain can be as low as 4.3. In addition, the prey of trout like mayflies will die off at higher pH.

    http://www.epa.gov/acidrain/measure/index.html

    http://www.epa.gov/acidrain/effects/surface_water.html

    Recently spruce beetles have been killing off trees in the western US in huge numbers because winters have been milder due to climate change, and more beetles survive the winter.

    All of this is off topic.

  154. chris y November 1, 2010 at 11:22 am:
    That’s why I agreed with most of what you said, but where you say-
    … some money should be spent … to at least provide enough understanding to thoroughly debunk the climate alarmist claims.
    and-
    Right now the alarmists depend on lack of reliable observations to enable nonsensical adjustments that always favor a pending catastrophe.
    there are more important things to do with “our” money than disprove alarmist claims, such as your suggestion to enhance the ARGO system for a few million. Great idea! And yes, we need continued funding for other more accurate data gathering systems. But even the “A-Train” of satellites, as mentioned here in other posts, is questionable (or should have been) or I would even say marginal comparing the total cost to actionable data that we hope to derive therefrom. In other words, spending money on data gathering for the sake of data gathering (or just for the sake of proving someone else “data” wrong) or on a “hope and a prayer” that it’ll mean something is – – A. Stupid, B. Wasteful, C. Killing people, D. Non-scientific, E. All of the above.
    Your choice.

  155. Some coments by physicist Denis Rancourt on the “acidification” industry, old and new.

    http://tinyurl.com/24wftd6

    […] This has in turn led to tenuous proposals (and an associated research industry) that the mean ocean water has been acidified by 0.1 pH units and that this postulated acidification alone may cause ecological change putting certain shell-forming organisms at risk. To date there has been no direct experimental validation of a change in ocean pH, nor has there been a conclusive demonstration that ecological damage arises from increased ocean acidity.

    This ocean acidification side show on the global warming science bandwagon, involving major nation research centers and international collaborations, is interesting to compare with the 1970s-1980s hoax of boreal forest lake acidification.
    […]

    http://tinyurl.com/2cq2gqa

    Acid Rain on the Boreal Forest
    In the seventies it was acid rain. Thousands of scientists from around the world (Northern Hemisphere) studied this “most pressing environmental problem on the planet.” The boreal forest is the largest ecosystem on Earth and its millions of lakes were reportedly being killed by acid from the sky.

    Coal burning plants spewed out sulphides into the atmosphere causing the rain to be acidic. The acid rain was postulated to acidify the soils and lakes in the boreal forest but the acidification was virtually impossible to detect. Pristine lakes in the hearts of national parks had to be studied for decades in attempts to detect a statistically significant acidification.

    Meanwhile the lakes and their watersheds were being destroyed by the cottage industry, agriculture, forestry, mining, over fishing and tourism. None of the local and regional destruction was studied or exposed. Instead, scientists turned their gaze to distant coal burning plants, atmospheric distribution, and postulated chemical reactions occurring in rain droplets. One study found that the spawning in aquarium of one fish species was extremely sensitive to acidity (pH). Long treatises about cation charge balance and transport were written and attention was diverted away from the destruction on the ground towards a sanitized problem of atmospheric chemistry that was the result of industrialization and progress rather than being caused by identifiable exploiters.

    As a physicist and Earth scientist turned environmental scientist, I personally read virtually every single scientific paper written about acid rain and could not find an example of a demonstrated negative impact on lakes or forests from acid rain. In my opinion, contrary to the repeated claims of the scientist authors, the research on acid rain demonstrates that acid rain could not possibly have been the problem.

    This model of elite-forces-coordinated exploiter whitewashing was to play itself out on an even grander scale only decades later with global warming.
    [...]

  156. Have they not heard? NASA is now a muslim outreach. NOAA soon to be running soup kitchens. Good luck with that $15 Billion.

  157. Mike says:
    November 1, 2010 at 8:23 am

    When the annual and daily changes in pH are on a much larger scale than the supposed changes since the 1700s, and the fact that most of these organisms have been around for thousands of years and seen much greater changes, it is simply not logical to fall for the alarmist propaganda that “ocean acidification” poses any real problem what so ever.

  158. The crux of Lubchenko’s demonstration is that corals and shellfish can thrive in ordinary tap water; including its deliberate Chlorination and Fluoridation; so long as you dye it blue with an ordinary laboratory blue dye; but they will not grow in ordinary tap water, if you chill it by adding lots of dry ice to it and dye it yellow with an ordinary laboratory yellow dye.

    Her experiment would have been a lot more convincing if instead of ordinary chlorinated fluoridated tap water, she had used some actual sea water flown in from The Great Barrier Reef; where it is well known that corals, and shell fish will in fact survive quite nicely even without the need for an ordinary laboratory blue dye.

    And I suggest that she finds herself a different brand of ordinary Laboratory blue dye; That Phenolpthalene is notorious for turning yellow when you chill it with dry ice.

    And I was under the impression that she does have a degree in oceanography.

    Her demo is only slightly less fraudulent, than the dumb experiments that people including the so-called science guy do with synthetic air samples; one with a ton more CO2 than the other, with thermometers in them which you expose to the roughly 2800 K Radiation from an incandescent light bulb which has its peak spectral radiance at about one micron wavelength; which the human body detects as “heat” largely because of the significant water absorption band at about 0.94 microns. Such a lamp also puts out a large amount of radiation at 2.7 7 microns, where CO2 has a significant absorption band (the assymmetrical stretch mode); and it would also put out a very large amount of 15 micron LWIR thermal radiation if the lamp glass could transmit it. But the glass will heat up to some high Temperature; but not 2800 K, and then the glass will radiate lots of 4.0 and also 15 micron Radiation which CO2 can absorb.

    To do the experiment properly, you need to carefully set the amounts of CO2 in your air samples to perhaps 280 and 560 ppm comprising one doubling of the CO2, and then you need to use something like an ordinary garden brick which you chill to about 15 deg C in your refrigerator before using it to irradiate the air samples with 390 W/m^2 LWIR thermal radiation with a 10.1 micron spectral peak.

    You should get a temperature rise of 3.0 +/-50% for the 560 ppm CO2 sample over the 280 ppm sample.

    Don’t forget to put about 1% mole percent of H2O in with each of those air samples. The only difefrence should be 280 ppm extra CO2 in one of them.

  159. G. Karst says:
    November 2, 2010 at 12:06 am
    eadler said:
    November 1, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    “The account of pH given by the above poster is his own invention and totally wrong.”

    Just what part of:

    ie 100% H+ = pH 0
    —-50% H+= pH 7
    —– 0% H+ = pH 14

    is wrong?? I certainly did not invent the standard expression of pH. Obviously, you are comfortable with greater than 100% of a total. I am not. There is not one incorrect statement in my comment.

    Actually all of it is wrong, it doesn’t contain a single correct statement!

    To illustrate 10^-7 H+ = pH 7

    0% H+ = pH infinity!

  160. Phil. said:
    November 2, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    “0% H+ = pH infinity”

    0% – 100% H+ references the pH scale ranging of 0 to 14 it does not reference a scale of 0 to infinity. But then… you already knew that so why did I bite? It won’t happen again. GK

  161. Frank says:
    November 2, 2010 at 10:24 am

    When the annual and daily changes in pH are on a much larger scale than the supposed changes since the 1700s, and the fact that most of these organisms have been around for thousands of years and seen much greater changes, it is simply not logical to fall for the alarmist propaganda that “ocean acidification” poses any real problem what so ever.
    ————

    You are presuming quite a lot. While pH does fluctuate shell formation occurs over time so the average pH is relevant. Keep in mind we aren’t just talking about fish and crabs and clams, but zooplankton. Effects of lower pH aren’t fully understood and will likely be mixed. Some sea animals grow faster with lower pH. But will their food supply match? We are making a very serious chemistry experiment and there is no going back if it goes wrong.

    You are wrong that these organisms have seen much greater pH changes in the past – and survived.

    “Payne said humans may not ultimately release as much carbon dioxide as the Siberian traps, but we may be doing it at a faster rate. The end-Permian extinction could be viewed as a “worst case scenario” for what we could be facing as we burn more fossil fuels and increase ocean acidity, he said.

    “We won’t necessarily end up with a world that looks as bad as it did after the end-Permian extinction, but that event highlights the fact that things can go very, very wrong,” Payne said.

    The National Resource Council recently reported that the ocean’s chemistry is changing faster than it has in hundreds of thousands of years, because carbon dioxide is being released into the atmosphere and absorbed into the oceans, making them more acidic. Studies have shown increased ocean acidity decreases photosynthesis, nutrient absorption, growth and reproduction of marine organisms.”

    http://www.physorg.com/news191605233.html

    “This study concludes that acidification has the potential to trigger a sixth mass extinction event and to do so independently of anthropogenic extinctions that are currently taking place. ”

    http://www.springerlink.com/content/085g2151l3nlt871/

    “It is more acidic now than it has been for at least 500,000 years…”

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7936137.stm

    You are free to ignore what the scientists are finding. You are free to substitute your own naive judgment or what you pick up in blogs for expert opinion and analysis. But is this wise?

  162. G. Karst says:
    November 2, 2010 at 8:20 pm
    Phil. said:
    November 2, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    “0% H+ = pH infinity”

    0% – 100% H+ references the pH scale ranging of 0 to 14 it does not reference a scale of 0 to infinity. But then… you already knew that so why did I bite? It won’t happen again. GK

    Presumably you bit for the same reason you messed it up in the original post, you don’t know what pH is!
    For your education pH=-log([H+]) (log(0)=-infinity)

    The reason the range is usually stated as 1-14 is because at 25ºC [H+][OH-]=10^-14
    As stated before none of your statements were correct.

  163. And percentage does not care for the “reasons” of the range. It only cares that it is referenced to a specified range, in this case pH 0-14 calibrated as a 100%-0% signal H+. Bye GK

  164. G. Karst says:
    November 2, 2010 at 9:07 pm
    And percentage does not care for the “reasons” of the range. It only cares that it is referenced to a specified range, in this case pH 0-14 calibrated as a 100%-0% signal H+. Bye GK

    Which is a chemical ( & mathematical) absurdity.

  165. The oceans can never become permanently acidified no matter what the amount of atmospheric CO2, which in the Jurassic was some 5-10x current levels where delicate aragonite corals evolved in the first place. The fact that the oceans constantly brush against alkaline shores is also missed by these rent-seekers.

    Some say jailing “deniers” is a bit harsh, but when CAGWists themselves become the deniers (No.. we didn’t misappropriate anything..), I find renaming them to criminals and jailing very appropriate.

  166. Phil. says:
    November 2, 2010 at 9:57 pm
    G. Karst says:
    November 2, 2010 at 9:07 pm
    And percentage does not care for the “reasons” of the range. It only cares that it is referenced to a specified range, in this case pH 0-14 calibrated as a 100%-0% signal H+. Bye GK

    Which is a chemical ( & mathematical) absurdity.
    To elaborate, if pH 1 is defined as 100% (as shown above 0 is impossible), then pH 3 is 1%!

  167. @ Olaf Koenders says:
    November 2, 2010 at 11:31 pm …

    ———–
    It takes tens of thousands of years for ocean pH to return to normal.

  168. “”””” Phil. says:
    November 2, 2010 at 8:46 pm
    G. Karst says:
    November 2, 2010 at 8:20 pm
    Phil. said:
    November 2, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    “0% H+ = pH infinity”

    0% – 100% H+ references the pH scale ranging of 0 to 14 it does not reference a scale of 0 to infinity. But then… you already knew that so why did I bite? It won’t happen again. GK

    Presumably you bit for the same reason you messed it up in the original post, you don’t know what pH is!
    For your education pH=-log([H+]) (log(0)=-infinity)

    The reason the range is usually stated as 1-14 is because at 25ºC [H+][OH-]=10^-14
    As stated before none of your statements were correct. “””””

    I’m a total idiot on this stuff; but I am under the impression (some sort of impression) that at STP conditions even the purest of water; containing no molecule that is not H2O, is naturally dissociated giving a Hydrogen (+) ion concentration of 10^7 or so; and hence arises the pH scale centered on -7.

    From my now somewhat dated Semic-conductor processing days; we used to talk about (good) clean water as being
    “18 megOhm water”. And for water to be conductive, it would have to contain ions; and H+ and OH- would seem to be the logical candidates.

    Now you math whizzes out there should be able to connect a 10^7 H+ ion concentration to the 18 megOhms; which I would take a wild guess is the simple assed one dimensional resistance of any cube of water measured between two opposite faces with perfectly conducting end electrodes. I’d take a wild guess, that we would use Platinum electrodes in the instruments we used to measure the water to see how “clean” it was.

    If pH relates to something else, then please forget I even mentioned this.

  169. Is it only me? Or do other bloggers here think this hypothetical scientific back and forth claptrap needs some ACTUAL measurements so that their OPINIONS can be verified?

    I know, why doesn’t someone build a comprehensive measurement system of the oceans so that we can base our debates around precise OBSERVATIONS. Considering, of course, the magnitude mankind will face if we leave a festering sore – like ocean acidification — not only untreated, but unnoticed.

  170. George E. Smith says:
    November 3, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    I’m a total idiot on this stuff; but I am under the impression (some sort of impression) that at STP conditions even the purest of water; containing no molecule that is not H2O, is naturally dissociated giving a Hydrogen (+) ion concentration of 10^7 or so; and hence arises the pH scale centered on -7.

    Correct George, 10^-7 mol/l of H+ and the same of OH- at 25ºC. That gives a conductivity of 0.0548 µS/cm. (not sure what resistivity that works out to but you can’t do better than that). If the water is in contact with air the pH will drop to about 5.6 because of dissolved CO2, more than 10 times the number of ions and therefore a conductivity above 1 µS/cm.

    From my now somewhat dated Semic-conductor processing days; we used to talk about (good) clean water as being
    “18 megOhm water”. And for water to be conductive, it would have to contain ions; and H+ and OH- would seem to be the logical candidates.

    Now you math whizzes out there should be able to connect a 10^7 H+ ion concentration to the 18 megOhms; which I would take a wild guess is the simple assed one dimensional resistance of any cube of water measured between two opposite faces with perfectly conducting end electrodes. I’d take a wild guess, that we would use Platinum electrodes in the instruments we used to measure the water tosee how “clean” it was.

    Exactly.

    If pH relates to something else, then please forget I even mentioned this.

    pH is related to the H+ ions mentioned above and can be measured in a similar fashion using a glass electrode and applying the Nernst equation.

  171. “”””” Phil. says:
    November 3, 2010 at 7:48 pm
    I looked it up George, 0.1 μS/cm = 10 MΩ-cm, so 0.0548 μS/cm=18.2 MΩ-cm “””””

    Thanks Phil; Funny how different disciplines think about the same phenomena in different ways. I think I may have got some signs wrong in my pH model; and it looks like our 18 megOhm water was pretty good stuff.

  172. A pH of 8.1 is within the natural variability of ocean pH, 8.3 to 7.9, and it must fall below 7.0 to become acid. This has not happened for 100’s of millions of years so will not fall below 7.0 now. No need for the money as ocean chemistry keeps the pH in the alkali sector of the scale. This is as has happened even when CO2 content of the atmosphere was 8000ppmv.

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