Earth on a bad acid trip?

GSA LogoDon’t laugh, that’s what the Geological Society of America is pushing these days to describe the “ocean acidification problem”…from their press release:

Earth on Acid: The Present & Future of Global Acidification

GSA Annual Meeting & Exposition, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA, 4–7 November 2012

Boulder, CO, USA – Climate change and extreme weather events grab the headlines, but there is another, lesser known, global change underway on land, in the seas, and in the air: acidification.

It turns out that combustion of fossil fuels, smelting of ores, mining of coal and metal ores, and application of nitrogen fertilizer to soils are all driving down the pH of the air, water, and the soil at rates far faster than Earth’s natural systems can buffer, posing threats to both land and sea life.

“It’s a bigger picture than most of us know,” says Janet Herman of the Department of Environmental Sciences at University of Virginia in Charlottesville.

Herman and her colleague, Karen Rice of the USGS, discovered that despite the fact that they worked on different kinds of acidification in the environment, they were not well informed about the matter beyond their own specialties. So they have done an extensive review of science papers about all kinds of environmental acidification and are presenting their work in a poster session on Tuesday, 6 Nov., at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America (GSA) in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA.

Acidification is both a local and global problem, since it can be as close as a nearby stream contaminated by mine tailings or as far-reaching as the world’s oceans, which are becoming more acidic as sea water absorbs higher concentrations of carbon dioxide that humans dump into the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels.

Coal gives a double whammy by being the biggest contributor of anthropogenic carbon dioxide to the global atmosphere as well as creating regional acidification. Coal burning is famous for creating acid rain, which had dramatic environmental impacts on forests, streams, and lakes in eastern North America and Europe and led to major policy changes.

“It’s not at all clear that other regions are considering such policy restrictions to be important,” Herman says, regarding places where population growth is expected to increase acidifying activities.

Normally, acids in the environment are buffered by alkaline compounds released by the weathering of minerals in rocks. The problem today, according to Herman, is that the rate of acidification by human activities has outstripped the weathering rate and buffering capacity of the planet.

In their work, Herman and Rice look at the population projections by country over the next four decades to see where the increased industrialization and agriculture will likely lead to new acidification hot spots. Their hope is that by doing this people can anticipate the problem and plan to mitigate the harmful environmental effects, says Herman.

WHAT: Acidification of Earth: An Assessment across Mechanisms and Scales
WHEN: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday, 6 Nov.
WHERE: Booth #67, Charlotte Convention Center: Hall B
ABSTRACT: https://gsa.confex.com/gsa/2012AM/finalprogram/abstract_207495.htm

Source: http://www.geosociety.org/news/pr/12-89.htm

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99 Responses to Earth on a bad acid trip?

  1. omnologos says:

    Is this another first…a POSTER that is so important, it warrants its own press release?

    ps usually “posters” aren’t even CV material. Perhaps post-normal science looks at them differently.

  2. Bob says:

    Are there any numbers in the study, like measured ph of soil, oceans (by local areas), or any other quantification of the situation outlined in the abstract?

  3. I thought that the solubility of a gas decreased with a rise in temperature (the opposite of a solid!). So, AGW is making the planet including the oceans warmer, therefore less CO2 is soluble, therefore a decrease in carbonic acid, with a consequent increase in pH.

    Is my science wrong, or is the warmists case of having your cake and eating it, still prevalent?

  4. Gary Pearse says:

    So with the only papers on acidification of the oceans being put out by the hysterical fringe, who have grabbed onto this and extreme weather in the face of their CO2 scares crumbling, do you think you could have found otherwise? Surely if were talking about science there should have been some observation actual numbers – the worst they’ve got is a pH of a tenth or thereabouts lower than the (highly variable) ocean values that have been recorded for a century or so.

  5. Philip Peake says:

    Do the people that employ these merchants of doom take any notice of what their employees are saying? Do they realize that when the inevitable incarceration of certifiable loons happens, they may end up with them?

  6. RayG says:

    Was Dr. Timothy Leary a co-author?

  7. sophocles says:

    “the world’s oceans, which are becoming more acidic as sea water absorbs
    higher concentrations of carbon dioxide that humans dump into the
    atmosphere by burning fossil fuels.”

    Really? The oceans hold 100 times (two orders of magnitude) the mass of the
    atmosphere. The oceans are alkaline (CO2 + H2O -> H3O+ & HCO2- and
    even to CO3–) from the CO2 absorbed. The oceans are self regulating,
    emitting CO2 when temperatures rise and absorbing CO2 when temperatures
    fall—the world-famous soft-drink bottle effect (just add and remove refrigeration
    to see it),

    I remember reading somewhere (perhaps here at WUWT?) that most of the
    rise in CO2 in our atmosphere can be easily accounted for as oceanic
    emissions, not human. I interpret this as meaning the oceans regulate the
    atmosphere—and its CO2 content— not vice versa.

    The “acid rain” problem which we experienced in the past was caused by the
    sulphur content of the coal being burnt. Smoke-stack scrubbers were introduced
    to cut/reduce the sulphur oxides being emitted. If scrubbers are not present in
    Chinese and Indian coal-burning plants, then that could be a problem.

    But CO2? Nah …

  8. D Böehm says:

    Taking the long view, there doesn’t seem to be any correlation between CO2 and temperature.

  9. lurker passing through, laughing says:

    How predictable and boring. There is a lack of rigor in the OA movement (you know, lack of evidence, lack of understanding of how large the ocean is, ocean chemistry, and biochemistry, etc.). This strongly infers that large doses of 1960’s era acid are influencing what passes for thinking in these latest fear mongers.

  10. John says:

    To andrewmharding: you are right, there would be a slight decrease in CO2 solubility, but that is overshadowed by the increase of CO2, and the partial pressure balance between CO2 in the air and in the water. The bigger issue is, what is the harm, is it huge or do sea creatures overall tend to manage it well. Matt Ridley has blogged extensively at The Rational Optimist on the issue, and suggests the latter is the case. Here are some links:

    http://www.rationaloptimist.com/blog/the-threat-from-ocean-acidification-is-greatly-exaggerated.aspx

    http://www.rationaloptimist.com/blog/acid-oceans-and-acid-rain.aspx

    http://www.rationaloptimist.com/blog/victory-on-acidification!.aspx

  11. It’s worse than we fart…

    The world just keeps on ending. And fools keep on blindly parroting. And money just keeps on flowing to another black hole of fear… Ugh.

  12. mpainter says:

    Some people never outgrow Halloween in their personal development. Acidification of the oceans is the next CO2 bugaboo, if they can ever get this thing inflated to the point where it will float. They have been trying for years, huffing and puffing, but the idea that we shall turn the ocean into a giant soda beverage has yet to take hold in the public imagination. Their hope never dies, and their strength is they don’t care if they appear ridiculous. We should not mind for it is comic relief, like cattle farts and methane.

  13. Jimbo says:

    It’s late evening for me and I don’t have time to look stuff up but this smells of more overblown bullshit scaremongering. I feel for the poor dinosaurs who were wiped out by high co2 and acid – everywhere – while life thrived left, right and centre.

  14. Jimbo says:

    Yeah I’m back but now going to bed. I can’t let these scammers get away with their crap. Ocean acidification is meaningless on Earth or should that be good for the Earth?

    Effects of Rapid Global Warming at the Paleocene-Eocene Boundary on Neotropical Vegetation
    “Temperatures in tropical regions are estimated to have increased by 3° to 5°C, compared with Late Paleocene values, during the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM, 56.3 million years ago) event. We investigated the tropical forest response to this rapid warming by evaluating the palynological record of three stratigraphic sections in eastern Colombia and western Venezuela. We observed a rapid and distinct increase in plant diversity and origination rates, with a set of new taxa, mostly angiosperms, added to the existing stock of low-diversity Paleocene flora. There is no evidence for enhanced aridity in the northern Neotropics. The tropical rainforest was able to persist under elevated temperatures and high levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, in contrast to speculations that tropical ecosystems were severely compromised by heat stress.“
    http://scholarworks.boisestate.edu/geo_facpubs/68/

  15. alexwade says:

    andrewmharding says:
    November 6, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    Is my science wrong, or is the warmists case of having your cake and eating it, still prevalent?

    I believe this is the shifting goalposts again. The crisis of tomorrow will go from “CO2 is causing runaway global warming” to “CO2 is causing runaway ocean acidification”.

  16. Manfred says:

    Spare us more melodramatic catastrophy being dished up by usual thespians. Moving right along from the hackneyed and insulting ‘denier’ association, the resident implication in the title so artfully -sarc- used by Janet Herman of the Department of Environmental Sciences at University of Virginia is the association with LSD (Lysergic acid diethylamide), and disagreement with the thesis being the risk of being labeled a hallucinating, junkie?

  17. Hector Pascal says:

    A couple of hours north of where I live (northern Japan) is a stream draining off an active volcano. The water is pH 1.5. In the west, I guess it would be treated as some kind of biohazard. In Japan, it makes a very nice outdoor bath (rotenburo), complete with waterfall. The water does feel slightly oily though, and after 1/2 hour or so of broiling, ones fingerprints start to diappear.

  18. Gary Pearse says:

    This is Whack-a-Moley science. No sooner does the CO2 and CAGW dross get whacked than they take their CO2 and come up with higher growth of plants is not good because of the water they require, or it causes shark attackes, or it acidifies the ocean, kills the coral, increases red tides….

  19. David Ball says:

    If a person believed even a fraction of the alarmist hysteria,…..

    It is no wonder anti-depressant sales are through the roof !!

  20. John F. Hultquist says:

    GRANGEVILLE, Idaho —
    “Crop soils in north-central Idaho are becoming more acidic, possibly because . . .”
    http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2015122971_apidacidicsoil1stldwritethru.html
    ~~~~~~~~
    I’ve tried growing blueberries a couple of times with poor results. They need an acidic soil, less common in a dry area such as where I live. Local irrigation water has minerals so all the effort of amending the soil can be lost unless rain water is available.

    Two points, then: Some local problems exist in the ocean waters as they do on land. Best to treat them as local problems if treating them is necessary. On land – grow blueberries. They are good for you.

  21. Sparks says:

    Acid rain is very 80’s, feels very retro mann, maybe it’s time to study!

    Even Satan is ripping up the contract they signed with him at birth.

  22. rockdoc says:

    I was a member of GSA at one time, have attended a number of sessions over the years and given a talk or two. This is the first time I have ever seen a press release about anything to do with a GSA conference let alone a poster session. Good God man. When you go to the really classy Geo meetings (AAPG as an example) you get mostly pretty high end posters but also some cheesy crap. At meetings like the GSA it is more like the opposite. If I were either of these researchers I would be cowering in embarrassment. Hey I did a literature review of X topic and now I need to press release my findings! What next?

  23. garymount says:

    It I my understanding that there is 50 times as much CO2 in the ocean than the atmosphere. Even if all of the post start of the industrial age CO2 suddenly ended up in the ocean, this would increase ocean CO2 by less than 1%.

  24. Howskepticalment says:

    I notice that some of the usual posters have gone off into all sorts of what appears to be a broad-front CO2 conspiracy theory commentary that has nothing to do with the paper which is a systemic overview of acidification (or Ph reduction) processes.

    Having been a farmer I can confirm from personal experience that reductions in soil pH are a generic outcome of many modern agricultural processes and inputs. For most crops, the reduction in pH tends to reduce productivity. That is why farmers lime their paddocks. This is not exactly rocket science and it is certainly not a CO2 plot by some sneaky scientists.

    In other cases, drainage (particularly of coastal plains) may expose acid sulphate and mobilise acidity that was previously sequestered. Again, not rocket science.

    Neither of these processes are necessarily-related to CO2 emissions.

    Another poster has already commented on acid rain sourced from burning high sulfur-content coal and correctly pointed out that scrubbers have drastically reduced this impact.

    My suggestion: rather than respond with axiomatic CO2 conspiracy theory blather, treat the paper with proper scientific respect, read it closely and then comment.

  25. Sparks says:

    Yawn… They are clearly sifting through papers that have measured pH levels from obvious places that use fertilizers, which would be agricultural, that would be to exacerbate the human influence on a non issue. I call Bat Crap on this one! pun intended.

  26. RoyFOMR says:

    First acid trip I got was at age 0 days. Mum enjoyed a coffee just before I was born!

  27. hro001 says:

    Sheesh! If it’s not one damn scare, it’s another! When will these “climate hypochondriacs” [h/t Eduardo Zorita] who persist in indulging their “carbon fetish” [h/t Matt Ridley] ever learn, eh?!

  28. michael hart says:

    The atmosphere that passes through an aquarium aeration-pump is the same atmosphere that is in contact with the world’s oceans. If a fish tank in a pet shop doesn’t become acidic due to atmospheric CO2 then why would anyone believe that the oceans will?

  29. Howskepticalment says:

    m h

    The atmosphere that passes through an aquarium aeration-pump is the same atmosphere that is in contact with the world’s oceans. If a fish tank in a pet shop doesn’t become acidic due to atmospheric CO2 then why would anyone believe that the oceans will?

    False analogy leading to a rhetorical blind alley.

    Aquarists target (and maintain by active management) different pH levels because they (and ichthyologists) know that different species thrive at different acidity levels. There is a swag of recent research which shows (a) there is a much wider spread of natural acidity levels in the oceans than previously expected, (b) that different species thrive in different pH levels and (c) that changing pH will have some deleterious and some beneficial impacts on existing assemblages. (d) there is also evidence that if the changes happen slowly enough assemblages will change in composition over time.

    The usual ecological principle would be that slow-breeding species with highly circumscribed niches are those which are most likely to go extinct as a result of changes in pH.

    The biggest unknowns are whether there are threshold pHs which will trigger wholesale systemic breakdown in food chains based on shelled sea creatures at the bottom of ocean food chains.

    BTW, the biggest pH problem in aquaria is not the impact of CO2 bubbling through the water column. It is the chemical impact of fish excreta and decomposing fish food if care is not taken. If the aquarium water gets too bad you change the water – something that we will not be able to do with the oceans should they go pear-shaped because of reduced pH.

  30. Willis Eschenbach says:

    I must enter, once again, a repeated protest against calling neutralization by the name of “acidification”. The seas are not becoming more acidic. They are becoming more neutral.

    I understand that “oceanic neutralization” doesn’t have the same zing, but that’s the reality. The ocean is gradually becoming more and more neutral. Another way to describe it is that the ocean is becoming less alkaline.

    Now, it’s not widely realized that alkalinity is much more damaging than acidity. Someone upthread described bathing in Japan in very acid waters. These waters had a pH of 1.5, far below neutral (pH 7.0).

    But a substance of the correspondingly extreme alkalinity, say lye, pH 13, far above neutral, is what is used to dissolve bodies. It is extremely caustic to all kinds of flesh. The naturally alkaline nature of sea water is mildly deleterious to living tissue, which is one reason that many fish and other ocean creatures have a protective layer of mucus surrounding their bodies.

    As a result, this is more than a theoretical or semantical distinction. A more neutral ocean, to the extent that it happens, is not necessarily either good or bad … I greatly doubt, however, that a slightly more neutral ocean will be catastrophic.

    Let me shamelessly tout my post, “The Electric Oceanic Acid Test”, regarding the question of variations in oceanic pH.

    w

  31. anticlimactic says:

    “… the world’s oceans, which are becoming more acidic….”

    Statements like this make the writer seem like a pathetic babbling idiot who knows nothing about science.

    Neutral PH is 7.0, the oceans on average are 8.1 [highly alkaline], and even CAGW supporters agree that a doubling of CO2 could reduce this to 7.9. The oceans are not acidic, so they can not become ‘more acidic’, they can only become ‘less alkaline’.

    I remember this blog featuring a paper saying that as sea life uses bicarbonate rather than carbonate for shell/skeleton building a reduction in alkalinity would increase their numbers, as is found. This seems a good example of a feedback loop.

    One can see why they are so keen to propagate the idea of CAGW – they have to keep the money rolling in for as long as possible as on the evidence of the scientific skills shown they are unlikely to find employment elsewhere.

  32. Howskepticalment says:

    w

    As a result, this is more than a theoretical or semantical distinction. A more neutral ocean, to the extent that it happens, is not necessarily either good or bad … I greatly doubt, however, that a slightly more neutral ocean will be catastrophic.

    As ever it is a risk management issue.

    ‘Greatly doubt…’ is essentially meaningless in scientific terms. To make this statement with any credibility, you would have to be sure that there are no systemic threshold levels in oceanic pH, particularly at the low end of the food chain.

  33. Two points I stopped giving papers at GSA in the late 80’s because the time allocation was so limited you simply couldn’t say anything. I went to posters and the are on your CV. Second little of this is new we have all heard it before. It is not without some credibility. I dispute the idea that nature can not buffer these effects. Perhaps is not always, on a local level, able to buffer to the extent the authors would like. Hey press releases are how you get attention to yourself, your cause or your need for grant funding.

  34. pat says:

    Nov 2012: Reason Magazine: Ronald Bailey: The Paradox of Energy Efficiency
    Why greener technology doesn’t translate into reduced energy consumption
    In another recent study, reported in the July 2012 issue of the journal Sustainability, Graham Palmer, technical director of an Australian heating and cooling company, looked at trends in space heating efficiency during the last 50 years in Melbourne. Modern houses are up to 10 times more energy efficient, Palmer found, yet Australians are collectively using just as much energy to heat their homes as they did a half-century ago. Why? New houses are much bigger, people heat larger areas for longer, and fewer people live in each dwelling. Of course, modern Australians are much more comfortable in the winter than their grandparents were.
    Similarly, a 2006 study commissioned by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency found that homes in Phoenix, Arizona, that qualify for the EPA’s Energy Star designation use 12 percent more energy than homes that don’t…
    This energy “rebound effect” has important implications for efforts to restrain climate change through conservation. Various studies have suggested that improvements in efficiency could reduce energy consumption enough to cut global carbon dioxide emissions by as much as 25 percent during the next four decades. But this is a highly controversial area of scholarship…
    The money saved from driving a fuel-efficient car, for example, may now be spent on flying to a Caribbean beach vacation…
    The upshot of all these studies is that energy efficiency mandates probably will fall far short of expectations for mitigating man-made global warming. “Instead of imposing energy efficiency mandates,” Michaels concludes, “energy policy should embrace market prices and disruptive innovations to guide energy to its most valuable uses.” After all, the point of improved energy efficiency is not to forgo the use of power but to boost its productivity as a way to provide people with more of the goods and services they want.
    http://reason.com/archives/2012/10/31/the-paradox-of-energy-efficiency

  35. Sparks says:

    There now, see what they’ve gone and done! they’ve just gone and woke Willis Eschenbach up. I’m not putting him back into his cage this time, :)

    How have you been Willis, hope you’re well mate..

  36. Sparks says:

    Sorry :) mods lol

  37. higley7 says:

    The complex buffer comprising seawater does not respond to CO2 the way distilled water does. There is no evidence of acidification outside of the normal variation and little or no evidence that elevated CO2 is bad for marine life. In fact, seawater pH can rise radically during daytime as photosynthesis is an alkalizing process. Bays and estuaries can get up to above pH 10, when 8 is normal. So, what’s the problem?

    As CO2 is the beginning of an extended equilibrium going from CO2 to carbonic acid to bicarbonate to carbonate to calcium carbonate, more CO2 will facilitate calcium carbonate deposition. Furthermore, the protons (H+’s) released by carbonic acid cannot effect its own equilibrium. Only an outside source of protons can do that. There is no way that this “acidification” can harm calcium carbonate using organisms.

    In some cases one species may benefit more than others from rises in CO2 but that only means the less benefitted species will live and survive in more marginal regions as many species do now or at any particular time and conditions. We mist remember that the planet spends the vast majority of its time at much higher CO2 concentrations and in recent times 90% of its time in glaciation.

    The ingenuous idea that the organisms cannot handle any pH change is to underestimate the resilience of life. Cells maintain their own environment against a wide range of concentrations. To think that they cannot handle the effects of more CO2 plant food is to pretend artificial stupidity just to prove the point.

  38. D Böehm says:

    ‘Howskepticalment’ needs to read the WUWT archives. He is far from being up to speed on the ocean pH discussion. Willis Eschenbach’s articles regarding ocean pH would help Howskepticalment immensely, since he really doesn’t understand the subject at this point.

    Start reading the archives, Howskepticalment. Your education awaits.

  39. Howskepticalment says:

    Pat
    Interesting post

    “Instead of imposing energy efficiency mandates,” Michaels concludes, “energy policy should embrace market prices and disruptive innovations to guide energy to its most valuable uses.”

    I support the use of the market. But the market approach needs to acknowledge that the consequences of CO2 emissions represent market failure. This could be addressed by ensuring that consequences are priced into market mechanisms – something that is extremely difficult to do and probably the main reason why our once-only trial with the future of the planet will continue along current trajectories.

  40. Howskepticalment says:

    higly7

    The ingenuous idea that the organisms cannot handle any pH change is to underestimate the resilience of life.

    I assume that you mean ‘disigenous’ but that is by-the-by.

    This is a restatement of two general principles:

    (1) all organisms have a range within various environmental parameters within which they will survive
    (2) all organisms have the potential to evolve.

    No-one has argued against these principles. As such your argument consists of two strawmen.

    The issue at hand is not the general, but the particular levels of various parameters. Simple assertions that everything will be OK are just that.

  41. D Böehm says:

    Howskepticalment says:

    I support the use of the market.” [*ahem*: As If.] But the market approach needs to acknowledge that the consequences of CO2 emissions represent market failure. This could be addressed by ensuring that consequences are priced into market mechanisms – something that is extremely difficult to do and probably the main reason why our once-only trial with the future of the planet will continue along current trajectories.

    What a bunch of pseudo-science hokum. There is no “trajectory”. There is nothing happening now that has not happened repeatedly in the past, and to a much greater degree. That alarmist nonsense is pure globaloney, flogged by those who stand to personally benefit from their self-serving climate scares.

    There is no empirical evidence showing that the rise in [completely harmles and beneficial] CO2, from only three molecules in 10,000 to only four molecules in 10,000, has any effect on temperature. That is scientifically baseless climate alarmism, and it is anti-science. Either provide solid empirical evidence showing that the rise in CO2 is causing global harm or damage, or admit that you have zero scientific evidence.

  42. Karl says:

    Pat@8:04

    Ah, Jevon’s Paradox at work:
    http://www.eoearth.org/article/Jevons_paradox

  43. Sparks says:

    Why bother have moderators?

  44. Sparks says:

    Why should there be moderators?

    [Reply: And your point is... ?]

  45. D Böehm says:

    Having been a freshwater aquarium hobbiest for many years [up to 125 gallon tanks], and having used CO2 enrichment apparatus, I can state two things for certain: first, plant growth exploded with the injected CO2! And second: the aquarium pH did not change at all when massive amounts of CO2 were added.

    Draw your own conclusions.

  46. Faux Science Slayer says:

    Natural range for oceans pH is 7.8 to 8.4 which is alkaline and oceans are lined with Calcium Carbonate lime sea floors. Undersea vents discharge high temperature, high pressure CO2 and SOx gases which are immediately liquified under 4F temp and 150 atmos pressure. These now liquid gases keep the ocean saturated with Carbonic and Sulfuric acid feedstock and constant atmospheric outgasing. There is no reverse absorption of these gases from the tiny amounts humans add to the atomosphere, other than as rainwater absorption. Forest fires release more Sulfur than petroluem or scrubbed coal combustion. More misplaced hysteria.

  47. DesertYote says:

    D Böehm
    November 6, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    Having been a freshwater aquarium hobbiest for many years [up to 125 gallon tanks], and having used CO2 enrichment apparatus, I can state two things for certain: first, plant growth exploded with the injected CO2! And second: the aquarium pH did not change at all when massive amounts of CO2 were added.

    Draw your own conclusions.
    ###

    I have put together many extreme aquariums ( up to 700 gallon). I once put together a 10L Rio Meta (Colombia) feeder stream bio-type tank. I maintained the PH at around 4.0 – 4.5 without CO2 injection, all natural (fungus == CO2). My biggest problem was keeping the plants pruned so that they did not over take the thing.

  48. mpainter says:

    Howskepticalment: Got something for you. Ever hear of the so called PETM? CO2 levels were 4-5 times those of today, yet life flourished in the seas and on land, even more so than today. So where is this “ocean acidification” that you are pushing, with its attendant destruction of life? There was none, because it is all science fiction and do you dare affirm your belief in such rubbish?

  49. LazyTeenager says:

    Andrewmharding says
    I thought that the solubility of a gas decreased with a rise in temperature (the opposite of a solid!). So, AGW is making the planet including the oceans warmer, therefore less CO2 is soluble, therefore a decrease in carbonic acid, with a consequent increase in pH.

    Is my science wrong, or is the warmists case of having your cake and eating it, still prevalent?
    ———-
    Not wrong. The pH increase will depend on how much CO2 is absorbed. That depends on TWO(2) things.
    1. Amount of CO2 in the air — gone up a lot
    2. Temperature of the water — gone up a little

    Obviously a lot wins over a little.

    P.S.
    1. The global CO2 net flux is into the oceans. This is a measurement.
    2. The ocean pH is rising. This is a measurement.

  50. mpainter says:

    And by the way, what does a farmer have to do with a paddock?

  51. Sparks says:

    Sparks says:
    November 6, 2012 at 9:11 pm

    Why should there be moderators?

    [Reply: And your point is... ?]

    Self explanatory, as an excellent moderator, you should understand that readers can not modify their own comments under this format, not, to edit the context, just to edit simple things like punctuation or grammar , we can’t rely on the moderators to help out all the time. but we can give suggestions. :)

    My point is pointy.

  52. davidmhoffer says:

    Howskepticalment;
    I support the use of the market. But the market approach needs to acknowledge that the consequences of CO2 emissions represent market failure. This could be addressed by ensuring that consequences are priced into market mechanisms
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Great idea! Let’s compare to the consequences of drastically reduced CO2 emissions and decide which is worse…

    Your style kinda reminds me of someone. Where is R Gates these days anyway?

  53. nevket240 says:

    AW.
    that is not the only bad acid trip in train. whats this dude and his ludites planning???
    http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/former-un-official-says-climate-report-will-shock-nations-into-action-20121106-28w5c.html
    regards

  54. Howskepticalment says:

    mpainter

    Howskepticalment: Got something for you. Ever hear of the so called PETM? CO2 levels were 4-5 times those of today, yet life flourished in the seas and on land, even more so than today. So where is this “ocean acidification” that you are pushing, with its attendant destruction of life? There was none, because it is all science fiction and do you dare affirm your belief in such rubbish?

    You erect a strawman of live thriving under different regimes. Who is saying that it did not do so?

    There have been various climatic and chemical regimes. Provided they are in some sort of equilibrium, evolutionary processes will ensure that biodiversity thrives.

    Nor am I at all interested in what another poster has correctly referred to as the ‘semantic’ issue of ‘acidification’. I literally don’t care. It is all red herrings, as far as I am concerned. The issue is rate of change and degree of change in pH and the consequent changes (or not) to biodiversity in the seas.

    The issue of whether it is not at all, partly, or all, anthropogenic, obviously matters.

    If the rate of change is too fast, we will lose a lot of biodiversity which is providing us with such ecosystem services such as 100 million tons of wild-caught fish a year. The Great Barrier Reef in Australia is currently a major tourist attraction and also protects much of the Australian east coast from open ocean impacts. I could list endless examples of potential consequences that we need to take seriously, not because they will happen but because they might.

    It is virtually axiomatic that rates of change in environmental factors can be a significant driver of extinction. Too much change too fast promotes mass extinctions. The issue we face is not whether changes in pH are changes in alkalinity or acidity. The issue is whether there are sufficient chemical changes fast enough to drive extinctions. I put it to you that we don’t have a good handle on this at the moment and that it would be foolish to relax and act as if it is all going to be OK.

    If current biodiversity is much truncated, biological diversity might evolve, but it may take centuries or millenia to do so.

    As usual, it is a risk management issue with policy makers having to juggle difficult issues of probability and uncertainty.

    There was none, because it is all science fiction and do you dare affirm your belief in such rubbish?

    This sort of sentence merely reduces the quality of WUWT discussion, IMHO. Let’s just stick to the subtantive issues.

  55. Sparks says:

    Moderators have always been excellent here! and very fair IMHO. I have no complaint in that respect. you don’t need to post this :)

  56. Howskepticalment says:

    mpainter
    And by the way, what does a farmer have to do with a paddock?

    In some english-speaking countries farmers farm on paddocks. You would probably call them ‘fields’.

  57. Olaf Koenders says:

    Hang on a fecken minute..

    “Coal gives a double whammy by being the biggest contributor of anthropogenic carbon dioxide to the global atmosphere as well as creating regional acidification. Coal burning is famous for creating acid rain, which had dramatic environmental impacts on forests, streams, and lakes in eastern North America and Europe and led to major policy changes.”

    As I understood it, it was the concentration of SO2 (Sulphur Dioxide) with the burning of coal that caused acid rain (Sulphuric Acid) in the olde worlde cities of Europe etc.- not CO2! Maybe that’s why they don’t mention it.

    “Herman and her colleague, Karen Rice of the USGS, discovered that despite the fact that they worked on different kinds of acidification in the environment, they were not well informed about the matter beyond their own specialties.”

    I guess that proves they’re disqualified. So does this:

    Soda water should be loaded with far more CO2 than any ocean could ever have been, so it follows by their argument it should be so high in Carbonic Acid that Calcium Carbonate should virtually boil away in it. WRONG! Place some eggshell (Calcium Carbonate) in soda water and I’ll bet it never dissolves – not even after many months.

    They’re full of cr@p!

  58. Billy says:

    pat says:
    November 6, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    Nov 2012: Reason Magazine: Ronald Bailey: The Paradox of Energy Efficiency
    Why greener technology doesn’t translate into reduced energy consumption
    ————————————————————————————
    In my area green built homes tend to use more energy. Owners think that throwing more insulation at the house is a Get Out Of Jail Free card. The fact is that more insulation provides diminishing returns as it is an inverse relationship to heat loss. Then they add grossly oversize windows and doors with at best R3 value. Also there is little understanding of controled ventilation and air changes.
    The net result is a dream home that they can’t sfford to heat.

  59. tokyoboy says:

    LazyTeenager says: November 6, 2012 at 9:56 pm
    <>

    As any kid knows, INCREASE or RISE in pH means a shift toward ALKALINITY.
    Is that what you mean????

  60. lurker passing through, laughing says:

    Lazyteen claims OA is a measured fact.
    He lies.

  61. Howskepticalment says:

    davidmhoffer says:
    November 6, 2012 at 10:17 pm

    Howskepticalment;
    I support the use of the market. But the market approach needs to acknowledge that the consequences of CO2 emissions represent market failure. This could be addressed by ensuring that consequences are priced into market mechanisms
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Great idea! Let’s compare to the consequences of drastically reduced CO2 emissions and decide which is worse…

    Your style kinda reminds me of someone. Where is R Gates these days anyway?

    I support the idea of comparing two broad policy settings: AGW prevention and AGW adaptation and doing so in a risk management framework. Either way, market mechanisms are the best for addressing the issues. I have somewhat of a distrust of top-down central planning – by either governments or by large corporations. The former tends to lead to reduced value for tax money and the latter tends to lead to reduced profits.

    IMHO, those advocating adaptation are much the same group of people who once resisted the concept of AGW but who now accept it (for example Dr Bjorn Lomberg) which does rather lead to a sense that the resistance to doing anything about CO2 emissions has moved right along to a new staging ground.

    That aside, having looked at their costings of adaptation we can say is that they are rudimentary at best. It is almost as if they really don’t care about what anyone thinks of their logic.

    For example, none of them factor in the disappearance under water of most of the Netherlands some time in the next two centuries. It is the world’s 16th biggest economy and contains Europe’s largest port. It is not the sort of item that AGW adaptationists can ignore, IMHO. But they do, routinely.

    At least we can cost AGW prevention with a fair degree of accuracy.

    BTW, if you are testing your suspicion that I am someone called ‘R Gates’, I can put your mind at rest. I am not s/he.

  62. Howskepticalment says:

    Billy

    The Paradox of Energy Efficiency
    Why greener technology doesn’t translate into reduced energy consumption

    The real test, in terms of AGW, is not whether energy consumption goes up or goes down. The real test is whether CO2 emissions go up or go down.

  63. tty says:

    Lazy Teenager says:
    .
    “1. The global CO2 net flux is into the oceans. This is a measurement.
    2. The ocean pH is rising. This is a measurement.”

    1. No it is not a measurement, but a reasonable conclusion given that much of the CO2 released into the atmosphere “disappears”.

    2. It does? In that case the oceans are becoming more alkaline, not less. However no-one has been able to actually measure any change in overall ocean pH, any change is completely swamped by natural variation.

  64. Billy says:

    Howskepticalment says:
    November 6, 2012 at 11:38 pm

    The real test, in terms of AGW, is not whether energy consumption goes up or goes down. The real test is whether CO2 emissions go up or go down.
    ————————————————————————————————–
    Oh my. I forgot that clean coal emits no CO2. But then why bother to conserve energy at all?
    Is it a religious ritual?

  65. Howskepticalment says:

    Billy says:
    November 6, 2012 at 11:59 pm

    Howskepticalment says:
    November 6, 2012 at 11:38 pm

    The real test, in terms of AGW, is not whether energy consumption goes up or goes down. The real test is whether CO2 emissions go up or go down.
    ————————————————————————————————–
    Oh my. I forgot that clean coal emits no CO2. But then why bother to conserve energy at all?
    Is it a religious ritual?

    What clean coal?

  66. D Böehm says:

    Howskepticalment says:

    “What clean coal?” Says El Stupido.

    Climate alarmists who wail about “carbon” are scientific illiterates. Coal is not only a clean energy source, it provides harmless, beneficial CO2 to the environment. CO2 is an airborne fertilizer that has no downside. That is a fact, chump. Prove that wrong. If you can.

  67. Peter Miller says:

    Ocean acidification from CO2 is obviously a complete crock. All you have to do is look at the numbers.

    If you do the maths, you will find at the current rate of CO2 absorption, the ‘evil gas’ concentration in the oceans will increase by around one part per million over the next century – that’s about 1%.

    Now, that’s a really scary figure from something as near neutral (very weakly acidic) as CO2 in water!

    As for the other sources of acidity, these are mainly in the form of nitric and sulphuric acid and their derivatives. This type of acidity is a local phenomenon and while we can alleviate its impact, we will never be able to rid ourselves of it without going back to Stone Age economics.

    There is a whole industry within the bloated Global Warming Industry dedicated to researching the “ocean acidification problem” and not one of these ‘researchers’ ever looks at the numbers for fear of proving the pointlessness of their existence/careers.

  68. stephen richards says:

    The real test, in terms of AGW, is not whether energy consumption goes up or goes down. The real test is whether CO2 emissions go up or go down.

    I would suggest that depends very much on the planet. She provides over 96% of the CO² in the atmosphere.

  69. stephen richards says:

    HowSc

    You write well but it’s all bull[snip], I’m afraid.

  70. David Schofield says:

    Do the models that calculate the effect of man made carbon dioxide on the atmosphere deduct the amount of man made carbon dioxide dissolved in the ocean?

  71. sophocles says:

    I could point to a potentially real “end-of-the-world.” That will
    be when all CO2 is locked up in limestone and chalk. Ever wondered
    where all that CO2 back from when it was 2000 ppm in the atmosphere
    went to? Have a look at the chalk deposits and limestones around the
    world. There’s all the locked-up CO2. It doesn’t seem to unlock at any-
    where near the speed with which it was locked up!

    Y’see, there’s all these little things in the ocean called Coccolithophores and
    Foraminifera—vast numbers of them. They are busy wee things, busy
    breeding, growing and dying. They build themselves little “skeletons”
    (plates and shells) of calcium carbonate out of the dissolved CO2.
    When they die, they sink to the ocean bottom, ” …in vast numbers …”
    [Wikipedia] and eventually their accumulated scales, tests, shells or
    “skeletons” are pressed into chalk or limestone.

    Each one sinking to the bottom takes some CO2 out of circulation. The
    world is now running on less than 20% of the CO2 it used to run on.
    Should the CO2 content of the atmosphere drop below about half
    what it presently is, the plants will struggle. Should it drop below about 150
    ppm, the plants will die. When the plants die, we will be dead too.
    Ergo: End of the World.

    Removing the CO2 from the oceans is a fast method of acidifying …
    oops–tugs forelock in Willis’s direction—neutralising the pH of the
    oceans.

    (If you are not familiar with the Coccolithophores and Foraminifera, you
    could always look them up on the not-to-be-trusted Wikipedia :-))

  72. StephenP says:

    How is it a salmon can move and adapt from sea water, saline and pH 8.3, to fresh water (with reverse osmotic effect) and pH 7.0 within 24 hours?

  73. sophocles says:

    Howscepticalment says:
    The issue is rate of change and degree of change in pH and the consequent changes (or not) to biodiversity in the seas.
    ====================================================================
    Before you worry your head about rates of change and degrees of
    change you should download the latest paper from Dr Svensmark
    and read it. From it, you will realise the rates of change being forced
    on the environment at present are a pittance—tiny, of no real
    consequence; totally insignificant compared to the rates which
    have been forced upon earth-life by the galaxy over the past 500
    million years.

    You can acquire a free copy of the paper from:
    ftp://ftp2.space.dtu.dk/pub/Svensmark/MNRAS_Svensmark2012.pdf
    (it’s an anonymous ftp site so use “ftp” as your login user and your
    email address as the password … use an ftp client as web browsers
    don’t handlethis site at all well—including but not limited to IE, Firefox,
    Chromeetc. for their standard configurations…)

    Download the paper.

    Read it.
    REALLY read it. (It’s fascinating … :-)

    It reduces all the present symptoms, beliefs. debates, quarrels, papers
    for and against AGW, all the graphs and ideas, climate hypotheses,
    and theories about the present soup into total insignificance, over-
    shadowing them all.

    Yes: CO2 changehappens all the time— get used it as it won’t hurt you
    nor our environment. It’s too insignificant except when it becomes too
    low—then it’s really dangerous.

    You may also realise the real drivers of evolution, climate and all life
    on the third rock from the Sun are out there—galactic—not down
    here and most definitely not anthropogenic. While it’s not the gods,
    it may as well be. The galaxy is a bit larger and more powerful than
    the human species.

  74. Nano Pope says:

    And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

  75. Steve Keohane says:

    StephenP says: November 7, 2012 at 1:40 am
    How is it a salmon can move and adapt from sea water, saline and pH 8.3, to fresh water (with reverse osmotic effect) and pH 7.0 within 24 hours?

    Is the fresh water Ph 7.0? I live a few miles from the continental divide in W. Colorado on a stream. The Ph of the stream runs 8.0-9.0. I know because I measure it, and lower it to Ph 5.0 for my blueberry bushes. I would have expected mountain spring water to be closer to 7.0, but then there must be a reason for the moniker of ‘mineral water’.

  76. davidmhoffer says:

    Howskepticalment;
    I support the idea of comparing two broad policy settings: AGW prevention and AGW adaptation
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>

    I said nothing about adaptation. What I said was to compare to the consequences of a low carbon economy which would kill billions. That’s the part that you and your ilk gloss over. Once one gets that issue properly understood, it puts the mitigation versus adaptation argument in proper perspective. There is no mitigation option to debate in the first place unless you are prepared to advocate genocide.

  77. Steve Keohane says:

    Smokey says:November 6, 2012 at 11:17 pm
    Good to see you are still pumping air. I wondered where had all the ‘clicky’s gone?

  78. D Böehm says:
    November 6, 2012 at 8:17 pm

    ‘Howskepticalment’ needs to read the WUWT archives. He is far from being up to speed on the ocean pH discussion. Willis Eschenbach’s articles regarding ocean pH would help Howskepticalment immensely, since he really doesn’t understand the subject at this point.

    The problem is that there’s no entry for “acidification” or “ocean acidification” under the “Category” drop-down list of tags in the sidebar. And “ocean” is too big a haystack. (I posted a note to this effect in Tips and Notes a an hour or two ago.)

  79. tadchem says:

    Interestingly, the ocean seems to be most ‘acidic’ (actually leeast alkaline) at about 1000 m depth.
    http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2010/06/ocean-ph-along-transect.jpg
    The surface waters are unambiguously more alkaline at all latitudes than the waters below which are inaccessible to CO2.
    The acid ocean alarmists are consistently wrong at applying the principles of chemistry to the CO2/bicarbonate/carbonate equilibrium in water.
    Adding CO2 to water also ADDS bicarbonate and carbonate – just to lesser amounts depending on the pH. At the pH of 8.4 (a typical pH for sea water) most (about 98%) of the CO2 is in the form of bicarbonate, and only about 1% each is carbonic acid or carbonate.
    The bicarbonate is the form that is biologically available for marine animals. Carbonate itself is too strong ionically to be used for building skeletons or shells. The carbonate form prevails at a pH higher than 10.4, a region where corals and forams don’t thrive.

  80. Ceri Phipps says:

    I’m no expert, but I think I’m an acid base life form. The acid in my stomach seems to think so anyway. Thank the lord for Zantac!

  81. michael hart says:

    Strange, isn’t it, that carbon-alarmists don’t like to accept historical wet-chemical measurements of atmospheric CO2, yet think it is OK to do so when measuring in the more complex environment of the ocean. It speaks volumes.

  82. catweazle666 says:

    Let’s see if I can remember my old chemical engineering…

    Solution of a gas in a liquid is governed by Dalton’s law of partial pressures, so linear increase in atmospheric concentration will cause linear increase in dissolved gas.

    However, increase in temperature will cause the dissolved gas to be emitted non-linearly with increasing temperature (Van ‘t Hoff’s law?) as a result of thermodynamics.

    So the Warmists are definitely trying to have their cake and eat it.

  83. Hector Pascal says:

    @Willis
    “Someone upthread described bathing in Japan in very acid waters. These waters had a pH of 1.5, far below neutral (pH 7.0). ”

    That was me. The place is called Kawaharage. The volcano drainage joins the mountain stream at 98C. At the waterfall, it is down to about 38C and pH1.4-1.5.

    People have been bathing in hot acid there for the past 1200 years. It’s very good for the skin, especially irritating infections like crutch rot and athletes foot. No-one has been known to dissolve, yet. Japanese take public safety very seriously, and there’s a full water analysis posted at the start of the walk in.

    Regards.

  84. michael hart says:

    Tadchem,
    The alarmists seem equally ignorant about biochemistry and the much, much greater pH ranges that are maintained inside and between the organelles of living cells.

    They seem no less ignorant of chemical thermodynamics and the energy required to make pH changes in water the further one gets from the pKa of water. A change of pH from 7.0 to 7.1 is less energetic than a change from 8.0 to 8.1, but we are supposed to be frightened that the pH of the oceans might (might!) become more like water.

    There isn’t even an election happening today. What’s their excuse now?

  85. mpainter says:

    Howskepticalment: You claimed you were a farmer. No farmer would call his field a paddock, which is a horse pen, lime or no lime. To claim that farmers farm paddocks is more rubbish. So the question arises of whether you are just a glib fabricator. I do not wish to seem uncharitable, so I will allow the plea that you simply do not know what you are talking about.

  86. Just an engineer says:

    Howskepticalment says:
    November 6, 2012 at 7:33 pm

    Sorry, but that’s nothing more than ignorant scare mongering. Even the slightest research into biological processes and the ph of blood in various organisms would show that we are currently in a time of relatively HIGH ph. So at worst we could move towards normal.

  87. Gary Pearse says:

    mpainter says:
    November 7, 2012 at 7:08 am
    Howskepticalment: You claimed you were a farmer. No farmer would call his field a paddock,

    An small education. The gentlemen is from Australia or N.Z. where a farmer’s field is called….a paddock. Probably before your revolutionary war your ancestors called them paddocks, too.

  88. ericgrimsrud says:

    The excess CO2 emitted into the atmosphere 56 million years ago knocked back the pankton
    shells of that time. The increased acidity caused the solubility of CaCO3 to increase thus killing most of them. For more on this look up the PETM a warming even that last about 150,000 years due to a sudden burst of carbon. Yes, indeed, the Earth’s oceans can be set on a “bad acid trip” by the emissions of CO2. The amount of C emitted then is thought to be approximately equal to that would would be emitted by the total use of exi sting sources of our fossil fuels. Look it up yourself. It all pretty clear and well documented via geological and fossil studies of the oceans and land everywhere on the planet.

  89. mpainter says:

    Gary Pearse says:

    We were populated from all parts of the British isles, so doubtless various usages were encountered then. However, the Saxon word meant “enclosure” according to my dictionary, and that meaning is still current, so perhaps the usage of paddock to mean a cultivated field is a recent development Down Under. Thanks for the education, and thanks for your memoirs on your field excusions in Manitoba, which I enjoyed. Most interesting about the Missouri and the fossil barchan.

  90. churning says:

    In my opinion, comments about “ocean acidification” tend to be very narrowly focused and miss the big picture, that is this planet has an enormous and powerful capacity to maintain homeostasis through both abiotic and biotic mechanisms, especially in the oceans. Remember that the relationships of the ocean constituents are relatively constant and stable, even though individual constituents might fluctuate as various environmental factors (e.g. temperature, pH, buffer intensity, redox potential, pressure, etc.) change. Also the oceans are different in composition than freshwater; note that if you evaporate freshwater down to seawater salinity you will not have ocean water, and a number of constituents will have precipitated. The ocean is an open system in equilibrium with the atmosphere as well as intimately integrated in a number of geochemical cycles, not just the carbon cycle. The ocean is affected by the sediments, using them for deposition and dissolution. It might be good for WUWT to offer a link to a discussion on the carbonic acid system, buffering, and the geochemical cycles. Here’s the way I look at it: If the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere were to double (380 ppm to 760 ppm) and if all other things stay the same, then as the CO2 equilibrates with the ocean, the H+ concentration in the ocean will approach a doubling. Mathematically, the pH scale is logarithmic so this would change the pH by only 0.3 units (ocean water is about pH 8.2-8.3 and it takes a ten-fold change in H+ to get a 1 pH unit change). However, the complexity of interactions between precipitates (calcite and aragonite especially), sediments, N and S cycles, and the biology will temper this change. For example, both calcite and aragonite are supersaturated in the oceans (two to four-fold) and will tend to dissolve to preserve the original pH (buffering), and sediments might release P thereby generating an algal bloom which would then remove CO2 directly or by converting bicarbonate to CO2 with carbonic anhydrase. The point is that we know so very little about the “big picture” that comments about the little details seem meaningless to me.

  91. James at 48 says:

    Fertilizer. Runoff. Any questions?

  92. James at 48 says:

    RE: I could point to a potentially real “end-of-the-world.” That will
    be when all CO2 is locked up in limestone and chalk. Ever wondered
    where all that CO2 back from when it was 2000 ppm in the atmosphere
    went to? Have a look at the chalk deposits and limestones around the
    world. There’s all the locked-up CO2. It doesn’t seem to unlock at any-
    where near the speed with which it was locked up!

    This. We ultimately are doomed it’s just a matter of when. We either will colonize space or die out slowly stuck on the 3rd Rock.

  93. Howskepticalment says:

    mpainter says:
    November 7, 2012 at 7:08 am

    Howskepticalment: You claimed you were a farmer. No farmer would call his field a paddock, which is a horse pen, lime or no lime. To claim that farmers farm paddocks is more rubbish. So the question arises of whether you are just a glib fabricator. I do not wish to seem uncharitable, so I will allow the plea that you simply do not know what you are talking about.

    It does get tiresome that I try to discuss AGW issues and folk like mpainter respond with personal abuse.

    Gary Pearse hit this nail on the head. (BTW, we just got an inch of rain which will not make the wheat growers happy because they are harvesting and rain reduces grain quality and price; but it will make those running stock happy because it will keep the grass growing for another fortnight).

    Incidentally, this particular issue does bring home to me something that has been at the back of mind – WUWT posters do tend to be Northern Hemisphere folk in general and US folk in particular.

    churning

    Good post, IMHO, except that it implicitly argues for adaptation of AGW without considering prevention of AGW. The two main difficulties I have with your POV are:

    (1) homeostasis can be at vastly different settings and can last for a long time. Therefore we might not get what we like with AGW, even if it eventually does reach a new homeostasis level;
    (2) getting to homeostasis can involve rapid rates of change and increased volatility.

    IMHO, the risks inherent in adaptation outweigh the comfort factor of doing nothing.

  94. Just an engineer says:

    ericgrimsrud says:
    November 7, 2012 at 10:00 am
    ————————
    Try again.

    “In shallower waters, it’s undeniable that increased CO2 levels result in a decreased oceanic pH, which has a profound negative effect on corals.[21] Experiments suggest it is also very harmful to calcifying plankton.[22] However, the strong acids used to simulate the natural increase in acidity which would result from elevated CO2 concentrations may have given misleading results, and the most recent evidence is that coccolithophores (E. huxleyi at least) become more, not less, calcified and abundant in acidic waters.[23] Interestingly, no change in the distribution of calcareous nanoplankton such as the coccolithophores can be attributed to acidification during the PETM.[23] Acidification did lead to an abundance of heavily calcified algae[24] and weakly calcified forams.[25]“

  95. mpainter says:

    How now, skepticalment.
    You should not complain about personal abuse when I invite you to disavow flimsy scientific rubbish. I would think that you would feel some gratitude for the opportunity of correction. Let’s try again. The so-called Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum was a lengthy period of some millions of years during which temperatures averaged 8-12 degrees C above today. In this era life flourished at levels much above what is seen during the Pleistocene. The higher latitudes particularly flourished in this way. This proves the benefits of a warmer world. No problems with CO2, even though it was at much elevated levels, which is why these alarms about CO2 is rubbish (this is not say that CO2 caused this era of elevated temperature- it didn’t) And what happened to this earthly paradise? Well, at the end of the Eocene it turned cold. This was the Oligocene era. This change is demarcated in the fossil record by widespread and massive extinctions. Note that the warmth brought flourishing life and cool brought the scythe of death. That a warmer, more humid clime fosters life and biotic diversity is such a well-established principle that I am surprised that you deprecate this principle as a “strawman”, (and please don’t feel like you have to apologize for that snide and unnecessary remark). Although, having dismissed it as a “strawman”, you then proceeded to attempt a lengthy refutation of this principle which attempt was, if not rubbish, certainly something that you should consider repudiating (go read your comment and see if you don’t wish to change what you posted.). By the way, what is the latest word on the Maldives? Are they still in danger of drowning? wuwt 11-7-12.

  96. The ocean’s water has had roughly the same composition and pH range for over 500Ma. During that time the atmospheric CO2 content has varied by thousands of PPMV. This great variation made no fundamental change to sea water. The pH range remained the same as today.

  97. churning says:

    John MarshallThe ocean’s water has had roughly the same composition and pH range for over 500Ma. During that time the atmospheric CO2 content has varied by thousands of PPMV. This great variation made no fundamental change to sea water. The pH range remained the same as today.
    *************************
    This is exactly the point I was trying to make, but apparently skepticalment missed it.

  98. gymnosperm says:

    Too many irons (ions?) in the fire and no time to do it but pretend the ocean is distilled water at ph 7. Take all the concievable human carbon, sulphur, halogen, etc potential protons contributed to the atmosphere since 1850. Dissolve it all in a volume of the above water representing 70% of the earth’s surface to a depth of 800m (the average mixed layer). What is the resulting ph?

    Also, everyone always forgets the enormous contribution to ocean pCO2 from upwelling.

  99. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Roger Knights says:
    November 7, 2012 at 5:35 am

    D Böehm says:
    November 6, 2012 at 8:17 pm

    ‘Howskepticalment’ needs to read the WUWT archives. He is far from being up to speed on the ocean pH discussion. Willis Eschenbach’s articles regarding ocean pH would help Howskepticalment immensely, since he really doesn’t understand the subject at this point.

    The problem is that there’s no entry for “acidification” or “ocean acidification” under the “Category” drop-down list of tags in the sidebar. And “ocean” is too big a haystack. (I posted a note to this effect in Tips and Notes a an hour or two ago.)

    Hey, Roger. You might start with The Ocean Is Not Getting Acidified. Then there’s The Electric Oceanic Acid Test. Finally, I discuss it further in The Reef Abides.

    Hope that is of some assistance,

    w.

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