Stoat – unhinged

William Connolley, aka the wiki warrior of climate, runs a blog called “Stoat” under the National Geographic brand. In his latest episode rant, he is complaining about his personal perception of Dr. Judith Curry’s professionalism regarding her ocean acidification discussion.

Stoat_curry_header

Is is just me, or does professionalism and f-bombs not go together? Sheesh.

Here is the screencap:

Stoat_stupid

Both he and “Eli” (Chemist Dr. Joshua Halpern of Howard University) seem to have trouble with their own self images when it comes to professionalism.

All this over a change in pH from 8.25 to 8.14 (values given is Stoats rant). This is a small amount of variance which may very well be within the bounds of natural variability.

Maybe the Stoat never read this article from Jo Nova about a paper from Scripps on ocean pH:

It turns out that far from being a stable pH, spots all over the world are constantly changing. One spot in the ocean varied by an astonishing 1.4 pH units regularly.

The authors draw two conclusions: (1) most non-open ocean sites vary a lot, and (2) and some spots vary so much they reach the “extreme” pH’s forecast for the doomsday future scenarios on a daily (a daily!) basis.

Even the more stable and vast open ocean is not a fixed pH all year round. Hofmann writes that “Open-water areas (in the Southern Ocean) experience a strong seasonal shift in seawater pH (~0.3–0.5 units) between austral summer and winter.”

This paper is such a game changer, they talk about rewriting the null hypothesis:

“This natural variability has prompted the suggestion that “an appropriate null hypothesis may be, until evidence is obtained to the contrary, that major biogeochemical processes in the oceans other than calcification will not be fundamentally different under future higher CO2/lower pH conditions””

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/01/09/scripps-paper-ocean-acidification-fears-overhyped/

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135 Responses to Stoat – unhinged

  1. Rune says:

    Isn’t water’s capacity for CO2 governed by temperature? I thought the sea would have to cool down in order to increase its capacity for CO2..?

  2. 2kevin says:

    My 18 month old has illogical tantrums based more in reality than Stoat.

    Maybe he just needs a Popsicle or to be held and burped.

  3. CodeTech says:

    Really? Someone actually slid over and read what the Con(nolley) writes? I feel sorry for whoever does that, it must fry a few brain cells each trip.

    The irony of Con(nolley) writing about “spraying disinformation” is almost painful.

  4. LevelGaze says:

    Well, there’s one small phrase of truth in his rant – “… me not doing science any more.”
    Did he ever?

  5. johanna says:

    Dr Curry is one of the politest and most tolerant bloggers on the planet.

    This rant says nothing about her, but a great deal about the author.

  6. byz says:

    8.25 to 8.14 a difference of 0.11, which is 1.351% of 8.14.
    When I was carrying out my undergraduate physics experiments we had it drummed into us that + or – 4% was statistically insignificant as it was within the bounds of an error due to measurement. Given that they have not measured the whole ocean or even 1% of it I doubt the accuracy of the measurements being extrapolated to the whole ocean.
    We also were told that chemists were sloppy with there errors (but that’s another story) :o

  7. omnologos says:

    Corny-olley wants the monopoly on disinformation – perhaps there’s a good reason why he left RC

  8. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Judith actually used her lack of information on the subject to raise interesting points about exactly how we make choices when we don’t have all the information … as usual, Connolley’s not following the bouncing ball.

    w.

  9. AndyG55 says:

    Was that ‘stoat’ or ‘weasel’ ?

  10. Willis Eschenbach says:

    While we’re on the subject, I’ve often wondered why someone would name his blog after a weasel. My final conjecture was that it was something to do with the “Truth In Advertising” laws, but that’s just a hypothesis, it’s still an enduring mystery.

    w.

  11. Kev-in-Uk says:

    WC is an idiot, we all know that. To be honest, if you want to look at something with more intelligence than the weselly stoat – you’d be better off lifting a local manhole and seeing the lifeforms in the underlying sewer!
    Forget him – he ain’t worth the effort.
    Mind you, having his rants ‘saved for prosperity’ isn’t a bad idea. After all, humankind needs to learn from its mistakes ;)

  12. Kev-in-Uk says:

    ‘weselly’ should be weaselly !

  13. Mike Borgelt says:

    Now didn’t we have a gentleman a week or two ago here who paralysed the “ocean acidification” hypothesis with garlic and a crucifix, shot it with a silver bullet and buried it at a crossroads with a fresh sapling stake through its heart?

  14. CodeTech says:

    Actually, I had pictured Connolley as a rotund gentleman, somehow his actions have reminded me of a few people I know who sit in the basement typing and filling their keyboard with crumbs (those who watch SouthPark, remember the WoW adversary?) I realize it’s not nice to make fun of someone’s appearance, but in his picture he reminds me of some other ill-tempered know-it-alls I’ve had to work with that refuse to listen to logic and reason.

  15. IanE says:

    <<>>

    CO2 solubility does indeed fall with increasing temperature, BUT, at any given temperature, the amount that will dissolve is roughly proportional to the partial pressure of CO2 in the atmosphere.

  16. IanE says:

    ps The above was a reply to Rune – my parentheses were badly chosen and deleted his/her posting.

  17. kim says:

    Well, it seems to me that the Weasel has explained a little of his own monomania. Note his belief that a review of the literature will produce the ‘truth’. Note now the vast deficit of knowledge we have about acidification and the ocean.

    Note in particular here his mistaken belief and his acts in response to this mistaken belief. This is grandeur.
    ====================

  18. Mike Bromley the Canucklehead says:

    What an angry, snide nitwit.

  19. Lawrie Ayres says:

    It is encouraging to see the panic that exists among the deluded who blindly supported the “save the planet by banning CO2″ hypothesis. The confidence that once was rife is fading as even the most committed accidently come across facts which challenge their beliefs. So paranoid are they I feel many must have invested their life savings in carbon futures or renewables. Watching UK minister Ed Davies try to swing a debate away from the temperature record toward ocean warming and melting ice caps where he is convinced the evidence for AGW is more robust it was obvious his chief scientist advisor is one of the fraudulent few. Oceans are cooling and ice caps are growing yet Minister Davies hasn’t been briefed as such. Such embarrassment when the penny finally drops. I notice some of your senators are no better informed and your president seems even more ignorant. Who votes for these clowns???

  20. KNR says:

    One thing that ‘the Team’ and his followers don’t lack is ego , honest yes , accuracy yes , scientific decency yes , all those thing they have in very short supply . But ego they have on an epic scale .

  21. Laurie says:

    I have been assuring my friend in Nova Scotia that acidification of the ocean will make cracking lobsters effortless. I guess I’ll have to send her a ball-peen hammer and an apology. :P
    As for Connolley, his mother is probably still looking for a strong enough soap to cure his vocabulary problem. To address Dr. Curry this way shows his impudence rather than an understanding of the subject. Maybe the college kids are impressed.

  22. John says:

    @Rune
    “Isn’t water’s capacity for CO2 governed by temperature? I thought the sea would have to cool down in order to increase its capacity for CO2..?”

    The partial pressure is also important. I.e the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere. Henry’s law explains this.

  23. Lawrence13 says:

    Never a trust a middle aged man with a pony tail ….now anyone seen Grant Foster.

  24. johnmarshall says:

    This pH change is well with the normal variance, 8.4-7.4pH, so what is the problem? Seawater pH changes daily depending on many factors so this panic says more about the panicers than anything, total ignorance about ocean chemistry perhaps.

  25. Txomin says:

    If the man had facts, he wouldn’t insult. Otherwise, he is just plain sadistic.

  26. Mike (UK) says:

    Surely its Ocean Neutralisation not Acidification, it has to go neutral before it gets acidic. I know it doesn’t fit their agenda so I’m not holding my breath on them accepting that.

  27. Jimbo says:

    Ocean acidification 101. Where is the problem again?

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/07/08/ocean-acidi-what/

    “The fishes and the coral live happily in the CO2 bubble plume”
    ………..
    “Observations on Growth of Reef Corals and Sea Grass Around Shallow Water Geothermal Vents in Papua New Guinea”
    ………..
    “It seems that coral reefs are thriving at pH levels well below the most alarming projections for 2100.”

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/12/28/the-fishes-and-the-coral-live-happily-in-the-co2-bubble-plume/

    The really funny thing about corals is they evolved at a time of very high co2. Ocean acidification scare stories are a joke. From now until 2100 there really is nothing to see here folks, move along Stoat.

  28. Andyj says:

    There was I, completely deluded. Assuming all the junkett monkeys were swimming in a sea made by their own poo.
    I’m soo mistaken.
    It seems stoaty [snip -over the top].

    When I was a kid we managed to pull out a freshwater mussel the size of a half brick from the Leeds Liverpool canal back in the early 70’s when the water was totally clear – just South of Halsall.
    The early corals, plankton and diatoms that created limestone, chalk and many other minerals lived at times when the atmosphere had a scary amount of C02 and atmospheric pressure so temperatures were far higher than today.

  29. John says:

    I don’t think you can use local pH variation to imply increasing the average pH of the oceans will have little affect.
    The Nevada desert has a temperature range of about 120F to -50F. Yet when the average global temperature was just 10F less we were in an ice age and Nevada was a very different place.

    Also the hypothesis “until evidence is obtained to the contrary, that major biogeochemical processes in the oceans other than calcification will not be fundamentally different under future higher CO2/lower pH conditions” is very unlikely to be true as there is plenty of research showing enzyme efficiency changes greatly with small changes in pH even when the particular enzyme operates within a broad range of pH.

  30. Dr. John M. Ware says:

    Could someone with knowledge of the state of ocean PH research tell me where we stand in terms of actual measurement? When PH readings are taken, or water is analyzed, what specific places have had measurements? At what depths? How often? At what time(s) of day? Under what conditions (clear, cloudy, rainy, calm, windy, stormy, hot, mild, cool, cold, and other variables too numerous for me to think of)? My impression is that our knowledge is of such a fragmentary nature as to rival or surpass Virgil’s phrase “rari nantes in gurgite vasto” (“scattered swimmers in a huge whirlpool”). It might be comparable to taking a few grains of sand from the Sahara or the Atacama and generalizing from them. Acidification of the oceans (as a concept) should depend–at least–on being able to quantify the beginning and ending states, I would think.

  31. Michael in Sydney says:

    I’ve always believed it is best to stay away from the computer keyboard when I have been drinking.

  32. Andyj says:

    Oh, here is a thought.
    If its because man is making too much C02, which becomes carbonic acid in water. Then it comes to prove the minuscule amount of this farmed C02 from the air feeds to the sea as rain. Our rain obviously must be fit to rip the flesh off your face.
    This model proves it.

  33. William Astley says:

    It is obvious that William Connelly is a very, very frustrated warmist.
    Ocean acidification will be the last ‘climategate’ scientific distortion to fall.
    It appears the 16 year plateau with no warming is over. William Connelly is a very frustrated warmist as it appears both poles of the planet have started to cool. It is ironic or perhaps fitting that AR-5 will be issued when there is the start of unequivocal global cooling.
    Comment:
    How will the warmists explain away global cooling. 1) Temporary setback? Oops the darn cooling does not go away 2) TSI change? Oops orders of magnitude too much cooling. 3) Bait and switch to ocean acidification: Oops the public and media are stuck on the darn global cooling. 4) No comment: Oops the darn public and media are going on and on about global cooling. It appears the public finds crop failures, massive power failures due to winter storms, and road/airport closures due to winter storms to be very annoying.

    The solar magnetic cycle observational date is screaming deep, deep Maunder like grand solar magnetic cycle minimum. The question is not if the sun will be spotless but rather when and how long. The second question is not if the planet will cool but rather how much cooling will occur and how long the cooling period will last (Based on past cooling periods 50 to 100 years).

    Do you think the public and media will notice a rapid return to Little Ice age winters for 50 to 100 years? Climate change, the cooling type, cannot be used to justify job killing greens scams. Good luck with the ocean acidification scam.

    Nature hides the decline.

    http://climateaudit.org/2013/07/15/nature-hides-the-decline/

    P.S.
    The heat hiding in the ocean does not work. The ocean level is not rising. Bummer.

    http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/reprint/sea_level_not_rising.pdf

    Sea level is not rising by Professor Nils-Axel Mörner, Main points:
    – At most, global average sea level is rising at a rate equivalent to 2-3 inches per century. It is probably not rising at all.
    – Sea level is measured both by tide gauges and, since 1992, by satellite altimetry. One of the keepers of the satellite record told Professor Mörner that the record had been interfered with to show sea level rising, because the raw data from the satellites showed no increase in global sea level at all.
    – The raw data from the TOPEX/POSEIDON sea-level satellites, which operated from 1993-2000, shows a slight uptrend in sea level. However, after exclusion of the distorting effects of the Great El Niño Southern Oscillation of 1997/1998, a naturally-occurring event, the sea-level trend is zero.
    – The GRACE gravitational-anomaly satellites are able to measure ocean mass, from which sea-level change can be directly calculated. The GRACE data show that sea level fell slightly from 2002-2007.
    – These two distinct satellite systems, using very different measurement methods, produced raw data reaching identical conclusions: sea level is barely rising, if at all.
    – Sea level is not rising at all in the Maldives, the Laccadives, Tuvalu, India, Bangladesh, French Guyana, Venice, Cuxhaven, Korsør, Saint Paul Island, Qatar, etc.
    – In the Maldives, a group of Australian environmental scientists uprooted a 50-year-old tree by the shoreline, aiming to conceal the fact that its location indicated that sea level had not been rising. This is a further indication of political tampering with scientific evidence about sea level.
    – Since sea level is not rising, the chief ground of concern at the potential effects of anthropogenic
    “global warming” – that millions of shore-dwellers the world over may be displaced as the oceans
    expand – is baseless.
    -We are facing a very grave, unethical “sea-level-gate”

  34. Jimbo says:

    But what about the poor fishes in the acidic Great Barrier Reef? They are surely doomed by acid? Stoat, pay attention.

    Gabrielle M. Miller et. al. – 2013
    Abstract
    Increased CO2 stimulates reproduction in a coral reef fish
    ……….We investigated the effects of near-future levels of pCO2 on the reproductive performance of the cinnamon anemonefish, Amphiprion melanopus, from the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Breeding pairs were held under three CO2 treatments [Current-day Control (430 μatm), Moderate (584 μatm) and High (1032 μatm)] for a 9-month period that included the summer breeding season. Unexpectedly, increased CO2 dramatically stimulated breeding activity in this species of fish. Over twice as many pairs bred in the Moderate (67% of pairs) and High (55%) compared to the Control (27%) CO2 treatment. Pairs in the High CO2 group produced double the number of clutches per pair and 67% more eggs per clutch compared to the Moderate and Control groups. As a result, reproductive output in the High group was 82% higher than that in the Control group and 50% higher than that in the Moderate group. Despite the increase in reproductive activity, there was no difference in adult body condition among the three treatment groups. There was no significant difference in hatchling length between the treatment groups, but larvae from the High CO2 group had smaller yolks than Controls. This study provides the first evidence of the potential effects of ocean acidification on key reproductive attributes of marine fishes and, contrary to expectations, demonstrates an initially stimulatory (hormetic) effect in response to increased pCO2. However, any long-term consequences of increased reproductive effort on individuals or populations remain to be determined.

  35. peter laux says:

    CO2 makes water acidic in a sterile Laboratory but in nature it makes it alkaline.
    It feeds vegetable plankton and weed !
    A simple experiment – with ph measuring strips, get distilled water, add a pinch of fertiliser – Ph should be neutral.
    Add CO2 into bottles atmosphere, to make it wildly in excess of normal, a real ‘what about the children’, nightmare scenario for the “CO2 mystics ‘ (from a soda stream canister etc)
    Get a pinch of soil or pond weed and add.
    Leave in a lit area, wait a few weeks – measure – alkaline.
    Real life defies Lab again !

  36. stan stendera says:

    For 2kevin(above)

    You hold him and burp him. I wouldn’t touch him.

  37. UK Sceptic says:

    Stoat? Smells more like a weasel to me.

  38. Caleb says:

    Connolley knows temperatures are cooling, and that the Global Warming panic has to switch from temperatures to ocean acidification. It makes him furious to see the new Alarmism is not going to work either.

    Connelley’s rant is an amazing example of psychological projection. He needs to clean his glasses of his own dirt. What a irony it is that he accuses anyone of “disinformation.”

    In the future, when people look up “disinformation” in a thesaurus, I wonder if people will see a reference to Mr. Connolley’s work at Wikipedia.

  39. Soren F says:

    The seasonal shift in pH being one thing, what would be the natural _climatic_ shift, the mean shift seen during a typical late Holocene, e.g. medieval warming-type, excursion? – a background component of current change to be considered.

  40. Caleb says:

    My comment went into moderation. I’m curious. What bad word did I use?

    I confess I thought a lot of bad words, but also thought I did a good job holding my tongue, which is a bit difficult in this case.

  41. Mick says:

    Ok, I’ll bite. I am a marine scientist and I am tasked with work on ocean acidification. Yes, the oceans are alkaline and yes scientists play fast and furious with the word ‘acidification’. Nevertheless, as atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations go up, more CO2 dissolves in the oceans leading to a chemistry that adds more protons to seawater. However, it will not enter the realm of a solution being classified as acidic as hydroxide ions will always exceed hydrogen ions. The shift of the equilibrium is towards the acidic end of the scale (event though it is, and will be, alkaline) and hence some scientists are all too willing to play the hand of the oceans going acidic to hype the issue. So, yes some scientists are playing loose with the facts but they are trying to protect the source of research funds since as a topic wanes in the public interest the research dollars dry up. Seawater surface pH varies in the various oceans of the world presently by up to a pH unit, and deep seawater is well into the lower regime of predictions of below pH 8.0. So far there is evidence both ways that changing pH impacts on some marine life, especially calcifiers, but the evidence is confusing to say the least. Many experimental designs are so un-natural that it would take a brave person to extrapolate the artificial experimental design to the real world – but that doesn’t stop some. Go to any public aquarium that has a coral exhibit and the curators will tell you that the corals are alive and well into pHs that are well below anything that is predicted as their semi-closed aquarium systems fluctuate widely towards pHs lower than natural seawater. They corals may take more energy to create the same amount of calcium carbonate but as one famous (late) coral biologist once said ‘coral reefs are drowning in their own success of calcification’, i.e. coral atolls are created by fringing coral reefs developing so fast that they actually ‘sink’ the island land mass below the waves (a theory put forward by no less than Charles Darwin (who is not the late coral biologist above)). If the island didn’t sink the corals would emerge from the surface of the water and dry out. Their successful calcification is what eventually limits their growth. The ocean acidification story is over sold presently and environmental journalists spitting the dummy over doubters only demonstrates further that they are not objective nor worthy of claiming that they express rationale views.

  42. DirkH says:

    Checked Judith Curry’s wikipedia page. By now, no obscenities. Wonder how long the weasel can hold it.

  43. Eli Rabett says:

    Up there, somebunny said
    ——————
    8.25 to 8.14 a difference of 0.11, which is 1.351% of 8.14.
    When I was carrying out my undergraduate physics experiments we had it drummed into us that + or – 4% was statistically insignificant as it was within the bounds of an error due to measurement. Given that they have not measured the whole ocean or even 1% of it I doubt the accuracy of the measurements being extrapolated to the whole ocean.
    ——————-

    Firstly, a change of 0.1 pH is a change of 30% in [H3O+] ion concentration because ph is defined as -log10[H3O+] where the square brackets indicate concentration of whatever is inside them. So yesm a change of 0.1 in pH is a large one.

    Second, consider the fact that in your undergraduate physics labs you did not exactly have state of the art equipment. Eli was just reading a paper that had measured the consistency of the speed of light to 1 part in 10^14 and in some experiments we can do better than that.

    Third, Google Scholar can be your friend. Go read about how ocean pH is measured, both now andd extending back into the past using proxys. Here is a place to get you started

  44. Greg says:

    Connelley is a failed, ex-climate modeller. He thinks this gives him the authority to rewrite half of Wikipedia and insult serious honest scientists like Judith Curry.

    She, like myself, naively took the IPCC line at face value to start with. Once all the maggots started coming out of the woodwork and she took a courageous and risky professional stance that we needed to get back to proper objective science.

    That is what Connelly and his cohort of egotistical would-be eco-nazis find so upsetting. That is the reason for the expletives and the hate.

    Their little game of “do exactly what I say or else the world is going to be destroyed” is not working out the way they had hoped.

  45. Tucci78 says:

    On 9 January 2012, Jo Nova had observed:

    “It turns out that far from being a stable pH, spots all over the world are constantly changing. One spot in the ocean varied by an astonishing 1.4 pH units regularly.”

    Jeez, that’s supposed to be news? I took an undergraduate Marine Biology course some forty-odd years ago (my high school science teacher had done her Masters degree work at Woods Hole, and she made me promise to get a look at the field while en route to medical school), and one of my research projects required – incidentally – that pH measurements be made at various times and depth levels as we were sampling with a Nansen-type container we’d improvised.

    While the literature back then didn’t specify such a large degree of acid/base variability (1.4 pH units), pH fluctuations of 0.11 – and more – at each sampling site and depth were well within the expected range, especially if allowance were made for instrumental limits of accuracy. Insofar as I recall, that’s pretty much what we recorded.

    Ain’t it interesting that the musteline Mr. Connolley had named his blog after a species of weasel?

    Wouldn’t surprise me none if that sucker were absolutely tone-deaf when it comes to the connotation commonly accorded the concept of “weasel” (“shifty, scheming person who will do whatever is needed to escape whatever is feared in the moment”) in American usage.

  46. Aussie Luke Warm of Australiastan says:

    [snip - over the top - Anthony]

  47. DirkH says:

    The Weasel says “Instead, she’s made the world a little bit worse.”

    The weasel really seems to live under the delusion that through his censoring of 5,000 climate science articles he makes the world “better”; and he seems to think that everybody should have the same opinion about everything. He probably even thinks of his never ending censoring activity as “good” – probably his co-censors think the same; probably they confirm each other in this belief. We have discovered one very sick cult there.

    BTW what is it with warmists? A Weasel, and a rabbit? Are they all furrys?

  48. AndyG55 says:

    Thing is, these guys (Connelly, Mann, Trenberth, Hansen etc etc) all KNOW that their little charade is drawing to a close.
    They KNOW the Earth is heading towards a cooler period.
    We will see more of this as things progress;
    The lies will get bigger and braver and more manic.
    There will be a ‘desperation’ about their actions.
    Many of these guys see their future heading down the tubes, and they are going to sulk, big time.

    Some of the honest ones will come out and say.. WHOOPS, SORRY….. WE GOOFED !

    But not many.

  49. Mike McMillan says:

    You know, I always thought stoat was a type of pig. But thanks to wikipedia, I now know that it is a type of weasel.

    Learn something new every day now and then. The swine is a shoat, the stoat is a weasel. Got it.

  50. Lew Skannen says:

    “So yesm a change of 0.1 in pH is a large one.” – Eli Rabbet.
    A 0.1 change is a 0.1 change. As you correctly state the pH is the log not the ratio. It is the log for a reason and the reason is that [H+] can vary greatly without having much affect on anything. The pH is what is relevant and a change of 0.1 is a change of 0.1 ie. rather small.

  51. Bruce Cobb says:

    Now that dirty nasty “carbon” is no longer warming the atmosphere, we can probably expect the carbon cultists to push the “ocean acidification” scare more. It’s just what they do. It’s hilarious that the “loo” thinks he’s making the world a better place, but I guess that is part of the whole psychopathology of their Belief system. They need to think they are doing good.
    As far as the f-bombs, I have a theory: it is, among other things, a desperate attempt on his part to appear young, and hip. Losing it is also one more sign that their side is indeed losing.

  52. Michael Jankowski says:

    Maybe Eli should spend some time here http://www.ratemyprofessors.com/ShowRatings.jsp?tid=543236 .

  53. philjourdan says:

    A NatGeo brand? Yea, that brand has gone the way of newsweek. That Connelly uses the F-bomb is not surprising. That is all he learned in school. But for NatGeo to be associated with him, is a bit surprising. There is partisan,. And then there is stupid. They crossed the line.

  54. AndyG55 says:

    “Firstly, a change of 0.1 pH is a change of 30% in [H3O+] ion concentration because ph is defined as -log10[H3O+] where the square brackets indicate concentration of whatever is inside them.”

    So, what further percentage change has to happen for that pH of 8.14 to reach a pH of 7.. ie neutral. ?

  55. Bruce Cobb says:

    I was going to say something about the irony of the “loo” being a potty-mouth, but decided against it.

  56. AndyG55 says:

    Come on Eli.. you can do it, or are you worried what an ass it will make of your 30% change ?

  57. Crispin in Waterloo but really in Beijing says:

    @Mike (UK)
    >Surely its Ocean Neutralisation not Acidification, it has to go neutral before it gets acidic.

    ++++++

    Obviously!

    Acidic means the presence of H+ ions. The more H+ ions in the aqueous solution, the more acidic.

    Alkaline means the presence of OH- in the aqueous solution. Reducing the number of OH- molecules does not produce a single H+ ion. It is completely mendacious to call a reduction in OH- an increase in H+. They are just two completely different things which is why they have different names.

    To say that the oceans ‘are becoming more acidic’ is to say that the number of H+ ions is increasing. As you infer, that can only happened after all the OH- molecules have been neutralized. Then things can start to become ‘acidic’.

    The ‘30% more acidic’ claim (referring to a change from pH 8.2 to 8.1) is made without an understanding chemistry at a Gr 9 level.

  58. Sean Peake says:

    Just be thankful he didn’t include a Geraldo-like selfie with his rant

  59. Allchemistry says:

    “So yesm a change of 0.1 in pH is a large one”.

    A decrease in pH from 8.25 to 8.14 means an abysmal increase in [H3O+] from 0.0000005 M to 0.00000007 M. We’re doomed.

  60. elftone says:

    He’s having a frenzy, a petulant frenzy!

  61. elftone says:

    Michael Jankowski says:
    July 22, 2013 at 4:38 am

    Maybe Eli should spend some time here http://www.ratemyprofessors.com/ShowRatings.jsp?tid=543236 .

    That’s going to leave a mark :D.

  62. Ric Werme says:

    byz says:
    July 22, 2013 at 12:35 am

    8.25 to 8.14 a difference of 0.11, which is 1.351% of 8.14.
    When I was carrying out my undergraduate physics experiments we had it drummed into us that + or – 4% was statistically insignificant as it was within the bounds of an error due to measurement.

    In my undergraduate physics lab a module titled “Damped Oscillations and Resonance” was held one week after I got into quite a brouhaha about some measuring the voltage produced with a 1940s vacuum tube photocell.

    The first thing I did was to make a Lissajous pattern with the sine wave generator and the line voltage – I got the circle/straight line pattern at 72 hz. Being in the US, the line frequency was very close to 60. The rest of the equipment wasn’t any better, I titled my report titled “Damned Oscillations and Hesitance,” and noted I was still ticked off from last week. I got a D-, which I considered a fair grade, though I doubt they acted on my recommendation to make a student job to calibrate all the instruments (and reform the capacitors) before the lab classes.

    Oh. 0.11 – Eli is right, that’s actually a ratio of H+ (proton) ions and represents a ratio of 10^(.11) or 1.288, call it an increase of 29%. I assume pH meters measure the ion concentration and then take the log, so I think the 4% rule of thumb should apply to the concentration, not the log. I’d also be reluctant to apply that 4% to pH measurements in general.

    In terms of absolute numbers of ions, it takes very little to budge neutral water (ph 7) to, say pH 8, (here we’re talking about hydroxal ions) and 10X more to go to pH 9. Heck, 400 ppm of CO2 lowers rainfall’s pH to 5.6.

    I skimmed through the paper Eli recommended. It looks at the chemistry of Vostok ice cores, fresh water, which doesn’t have all the buffering of seawater, but I notice the pH range (computed from measurements of other ions) in Table 2 goes between 8.11 and 8.30, so that’s a difference of 0.19 pH units, or a ratio of 55%.

    I’d like to see Eli’s comments on the Scripps paper that mentioned in his post. Direct pH mesurements of contemporary seawater. That should trump an ice cap sample any day!

  63. Hari Seldon says:

    said it before and sayin’ it again…class case of cognitive dissonance

    see for yourself

    http://www.simplypsychology.org/cognitive-dissonance.html

  64. Ric Werme says:

    It hasn’t been a good time for Connolley lately. Given his passion is losing interest among the public and politicians, observations not keeping up with alarmist projections, scrutiny from people outside the field noticing all his editing at Wikipedia, and his inability to change any minds at WUWT, I think he’s immensely frustrated and is lashing out at anything in reach.

    I don’t spend too much time on Curry’s site. However, I know enough to think lashing out at her won’t work very well….

  65. Nick Stokes says:

    Dr. John M. Ware says: July 22, 2013 at 2:39 am
    “Could someone with knowledge of the state of ocean PH research tell me where we stand in terms of actual measurement? When PH readings are taken, or water is analyzed, what specific places have had measurements? At what depths? How often? At what time(s) of day? Under what conditions (clear, cloudy, rainy, calm, windy, stormy, hot, mild, cool, cold, and other variables too numerous for me to think of)?”

    here is an informative document showing results from a number of fixed sites. There are also a large number of ship readings. Two quantities – DIC (dissolved inorganic carbon) and TA (total alkalinity) – have been monitored for a long time, and are fairly simple to analyze. From these, pH can be deduced.

  66. Man Bearpig says:

    Who is William Connelly … Some kind of Judge ? He has the authority to Judge people according to whose rules ? What a silly little man.

  67. Nick Stokes says:

    Ric Werme says: July 22, 2013 at 5:13 am
    “In terms of absolute numbers of ions, it takes very little to budge neutral water (ph 7) to, say pH 8, (here we’re talking about hydroxal ions) and 10X more to go to pH 9″

    Yes, but sea-water is buffered. That means that it takes a lot to make a 0.1 change in pH.

    The reason is that [H+] is linked in ratio by equilibrium relations to substances present in much larger concentration. It’s approximately proportional to [CO2] and inversely to [CO3--]. The latter is the big one. So if you see a 30% increase in [H+], it means (about) a 30% drop in [CO3--], which has big implications for CaCO3 deposition.

  68. michael hart says:

    Winnie-the-Pooh wouldn’t fit through a rabbit hole after gorging himself on honey, but, like a weasel, a stoat probably would.

  69. Hari Seldon says:

    Whilst re-reading cognitive dissonance I can across another little quote that’s apposite:-
    “Not everyone feels cognitive dissonance to the same degree. People with a higher need for consistency and certainty in their lives usually feel the effects of cognitive dissonance more than those who have a lesser need for such consistency.

    Cognitive-dissonance is just one of many biases that work in our everyday lives. We don’t like to believe that we may be wrong, so we may limit our intake of new information or thinking about things in ways that don’t fit within our pre-existing beliefs. Psychologists call this “confirmation bias.”

  70. Skiphil says:

    If I wanted to create a menagerie of noble AGW activist types I sure wouldn’t include a weasel and a wabbitt…….

  71. Peter W Whittaker says:

    Language is important. the ocean is not acidifying, it is becoming a little less alkaline. As I remember it 1984 had a lesson on the importance of language and how it guides attitudes and thought.

  72. ZP says:

    Ric Werme says:
    July 22, 2013 at 5:13 am

    I assume pH meters measure the ion concentration and then take the log, so I think the 4% rule of thumb should apply to the concentration, not the log. I’d also be reluctant to apply that 4% to pH measurements in general.

    A pH meter actually measures a potential (voltage). The voltage is due to a REDOX reaction that occurs on the surface of the electrodes. The measured voltage is compared with the Nerst equation to calculate the effective activity of the hydrogen ion. Most (if not all) pH meters linearize the Nerst equation such that the calibration equation is in the form of E = f(pH).

    see:

    http://www.sigmaaldrich.com/etc/medialib/docs/Aldrich/General_Information/1/labwarenotes_v1_6.Par.0001.File.tmp/labwarenotes_v1_6.pdf

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_hydrogen_electrode

  73. Steve Keohane says:

    All this over a change in pH from 8.25 to 8.14 (values given is Stoats rant). This is a small amount of variance which may very well be within the bounds of natural variability.

    I’d like to see the sigma on that average. ‘Stoat’, just an anagram for ‘Toast’.

  74. michael hart says:

    Nick Stokes says:
    July 22, 2013 at 5:35 am
    So if you see a 30% increase in [H+], it means (about) a 30% drop in [CO3--], which has big implications for CaCO3 deposition.

    CaCO3 deposition is itself a process that will lower pH, by removing a basic species from the solution phase. So buffering capacity will be retained by decreased carbonate precipitation.

    Then, of course, we have the additional complexity due to processes such as CaCO2 precipitation driven by kinetics, not thermodynamics, where supersaturation obtains.

    …but some species are reported as increasing the size of the coccolith under higher concentrations of CO2. Does this increase the pptn rate? I dunno, but strewth, it’s hard this biogeochemistry. The one thing I am confident about is that this is not reflected in IPCC models.

  75. Eli Rabett says:

    Anyone want to take a shot as to the precision and accuracy of modern ocean pH measurements?

  76. michael hart says:

    yes, should be “CaCO3″, not “CaCO2″

  77. Roy UK says:

    Eli : Firstly, a change of 0.1 pH is a change of 30% in [H3O+] ion concentration…
    So what percentage change would it take to change seawater from PH 8.1 to PH 6.9? Then we could say seawater has become acidic correct?
    How much CO2 would humans have to pump into the atmosphere to cause that change?

    (Please do not tell me small changes matter and will have large impacts, I would just like to know the numbers answer from an eminent Professor of Chemistry.)

  78. Gail Combs says:

    Mike Borgelt says: @ July 22, 2013 at 12:56 am

    ….. paralysed the “ocean acidification” hypothesis with garlic and a crucifix, shot it with a silver bullet and buried it at a crossroads with a fresh sapling stake through its heart?…..
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Still won’t kill it. The state propaganda machine MSM can tell the brain dead voters black is white and they will believe it. Heck they just did it to Zimmerman ( his mother is Afro-Peruvian)

  79. Kev-in-Uk says:

    As has been noted – seawater pH can vary a lot quite naturally. I would suggest that to have a long term SW pH analysis will require an awful lot of measurements, over an awful long time. Someone wake me up when this has been achieved to such a degree that we can safely conclude we have measured a good percentage of the worlds seawater.

  80. michael hart says:

    Eli Rabett says:
    July 22, 2013 at 6:34 am
    Anyone want to take a shot as to the precision and accuracy of modern ocean pH measurements?

    Care to tell us what the accuracy and precision was 50 or 100 years ago?

    Wet-chemistry determinations of CO2 in the atmosphere are disregarded by the IPCC, but seemingly not wet-chemistry determinations of CO2 sea water. How does that work?

    No, don’t tell me. It’s the models. Again.

  81. Bob says:

    @eli rabbet. The change of 0.1 pH units is closer to 26%, but who’s quibbling. Also of minor note that the change in hydronium ion concentration for the entire pH scale is ~100%. But I’m sure you were well aware of that. In and around pH 8-8.5 we are talking about [H3O+] in the range of 3.16 X 10^-9 to 1 x 10^-8.
    Way back in the dark ages, acidification meant making things acidic (pH<7). The term "neutralization" meant decreasing (or increasing) the pH toward 7. However, ocean neutralization is not as scary as ocean acidification, so, I suppose the propagandists needed to adapt the term to scare the yokels and scare up grant money for research. Sounds like you are turning the oceans into battery acid.
    I find it difficult to believe, and would welcome the research showing that a pH change of 0.1-0.2 units will end ocean life as we know it and that range is not outside normal variability.

  82. Bernie McCune says:

    Speaking of natural variability, does anyone know where I might find data on ocean pH that covers 80 to 100 years? Short term variability of 0.5 is one thing but I am interested in seeing if there is any sort of long term baseline. Thanks.

    Bernie

  83. TomRude says:

    Eli Rabett, always there to assist William M. Connolley’s mischief, partner in Wiki crimes.

  84. Phil. says:

    byz says:
    July 22, 2013 at 12:35 am
    8.25 to 8.14 a difference of 0.11, which is 1.351% of 8.14.
    When I was carrying out my undergraduate physics experiments we had it drummed into us that + or – 4% was statistically insignificant as it was within the bounds of an error due to measurement. Given that they have not measured the whole ocean or even 1% of it I doubt the accuracy of the measurements being extrapolated to the whole ocean.
    We also were told that chemists were sloppy with there errors (but that’s another story) :o

    Chemists on the other hand knew what they’re measuring and know that pH is -log([H+]) and that the values you quote represent a ~29% change in [H+].

  85. Kaboom says:

    I think episode describes it quite well as in “he’s having an episode”.

  86. Climate Weenie says:

    Don’t read the Stoat, who is, as he says, a “tosser”.

  87. Adigat says:

    [snip - over the top - Anthony]

  88. Phil. says:

    Bob says:
    July 22, 2013 at 7:26 am
    @eli rabbet. The change of 0.1 pH units is closer to 26%, but who’s quibbling. Also of minor note that the change in hydronium ion concentration for the entire pH scale is ~100%. But I’m sure you were well aware of that. In and around pH 8-8.5 we are talking about [H3O+] in the range of 3.16 X 10^-9 to 1 x 10^-8.
    Way back in the dark ages, acidification meant making things acidic (pH<7). The term "neutralization" meant decreasing (or increasing) the pH toward 7.

    No ‘acidify’ meant adding acid, whereas ‘neutralize’ meant adding exactly the right amount of acid (or base) to make the solution neutral (pH 7.0)

  89. Eric Worrall says:

    The ocean acidification thing is beyond bizarre.

    I mean do the cranks who push it seriously expect people to believe that shellfish, which evolved in much higher CO2 levels than today, over just the last few million years have lost any tolerance to CO2 they might once have had?

    The acidification scare is a last ditch sign of desperation.

  90. joe says:

    pH Meters are often unstable and not always reliable. They are the fussbudgety spoiled brats of scientific instrumentation. As a chemist, it was depressing how difficult it was to get reliable data, for those of us in OSHA who monitored factory operations. The first point is that, the makeup of the solution can radically affect the readings. as there can be surfactants, a large number of ionic species, and organic molecules. So, one would expect that since the ionic and organic constituents of local oceanic waters vary widely from location to location, it will similarly produce variability in pH readings. The second problem is the inherent instability of the pH probes. They can work reliably (perhaps), but then after sitting for any time, not work. It’s in their nature….

  91. Beta Blocker says:

    Phil. says: July 22, 2013 at 7:38 am Chemists on the other hand knew what they’re measuring and know that pH is -log([H+]) and that the values you quote represent a ~29% change in [H+].

    How do biological scientists go about estimating the impacts of changes in ocean alkalinity on plant and animal sealife forms?

    Do they use pH in their estimates, or do they instead use hydrogen ion concentration?

    Another question here …. have changes in the atmospheric concentration of CO2 been correlated to significant changes in the chemical composition of the sea water which any specific plant or animal sealife form might be exposed to in the course of its day-to-day existence?

    If so, how do the effects of changes in the chemical composition of seawater play into biological estimates of the overall impacts of rising CO2 levels on plant and animal sealife forms?

  92. Eli Rabett says:

    Joe, notice how Michael Hart, who may know the answer avoids giving it. Your question provides a strong hint of what the answer is as to the precision of ocean pH measurements. Eli will admit that it surprised him a bit tho, but on reflection was obvious.

  93. Bob says:

    Eli Rabett says:
    July 22, 2013 at 6:34 am
    Anyone want to take a shot as to the precision and accuracy of modern ocean pH measurements?
    ____________________________________________________________________________
    I can’t remember when a properly maintained and operated pH meter wasn’t reasonably precise (reproducibility of multiple measurements of the sample) or accurate (capable of reproducing a known value or accepted value). The advent of electronics seem to make the job a bit easier than doing it with analog meters. In fact the little $100 hand helds are reasonably precise and accurate. As far as ocean pH measurements, I’d have to see the QA/QC on those measurements. Since you asked the question, I assume you have the answer. Is that for the universe of ocean pH measurements or a smaller subset?
    So, if we grant that pH measurements can be made without much question by a skilled analyst, what is the normal range of ocean pH’s and how does one come about an average accepted pH?

  94. alacran says:

    If you don’t want to suffer from W.C.s rants, flush them down the virtual cyber-WC, cause he’s just a real bfi!

  95. Jenn Oates says:

    Oh, Anthony, doncha know that you can’t convince your audience of your sincerity and depth of passion without dropping a few F bombs…how else would you appeal to your readers’ sense of rationality?

    And I’m glad it’s not this Stoat: http://sweasel.com/ it gave me a start to see the Connelly’s handle at first.

  96. Bob says:

    Phil. says:
    July 22, 2013 at 7:52 am
    No ‘acidify’ meant adding acid, whereas ‘neutralize’ meant adding exactly the right amount of acid (or base) to make the solution neutral (pH 7.0)
    ________________________________________________________________________
    “Acidify” means to make into an acid (pH<7). Your definition of neutralize is one of the correct terms for strong acid + strong base.

  97. Michael Jankowski says:

    Oooooooh, Eli keeps referring to himself in the 3rd person. How cute. Then again, since he’s really Josh Halpern, maybe it makes sense in some sort of mentally ill way. Ocean has a chemical imbalance, and so does Josh/Eli! No wonder he’s so attached to the subject.

  98. DesertYote says:

    “Itachi no saigoppe”; Nice Japanese idiom based on the imagery of a cornered weasel. Everything emitted by WC stinks.

  99. Eli Rabett says:

    Try this.. Accuracies reach 0.0005 pH units and the technology is ancient.

  100. WillR says:

    So there I was, at Christmas, on the west coast in Latin America trying to get a heap leach pilot project going… with all the required chemical testing… We had to remember that the solution would be implemented iin a site where it would take a complete day just to travel in and out — plus the time to get spare parts or supplies or exchange equipment. What the heck does this have to do with ocean pH — you might rightly ask… Quite a bit actually…

    Some time spent trying to get accurate, precise, repeatable pH instrumentation at Christmas in Latin America — when everything is shut down. suppliers, shipping, labs… you name it — took me back to first principles of measuring pH. After a history lesson, I finally settled on coffee filter paper steeped in boiled red cabbage liquid…. After we got the highly accurate litmus paper in January it turns out that we had done a pretty good job with the cabbage and for our purposes the litmus paper was no better than our coffee for our purposes. (Checking Thiosulfate and Cyanide solutions plus after process measurements…) It was good reminder how tough it can be to do good field work where conditions are far from :the lab ideal”.

    What I did learn was how difficult it is to get good measurements of pH due to temperature variations and measurement process variations — in live dynamic solutions moving through a fairly fast moving process…. (26 gpm). When we evaluated the electronic vs paper we realized it was often the paper that was better as we could measure cheaply at several points simultaneously. The electronic meter was OK as long we remained at one point for considerable time.. but this is a lot of words…

    What’s the point? In a lab with stable solutions — easy peazy… but we are discussing seawater — aren’t we? Sea water is “alive” — lot’s of plankton and dissolved gases — meaning some temperature and time dependence. How do we get a sample up from 100meters below surface and measure what the pH must have been — down there — particularly if the sample warms and starts growing — or releasing gases… A precision of 0.005 on the ISFET meters may not be that meaningful..

    Hach has an interesting FAQ about some of the issues with ph Measurements with the “highly accurate and precise” electronic meters:

    http://www.phmeters.com/isfet-faq.htm

    It’s well worth the time to think about how good the work is, could be or might be.

    Field work is a little more difficult than lab work — good to remember. Those somewhat random thoughts might be a reminder to some just how difficult it can be to do some “easy” measurements and draw some conclusions. I would need a book to describe our two months of work (We finished up in February after getting in precise equipment) — but maybe some will get the idea… Now move the whole operation onto a rocking boat…

  101. Bart says:

    WillR says:
    July 22, 2013 at 9:20 am

    Thanks for that. Important to remember – precision != accuracy.

  102. Matthew W says:

    Eli Rabett says:
    July 22, 2013 at 6:34 am

    Anyone want to take a shot as to the precision and accuracy of modern ocean pH measurements?
    =====================================================================
    Much better than 1000 year ice cores?

  103. Billy Liar says:

    Eli Rabett says:
    July 22, 2013 at 9:14 am

    Try this:

    Initial Accuracy 0.01 (estimated)
    Typical Stability 0.005/month (estimated)

    The initial accuracy of the device is 20 times worse than you stated and drifts at 10 times your stated accuracy within a month.

    http://satlantic.com/seafet (specifications tab)

  104. ZP says:

    Eli Rabett says:
    July 22, 2013 at 9:14 am
    Try this.. Accuracies reach 0.0005 pH units and the technology is ancient.

    Try this instead… From Albert & Sergeant’s The Determination of Ionization Constants:

    The third decimal place has no significance in pH measurements, although for closely matched solutions the error can in some cases be less than 0.007 pH units.

    If one is looking at primary standard buffers and a single research-grade pH meter, it might be possible to push the error down to 0.002 pH units. In no case can one push it below 0.001 pH unit, especially since the IUPAC primary standard buffers are not guaranteed to a precision better than 0.01 pH unit:

    … a consistency no better than 0.01 can be ascribed to the primary pH standard solutions of Table 2 in the range 3-10 pH.

    and,

    The assigned uncertainty of the Bates–Guggenheim convention is 0.01 in pH. By accepting this value, pH becomes traceable to the internationally accepted SI system of measurement.

    reference: http://pac.iupac.org/publications/pac/pdf/2002/pdf/7411×2169.pdf

  105. Eli Rabett says:

    The initial accuracy depends on the reference. You can cross calibrate the SeaFET with spectrometric methods. Initial accuracy is out of the box. As long as the precision holds you are ok.

  106. Billy Liar says:

    Eli Rabett says:
    July 22, 2013 at 10:06 am

    You are deluded. The SeaFET uses a thermistor for temperature measurement (not an accurate sensor) and does not measure salinity. Both of these limitations reduce accuracy – care to tell us how much?

    Precision (the number of bits given in the result) != accuracy (as someone else pointed out above).

  107. WillR says:

    Eli Rabett says:
    July 22, 2013 at 10:06 am

    The initial accuracy depends on the reference. You can cross calibrate the SeaFET with spectrometric methods. Initial accuracy is out of the box. As long as the precision holds you are ok.

    But that’s the point — isn’t it? If we want to discuss “the acidification” of seawater we have to resolve time, measurement standards equipment and calculation methods and statistical procedures — over decades.

    We are not discussing how easy it is — or isn’t — to make a measurement at a spot in time. We are discussing how to maintain accuracy, precision and repeatability over many hundreds, thousand or perhaps even tens of millions of measurements.

    In our little experiment we could not afford the electronic equipment in place to make a few measurements over any meaning time to understand a time varying process. Now, what is the are of the sea, what is the depth — what is the variance in once spot — let alone the millions of points it would take to understand what is — or isn’t happening…

    You are conflating and confusing the measurement of a single point with what would be required to understand a systems. Measuring the status of that system (the worlds oceans) would require good engineering principles — which you are attempting to confuse and minimize with the science of getting a good measurement — somewhere.

    When will this happen? Not in my lifetime! A system as dynamic as the worlds oceans — full of living plankton, krill and ocean creatures — would be a challenge to model — right? (Not to mention volcanoes, ice and tar filled rifts and sea floor spreading.) Puhhhhlease — get with the program.

    Your overly simplistic point that it’s easy to take a (single) “good” measurement belittles the larger issues.

  108. Billy Liar says:

    Eli Rabett says:
    July 22, 2013 at 10:06 am

    Initial accuracy is out of the box. As long as the precision holds you are ok.

    You really don’t understand the difference between ‘accuracy’ and ‘precision’ do you?

    I find that appalling in a scientist. Many of your students are probably similarly challenged.

    BTW the specification of the SeaFET says the accuracy drifts.

  109. William Astley says:

    Ironically increased atmospheric CO2 and lukewarm AGW is unequivocally beneficial to the biosphere including the oceans and coral (See below for details). The fanatic, closed minded, warmists are fighting the wrong war.
    There are two issues. The propaganda tools the angry, closed minded warmists are using to fight the wrong war and the data and research that supports the assertion that not only is there no ocean acidification problem, the effects (direct and indirect) in the ocean due to the increase in atmospheric CO2 will result in a significant increase in coral, more productive reefs, and a more productive ocean. (Win-win-win).

    1) The Art of Propaganda and the Use of F-bombs
    Comment:
    Note if you have used the F-bomb it is very, very, difficult to admit that the argument you were pushing is 100% incorrect. Also it is very difficult for constantly angry people (people who use F-bombs and present tirades) to think scientifically. Scientists are curious, not angry. Observations and analysis is very important for scientists (not so much for angry fanatic warmists). The increase in atmospheric CO2 and lukewarm AGW is unequivocally, jump up and down and time for environmentalists to do the wave, beneficial to the biosphere. Trillions of dollars are being wasted on greens scams which do not significantly reduce CO2 emissions. Spending trillions on green scams is madness as Western countries are facing eminent sever financial consequences due to deficits and a lack of competitiveness.

    The use of f-bombs and sarcasm is a standard propaganda tool that is used by warmists supporters such as Bill Maher and William Connolley. Bill Maher and William Connelley’s f-bomb laced tirades against so called skeptics, is void of information, the tirades are a propaganda tool rather than a discussion of the issues.

    Comment (Lukewarm AGW Vs Extreme AGW):
    Observations and analysis supports the assertion that planetary cloud cover in the tropics increases or decreases to resists warming (negative feedback). The IPCC general circulation models assume there is amplification (positive feedback) of the CO2 warming to get more than 1C warming from a doubling of atmospheric CO2. Negative feedback results in Lukewarm AGW. Mostly high latitude lukewarm AGW is unequivocally beneficial for the biosphere.

    2) There is no Coral Problem or Ocean Acidification Problem (Increased atmospheric CO2 will result increased coral growth, healthy coral reefs, and a more productive ocean)
    As the regions of the planet that are warming are higher latitude regions (tropics is not significantly warming) and warming significantly increases coral growth and the benefit due to warmer temperatures is orders of magnitude, the region of the planet that is covered by coral will significantly increase, if there is global warming. (It is shame the planet is about to cool, the biosphere contracts when the planet cools and expands when it warms.) The changes to the ocean chemistry due to increased CO2 experimentally and based on field observations results increase in coral grow and healthier reefs.

    I would highly recommend Craig Idso’s review paper that provides a detailed list of the issues and data from 150 peer reviewed papers to support that above assertion.

    http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/originals/acid_test.pdf

    The following are a couple of logical arguments I found persuasive.

    A) Effect of Temperature Change in the Tropics
    Additional observation evidence that contradicts the Kleypas et al. model was provided by the work of Lough and Barnes (2000), who assembled and analyzed the calcification characteristics of 245 similar-sized massive colonies of Porites corals obtained from 29 reef sites located along the length, and across the breadth, of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef (GBR), which data spanned a latitudinal range of approximately 9° and an annual average sea surface temperature (SST) range of 25-27°C. To these data they added other published data from the Hawaiian Archipelago (Grigg, 1981, 1997) and Phuket, Thailand (Scoffin et al., 1992), thereby extending the latitudinal range of the expanded data set to 20° and the annual average SST range to 23-29°C. … ….This analysis revealed that the GBR calcification data were linearly related to the average annual SST data, such that “a 1°C rise in average annual SST increased average annual calcification by 0.39 g cm-2 year-1.” Results were much the same for the extended data set, as Lough and Barnes report that “the regression equation [calcification = 0.33(SST) - 7.07] explained 83.6% of the variance in average annual calcification (F = 213.59, p less than 0.001),” noting that “this equation provides for a change in calcification rate of 0.33 g cm-2 year-1 for each 1°C change in average annual SST.”

    B) Cherry Picked Studies
    In light of these real-world observations, Lough and Barnes concluded that coral calcification rates “may have already significantly increased along the GBR in response to global climate change.”
    One of the more recent claims of impending coral demise is based on the study of De’ath et al. (2009), who examined coral calcification rates on the Great Barrier Reef over the past 400 years. Results of their analysis indicate there was a 14% decline in Porites calcification rate between 1990 and 2005, which De’ath et al. claimed to be “unprecedented in at least the past 400 years.” But if De’ath et al.’s calcification history is followed back in time a mere 33 more years, from 1605 to 1572, that claim is no longer true, because the coral calcification rate during that earlier time – when the air’s CO2 concentration was more than 100 ppm less than 14
    what it is today and, according to climate alarmists, so much more healthier for earth’s corals – was approximately 23% lower than what it was at its 20th-century peak.
    C) No evidence of PH effects on coral
    Thus, contrary to claims that historical anthropogenic CO2 emissions have already resulted in a significant decline in ocean water pH and aragonite saturation state, Pelejero et al.’s 300-year record of these parameters (which, in their words, began “well before the start of the Industrial Revolution”) provides no evidence of such a decline. What is more, and also contrary to claims of how sensitive coral calcification rate is to changes in pH and aragonite saturation state, they found that huge cyclical changes in these parameters had essentially no detectable effect on either coral calcification or skeletal extension rates.
    D) Increased Carbonic ions and dissolved CO2 in the ocean results in a significant increase in symbiotic alga and micro biotic animal life, which cause a significant increase in coral grow and healthy coral.
    (See Idso’s above review paper for details, there are half a dozen different benefits and many peer reviewed papers of field and laboratory experimental study results to support the assertion.)

  110. julianbre says:

    The Natgeo Scienceblogs has been a cesspool for years. Just read about anything PZ Myers post on his Pharyngula blog there. Please don’t forget that they are also proud to have the ethically challenged Peter Gleick blog on Significant Figures.

  111. Bob says:

    Billy Liar says:
    July 22, 2013 at 11:41 am
    Eli Rabett says:
    July 22, 2013 at 10:06 am
    Initial accuracy is out of the box. As long as the precision holds you are ok.

    You really don’t understand the difference between ‘accuracy’ and ‘precision’ do you?

    I find that appalling in a scientist. Many of your students are probably similarly challenged.

    BTW the specification of the SeaFET says the accuracy drifts.
    ________________________________________________________________________
    Well said. An instrument with one-point factory calibration and a suggested annual return for calibration. No cal checks in the manual. And, like all instruments, it drifts. I don’t recall the drift rate. Oh, and add a really exaggerated estimate of pH resolution (0.0005 su). The accuracy and drift are estimates. We can add confusion over accuracy and precision. No wonder global ocean pH’s aren’t given with error estimates.
    Actually, this looks like a good portable instrument to obtain estimates of ocean pH. However, when someone starts looking at changes to 0.01 or less su resolution, the analysis fails.

  112. joe says:

    A few more comments on pH measurement. First, the problem does not lie with the meter, whether analog or digital. Problems come with the pH probe itself – (as often happens), it doesn’t matter how accurate the digital readout is – the determining accuracy depends on the probe. In the lab, the way we check the accuracy of the probe is to get some nice lab distilled water, add a buffer with a known pH, and measure the pH. If the reading is off a bit, the system is adjusted to match the known buffer pH. (Note that: the system is not absolute, but adjusted to the buffer reading). And the ocean is not nice, clean, and uniform, like our lab water – as stated before, it varies in composition, for example, taking samples 100 miles off the mouth of the Amazon, or in a volcanic area, or near coastal cities, or in Antarctic waters, will result in quite different ambient conditions. There are major variances in ionic composition, salinity, ion content, and temperature. All of these affect readings. And everyone should read the instructions on glass pH probes – how they need to be properly prepared and handled before use – the technique is like going back to the science of the 19th century. In short, pH readings are not of the same quality, as in determining the wavelength of light, or even taking an accurate weight.

  113. Jaye Bass says:

    Horrible! He does’nt teach, he reads from the powerpoint presentations! Worst Chemistry professor ever!

  114. ut8t5 says:

    [snip -over the top -mod]

  115. It seems that the discussion of pH meters is not of interest here: most pH measurements at the few ocean stations (Bermuda and Hawaii) and more on seaships en route, are done with a coulometric method, see http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3342762/ :

    Measurements of seawater pH are currently obtained both potentiometrically and spectrophotometrically. Spectrophotometric pH measurements are much more precise (±0.0004) than potentiometric measurements (±0.003)

    The spectrophotometric method is used in Hawaii and Bermuda, besides the calculation of the pH from easier to obtain variables: DIC (dissolved inorganic carbon) and TA (total alkalinity). In all cases compensated for real world temperature (vs. sample temperature while measuring) and salinity of the seawater.

    See the data from Hawaii here:

    http://hahana.soest.hawaii.edu/hot/products/HOT_surface_CO2.txt

    and the explanation of the methods used:

    http://hahana.soest.hawaii.edu/hot/products/HOT_surface_CO2_readme.pdf

    The Bermuda data should be found at (but their web site is not really user-friendly):

    http://www.bios.edu/research/projects/bats/

    But here is a plot of the data over time (Fig. 5):

    http://www.biogeosciences.net/9/2509/2012/bg-9-2509-2012.pdf

  116. J Martin says:

    The double use of the word f*ck*ng tells me everything I need to know about Mr Connolley. Plainly not someone capable of delivering a reasoned argument or of coming to a balanced conclusion.

    Instead of the sentence above I’d have settled for a one word description, but Anthony snipped that last time.

  117. Downdraft says:

    The video linked below ran on 60 minutes several years ago. It was about a protected reef off the coast of Cuba, where fishing is not allowed, diving is limited, and there is no local pollution. To me this is a good indication that the problems with the ocean that some are blaming CO2 for are really caused by runoff and overfishing. If CO2 was the cause of reef degradation, why is this reef still pristine?
    Of course, true to form, the narrators of the video do mention global warming as a cause of bleaching. As you may know, local daily temperature changes exceed any warming due to climate change and there is no apparent connection between bleaching and small temperature changes, but they don’t mention that. They also don’t mention cyanide fishing, my personal favorite candidate for the cause of bleaching.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7392092n

  118. ATheoK says:

    Adolescent Stoat saith; “…assuming she hasn’t managed to cut all her ties to people of any quality…”

    By all rational reckoning Dr. Curry’s quality of people, friends and peers has improved immensely since she stopped choking down the team’s faith. Much better!

    Speaking of stoaty’s ties to people of any quality, (‘any’ meaning a measurement above or below zero); it’s kind of surprising the CAGWist’s who have shown up today to do their best to deflect the topic from pathetic stoaty…

    And the drivel they’ve managed to come up with ranges from bogus to pathetic. The tularemia potential carrier wants to brag about miniscule changes of PH and how well he believes he can measure such changes.
    Want to show us chemistry? OK, explain to us in detail exactly how you calculated there is a 30% jump in ions for a tenth of a PH movement? Only this time, show all of the work! No partial credit if you can’t show all of the relevant numbers; include CO2 atmospheric composition and how it gets into the water, plus ALL other chemicals typically present in sea water and their molar %, then identify exactly how much CO2 must be present in the atmosphere to reach an acidic level. Don’t forget the actions of the ever present flora and fauna in seawater and their carbon appetites.
    Otherwise calculating big percentages off of tiny numbers in isolation is not impressive.

    Yeah yeah, warmists can freely over exaggerate practically anything they want, even in front of Congress or the House of Lords. Then they flock around non-CAGW sites picking at nits and inflating both their self importance and how much they want us to be smitten by the tiniest drops of information they leak.

    The stoat is an embarrassment, to Wiki in all of it’s forms. It’s a shame he considers that description a compliment. Now perhaps stoat’s buds can manage to keep to the topic? We’re not buying any of the CAGW alarmist pulp meant for the Heidi Cullen’s or decades behind politicians of the world.

  119. Gail Combs says:

    joe says:
    July 22, 2013 at 12:54 pm
    …..And everyone should read the instructions on glass pH probes – how they need to be properly prepared and handled before use – the technique is like going back to the science of the 19th century. In short, pH readings are not of the same quality, as in determining the wavelength of light, or even taking an accurate weight.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Amen! (From a chemist)

  120. Chad Wozniak says:

    @Greg –
    The irony is, if we do exactly what they say, that’s what will destroy the world.

    And yes, “Stoat” is a good example of the irrationality, delusion and mean-spiritedness inevitably attendant upon belief in AGW. People like him are so low that they have to look up to look down, which is what he is doing with his attacks on Dr. Curry..

  121. ZP says:

    Eli Rabett says:
    July 22, 2013 at 10:06 am
    The initial accuracy depends on the reference. You can cross calibrate the SeaFET with spectrometric methods. Initial accuracy is out of the box. As long as the precision holds you are ok.

    Spectroscopic methods are based on dissociation of a protic chromophore (indicator). The absorbance(s) at specific wavelength(s) is(are) then used to calculate the pH using the measured pKa as a function of temperature and ionic strength. The pKa of the indicator must have been determined in advance by standard techniques, most notably potentiometric titration or spectroscopically – both of which rely upon the use of a pH meter and IUPAC standard buffers.

    Thus, one cannot avoid the limitations of pH measurements simply by switching to a secondary method. The overall uncertainty of the measurement using a secondary method will be larger than by direct measurement since the errors propogate as stated by IUPAC:

    In order to obtain the overall uncertainty of the measurement, uncertainties of the respective pH(PS) or pH(SS) values must be taken into account (see Table 4).

    Also see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propagation_of_uncertainty

  122. Gunga Din says:

    Mick says:
    July 22, 2013 at 3:35 am

    Ok, I’ll bite. I am a marine scientist and I am tasked with work on ocean acidification. Yes, the oceans are alkaline and yes scientists play fast and furious with the word ‘acidification’. Nevertheless, as atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations go up, more CO2 dissolves in the oceans leading to a chemistry that adds more protons to seawater……..

    ========================================================================
    A question (and not a trick one8-):
    As I understand it, water’s ability to dissolve something, even a gas such as CO2, is also tied to how much of other things are already dissolved in it.
    That is, if a solution is already saturated with, say NaCl, the solubility of other chemicals will be reduced. Have I got that wrong?

  123. AndyG55 says:

    @ AtheoK.
    The percentage change is easy to calculate. iirc the change mentioned is from 8.25 to 8.14 which is a change of .11 in pH a very small change in reality, and almost certainly within the range of calculation error and certainly well within the range of natural variability.

    But to calculate the percentage change in hydrogen ion concentration you just get a calculator and go 10 ^ 0.11 = 1.288, which mean the increase is 28.8% close enough to 30% I guess.

    What Eli refuses to post is that to take the pH from 8.14 to 7 (neutral) is a change of 1.14 in pH,
    Now 10^1,14 = 13.8, which give a percentage increase in hydrogen ion concentration of 1280%

  124. AndyG55 says:

    Another important point to note is that coral reef almost certainly existed when the atmospheric level of CO2 was many time higher than it is now.
    When will people realise that ALL the biosphere came into being at much higher CO2 level.

    CO2 atmospheric levels at anything like we are ever likely to reach are HIGHLY BENEFICIAL to the Earth, and ALL life on it.

  125. Patrick Dolan says:

    Just a thought:

    Perhaps he’s trying to be cute, going under the moniker of “Stoat” when what he REALLY means is “ER-mean”. This, from everyone’s favorite wiki:
    ‘ It is nominated among the 100 “world’s worst invasive species” ‘.

    Unsurprisingly, Stoats are unwelcome just about everywhere…even, as we see, in the blogosphere. It also suggests that it’s distinguishable from the “Least weasel” but I think we’ve conclusively identified THIS stoat as THE Least weasel (and an impolite cuss, to boot).

    I’m just sayin’…

  126. Patrick Dolan says:

    Oh, te’bbly sorry: didn’t I mean “ermine”?

  127. KevinK says:

    Jimbo wrote;

    “cinnamon anemonefish”, do you perhaps know how they taste when griiled with butter on a nice cedar plank ?

    If they taste good I’m all in favor of them breeding their little fish hearts out…….

    Cheers, Kevin

  128. Ric Werme says:

    Phil. says:
    July 22, 2013 at 7:52 am

    No ‘acidify’ meant adding acid, whereas ‘neutralize’ meant adding exactly the right amount of acid (or base) to make the solution neutral (pH 7.0)

    Ric Werme can’t resist noting (unfairly sarcastically) it follows that “neutralize” can be worse than “acidify!”

  129. Toto says:

    Is is just me, or is Connolley becoming more acidic? I think he definitively answered his own question about his own professionalism.

  130. AndyG55 says:

    Gees Toto, I always thought Connelley was very basic.

  131. Allchemistry says:

    Nick Stokes writes:
    ” It’s approximately proportional to [CO2] and inversely to [CO3--]. The latter is the big one. So if you see a 30% increase in [H+], it means (about) a 30% drop in [CO3--], which has big implications for CaCO3 deposition”

    You seem to think that CaCO3 deposition by corals involves a simple precipitation reaction of Ca++ and CO3–. It is not. It is a highly coordinated process during which the coral actively transports Ca++ and HCO3- into a mineralization zone. To keep pH high (> 9.0), H+ ions that are released during the deposition of CaCO3 (HCO3- + Ca++ –> CaCO3 + H+) are pumped back. Increase in dissolved CO2 gives rise to an increase in concentration of HCO3-, so everything else being equal, this would promote, rather than inhibit calcification.

  132. Decrease in alkalinity of ocean water is my field of interest, for many, many years, but …

    Let us vote … (a few) the most prominent the researchers of the problem:
    Manzello (2012, http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0041715): „As such, there is a need to characterize this natural variability of seawater carbonate chemistry, especially within coastal ecosystems. Natural CO 2 , alkalinity, and salinity gradients can significantly alter local carbonate chemistry, and thereby create a range of susceptibility for different ecosystems to OA.”

    This work also demonstrates the enormous power of negative feedback (sea grass) maintaining coastal pH – the amplitude – in the natural range.

    Mozello (with colleagues) also shows that the warm coastal waters (mainly the tropical so-called: sapphire crystal – the area is huge) can be removed, using the “ooid shoals”, “an oolitic deposit”, much more CO2 [and this the millionth year period] than we think (and I add, perhaps more than some north cold water)

    Eminent scientist Professor Gattuso declared as a supporter of the possible harmful effects of decline in ocean alkalinity.
    However, it is “strange” supporter – because it is more skeptical than the average skeptic …

    At the time of our first exchange of e-mails (2008) I wrote to him that, first in science must be honest without any adjectives …

    Following quotation is long but Professor Gattuso did not protest when I quoted him on Skeptical Science, so …:

    “Although changes in the carbonate chemistry are well known, the biological and biogeochemical consequences are much less well constrained for several reasons. First, very few processes and organisms have been investigated so far (research in this area only began in the late 1990s). Second, most experiments were carried out in the short-term (hours to weeks), effectively neglecting potential acclimation and adaptation by organisms. Third, the interaction between pCO 2 and other parameters poised to change, such as temperature , concentration of nutrients and light, are essentially UNKNOWN.
    “It is not anticipated that oceanic primary production will be directly affected by these changes in carbonate chemistry because most primary producers use carbon concentrating mechanisms that rely on CO 2. Note, however, that primary production of some species is likely to be stimulated. [...]” (http://www.eoearth.org/article/Ocean_acidification)

    It follows that there really are only a few scientists who write, which publish about “acidification”, which they have adequate – satisfactory knowledge of pH the ocean.
    In most cases, the quality of such work (published even in the N. and S.) does not differ from the level statements Eli Rabett and William Connolley [I read the comments of both, and ... the rest of my comment about it, I would have to be ..., Nothing entitle them to such a presumptuous tone,]

    Let me give one example of why,
    2008: “The ocean is a fantastic sponge for CO2, but as it dissolves in the ocean it reduces the pH of the ocean, so the ocean becomes more acidic,” said Dr McNeil.”
    Gattuso says:
    “The terminology used in this article is not scientifically accurate. The definition of “acidic” in the Oxford English dictionary is “having the properties of an acid; having a pH of less than 7″. This definition does not apply to un-manipulated seawater now nor in the foreseeable future. Hence, the adjective “acidic” should not be used. Note that there are some exceptions, for example in the immediate vicinity of CO2 vents.”

    Professor Gattuso now resigned from the “crusade” against using the term “acidification”, however, worth it – we need it to continue?

  133. Brian H says:

    Allchemistry says:
    July 22, 2013 at 5:04 am

    “So yesm a change of 0.1 in pH is a large one”.

    A decrease in pH from 8.25 to 8.14 means an abysmal increase in [H3O+] from 0.0000005 M to 0.00000007 M. We’re doomed.

    Count your zeroes. You just said the equivalent of “an increase from 50 to 7.”

  134. Toto says:

    AndyG55, you might be right that he is base, but since he writes vitriol, he must be acidic.

  135. Allchemistry says:

    @Brian,

    I’ve noticed it, but editing was not possible. Still we’re doomed….

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