Scripps paper: Ocean acidification fears overhyped

Change in sea water acidity pH caused by anthr...

Global pH changes supposedly due to human caused CO2- Image via Wikipedia

Reposted from Jo Nova, who did such a good job I decided there wasn’t any way I could improve on it, except to add the map at right. This needed the wide attention WUWT brings.

Scripps blockbuster: Ocean acidification happens all the time — naturally

There goes another scare campaign.

Until recently we had very little data about real time changes in ocean pH around the world. Finally autonomous sensors placed in a variety of ecosystems “from tropical to polar, open-ocean to coastal, kelp forest to coral reef” give us the information we needed.

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. All our human emissions are projected by models to change the world’s oceans by about 0.3 pH units over the next 90 years, and that’s referred to as “catastrophic”, yet we now know that fish and some calcifying critters adapt naturally to changes far larger than that every year, sometimes in just a month, and in extreme cases, in just a day.

Data was collected by 15 individual SeaFET sensors in seven types of marine habitats.  Four sites were fairly stable (1, which includes the open ocean, and also sites 2,3,4) but most of the rest were highly variable (esp site 15 near Italy and 14 near Mexico) . On a monthly scale the pH varies by 0.024 to 1.430 pH units.

Figure 1. Map of pH sensor (SeaFET) deployment locations.

See Table 1 for details of locations

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.

At Puerto Morelos (in Mexico’s easternmost state, on the Yucatán Peninsula) the pH varied as much as 0.3 units per hour due to groundwater springs. Each day the pH bottomed at about 10am, and peaked shortly after sunset. These extreme sites tell us that some marine life can cope with larger, faster swings than the apocalyptic predictions suggest, though of course, no one is suggesting that the entire global ocean would be happy with similar extreme swings.

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””

 

Matt Ridley: Taking Fears Of Acid Oceans With A Grain of Salt

[GWPF]  [Wall St Journal]

The central concern is that lower pH will make it harder for corals, clams and other “calcifier” creatures to make calcium carbonate skeletons and shells. Yet this concern also may be overstated. Off Papua New Guinea and the Italian island of Ischia, where natural carbon-dioxide bubbles from volcanic vents make the sea less alkaline, and off the Yucatan, where underwater springs make seawater actually acidic, studies have shown that at least some kinds of calcifiers still thrive—at least as far down as pH 7.8.

In a recent experiment in the Mediterranean, reported in Nature Climate Change, corals and mollusks were transplanted to lower pH sites, where they proved “able to calcify and grow at even faster than normal rates when exposed to the high [carbon-dioxide] levels projected for the next 300 years.” In any case, freshwater mussels thrive in Scottish rivers, where the pH is as low as five.

Human beings have indeed placed marine ecosystems under terrible pressure, but the chief culprits are overfishing and pollution. By comparison, a very slow reduction in the alkalinity of the oceans, well within the range of natural variation, is a modest threat, and it certainly does not merit apocalyptic headlines.

 

We also know that adding CO2 in a sense is feeding the calcifying organisms (like it feeds life above the water too). Co2 dissolves as bicarbonate, which marine uses to make skeletons and shells from. So yes, a lower pH dissolves shells, but the extra CO2 increases shell formation.

..

Figure 2. pH dynamics at 15 locations worldwide in 0–15 m water depth. All panels are plotted on the same vertical range of pH (total hydrogen ion scale). The ordinate axis was arbitrarily selected to encompass a 30-day period during each sensor deployment representative of each site during the deployment season. See Table 1 for details regarding sensor deployment.

Figure 3. Metrics of short-term pH variability at 15 locations worldwide, ranked by ascending values. Mean = geometric mean; Max = maximum value recorded; Min = minimum value recorded; SD = standard deviation; Range = Max – Min; Rate = mean of the absolute rate of change between adjacent data points.

There are caveats: possibly marine life is already operating at the “edge of it’s tolerances” (we don’t know), so pushing things further may be still detrimental. Also these extreme environments don’t have the same variety of organisms that less extreme ones do, so we don’t really want to convert the whole equatorial ocean into life as it exists in one Mexican Bay. But conditions in some places are changing more on daily basis than we are being warned to fear from a century long trend.

The bottom line is that claims that these pH changes are unprecedented, fast or unnatural are overstating things dramatically.  Typical estuarine environments have an inflow from rivers (with a lower pH) that fluctuates wildly, so do areas with upwelling, and even the pH in kelp forests varies dynamically.

The alarmist headlines, fears of mass starvation, and satanic allusions are unjustified:

‘Scientists label this acid trend “the evil twin of climate change”.

Anthropogenic climate change set to trigger tipping points,

Ocean acid threatens food chain,

Bbc News – ‘Acidifying oceans’ threaten food supply, Uk warns,

What we don’t know vastly eclipses what we do. We need to study the effects of human emissions of CO2, but not at the expense of other far more pressing threats.

If we care about ocean-life (not to mention our food supply) we need to focus on things that threaten it now.

 REFERENCES:

Hofmann GE, Smith JE, Johnson KS, Send U, Levin LA, et al. (2011) High-Frequency Dynamics of Ocean pH: A Multi-Ecosystem Comparison. PLoS ONE 6(12): e28983. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0028983 [PLOS paper and graphs sourced here]

Hat tip Brice Bosnich (who wrote the post: The chemistry of ocean pH and “acidification”).

================================================================

 

Matt Ridley: Taking Fears Of Acid Oceans With A Grain of Salt

Saturday, 07 January 2012, The Wall Street Journal (via the GWPF)

Coral reefs around the world are suffering badly from overfishing and various forms of pollution. Yet many experts argue that the greatest threat to them is the acidification of the oceans from the dissolving of man-made carbon dioxide emissions.

The effect of acidification, according to J.E.N. Veron, an Australian coral scientist, will be “nothing less than catastrophic…. What were once thriving coral gardens that supported the greatest biodiversity of the marine realm will become red-black bacterial slime, and they will stay that way.”

Humans have placed marine life under pressure, but the chief culprits are overfishing and pollution.

This is a common view. The Natural Resources Defense Council has called ocean acidification “the scariest environmental problem you’ve never heard of.” Sigourney Weaver, who narrated a film about the issue, said that “the scientists are freaked out.” The head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration calls it global warming’s “equally evil twin.”

But do the scientific data support such alarm? Last month scientists at San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography and other authors published a study showing how much the pH level (measuring alkalinity versus acidity) varies naturally between parts of the ocean and at different times of the day, month and year.

“On both a monthly and annual scale, even the most stable open ocean sites see pH changes many times larger than the annual rate of acidification,” say the authors of the study, adding that because good instruments to measure ocean pH have only recently been deployed, “this variation has been under-appreciated.” Over coral reefs, the pH decline between dusk and dawn is almost half as much as the decrease in average pH expected over the next 100 years. The noise is greater than the signal.

Another recent study, by scientists from the U.K., Hawaii and Massachusetts, concluded that “marine and freshwater assemblages have always experienced variable pH conditions,” and that “in many freshwater lakes, pH changes that are orders of magnitude greater than those projected for the 22nd-century oceans can occur over periods of hours.”

This adds to other hints that the ocean-acidification problem may have been exaggerated. For a start, the ocean is alkaline and in no danger of becoming acid (despite headlines like that from Reuters in 2009: “Climate Change Turning Seas Acid”). If the average pH of the ocean drops to 7.8 from 8.1 by 2100 as predicted, it will still be well above seven, the neutral point where alkalinity becomes acidity.

The central concern is that lower pH will make it harder for corals, clams and other “calcifier” creatures to make calcium carbonate skeletons and shells. Yet this concern also may be overstated. Off Papua New Guinea and the Italian island of Ischia, where natural carbon-dioxide bubbles from volcanic vents make the sea less alkaline, and off the Yucatan, where underwater springs make seawater actually acidic, studies have shown that at least some kinds of calcifiers still thrive—at least as far down as pH 7.8.

In a recent experiment in the Mediterranean, reported in Nature Climate Change, corals and mollusks were transplanted to lower pH sites, where they proved “able to calcify and grow at even faster than normal rates when exposed to the high [carbon-dioxide] levels projected for the next 300 years.” In any case, freshwater mussels thrive in Scottish rivers, where the pH is as low as five.

Laboratory experiments find that more marine creatures thrive than suffer when carbon dioxide lowers the pH level to 7.8. This is because the carbon dioxide dissolves mainly as bicarbonate, which many calcifiers use as raw material for carbonate.

Human beings have indeed placed marine ecosystems under terrible pressure, but the chief culprits are overfishing and pollution. By comparison, a very slow reduction in the alkalinity of the oceans, well within the range of natural variation, is a modest threat, and it certainly does not merit apocalyptic headlines.

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Jeremy

So what? All these immoral scientists need do is invent another enviro-scare, in order to keep the gravy train funding going.
As long as they invent scares faster than they can be caught out for creating exaggerated lies then the fraudulent diversion of taxpayer funds from worthy causes will continue!

Neil

Heh. So ocean “assification” is a normal process? Methinks that Gillard has yet again made an arse of herself.
(Sorry, mods; the joke was too good to let it go by without an attempt at least 😉

Latitude

Typical estuarine environments have an inflow from rivers (with a lower pH) that fluctuates wildly
====================================================
That’s why estuaries are so productive, and why so many babies grow up there. 😉
and they do it twice a day, with every tide change
Calcium can not make any skeletons unless it’s soluble, and it’s made soluble internally by lowing pH……a lower external pH just makes that easier…..providing there’s enough buffer/carbonate/CO2
Corals growing under bridges in the Keys get an attitude adjustment twice a day. Incoming tide/ocean water, outgoing tide/bay water which can be below 7pH and almost all fresh water.

Ian

Just to note that pH is a logarithmic scale so a change from pH 8.1 to pH 7.8 is a greater increase in acidity than it may appear from the small change in the numbers. That said, yet again new data not previously available, are showing that the hype and melodrama associated with AGW, are just that.

Owen in Georgia

Not surprising considering the vastly different conditions the ancestors of these creatures evolved in. Some of the paleo environment stuff seems to indicate that none of these conditions are at all unusual.

you mean coral reefs are not going to disintegrate because of acidificarion? Geesh, so will the scientists who have been trying to prove otherwise now return their funding, hanging head in shame with sincere appology to the tax payer whom once again they have ripped off? There goes that flying pig again……….. and please can we see this in large print on the front page of every major newspaper so no one can ignore it and try to continute the myth scare tactic on little children.

acidification – coffee has not kicked in yet so terribly sorry

Marian

Unfortunately to the warmist CO2 AGW/CC brigade.
This latest finding won’t stop their hyping the ocean acification scare mongering issue. Since they’re firmly locked in with their mindset ‘natural’ PH fluctuations don’t count. It’s outweighed by socalled Human induced PH levels. Give up your car today to save the oceans tomorrow will still the call.

Burning the fossils

Interesting, having studied briefly the combustion process of carbon compounds as part of my engineering studies, I always thought that the ocean’s acidification was a byproduct of the large amounts of nitrogen “liberated” during the combustion process, considering the nitrogen:O2 ratio remains constant after a century of burning carbon compounds.
My attack on the warmists originally was “if burning fossil fuels is changing the climate, where is the nitrogen?” and after a spot of research I found the ocean acidification theory which seemed to account for it.
However, if acidification isn’t as bad as thought, and the N:O2 ratio remains fairly constant, then once again, where is the nitrogen?

Richard111

Increasing CO2 in the atmosphere will raise global temperatures (so they say). This must of course include the oceans. But when the oceans warm, they absorb LESS CO2!
I’m totally confused.

Suzuki….poor Suzuki. The dulcet tones of his plaintive bleating are a glimmering sonar echo off the abyss of the carbonate compensation depth. Perhaps he can team up with Kevin Bacon and save another species of white bear from the Carbon Devil.

Willis Eschenbach

Let the record show that I reported on this same study, and came to much the same conclusions, in my post in December called “The Ocean Is Not Getting Acidified” … Once again, WUWT is first off the starting line …
w.

crosspatch

The entire thing is silly when you remember, as I did at her site, that practically all species of shell forming animals evolved when CO2 levels were much higher than they are today. We know with 100% certainty that a doubling of atmospheric CO2 content from today’s levels will not harm these species because we find them in the fossil record when CO2 was more than 2x today’s levels.
The entire concept is an exercise in cognitive dissonance.

kadaka (KD Knoebel)

Missing link?
In story, Scientists label this acid trend “the evil twin of climate change”, across from The Hockey Stick Illusion book cover, can link to this:
http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/acid-test-for-evil-twin-of-climate-change-20120107-1pp64.html

They call themselves Team Acid and are trawling the Southern Ocean with fine nets to see if the shells of tiny marine snails are thinning because of ocean acidification.
Scientists label this acid trend “the evil twin of climate change”.

Whoops there goes another “global”, kerplop!
Sooner or later we’ll figure it out: On an object as big and complicated as Earth, everything but the sun is local. Ain’t no “global”.

toto

One spot in the ocean varied by an astonishing 1.4 pH units regularly. All our human emissions are projected by models to change the world’s oceans by about 0.3 pH units over the next 90 years, and that’s referred to as “catastrophic”
Even by Jo Nova standards, this is dumbfounding.
Some places have daily temperatures swings in excess of 30degC. Normal annual variation in the NE US is something like 25-30degC. Try to see what happens if global temperatures rise by 20% of that!
and off the Yucatan, where underwater springs make seawater actually acidic, studies have shown that at least some kinds of calcifiers still thrive—at least as far down as pH 7.8.
You bet they do. Similarly, some species thrive under savannah-like conditions. Therefore, turning the whole Earth into a savannah could not possibly have any negative impact whatsoever!
By the way, what’s the range of survivable conditions for extremophile prokaryotes?… 🙂

I can hear the warmist religion front’s objections already: “The network of sensors is not robust geographically. Therefore it cannot be said that these results are truly global.” (In other words, come back when you have a deeply integrated, worldwide network of sensors with decades of data and we’ll think about it.)
Yet, apparently, a dendrochronology core taken from a single tree on the Yamal Peninsula is adequate upon which to base global assertions…

kwik

I think NASA should get on it.
Here is my proposal for NASA;
-Deploy sensors around the globe.
-Calculate a mean value.That will make the whole picture fuzzy.
-Buy a super duper computer.
-Model a mean value based on some forcings. Make sure you get a “negative” trend.
-Remove some sensors year by year.
Just a proposal.

To quote the paper itself:
“For all the marine habitats described above, one very important consideration is that the extreme range of environmental variability does not necessarily translate to extreme resistance to future [Ocean Acidification].
Instead, such a range of variation may mean that the organisms resident in tidal, estuarine, and upwelling regions are already operating at the limits of their physiological tolerances (a la the classic tolerance windows of Fox – see [68]).
Thus, future acidification, whether it be atmospheric or from other sources, may drive the physiology of these organisms closer to the edges of their tolerance windows.
When environmental change is layered upon their present-day range of environmental exposures, they may thereby be pushed to the “guardrails” of their tolerance [20], [68].”

But, but….but…
Scripps are looking at “rotten” acidification. The catastrophic threat is from “real but thinner” acidification! The acidification from your SUV emissions is worse than battery acid!
Send more money, quickly……..
\sarc

Lady Life Grows

I am commenting on the title before I even read the article.
A pH change of 8.2 to 8.1 is indeed overhyped, not significant. It also is NOT acidification at all. A pH of 8 to 9 is slightly basic or mildly basic. The change is neutralization, not acidification.
This is a life-enhancing change that will make for more biodiversity and more tonnage of life in the oceans.
Warming is also life-enhancing up to 10 degrees C, and more CO2 is life-enhancing up to 10X present levels at least (maybe even 1000x).
It is NOT good to repeat the hysterics’ lies right in your titles, nor is it enough to say of something highly beneficial that it is “not so bad….”

Pat Moffitt

What is truly surprising is that this natural pH range would come a surprise to anyone with ocean experience.

Roger Knights

They need to set up 50 more monitoring stations to really nail this down. I can’t seeing the alarmists accepting this result.

jimw

I would hope that someone might take on the Jan 2012 issue of Nature Climate Change, which is an astonishing compilation of nonsense by purported academics who state:
1. The “world governments” must place a tax on transport – shipping, air, rail and road – designed to provide most of the US$100 billion a year in climate finance needed by 2020.
2. All cars should be electrified since electricity is potentially produceable entirely by renewable sources.
3. Embryos and hatchlings of an estuarine fish, M. beryllina, are significantly harmed by concentration of CO2 of 1000ppm, which may be expected in the world’s oceans later this century.
4. The expected contraction of oxygen-rich top layers of ocean endangers tuna and other pelagic fish.
5. The predicted acidification of the ocean will harm the atlantic cod.

AndyG55

How was the reputed “ocean” change in pH from 8.2 to 8.1 measured ?
Does anyone know where this data is?
How many data points were used, length of time, when were the measurements made etc…
Reflections of the “Globull average land temperature”, maybe

Arfur Bryant

Ocean acidification?
Lady Life Grows had it right; the title is just adding to the hype.
[” All our human emissions are projected by models to change the world’s oceans by about 0.3 pH units over the next 90 years, and that’s referred to as “catastrophic”…”]
Saying a change of 0.3pH is ‘acidification’ is like saying an obese person who loses a few pounds is becoming ‘more anorexic’.

philincalifornia

Corrosive anyone ?? Ha ha ha.
Hello Rob Painting, Lazy Teenager, and Steven Mosher even ????
Let me say it again – corrosive corrosive corrosive, so that Googlers can put that cretinous sh!t to rest.

AndyG55

ps.. I’m guessing that the pH on the Great Barrier Reef (Australia) might have been quite affected by the 2010 floods, being that stormwater run-off is generally somewhat acidic, and there was one heck of a lot of it. So if measurements were made later in 2010, a residual effect might easily account for a slight de-caustification of the ocean water.

Thank you Anthony

KnR

Ocean acidification is a term, used for its ‘scare factor ‘ not for its scientific validity. That is being used at all shows how much this idea is about science and how much its really about gaining public support for ‘the cause ‘

Roger Lancaster

The term “acidification” has always rather bothered me. This sounds like we are turning the sea into a giant acid bath. A more accurate term would be “de-alkalinization”. Words matter – they frame the debate.

AndyG55

I like the word “caustic”, not the weasle words “basic” or alkaline”
CO2 could make the oceans “LESS CAUSTIC”.

AndyG55 says:
January 9, 2012 at 2:07 pm
How was the reputed “ocean” change in pH from 8.2 to 8.1 measured ?
Does anyone know where this data is?
How many data points were used, length of time, when were the measurements made etc…
Reflections of the “Globull average land temperature”, maybe

It wasn’t measured. It was calculated from assumed atmospheric CO2 concentrations.

Nick Luke

I have had the good fortune to have been able to observe at close quarters and over some 50 years two very different salt water estuarine systems. The one in West Wales the other on the South coast of England. The Western Welsh estuary has a daily tidal range of up to 25ft (+/_), while the Solent estary has 4 tides a day, but with a much lower range, typically 12ft(+/-). The Welsh harbour has a stream running into it that drains an area of marsh land formed on impermeable non-calcareous rock where peat is forming and there are pools of standing water. The river is therefore of a lower ph level than might be expected. On the other hand, the Solent area estuary carries run off from the southern chalk uplands, typically giving a higher than average ph. I have noticed that many of the flora and fauna of the two estuaries are remarkably similar, there are differences, of course, but the mussels, barnacles, blennies, sea wracks, mackerel, harbour crabs etc etc. are the same. The ph of the two estuaries could hardly be different, yet there seems to be more similarities than differences between the visible life forms.

Henry chance

Several years ago on blog enRomm they posted a histronic article on this topic. No where did the article show actual values. I asked the question of actual ph measurements and my question was erased.
The global warming movement raises alarms , like glacier melts. total cessation of snows in the winter and wait to be debubnked while truimping other end of the earth claims. One of my favorites was the jet liner that landed in the Atlantic. It was declared as caused by warming before the crash was investigated.

Pat of

Did these studies ever test a fish tank? The fish can take a Ph change of a large degree. The plantes not so mutch. Suvirers adapt. Unlike “Scientist”. Grants =Political Correctness. Most objective people have come to the view that the golable warming scare is a scame. Can scientist adapt to this new peridime? Another G&T. See Ya.

John

Great stuff, we finally have real world information on natural variability of pH in the oceans.
Additional analysis that does with this Scripps study shows that several calcifiers actually do considerably better at lower pH than today. See Ries et al., Geology, 2009. “Marine calcifiers exhibit mixed responses to CO2-induced ocean acidification.”
Ries et al show look at the calcifying response of 18 marine calcifiers from diverse families, exposed to the pH levels associated with 600 and 900 ppm CO2. At these levels, some calcifiers actually grow shell considerably faster than today, some grow a bit slower, but none appear to suffer serious consequences — defined by the more fearful and credulous among us as “dissolution.” A slightly lower pH doesn’t dissolve these critters for a variety of reasons, chief among them being that there are protective coatings on the carbonate shell (e.g., lobsters) and that many actually calcify faster (because with more CO2 in the water, there is more bicarbonate, which is used as the building block for building shell and coral.
At levels of 2850 ppm CO2, some species do have far lower growth rates, and I would guess, might well go extinct. If we were to get to those levels of CO2, yes, I will be quite concerned. But at levels up to 900 ppm, three times pre-industrial, there seems to be little problem for calcifying creatures. And it isn’t just this study by Ries et al, there are many more showing surprising ability to deal with lower pH.
This real world study by Scripps shows why creatures can do surprisingly well at lower pH: oceans naturally have considerably lower pH than we have previously been told.
Why can calcifiers deal with higher CO2 and lower pH levles? Because they have survived time periods when CO2 was far higher, such as the end of the Eocene, 34 million years ago, when CO2 was typically around 1,100 ppm.

AndyG55

@ David Middleton
“It wasn’t measured.”
ahhh.. another model result.. sweeeet !!

Interstellar Bill

Neutralization is rechristined as acidification.
Recent, now-ceased mild warming becomes global and unprecedented.
The Urban Heat Island doesn’t matter.
Warming is climate, colding is weather.
Bad weather is climate, good weather is, well, only weather.
Cargo-cult ‘science’ marches on, heedless of facts, spurning data,
spewing incessant propaganda.
As with all self-deceivers, they’re supremely sincere too.

King of Cool

Saw a fascinating film on the National Geographic channel the other night of a voyage of the vessel Tangaroa which undertook a voyage in 2008 to the Ross Sea in Antarctica carrying a group of scientists from New Zealand and other parts of the world. There were multi-scientific tasks including the measurement of acidification:
http://www.fish.govt.nz/NR/rdonlyres/2E60DC02-08EB-4425-A3D1-8397ACC5A9DD/0/TheBite_LifeinAntarcticwaters.pdf
There are also some very interesting comments in the emerging results:
It seems that bacterial microbes may be more important than phytoplankton at driving ocean primary productivity, contrary to what has been traditionally believed by scientists.
Recent studies have shown that the bacterial biomass in the ocean is greater than the combined biomass of all the other types of sea-life, including whales, seals and penguins. The ecological role of this unseen living mass of material is to control the breakdown processes of other living material and has a strong influence on the release of nutrients and minerals back into the system. It is therefore a key driver of ocean productivity. Experiments were conducted during the voyage to assess the effects of acidification on bacteria. Increased acidity affected the bacterial biomass, and possibly the type of bacteria able to function.

However despite searching* I have been unable to find any follow up to this statement. I am sure that there is a paper somewhere, or one being written amplifying, what seems to be one of the most critical discoveries of the voyage which affects the entire food chain of marine life.
Don’t get me wrong, there was some very necessary research done on this trip and I am sure that analysing results does take time but it is now more than 4 years since the voyage and if everything in the sea is going to be affected by CO2 we all need to know. Perhaps I have missed something somewhere or is another voyage called for to obtain more evidence?
http://www.fish.govt.nz/en-nz/Environmental/Seabed+Protection+and+Research/IPY+CAML/default.htm
http://ipy.antarcticanz.govt.nz/projects/caml/

Stephen Skinnner

“So yes, a lower pH dissolves shells,”
At what pH do shells dissolve? It can’t be just at any pH below present unless we are saying that pH 7 is caustic and more acidic than current levels?

Stephen Skinnner

Ian says:
January 9, 2012 at 12:22 pm
“Just to note that pH is a logarithmic scale so a change from pH 8.1 to pH 7.8 is a greater increase in acidity than it may appear from the small change in the numbers.”
Please, from pH 8.1 to pH 7.8 is a lower alkalinity, not an increase in acidity. Are you suggesting that pH 7 is acidic?

GeoLurking

Back in November of 2011, water samples South of La Restinga were reported to have pH levels as low as ≈ 5.0. This was in the vicinity of the ongoing undersea eruption of El Hierro. It’s become one of the longest eruptions in the Canaries, which started around 10 October.

kim

Yes, ‘decaustification’.
At any rate, AnthroCO2, will lower pH. Apparently even in the high CO2 panic scenarios, critters will adapt. There is only moderate likelihood of the high CO2 scenarios, and there are unknown unknowns in the chemical buffering and biologically fedback buffering which will manifest themselves as the pH edges down.
I’d yawn if I weren’t starting to shiver.
=================

The oceans hath a plethora of buffers.
Alkali or die?
What happens to all those nice little nitrates and sulfates from those wonderful catalytic converters? A result of if you can’t see it ….

mr.artday

If the Puerto Morelos mentioned as a sensor location is the Puerto Morelos on the Carribean in the territory of Quintana Roo, Mexico, which is the sea port for Isla Mujeres than just offshore is the second longest barrier reef in the world. When I swam out to it in 1971 it looked to be in magnificent shape. If it’s the drainage from the land that is lowering the PH then the PH was probably about the same in ’71 as it is today.

Peter Miller

Ocean acidification, as a result of rising atomospheric CO2 levels, is typical alarmist nonsense.
If you do the maths and take 40% (current estimated rate of ocean absorbtion) of the 32 billion tonnes of CO2 we produce annually and put that into 1.34 billion cubic kms of ocean, you get an increase of CO2 in the ocean of about one part per million per century! if you restrict the CO2 going into the 18% of the ocean above the main thermocline, then the figure rises to five parts per million per century.
CO2 absorbed by water creates an incredibly weak acid, which basically does almost nothing.
If the ocean is acidifying a tiny bit – a huge if – you need to look at the real cause: man’s nitric (nitrates) and sulphuric acid (sulphates) production finding its way into the environment.
In a worse case scenario, if there is a tiny increase in ocean acidity, life will adapt just as it has done for the last few hundred millions of years.
However, as we all know, alarmists routinely put their faith in their computer models (usually ones with pre-determined conclusions) and ignore actual observations, unless they have been suitably cherry picked/filtered/manipulated/tortured.
It would be really interesting to know the amount of grant funding this ocean acidification BS has generated over the past decade.

Many people, including myself have often commented on this. The idea that the pH of particular places in the ocean would be basically static is preposterous. Who, in their right mind ever believed such an absurdity? I guess I’m glad some one actually did the leg work, but, other than the lunatic fringe, did anyone ever take this serious? We’ve known for some time the oceans intake gas and outgas on various occasions. Did they think the pH remained the same? When fresh water sources increase or decrease, (Mississippi flooding for instance) did they believe pH remained the same? Currents and oscillating events? We need to start adding this stuff into the cost analysis of this stupidity. There’s no reason on earth why someone should have felt compelled to actually go out and prove the pH balances don’t remain static in the oceans. The depravity of the loons knows no bounds. Or, maybe they really are just that stupid.

MAGB

Same old story with environmental alarmism – the hysteria is usually killed off quickly by the injection of facts.

thingadonta

Yes, but we need something in the ocean to go wrong, otherwise we won’t be invited to climate conferences. Perhaps we can dredge up some plankton scares.