Claim: NOAA says the Arctic Ocean is becoming "corrosive"

From NOAA’s department of acidic wordsmithing: New study shows Arctic Ocean rapidly becoming more corrosive to marine species

Chukchi and Beaufort Seas could become less hospitable to shelled animals by 2030

New research by NOAA, University of Alaska, and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in the journal Oceanography shows that surface waters of the Chukchi and Beaufort seas could reach levels of acidity that threaten the ability of animals to build and maintain their shells by 2030, with the Bering Sea reaching this level of acidity by 2044.

“Our research shows that within 15 years, the chemistry of these waters may no longer be saturated with enough calcium carbonate for a number of animals from tiny sea snails to Alaska King crabs to construct and maintain their shells at certain times of the year,” said Jeremy Mathis, an oceanographer at NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory and lead author. “This change due to ocean acidification would not only affect shell-building animals but could ripple through the marine ecosystem.”

A team of scientists led by Mathis and Jessica Cross from the University of Alaska Fairbanks collected observations on water temperature, salinity and dissolved carbon during two month-long expeditions to the Bering, Chukchi and Beaufort Seas onboard United States Coast Guard cutter Healy in 2011 and 2012.

Sampling Arctic waters

Sampling Arctic waters

University of Alaska researcher Jessica Cross tests water samples during Arctic research cruise on USCG cutter Healy. (Mathis/NOAA)

These data were used to validate a predictive model for the region that calculates the change over time in the amount of calcium and carbonate ions dissolved in seawater, an important indicator of ocean acidification. The model suggests these levels will drop below the current range in 2025 for the Beaufort Sea, 2027 for the Chukchi Sea and 2044 for the Bering Sea. “A key advance of this study was combining the power of field observations with numerical models to better predict the future,” said Scott Doney, a coauthor of the study and a senior scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

A form of calcium carbonate in the ocean, called aragonite, is used by animals to construct and maintain shells.  When calcium and carbonate ion concentrations slip below tolerable levels, aragonite shells can begin to dissolve, particularly at early life stages.  As the water chemistry slips below the present-day range, which varies by season, shell-building organisms and the fish that depend on these species for food can be affected.

This region is home to some of our nation’s most valuable commercial and subsistence fisheries. NOAA’s latest Fisheries of the United States report estimates that nearly 60 percent of U.S. commercial fisheries landings by weight are harvested in Alaska. These 5.8 billion pounds brought in $1.9 billion in wholesale values or one third of all landings by value in the U.S. in 2013.

Lowering sensors

Lowering sensors

The crew lowers sensors that measure water temperature, salinity and dissolved carbon in the Arctic Ocean. (Mathis/NOAA)

The continental shelves of the Bering, Chukchi and Beaufort Seas are especially vulnerable to the effects of ocean acidification because the absorption of human-caused carbon dioxide emissions is not the only process contributing to acidity.  Melting glaciers, upwelling of carbon-dioxide rich deep waters, freshwater input from rivers and the fact that cold water absorbs more carbon dioxide than warmer waters exacerbates ocean acidification in this region.

“The Pacific-Arctic region, because of its vulnerability to ocean acidification, gives us an early glimpse of how the global ocean will respond to increased human-caused carbon dioxide emissions, which are being absorbed by our ocean,” said Mathis. “Increasing our observations in this area will help us develop the environmental information needed by policy makers and industry to address the growing challenges of ocean acidification.”

Go online here to read the research paper, Ocean Acidification in the Surface Waters of the Pacific-Arctic Boundary Regions, in Oceanography

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Sean Peake
June 17, 2015 11:38 am

From the paper’s conclusion: “While it is still unclear what ultimate biological impacts will result from
these biogeochemical changes, it is probably safe to assume that they will have detrimental effects on ecosystems that are already under pressure from rising temperatures and other climate-driven stressors”

The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley
Reply to  Sean Peake
June 17, 2015 11:45 am

Yep, this is what it has become.
By the way, although it isn’t quoted in the above, the word ‘corrosive’ appears twice on page 5. I actually work with ‘corrosive’ chemicals. They really are corrosive, in that they will “damage and destroy”. Some water that has become less alkaline, well, that would be in my lunchtime drink.

Reply to  The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley
June 17, 2015 1:09 pm

I reverse-osmosis filter my drinking water before I drink it. The system has a re-mineralisation filter on it which turns the water slightly alkaline prior to the tap. Bad gut PH can inhibit beneficial gut bacteria, as can pesticide residues in gmo crops, or even non-gmo crops sprayed with “pre-harvest” glyphosate treatments (like the ‘healthy oat breakfast/snack’ which is soaked in the “probable carginogen” glyphosate (WHO)).
Talk about corrosive!

Reply to  The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley
June 17, 2015 2:24 pm

OK, I feel a rant coming on…

Reply to  The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley
June 18, 2015 11:32 am

Kitefreak, the stomach provides a pH of around 2.0 which is necessary to digest the food that you eat. I doubt that making your water slightly alkaline has much influence on the pH of that water when it is absorbed after entering the stomach.
The pH of the water that you drink isn’t likely to influence the pH within the intestine since the duodenum neutralizes the very acidic material leaving the stomach. That material is much more acidic than your drinking water could ever be.
So far, all I have seen is baseless speculation that glyphosate is a “probable carginogen [sic].” Glyphosate is expensive. Why would a farmer “soak” his crop in Glyphosate? One of the advantages of glyphosate is that it takes only an extremely small amount to kill most sensitive plants.
Add “corrosive” to the list of scary words such as “acidification, that are being redefined in an attempt to mislead and frighten the public.

Reply to  Sean Peake
June 17, 2015 11:49 am

From the we don’t know, but it is safe to assume. They obviously like making asses of themselves.

Reply to  Tim
June 17, 2015 3:31 pm

Again if the Oceans were really warming, wouldn’t they be out gassing CO2. (Henry s Law) making them less acidic, wouldn’t Globul Warming then be helping the Oceans.

Reply to  Tim
June 17, 2015 4:47 pm

More fear mongering via bad models. During the Cretaceous when atmospheric CO2 is estimated to have approached 4000, and palm trees grew in Antarctic, calcium carbonate deposits were at a peak, suggesting calcium carbonate shell formers were also at their peak. The Cretaceous period is in fact named for their massive chalk deposits. As atmospheric levels fell towards modern levels during the Cenozoic and the earth cooled, calcium carbonate shell producers diminished as witnessed by shrinking chalk (calcium carbonate) deposits.
It is safe to assume these guys are pulling their future projections about ocean acidification from unsavory parts of their anatomy.

Leonard Lane
Reply to  Tim
June 17, 2015 10:29 pm

Their intentions are clear. They don’t know but the assume there will be global warming, they assume the oceans will become more acidic, they don’t know but they assume this will harm shell fish. Sure is a lot of don’t knows and assumptions in their science.

Reply to  Sean Peake
June 17, 2015 2:36 pm

First, it is unlikely that CO2 dissolving in the oceans will be able to detectably affect the complex buffer known as seawater.
Second, as CO2 has been 4 to 10 times higher than now during most of the last 600 million years, it is likely that these species will have no problem handling the relatively tiny increase the war mists are panicking over right now. Marine life is much more resilient than they want us to think and survived a much wider range of conditions than we are experiencing today..
Also, maintaining shells in cold water is inherently a dissolution problem as calcium carbonate is more soluble in cold water than warm water. Higher CO2 actually means increased carbonate in the oceans as the long equilibrium from carbonic acid to bicarbonate to carbonate is pushed toward more carbonate by having more CO2. And the protons given off by carbonic acid and bicarbonate cannot affect their own equilibrium. Only an outside source of protons would alter the equilibrium.

Reply to  higley7
June 17, 2015 9:49 pm

Far more than ten timed higher prior to the Permian. The highest RCO2 estimated by Geocarb III is a little above 25 slightly more than 500 MYA. The max during the Mesozoic was about 10, and corals and molluscs flourished. The maximum during the early Cenozoic looks to have been about 4 (ca. 1,600 ppm). The trend since then, including the minor uptick at present, is downward. The obvious conclusion is that without either a reduced green plant mass or and increase in the release of carbon into the atmosphere, a second Permian event is very possible – due to low atmospheric carbon.

Reply to  Sean Peake
June 17, 2015 4:44 pm

considering the the ocean is currently caustic (ph > 7) and most creatures rely on a layer of mucus for protection, you would think they would look forward to a corrosive (ph < 7) environment.
most fresh water on the other hand is corrosive, with ph < 7, yet we don't think twice about drinking it.

Robert Dostal
Reply to  ferdberple
June 18, 2015 12:51 am

Caustic and Corrosive and not very clear terms. They are both relate to damage due to a chemical reaction. These terms also have other figurative meanings. It is true that Acids are referred to as Corrosive and Alkalines are referred to as Caustic. Hence, forgive me as I will use the terms Acid and Alkaline in my reply; if you wish you can replace these terms with the equivalent Caustic/Corrosive terms.
Acids contain H+ ions accepting electrons and most metals have week bonds with electrons; this leads metals to give them up easily; this process is known as rusting. Alkalines has OH- ions and freely donate electrons; not a problem for metals.
The shells of shellfish are composed of Calcium Carbonate. These organisms use a Calcium Carbonate crystal, known as Aragonite, present in water to grow their shells. Aragonite is reactive with acids so an acidic environment reduces Aragonite levels. A reduction of Aragonite in seawater affects the ability of these organisms to form.
Plankton rely highly on Aragonite and lay at the bottom of the food-chain so a reduction in plankton affects higher organisms.
A bit of chemistry on the reaction of Calcium Carbonate (CaCO3). For a monoprotic acid (HA), the reaction is:
HA + CaCO3 –> H2CO3 + CaA2 (CaA2 is the salt byproduct where A is dependent on the type of acid salt)
H2CO3 (Carbonic acid) quickly decomposes in water:
H2CO3 –> H2O + CO2
Hence, the complete, balanced, reaction is:
2 HA + CaCO3 –> H2O + CO2 + CaA2

Reply to  Sean Peake
June 17, 2015 7:05 pm

this article is worth the read. explains the calcite compensation depth. There is also an Aragontie Compensation Depth.

Reply to  ferdberple
June 17, 2015 7:11 pm

It appears that climate science again has the chemistry backwards. CO2 is necessary to create shells:
Calcium Carbonate Minerals in Water
Calcium carbonate chemistry is more complicated when it comes to understanding which polymorph will crystallize out of solution. This process is common in nature, because neither mineral is highly soluble, and the presence of dissolved carbon dioxide (CO2) in water pushes them toward precipitating.
[Dupe? .mod]

Reply to  Sean Peake
June 18, 2015 3:55 am

I wonder how they explain freshwater mussels and freshwater clams.

June 17, 2015 11:40 am

the amount of calcium and carbonate ions dissolved in seawater, an important indicator of ocean acidification
should be “alkalinization”

Reply to  lsvalgaard
June 17, 2015 11:53 am

I agree with you, but “alkalinization” obviously doesn’t fit the meme they are trying to foster. They aren’t really worried about truth here or what is correct.

Reply to  lsvalgaard
June 17, 2015 1:06 pm

should be “alkalinity” I think

Reply to  Michael Palmer
June 17, 2015 1:23 pm

ocean acidity and alkalinity would go together, so
ocean acidification and alkalinization would go together.

Reply to  Michael Palmer
June 17, 2015 4:48 pm

as does caustic and corrosive.

Reply to  Michael Palmer
June 17, 2015 4:52 pm

however, when you add acid to a buffered base, you are not acidifying the solution, you are neutralizing the solution.
CO2 is neutralizing the ocean. However this doesn’t sound very scary, thus the scientifically incorrect term acidification. Climate science is like Political science. It uses “science” in the name to pretend it is somehow related to science.
Climate science is scientific the same way the People’s Democratic Republic is democratic.

Reply to  Michael Palmer
June 18, 2015 5:07 am

Alkalinization and acidification denote changes in alkalinity. The amount of calcium and of carbonate ions characterizes the current alkalinity.

Reply to  lsvalgaard
June 17, 2015 1:25 pm

Change in “the amount of” calcium (contributing pOH) vs carbonate (contributing pH) indicates either “alkalinization” or “acidification” for increase or decrease respectively. When we quibble over their use of the more familiar term (for decrease in pH, which they are descrying) we are providing them a straw man holding a red herring wrapped in a distraction.
They don’t need our help for that. Shouldn’t we stick to the science, which they find so slippery?

Reply to  lsvalgaard
June 17, 2015 2:37 pm

NOAA agree with you, the term ‘ocean acidification’ is pure alarmism.
pH values above 7 are commonly referred to as “basic” (or “alkaline”).
These common terms engender confusion, because a pH value does not directly reflect a quantitative measure of the concentration of bases in the solution, nor do high pH values constitute a measure of alkalinity. What is expressed by pH values >7 is still the acidity of a solution, it’s just that the acidity (H+ concentration) is very, very low (less than 10-7 (or 0.0000001) moles per liter, to be specific). To determine the alkalinity of a solution (which is related to the concentration of bases), a separate, detailed laboratory analysis must be run on the solution, so it is incorrect to characterize the change in hydrogen ion concentration as a decrease in alkalinity.
Calling this phenomenon “ocean acidification” when surface seawater will remain “basic” under future emissions scenarios is alarmist
That NOAA link should be bookmarked and produced as evidence when the usual alarmists come out with their usual alarmist lies – which they will.

Reply to  catweazle666
June 18, 2015 5:28 am

Has NOAA taken the link down, it does not work this morning although it worked last night?

Reply to  catweazle666
June 18, 2015 12:08 pm

“Has NOAA taken the link down, it does not work this morning although it worked last night?”
Worked OK just now!

Scott Scarborough
Reply to  catweazle666
June 19, 2015 3:30 pm

Your reading comprehension is poor or you are trying to be cute. A PH of 7 is neutral, period. Going towards that value is neutralization, period. I took College chemistry. When we took a PH that was different than 7 and made it go to 7 it was ALWAYS called neutralization. Now NOAA is trying to redefine PH to fit their alarmist purposes. PH of 7 is not an arbitrary point on the PH scale as is a zero reading on the Fahrenheit or Celsius scales. Absolutely pure water has a PH of 7 and NOAA is trying to say it is acidic so they can make the alarmist emotive claim that the oceans are acidifying. Yes the oceans are acidifying if absolutely pure water is acidic!

Reply to  lsvalgaard
June 17, 2015 3:17 pm

I agree….this paper is a mess
They used ice data from papers 2005-2007…which were based on data gathered years before they were written…to show longer melt seasons, thinner ice, etc
Then used that data combined with the latest papers on what would happen..
fed in into a computer
…to come up with this fairy tale
Which is all based on extending that trend line again

Reply to  Latitude
June 17, 2015 10:41 pm

From the article:
Increasing our observations in this area will help us develop the environmental information needed by policy makers and industry to address the growing challenges of ocean acidification.”
More money please!

Pamela Gray
June 17, 2015 11:42 am

The best of both worlds. Show up on a research ship. Test the ph of the water while you get some publicity shots. Then go home and sit in front of a model to work out the future. Why the hell not. Research less than this can earn you a Nobel Peace prize and tons more money.

Reply to  Pamela Gray
June 17, 2015 12:53 pm

At least they did some practical testing. So this shouldn’t be dismissed out of hand.
Obviously the paper uses inappropriate language; “corrosive”, “acidic”, “saturated with…”. All of those aren’t and near certainly won’t be. But that’s just a sign of poor language skills, not necessarily poor logic.
And they did look at the real world. That means something.
Remember, this was published in a real journal. This isn’t Nature Climate Change comedy de jour.
Let’s consider it before dismissing it.

The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley
Reply to  MCourtney
June 17, 2015 1:17 pm

Mr Courtney,
Eh? When it includes, “This change due to ocean acidification…” it means that you can dismiss it – because they suggest less alkaline is acidification. If you have a glass of water saturated with salt (sea water, if you like) and you add a [really] tiny amount of sugar, you haven’t ‘sweetened’ it. The term ‘acidification’ rules out taking anything else in it seriously.

Reply to  MCourtney
June 17, 2015 1:29 pm

poor language skills come from poor logic …

Reply to  MCourtney
June 17, 2015 1:48 pm

Big Jim:
Acidification is defined as decrease in pH (equivalent to increase in pOH). It does not depend on whether the concentrations becoming more equal or less equal (pH + pOH == 7.0)*. Less alkaline IS more acidic, no matter how unfortunate is the public response to the terms they propagate to their … ahem … base. (We could also say more corrosive is less caustic, and perhaps we should.)
Likewise, adding sugar to a salty solution DOES sweeten it, although that example is not to my taste. A day which goes from above to below freezing HAS cooled. Refusing to take technical terms seriously and surrendering the battlefield is a tactical error.
*Water in equilibrium has 10 to the power of –14 concentration of “hydrogen” (hydronium or H3O+) ions multiplied by concentration of hydroxyl (OH-) ions.

Reply to  MCourtney
June 17, 2015 1:51 pm

DUH … I mean, pH + pOH = 14, not 7. Sorry.

Jim from Maine
Reply to  MCourtney
June 17, 2015 2:00 pm

Isn’t it a bit odd that they collected this data 3-4yrs ago, and we’re just now hearing about it?
Did they use an abacus to compile their results?
Seems awfully fishy to me (pun intended).

Reply to  MCourtney
June 17, 2015 2:09 pm

Listen. I know that the sea is alkaline. It’s still alkaline in reality. “Acidification” is use of a politicised language. But that language got them published so it was expedient. It has no impact on the real meaning. It’s still alkaline. But they are using publishable language to get a paper published.
The paper may still have some truth in it.
Jim from Maine makes a good point. It took a long time to get this published.
Maybe it’s junk? Maybe it needed rewriting to pass the gatekeepers of peer review.
Regardless, they still went there and looked.
So let’s not dismiss it as cyber-fantasies. There are such things. But this may not be one of them.

Pat Frank
Reply to  MCourtney
June 17, 2015 2:10 pm

BillK, speaking as a chemist, I’d never say that having reduced pH from 8.1 to 7.8 is “acidification.” If anything, I’d describe the process as having made the solution slightly less alkaline.
“Acidification” is technically correct but a chemical misconstruction, is never used by laboratory professionals to describe the circumstance of having slightly lowered an alkaline pH, and is dishonestly employed in consensus climatology as a scare term.

Reply to  MCourtney
June 17, 2015 2:11 pm

Jim from Maine, it probably took that long to parameterize (jigger) the coupled climate model to come as ‘close’ as it did to the collected samples. Which was not very close even in the published paper table 1. Jiggering results gets harder and harder as Ma Nature refuses to cooperate.

Reply to  MCourtney
June 17, 2015 2:44 pm

Pat: Frankly, as a chemist I would avoid use of the term “acidification” at all, even to gluteosculate the perishing publication gatekeepers.
While its denotation is technically accurate, its connotation is not correct … as it has been used to goose the public in so much propaganda.

Gary Hladik
Reply to  MCourtney
June 17, 2015 2:53 pm

” A day which goes from above to below freezing HAS cooled.”

The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley
Reply to  MCourtney
June 17, 2015 3:20 pm

BillK. No, that is simply NOT correct, please rescind that. If you acidfy something, it is to make it an acid, or it has become an acid through a method. The noun, acidification, is to denote a process by which something has become acidic:
I have stated this on here before at least twice. Something becoming less alkaline is NOT acidified. It will become acidified when it reaches beyond pH 7. Please, no more of this. It’s bad enough that scientists who are proponents of climate change use the term wrongly, but worse when climate sceptics endorse it!

Reply to  MCourtney
June 17, 2015 4:10 pm

@BillK — So how long must the acidification continue before we reach a neutral PH?

Reply to  MCourtney
June 17, 2015 4:57 pm

adding acid to a base is neutralization. no chemist would call it acidification, until the point at which the base was no longer a base.

The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley
Reply to  MCourtney
June 17, 2015 11:47 pm

Billk, I’m sorry to do this, and I’ve never done it on here before, but (unusually for me) I have come back onto this thread to insist that you correct what you said. The corruption of the English language is something we have to accept, but it doesn’t stop some of us trying to slow it down. I have enough problems with the word ‘pause’, and I have made efforts to get people to stop using the term (as it specifically implies that you know future events). The term ‘acidification’ is used wrongly over and over again, on both sides of the climate debate now. IT IS TO MAKE SOMETHING AN ACID. It is NOT to make something less alkaline.
BillK, if you pop back to read follow-up comments (and I must admit, I hardly ever do), please admit that what you have stated is simply incorrect. We must stop this in its tracks. It’s as though climate change is redefining what words mean.

Reply to  MCourtney
June 18, 2015 4:27 am

All very well MC but they comment on the lowering of the ocean’s calcium carbonate content as a problem for moluscs. Firstly calcium carbonate does not exist in solution but as individual ions. The more CO2 dissolved then the carbonate ions increase. The pH remains alkaline because of the bicarbonate/carbonate feedback process keeps it high. To argue that increased CO2 will reduce pH and reduce aragonite production, thus reducing the molusc building blocks is contrary to reality.

Reply to  MCourtney
June 18, 2015 9:21 pm

Big Jim:
If you insist that becoming more acidic (less alkaline) shall not be called “acidification” until it passes the pH==7.0 boundary (except in discussing food and soil and wherever else “acidify” is commonly used) I will comply.
I don’t want the debate to be debased to the point it turns sour.

June 17, 2015 11:43 am

What the hell drugs are these people using?

June 17, 2015 11:44 am

Chukchi and Beaufort Seas could become less hospitable to shelled animals by 2030

But if it doesn’t by then, they’ll give it 50 more years.

Reply to  Mark and two Cats
June 17, 2015 11:59 am

Yep another 15 year plan down the drainm..

Reply to  Mark and two Cats
June 17, 2015 2:01 pm

And note that it’s only “less hospitable”. How less? No idea. Dr. Modelcorrectus hasn’t said.

Reply to  Mark and two Cats
June 17, 2015 5:02 pm

Chukchi and Beaufort Seas could become less hospitable to shelled animals by 2030
or, those shelled individuals that do better in less caustic waters will thrive, while those individuals that do not will not. just like some species of trees do better after fires, while others do not. just like some species of animals do better in cold, while others do not. just like some species of plants do better in warmth, while others do not.
Oh, to be a Climate Scientists. To make a living ignorant of the ways of the world, traveling from spot to spot, finding positive affirmations to support my preconceived ideas.

June 17, 2015 11:45 am

Why is it always human-caused carbon dioxide emissions that affect every known foreseeable problem?

Reply to  Rolsthro
June 17, 2015 11:48 am

Lemme guess, it’s the only way papers get published?

Pamela Gray
Reply to  Paul
June 17, 2015 11:55 am

Nope. Only kind that pays cold hard cash.

Reply to  Paul
June 17, 2015 12:27 pm

I was close…

Pamela Gray
Reply to  Rolsthro
June 17, 2015 11:53 am

Because human CO2 is sentient and evil. Natural CO2, defined as that coming from wild plants and animals, not from domesticated plants and animals is entirely good and never ever causes harm.
(Note: do not look at the isotope number between evil and natural CO2, move along, it means nothing)

Reply to  Pamela Gray
June 17, 2015 12:24 pm


Reply to  Rolsthro
June 17, 2015 12:49 pm

Because stupid.

June 17, 2015 11:45 am

More garbage with no real verifiable proof.

June 17, 2015 11:50 am

It is always “could or may ten”, twenty or fifty years hence.

Scottish Sceptic
June 17, 2015 11:56 am

NOAA has lost all credibility.

Steve Lohr
June 17, 2015 11:57 am

I apologize, but as rude as this seems, I am going to say it. NOAA will go down as the primary cause for the asshatification of science. There, I said it.

Reply to  Steve Lohr
June 17, 2015 2:51 pm

Thanks, Steve, but NOAA PMEL said it first; you’re a superior wordsmith, though. This is NOAA PMEL; the originator of the FeelypHPhraud; replacing 80 years of Argo buoy pH measurements showing a large natural pH variation and no declining pH trend with a computer modeled smooth curve with a trend showing acidification. Feely’s phraud is cited in every pH study I’ve seen since. PMEL didn’t lose any credibility over this recent example of corrosive science, though; Feely already pHlushed it.
These guys are as much of a joke as NASA, with the “97% consensus” scam posted on its website.

Reply to  Steve Lohr
June 17, 2015 3:04 pm

thanks for the chuckle

Rick K
June 17, 2015 11:57 am

From the report: “Melting glaciers, upwelling of carbon-dioxide rich deep waters, freshwater input from rivers and the fact that cold water absorbs more carbon dioxide than warmer waters exacerbates ocean acidification in this region.”
Since I don’t know (does anyone else?), how do/does:
a) “melting glaciers” exacerbate ocean acidification?
b) “upwelling of carbon-dioxide rich deep waters” exacerbate ocean acidification? And what the heck IS “carbon-dioxide rich water” anyway? Can someone explain? Is ALL “deep water” CO2-rich?
c) “freshwater input from rivers” exacerbate ocean acidification?
d) “the fact that cold water absorbs more carbon dioxide than warmer waters” EXACERBATE ocean acidification? So what do they want?? Ice or Warm water in the Arctic?
It’s so hard to keep up with this!

Dudley Horscroft
Reply to  Rick K
June 17, 2015 12:16 pm

Obviously Glaciers have absorbed all that acid rain, and if cold enough, all that acid snow. So when in 5000 years or so, this particular bit of glacier hits the ocean, the oceans will become more acid.
“Carbon dioxide rich water” is created when outgassing undersea volcanoes add CO2 which becomes dissolved in deep ocean waters. Eventually along certain coasts this cold water upwells, west coast of Africa, South America and of course, Antarctica, are some of them, thus making water more acid. A human related addition is from CO2 sequestration, when CO2 is pumped down into the deep ocean to a level where it is liquefied under pressure and dissolves, thus making matters worse.
“Freshwater input from rivers” contains massive amounts of dissolved CO2 from the atmosphere, and plenty of sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides from human industrial processes. All very acid!
Cold water absorbs CO2 better than warm or hot water, so as the North Atlantic Drift gets further and further north, and as it gets colder, it absorbs more CO2 and gets more strongly acid.
But as the Oceans are very basic to start with (not “Alkaline”) the absorption of CO2 would barely make a noticeable tad of difference.
Very had indeed to keep up with this!

Rick K
Reply to  Dudley Horscroft
June 17, 2015 12:31 pm

Funny, Dudley! Thanks! You have to laugh!
They’re talking about stuff that’s gone on for ages and now suddenly it’s deadly. It’s amazing anyone on this planet is still alive!
How lucky we are that CO2 (plant food) and carbon (vital for life itself) have decided to go rogue after 4 billion years during our miniscule lifetimes! 🙂

Reply to  Dudley Horscroft
June 17, 2015 12:41 pm

.glaciers bring more calcium bicarbonate from soil that would overrun the slight acidic ph of melt.
.CO2 rich bottom waters are primarily due to benthic microbial respiration.
.riverine waters are rich in bicarbonate and dissolved CO2 is insignificant part of DIC
.cooling of seawater adds negligible decrease in ph. average oceanic ph = 8.1 bringing massive CO2 into solution would raise it by 0.1 due to temperature.
.basic and alkaline are the same thing.

R. Shearer
Reply to  Dudley Horscroft
June 17, 2015 2:27 pm

It’s no wonder that salmon die every year upon river spawning, the acidity of freshwater is 10,000% greater than in the oceans.

Reply to  Rick K
June 17, 2015 1:03 pm

Depending on source, almost all freshwater has a lower pH than seawater. Been going on in the Arctic for a long time. Upwelling water from below photic zone has naturally lower pH and elevated CO2 –and all other phytoplankton nutrients–from decomposition of photic zone detritus. Those upwellings are what cause thrivong coastal fisheries. More photosynthesized bottom of the food chain food, more food all the way up the chain. Cold water thing is just Le Chatellier’s principle at work.
But the truth of all those things does not make this a good paper. It is obviously biased, wrong on some counts, and incomplete on others. And, the sampling work,does not provide the annual pH and aragonite pattern to say anything meaningful biologically. See my long comment below.

Robert Dostal
Reply to  Rick K
June 17, 2015 1:16 pm

Good question. First, what you are quoting is from the article above and not the report. The section in the report discussing this is on page 125 (5 of the pdf); more specifically in the right most column. I could cut paste here but the concept is written out there along with cited papers.

Don K
Reply to  Rick K
June 17, 2015 1:33 pm

> And what the heck IS “carbon-dioxide rich water” anyway?
It’s soda water. As in Scotch and Soda. As you are probably aware, bivalve mollusks and species that prey on them like walruses are rarely found in soft drinks or fizzy alcoholic beverages. So obviously these folks are on to something.

David Chappell
Reply to  Rick K
June 17, 2015 3:04 pm

Because they say so…

Reply to  Rick K
June 17, 2015 3:08 pm

with this kind of logic, I guess even the rain is bad for oceans

Ralph Kramden
June 17, 2015 12:00 pm

I hope it’s not so corrosive it damages the ocean buoys. Then NOAA wouldn’t have any data to add 0.12°C to. They would have to say, “the ocean ate our global warming”.

Reply to  Ralph Kramden
June 17, 2015 1:27 pm

Maybe it will cause a reduction in barnacles on ships, increasing efficiency and reducing maintenance costs? Could skew inlet temperatures too.

Reply to  Paul
June 17, 2015 2:04 pm

Which would also…wait for it…increase fuel efficiency, which in turn would reduce C02!!! We call that a Win-Win!!! 🙂

Reply to  Paul
June 17, 2015 6:06 pm

Maybe it will cause a reduction in barnacles on ships
billions of dollars could be saved every year if only it was true.
Pago Pago harbor is one of the most polluted places you could hope to find. Yet shell grows on boats at a rate I’ve never seen anywhere else in the world. In only a matter of days we had about 1 inch of white shell covering the hull, propeller, everywhere. Not barnacles, more like very fine tube worms.
We could barely get out of harbor spewing black diesel fumes from a badly overloaded engine, before the water was clear enough that I dared go over the side and scrape the hull and clear the thru hulls.

June 17, 2015 12:00 pm

Wait, they said
“the fact that cold water absorbs more carbon dioxide than warmer waters”
So the Arctic ocean is getting colder?
Doesn’t that go against the meme?

June 17, 2015 12:09 pm

Coulda, woulda, shouda science

David L. Hagen
June 17, 2015 12:16 pm

Fossils during >6000 ppm CO2
During the Cambrian period, CO2 was up to almost 7000 ppm or 17 times as high a current 400 ppm. Yet we have fossilized shells in limestone. Etc.
Climate and the Carboniferous Period
Houston, we have a problem! “Scientists” are ignorant of geology.

Reply to  David L. Hagen
June 17, 2015 12:30 pm

To be fair… The seas of the high CO2 periods tended to be calcitic/dolomitic. While the seas of low CO2 periods tend to be aragonitic. So, 6000 ppmv CO2atm carbonate geochemistry can’t really be compared to 400 ppmv CO2atm..
That said, this “paper” sets a new low in the CAGW arena of GIGO modeling.

Reply to  David Middleton
June 17, 2015 1:05 pm

Yes. And depending on species, either calcite or aragonite is the main shell formation material.

David L. Hagen
Reply to  David Middleton
June 17, 2015 3:59 pm

David Middleton
So the ocean alternating conditions as has happened numerous times in the geological record is supposed to be a problem caused by humans? That is essentially saying that the climate they remember growing up must be preserved no matter how much it costs – because of their fond memories. They appear to have no other basis.

Chris Schoneveld
Reply to  David Middleton
June 18, 2015 3:52 am

I have never heard of a sea to be dolomitic. Most if not all dolomites are secondary products after fossilisation.
Aragonite is formed when more Mg is present. I am not sure that the atmospheric CO2 is a major player.

June 17, 2015 12:19 pm

How many tons of fossil fuel per hour was that ship burning? Maybe they need to look in a mirror. I wonder if anyone who produces these rather comical papers reads the reviews of them. I especially liked the “These data were used to validate a predictive model…” So they already had the “answer”, they just had to go get initiation data.

Dudley Horscroft
June 17, 2015 12:19 pm

David, re “Scientists” are ignorant of geology.. Of course they are, that is why they call themselves “Climate Scientists” where it doesn’t matter if you are ignorant.

Greg Woods
Reply to  Dudley Horscroft
June 17, 2015 1:07 pm

Maybe it actually helps to be ignorant when milking, uh, studying climate science.

June 17, 2015 12:23 pm

They collected TA, DIC, etc data in October 2011 and 2012, using different methods and sampling frequencies… From this they claim to have constructed a robust model???

Reply to  David Middleton
June 17, 2015 12:33 pm

Sure, why not. Only need two points to draw a line…

Reply to  Paul
June 17, 2015 5:01 pm

And the correlation coefficient would be 1. Perfect, who needs more data to ruin the graph.

Reply to  David Middleton
June 17, 2015 2:07 pm

Nononononono…they already HAD the “robust model”…
They used the data to validate it.
4yrs ago.
Using different methods.
And sampling frequencies.

June 17, 2015 12:23 pm

Climate Advocacy Science is like gravity, a basic force of physics. It starts by gathering together small clumps of fiction writers and radical groups together into a proto planet of falsehoods and then it continues to grow into an up stoppable system warping time, space, and public policy around it. At the next level of magnitude, it’s force is so strong not even light or truth can reach escape velocity and the Pope recognizes it too. At some point it is expected to spit out huge masses of money in a quasar event, spraying money out and derived from the shredded household incomes that could not all fit into the tiny hole in the fabric of reality.

June 17, 2015 12:26 pm

It’s all based on “those models” again and a snapshot “fishing expedition”.
We all know how this ends… it’s worse than we ever thought.
Wonder how much their “tour” of the Arctic cost?

Stephen Skinner
June 17, 2015 12:31 pm

From the abstract there is this: “some of the largest commercial and subsistence fisheries in the world may be under tremendous pressure.”
In the past if there were any detrimental changes to a fishing industry it was usually as a consequence of the pressure that industry was applying to a given fish stock; e.g. The Grand Banks, North Sea Herring, among others, where fish stocks were exhausted.
The attention given towards a supposed ocean tendency towards a neutral pH can take attention away from good husbandry which in itself is already in conflict with financial pressures. However, I understand there are strict fishing quotas around the area in this topic designed to preserve stocks.
This might seem off topic but I will make a loose connection between the abstract statement above and this from an Afghan bird hunter (
“Thirty years ago, I used to shoot 500-700 sparrows a day with my sling shot,” says Haji Shakoor, 57, from Salang valley. “The sky used to be full of birds. But now it seems so empty.”
Indeed Mr Shakoor.

Reply to  Stephen Skinner
June 17, 2015 12:43 pm

“…500-700 sparrows a day with my sling shot”
Exaggerated claim? Seems like a lot for a slingshot. Even a 12 hour day is 40-60 kills per hour. I’d imagine there would be a few misses especially using stones for ammo.

Stephen Skinner
Reply to  Paul
June 17, 2015 1:03 pm

Maybe, but the point is Mr Shakour is surprised that there are less birds around even though he was doing his damnedest to remove them.
The pressures on any fish stock is caused by uncontrolled removal of a stock on industrial scales, and degradation of that environment by either it being removed or polluted.

Reply to  Paul
June 17, 2015 1:33 pm

Stephen I got the point and I don’t disagree. But I spent a lot of my youth with a slingshot, the claim seems bogus.

Reply to  Stephen Skinner
June 17, 2015 1:35 pm

Yes!!!! And I suppose the past 30 years of bombs, bullets and various gasses had nothing to do with the shortage of birds…. I also think that the comment is from a skeptic, the word “EVER” does not appear at all…

Stephen Skinner
Reply to  Mareeba Property Management
June 18, 2015 2:12 am

Mareeba @ 1:35pm
I’m not sure it did as these birds are migratory and would keep away from noise, explosions etc, To kill birds effectively you would need to aim at them systematically and persistently and warfare doesn’t do this. It is interesting that the army tank ranges here in the UK support a wide range of wildlife greater than surrounding civilian areas, even though live rounds are used and they are tramped over by soldiers and tanks.

June 17, 2015 12:39 pm

This is another embarrassingly bad/shoddy activist driven science project. So they take just 2yrs of measurements feed them into their computer model and voila “it’s worse than we thought”! Where/how can you get off from a scientific standpoint which has policy implications, say “it is probably safe to assume”. My mother was fond of rubbing in my face “how do you spell assume” ? They’ve certainly got the first half of the spelling correct.

Reply to  Gonzo
June 17, 2015 12:50 pm

Reminds me of the warmist with his head in the oven and his feet in a bucket of ice … on average, he felt quite comfortable

Gunga Din
June 17, 2015 12:42 pm

New study shows Arctic Ocean rapidly becoming more corrosive to marine species

Why didn’t they say, “New study shows Arctic Ocean rapidly becoming less caustic to marine species”?

Reply to  Gunga Din
June 18, 2015 9:44 am

Because that doesn’t have the same meaning. Corrosive means eroding, erosive, abrasive – it doesn’t just mean acidic. For example, the salt in salt water can accelerate the corrosion of metals.

Gunga Din
Reply to  Chris
June 20, 2015 11:51 am

Because it’s “caustic”? 😎

June 17, 2015 12:43 pm

Good reference here: However, be very careful to observe the WEASEL WORDS meaning the ‘might’…could, may, etc. Whereas if you read the FACTUAL DATA it’s obvious the ALLEGED Ph reduction (from like 8.5 to 8.4, Ph, which is still BASIC) is based on TENUOUS and incomplete measurements, and the problems for “species adjusted to the ocean Ph” are also “weaseled” in the way they are references. All in all, a good set of answers for facts and numbers, a BAD reference for the way it is written to support a FALSE NARRATIVE. See if you can observe that!

Reply to  Max Hugoson
June 17, 2015 12:53 pm

I stopped reading after I read Could and Predictive Modeling.\
I think the IPCC copied the Fed’s predictive models, none of which have ever alerted the Fed to a financial disaster.

June 17, 2015 12:45 pm

It’s non-stop credibility test/trial ballooning with these people isn’t it.

Bruce Cobb
June 17, 2015 12:50 pm

In Warmland, when they choose a word, it means just what they choose it to mean — neither more nor less.

June 17, 2015 12:50 pm

Went and read the paper. You know where it is going when in the intro they declare the ocean is already 30% more acidic. Well, pH is a log scale. They mean the decline from guesstimated 8.2 to measured 8.11 at station Aloha in the barren Pacific north of Hawaii. The Artic ocean is anything but barren. Deadliest Catch is pretty good evidence. Finally, they point to commercial disruption of Alaskan fisheries. But pelagic fishes, and crabs, don’t rely on calcification either directly or via their food sources. Calcification is about shellfish and corals and coccolythophorids. Arctic Shellfish (clams) are important food for walrus. Otherwise there is no big biological concern. Its a crab/fish/seal/polar bear Arctic biosphere.
The paper makes a major mistake in the tradition of AR4’s goof. The pH and aragonite saturation calculations omit the enormous buffering capacity of seawater, which for any pCO2 roughly halves the pH and carbonate saturation impact. The calculations are chemically incomplete, so wrong.
The coupled model saturation outputs for the present based on RCP 8.5 did NOT well match the water samples. See table one, and the oddles of text armwaving this little detail away. One valid reason is ‘acidic’ freshwater river inflow. Those inflows also bring additional dissolved (and undissolved) carbonate from sediment. That input detail, however, was not included.
Part of the modelled effect was less summer ice cover so more CO2 absorption so more ‘acidification’. This ignores the accompanying summer increased biological activity that would raise pH by increasing photosynthetic comsumption of pCO2. The very same logic flaw that PMEL made in drawing its scary but false conclusions about the Netarts Bay oyster hatchery. See essay Shell Games in Blowing Smoke.
About the only good thing is that we now have an October salinity, pH, and aragonite concentration baseline for these three Arctic seas. What we still do not have is the annual biologically driven pH cycle that would indicate whether shellfish spawn (a summer event when planctonic food is at the maximum) might be affected in the future. The PMEL ‘goof’ remains unadressed for the Arctic.

David A
Reply to  ristvan
June 17, 2015 9:30 pm

Excellent post ristvan. Also missing is the fact of numerous observations of improvement in calcification of disparate marine life in realistic rates of PH change due to increased CO2.
“In the final graphical representations of the information contained in our Ocean Acidification Database, we have plotted the averages of all responses to seawater acidification (produced by additions of both HCl and CO2) for all five of the life characteristics of the various marine organisms that we have analyzed over the five pH reduction ranges that we discuss in our Description of the Ocean Acidification Database Tables, which pH ranges we illustrate in the figure below.”
“The most striking feature of Figure 11 is the great preponderance of data located in positive territory, which suggests that, on the whole, marine organisms likely will not be harmed to any significant degree by the expected decline in oceanic pH. If anything, in fact, the results suggest that the world’s marine life may actually slightly benefit from the pH decline, which latter possibility is further borne out by the scatter plot of all the experimental data pertaining to all life characteristic categories over the same pH decline range, as shown below in Figure 12.”
At PH decline from control of .125 calcification, metabolism, fertility, growth and survival all moved into positive territory.

June 17, 2015 12:51 pm

Their abstract does not give pH. Today’s ocean pH ranges over 7.5 to 8.4, average ~8.1. Over the period of 100 to 200 million years ago, when marine life with carbonate shells flourished and atmospheric CO2 was higher (see comments above), the average ocean pH was ~7.6.
Obviously lots of uncertainty in future extrapolations.

June 17, 2015 12:54 pm

The paper that is discussed in this report makes no sense. Have they demonstrated any empirical data that shows the aragonite they allege is leaching out of the region would actually have the claimed impact?
Does the paper supply any data points on the removal of aragonite from the region?
Is there any paleontological evidence that in the past, with similar to higher CO2 levels, there was a shortage of shellfish?
This sounds like more pre-Paris climate hype.

June 17, 2015 12:58 pm

With a little chemistry you could measure the calcium and carbonate ions, instead of modeling them based on pH.

June 17, 2015 12:58 pm

Will we go blind if we keep exacerbating?

June 17, 2015 1:11 pm

Can’t believe there’s still several months for this swindle, dishonest propaganda is over. Damn i’ll be glad when the “green” hoax -meeting in Paris has ended, perhaps at least some of the dishonest activist fools find other things to do than this dishonest crap .. Pardon my french.
Btw. do they really think people would believe this bs?

Tony B
June 17, 2015 1:14 pm

The bovine excrement is getting piled high in advance of Paris. The world’s media will be dumped on, force fed, buried in, have its nose rubbed in, and drip fed this crap for the next 6 months. Everyone here knows it’s BS. The media will have so much to choose from. Whoopee!

June 17, 2015 1:18 pm

switched off reading at “may no longer”
.One day they may stop pumping out this rubbish.

Alan Robertson
Reply to  richard
June 17, 2015 3:30 pm

That might depend on whether scenarios could possibly be projected to envision a modeled, or assumed response which may then indicate a likely imaginative probablity of future presumptive concepts.

Bruce Cobb
June 17, 2015 1:43 pm

The arctic ocean is becoming more corrosive.
Ionic pentameter.

Reply to  Bruce Cobb
June 17, 2015 2:13 pm

You need to have your pentameter calibrated. Maybe rhymeafterrhyme can do that for ya 🙂

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  Mark and two Cats
June 17, 2015 2:42 pm

No way jose. I counts 5 iambs: the ARC tic O cean is be COM ing MORE cor RO sive.

Reply to  Mark and two Cats
June 17, 2015 3:03 pm

Bruce Cobb: Sorry, an iamb is dit-DAH. You have either an amphibrach (“tic O cean”) followed by an anapest (“is be COM”), or else you have a quartus paeon (“cean is be COM”).
But as Tom Lehrer says, what’s “a couple extra syllables” among friends?

Reply to  Bruce Cobb
June 17, 2015 2:36 pm

Ionic? Wouldn’t you prefer something a bit more ornamental?
May I suggest Corinthian? It fits the global catastrophe scenario so much better.
Or perhaps you meant “ironic bent ammeter”?

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
June 17, 2015 5:01 pm

Sorry but iambic pentameter need not consist entirely of iambs (da-dums), and does not require ten syllables. Halle–Keyser rules state that only “stress maximum” syllables are important in determining the meter.

Harry Passfield
June 17, 2015 1:54 pm

I’m fascinated by the fact that samples of ocean water were taken and the ph measured – only because, when it came to water temp measurements the difference in temp between wooden buckets and canvas buckets was enough to alter the temp measurements after the fact – sufficient to support the CO2 curse of AGW. Will later scientists conclude that, “whoops, we used the wrong kind of ph sampling devices”?

June 17, 2015 1:58 pm

Funny, how is it every time they do research, it is always about 15 years after they perform the study that the bad effects will be seen? Mind you, there are NO bad effects being seen at this time anywhere on the planet at the moment with respect to ocean acidification by CO2. We are to believe that they just happened to do this study exactly 15 years before problems will show up. happened to get lucky and do this study exactly at this point time. Strange also how the can take one data point (based on reading the abstract) and then determine a trend. To me, they simply took a data point in order to provide “cover” for their ALL model paper.

June 17, 2015 2:02 pm

Interesting that all those Jurassic and Cretaceous giant ammonites managed to make shells for tens of millions of years when atmospheric CO2 levels were 10-20 times the level seen today.

June 17, 2015 2:03 pm

Also, should note, when the atmosphere was 6000ppm the oceans were not acidic, so no way they will become acidic at a mere 400ppm. This is because the ocean is a buffered system, with an enormous amount of limestone (CaCO3) deposits, which maintains the pH of the ocean at ~8.0 at equilibrium, regardless of CO2 level. Also, at constant pH, HCO3- and CO3– both increase as more CO2 is dissolved into the water.

June 17, 2015 2:04 pm

If the oceans are becoming acidic, we could turn this to our advantage: stick in a couple of big ol’ lead terminals, and we would have a huge battery.
Or would that be a salton battery…

Clif Westin
June 17, 2015 2:07 pm

Isn’t Palau already at the levels they predict? I was reading (here I believe) that the lagoon has a higher alkalinity that the surrounding area and already has concentrates as high as they predict…it also doesn’t show the issues they predict. Hmmmm, conundrum that….

Reply to  Clif Westin
June 17, 2015 2:29 pm

Clif, its lower alkalinity. Palau was about tropical corals. This is about Arctic clams. Despite GLOBAL Warming. Don’t you get it? /sarc.
The abstract said the Arctic is the canary in the coal mine.
What the paper did not say is that the canary’s presently singing loudly and happily, and that only a pause falsified single climate model whose outputs for the present did NOT match the gathered water samples predicts the poor canary might have a scratchy throat in a few decades.

June 17, 2015 2:26 pm

Speaking of US government agencies…whatever became of the data from NASA’s “Orbiting CO2 Observatory”? Didn’t the first first snapshot of earth show uneven distribution of CO2 around the earth and heavier concentrations inconveniently placed? 5 will get you 20 that they’re trying to figure out how to spin the data otherwise they would have jumped on “convenient” data immediately. Has it been 6 months?

M Seward
June 17, 2015 2:57 pm

Headline: Deadly Ocean Neutralisation Threatens Crabs!
We’ll All Be Rooned!

Gary Hladik
June 17, 2015 3:08 pm

“These data were used to validate a predictive model for the region that calculates the change over time in the amount of calcium and carbonate ions dissolved in seawater, an important indicator of ocean acidification.”
The oceans have heartburn? Tum-ta-tum-tum-TUMS!!!

Mike Smith
June 17, 2015 3:34 pm

CO2 is bad, Bad, BAD for all living things. Except that it is necessary for all living things to live. Hmmmm, I’m lost again.

Ron Clutz
June 17, 2015 4:25 pm

If surface temperatures don’t skyrocket soon, expect to hear a lot in the coming months about “ocean acidification.”  This sounds scary, and that is the point of emphasizing it in the runup to Paris COP.comment image

Stuart Jones
June 17, 2015 4:43 pm

I am off the opinion that the evidence available “could possibly indicate” that somebody somewhere is sitting with a pile of dubious papers and writing media releases for them before drip feeding them to selected journals to be published in the lead up to Paris. This one has been sitting on the pile for a while but they needed to push the message about Arctic fisheries being threatened so it was given a starting position on the grid. It seems to me “it is possible” that there is a coordinated effort to manipulate public and political opinion prior to forcing through damaging agreements in Paris. If they cannot get something in Paris the game is up and the whole house of cards will come falling down.

June 17, 2015 4:50 pm

What I laughed at was the vast amount of data that backs up their model: Two month-long trips.
Considering the great shifts the arctic goes through, year to year (not to mention MWP to LIA), a couple of summer trips is too little data to determine much of anything.
However they set out looking for specific data, to “validate” their models.
Does that make anyone else cringe a little?

June 17, 2015 5:30 pm

There seems to be a pattern here. Perhaps the gavinator has a schedule for the weekly release of bad science?
Throw enough BS at the gullible and they’ll give up and want alarmist success? Not likely. But since the gavinator believes skeptics are beneath him; it certainly is likely the gavinator underestimates a huge majority of free thinking citizens.

Siberian Husky
June 17, 2015 5:57 pm

[snip insulting comment, name calling -mod]

June 17, 2015 6:08 pm

So what is the pH of the water?

Arno Arrak
June 17, 2015 7:05 pm

Models again: “…combining the power of field observations with numerical models to better predict the future…” How many times have I said that based on the performance of models since 1988 none of them worked and the operation should be shut down. Those supercomputers they use to play their computer games on are the most expensive toys in the world. It would be a considerable relief to the taxpayers to get rid of this source of misinformation.

June 17, 2015 7:12 pm

It appears that climate science again has the chemistry backwards. CO2 is necessary to create shells:
Calcium Carbonate Minerals in Water
Calcium carbonate chemistry is more complicated when it comes to understanding which polymorph will crystallize out of solution. This process is common in nature, because neither mineral is highly soluble, and the presence of dissolved carbon dioxide (CO2) in water pushes them toward precipitating.

June 18, 2015 1:09 am

God, will it never stop?! “Could”, “may”, “if”, “our models”. I’m just so sick of this propaganda.
Let’s take a shell from a dead animal and see how long it takes to decompose, then project our results onto live animals and assume the PH value will change and cause catastrophe! What a joke!

Robert of Ottawa
Reply to  wickedwenchfan
June 18, 2015 4:50 am

God, will it never stop?!
Just ask the Pope.

June 18, 2015 1:53 am

Do the salarymen at NOAA have no purpose in life other than to generate this infantile dystopic fiction, and perfect their horrified and concerned “I’m trying to stay cool but we’re all going to die” affectation?

June 18, 2015 1:56 am

Presumably this report will be followed up by one which produces evidence that during the massive Saharan-Andean ice age at the end of the Ordovician era, during which atmospheric CO2 was at 2000-3000 ppm, the oceans were covered in frozen carbonic acid.

Man Bearpig
June 18, 2015 2:37 am

The sea? Corrosive? Never. Really?

Robert of Ottawa
June 18, 2015 4:48 am

Wot? Oceans eroding coastlines? Who’d would have thought of that!

Ian Macdonald
June 18, 2015 6:03 am

I’ve seen claims elsewhere that ocean acidification will cause existing coral to be corroded away, rather like carbonic acid (or any acid) would cause metal in the water to corrode faster. But, wait a minute, the reef isn’t metal, or anything remotely like it, it’s made of calcium carbonate, which is a salt of carbonic acid.
A different and stronger acid would be able to rob the calcium from out of the salt, leaving the carbonic acid on its own (and usually to dissociate into CO2 ‘fizz’ and water since it has only limited solubility) but the same acid that formed the salt cannot do that. At least, I’m reasonably sure it can’t. Perhaps some of the chemists in here would like to confirm or refute that point as chemistry isn’t my main subject.
If so, just shows how they dream these things up which sound plausible until you look at what they are saying more closely. You then realise it is junk science.

Reply to  Ian Macdonald
June 18, 2015 7:10 am

I’m reasonably sure it can’t.
you are correct. adding CO2 will precipitate more CaCO3. CO2 cannot dissolve CaCO3 in seawater, because that would produce even more CO2, which would dissolve more CaCO3, which would produce more CO2.
If things worked the way climate science suggests, there would be no CaCO3 in the oceans as the smallest amount of CO2 would lead to a runaway reaction.

Reply to  Ian Macdonald
June 18, 2015 10:43 am

Ian Macdonald June 18, 2015 at 6:03 am
A different and stronger acid would be able to rob the calcium from out of the salt, leaving the carbonic acid on its own (and usually to dissociate into CO2 ‘fizz’ and water since it has only limited solubility) but the same acid that formed the salt cannot do that. At least, I’m reasonably sure it can’t. Perhaps some of the chemists in here would like to confirm or refute that point as chemistry isn’t my main subject.

This is incorrect, addition of CO2 to seawater causes a reduction in pH and a reduction in [CO3–]. The solubility of CaCO3 is governed by its solubility product: Ksp=[Ca++]*[CO3–]
In seawater [Ca++] is constant so CaCO3 solubility decreases as [CO3–] decreases. Because the solubility of CaCO3 increases as temperature decreases and as pressure increases, below a certain depth CaCO3 dissolves, this depth is shallower for aragonite (the form mostly used in shellfish) than for calcite. Due to the lower temperature in the arctic you’d expect this to occur nearer the surface.
Figure 2: How ocean carbonate chemistry and pH are related.
Bjerrum plot showing the relative proportions of [HCO3-], [CO32-] and [CO2] to DIC in seawater with different temperature, salinity and pressure (heavy curves are for S=35‰, T=25ºC, P=0bar, narrow curves are S=35, T=0ºC, P=0bar, dashed curves are S=35, T=0ºC, P=300bar). The shaded region reflecting the range of modern (annual average) ocean surface, with the hashed region reflecting the corresponding projected year 2010 range: taken from the global ocean geochemistry model projections of Turley et al. (2010). To put ocean chemistry into some perspective, some common substances and their respective pH are shown at the bottom (scale is same as upper panel). pH values for foodstuffs are from Bridges & Mattice (1939), and for household products from (Hoffman et al. (1989). Note that different brands and preparations can give different pH values (up to ±0.5 pH units) — typical measured values are shown.

Reply to  Phil.
June 18, 2015 11:06 am

Don’t the carbonate and H promptly get together, forming bicarbonate and thus buffering pH change?

June 18, 2015 6:16 am

Since the seas are alkaline, they are already somewhat corrosive. Any so called acidification will simply move them towards neutrality, making them less corrosive.

David Jones
June 18, 2015 6:23 am

More corrosion, then why according to the BBC and this is a direct quote” the great barrier reef has been spared and is not on the endangered environment list” BBC speak for no problems with acidity in the oceans

Steve Oregon
June 18, 2015 6:41 am

The short of it is this.
They have no science or measurements showing it is happening and haven’t detected any impacts from anything remotely corrosive, but their programmed models show it could happen.
And as usual they push out the time when we will be able to detect this corrosion to years beyond their careers and out of reach of any consequences or accountability.

Coach Springer
June 18, 2015 7:26 am

Proving the theoretically possible is easy. Proving what is just most likely using assumptions is impossible. They left out most other theoretical physical possibilities while also ignoring adaptation – a proven aspect of all life. Other than that, conjectural quasi-science at a third grade level.

June 18, 2015 9:42 am

Meanwhile back in the actual Arctic…
Ice conditions have been unusually severe along the west coast of Greenland, affecting fishing in that area:
Royal Greenland expects profits for the year on a slightly higher level than in 2013/2014, despite the fact that the results for April and May were “very adversely affected by the ice situation along the west coast of Greenland”. The company expects to be able to compensate for the lost income when the ice is gone, it said.

This could be a further indication of strengthening Arctic ice and a possible robust minimum this year.
Ort maybe those Greenland shrimp dislike swimming around in acid – I know I would.

Reply to  phlogiston
June 18, 2015 9:51 am

Arctic ice does not seem to be strengthening:

Reply to  Chris
June 18, 2015 10:51 am

But the NOAA are still forecasting an above normal September minimum:

June 18, 2015 10:53 am

Precisely! This is exactly why there are no gastropods or bivalves in fresh water (which has a much lower pH than seawater). This is also the reason why CaCO3 shell building organisms didn’t evolve until the Miocene when atmospheric CO2 levels decreased. /sarc

Reply to  RWturner
June 18, 2015 11:52 am

Not true. There are plenty of fresh water clams and mussels.

June 18, 2015 1:23 pm

Which claim is correct, “the heat is hiding in the oceans” or ” the oceans are becoming more acidic” . They both can’t be true at the same time. If the oceans are getting warmer then they are less able to hold co2 and as a result release more co2. And if they are becoming more acidic, then the oceans are getting cooler. So what’s causing the reefs to die? Warmer water as reported in some journals or more acidic ocean water? Does CAGW know when they publish contradictory claims? Or claims that don’t square with observations, predictions, or relevant data ? I think they will just ignore this slight inconvenient argument (as many others) and slog ahead or answer with some totally ridicules new claim…. like warmer weather causes more snow.. no mention of where or how it’s cold enough to snow in the first place. (which invalidates the claim that “when water vapor releases latent heat the heat is retained, because it is a feedback system which causes it to get warmer still “) .

Reply to  rishrac
June 19, 2015 6:59 am

rishrac June 18, 2015 at 1:23 pm
Which claim is correct, “the heat is hiding in the oceans” or ” the oceans are becoming more acidic” . They both can’t be true at the same time. If the oceans are getting warmer then they are less able to hold co2 and as a result release more co2.

If the oceans are warming at too low a rate to keep up with the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere (which is the case at present) then the flux of CO2 is into the ocean and as a consequence the oceans are warming and pH is reducing at the same time.

Reply to  Phil.
June 20, 2015 5:01 pm

The problem is, as been shown by the IPCC, is that a little bit of heat makes a big difference. The amount of heat per them overwhelms any amount of co2 presently in the atmosphere. Which is in their view also responsible for sea level rise. Do the math, the statements can’t be both true at the same time. Doing the math, if the ocean has warmed as much as claimed, the level of rise should be dramatic not in millimeters per decades. In the year 2002, the alarm was exactly correct for CAGW. Canal St in NYC should be underwater, not 15 years from 2015.. NOW. What happened? What is perplexing is that at least half or more of the co2 currently being produced is disappearing somewhere, which is in comparison overwhelming when compared to the amount of co2 produced 50 years ago. Additionally, the amount of sink have decreased. You have a warmer more acidic ocean, tropical rainforest have diminished greatly. Which also brings me to another topic, the amount of time co2 remains in the atmosphere. If, well not if, it is that half of the co2 in the last 10 years has disappeared, man made co2 that is, so if so much co2 is being eliminated somewhere, how was co2 not completely gone form the atmosphere before man made co2? How do we know half of the co2 in the last 10 years has disappeared? It would have showed up in the ppm. In fact I have the rate of co2 going somewhere much higher that 50 %. The sink looks like it is accelerating

Joe G
June 18, 2015 4:26 pm

Baking soda- have every person on the planet buy a box of baking soda and dump it into an ocean.

June 18, 2015 5:01 pm

I thought corrosive means something that corrodes. If Aragonite is already corroding in seawater now the term should apply? What am I missing?

Reply to  jasonzeta
June 19, 2015 6:40 am

Aragonite dissolves in seawater when its solubility product (Ksp) falls below 6X10^-9 (at 25ºC), in the current ocean this occurs typically below a certain depth where pressure and temperature result in a higher Ksp, CaCO3 increases solubility at lower temperature and higher pressure.
The Ca++ concentration of 0.01mol/L is constant in the ocean and any reduction of pH leads to a lower concentration of CO3– therefore a pH of 7 is more corrosive than the present composition of seawater.
In fact in the N Pacific at present the pH at 500m depth is about 7.2 by which point aragonite has dissolved.
TPG June 18, 2015 at 6:40 pm
With the ocean at ~8.1 pH adding more CO2 will make the ocean less corrosive. Seriously, these reporters should talk to somebody with some science background before they publish their stories.

As shown above this is not true, perhaps you should talk to someone with a science background.

Gunga Din
Reply to  jasonzeta
June 20, 2015 12:28 pm

Words do mean things…but not always the same thing in a different context.
A “caustic comment” may come from an “acid tongue”. Both result in damage and so mean basically (8-)) the same thing in that sentence.
But if the context is chemistry, then “caustic” and “acidic” are opposites in terms of pH.
“Corrosive” as in “oxidized”? Is that with or without Oxygen?

Reply to  Gunga Din
June 20, 2015 8:53 pm

Corrosive, as in ‘to eat away a substance by chemical action’.

June 18, 2015 6:40 pm

Wait a minute, the shells of King Crabs are made out of chitin, a polysaccharide, not calcium carbonate. Not only that but both acidic and alkaline solutions are corrosive. With the ocean at ~8.1 pH adding more CO2 will make the ocean less corrosive. Seriously, these reporters should talk to somebody with some science background before they publish their stories.

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