Claim: Global Warming Will Inhibit Plankton's Ability to Consume CO2

Satellites use chlorophyll’s green color to detect biological activity in the oceans. The lighter-green swirls are a massive December 2010 plankton bloom following ocean currents off Patagonia, at the southern tip of South America. Credits: NASA’s Earth Observatory

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Warmer weather and higher CO2 levels apparently makes it more difficult for pond scum to grow.

Key Biological Mechanism is Disrupted by Ocean Acidification

Inability of phytoplankton to acquire iron imperils marine ecosystems

Mar 14, 2018

A team led by scientists from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego and the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) has demonstrated that the excess carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere through the combustion of fossil fuels interferes with the health of phytoplankton which form the base of marine food webs.

Phytoplankton are microscopic plants whose growth in ocean surface waters supports ocean food webs and global marine fisheries. They are also key agents in the long-term removal of carbon dioxide (CO2)

As reported in the March 14 edition of Nature, the team shows that a mechanism widely used by phytoplankton to acquire iron has a requirement for carbonate ions. Rising concentrations of atmospheric CO2 are acidifying the ocean and decreasing carbonate, and the team shows how this loss of carbonate affects the ability of phytoplankton to obtain enough of the nutrient iron for growth. Ocean acidification is poised to decrease the concentration of sea surface carbonate ions 50 percent by the end of this century.

“Ultimately our study reveals the possibility of a ‘feedback mechanism’ operating in parts of the ocean where iron already constrains the growth of phytoplankton,” said Jeff McQuaid, lead author of the study who made the discoveries as a PhD student at Scripps Oceanography. “In these regions, high concentrations of atmospheric CO2 could decrease phytoplankton growth, restricting the ability of the ocean to absorb CO2 and thus leading to ever higher concentrations of CO2 accumulating in the atmosphere.”

“Studies investigating the effects of high CO2 on phytoplankton growth have shown mixed results to date. In some cases, certain phytoplankton seem to benefit from high CO2,”added Andrew E. Allen, a biologist with a joint appointment at Scripps and JCVI who is senior author and initiator of the study. “Most of these studies, however, have been conducted under high-iron conditions. Our study uncovers a widespread cellular mechanism that suggests high CO2 might be particularly problematic for phytoplankton growth in low-iron regions of the ocean.”

Read more: https://scripps.ucsd.edu/news/key-biological-mechanism-disrupted-ocean-acidification

The abstract of the study;

Carbonate-sensitive phytotransferrin controls high-affinity iron uptake in diatoms

Jeffrey B. McQuaid, Adam B. Kustka, Miroslav Oborník, Aleš Horák, John P. McCrow, Bogumil J. Karas, Hong Zheng, Theodor Kindeberg, Andreas J. Andersson, Katherine A. Barbeau & Andrew E. Allen

In vast areas of the ocean, the scarcity of iron controls the growth and productivity of phytoplankton. Although most dissolved iron in the marine environment is complexed with organic molecules, picomolar amounts of labile inorganic iron species (labile iron) are maintained within the euphotic zone and serve as an important source of iron for eukaryotic phytoplankton and particularly for diatoms. Genome-enabled studies of labile iron utilization by diatoms have previously revealed novel iron-responsive transcripts, including the ferric iron-concentrating protein ISIP2A8, but the mechanism behind the acquisition of picomolar labile iron remains unknown. Here we show that ISIP2A is a phytotransferrin that independently and convergently evolved carbonate ion-coordinated ferric iron binding. Deletion of ISIP2A disrupts high-affinity iron uptake in the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum, and uptake is restored by complementation with human transferrin. ISIP2A is internalized by endocytosis, and manipulation of the seawater carbonic acid system reveals a second-order dependence on the concentrations of labile iron and carbonate ions. In P. tricornutum, the synergistic interaction of labile iron and carbonate ions occurs at environmentally relevant concentrations, revealing that carbonate availability co-limits iron uptake. Phytotransferrin sequences have a broad taxonomic distribution and are abundant in marine environmental genomic datasets, suggesting that acidification-driven declines in the concentration of seawater carbonate ions will have a negative effect on this globally important eukaryotic iron acquisition mechanism.

Read more (paywalled): https://www.nature.com/articles/nature25982

I’m skeptical of this claim that slightly warmer temperatures would inhibit plant growth to such an extent it would significantly impact the ability of ocean plankton to absorb CO2.

My large salt water pool hits a maximum temperature of around 80F (27C) in Summer, warmer than most seawater. I’ve never noticed warmer temperatures inhibiting the growth of microscopic plants – peak Summer where I live is a continuous battle to stop the pool turning green.

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177 thoughts on “Claim: Global Warming Will Inhibit Plankton's Ability to Consume CO2

    • Maybe it’s all this circular logic and confirmation-biased assumption that really makes it all worse.

    • Absolutely. These so called researchers always start from the pretext that global warming is happening, and that their research findings must prove that GW is bad. They cannot start by having an open mind on the subject, or – God forbid – come up with a conclusion that Global Warming, if it is happening, might be good for the subject they are studying..

      • The writer, Upton Sinclair worked it out:
        “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”

      • “…start from the pretext that global warming is happening… “I would assume that it’s still the only way to get government funding.

      • It seems to me this lot looked in the mirror one morning and ‘pond scum’ just popped into their heads.

      • Ignorance is bliss. Being fed depressing propaganda 24/7 by every news outlet, all the websites you believe in, social media—that’s not ignorance. It’s depression overload. Ignorance keeps you from realizing the information is false. Ignorance is only bliss when you have NO idea of what’s going on and no one feeds you any ideas or information (ie you live under a rock). True ignorance rarely exists these days. Someone is always there to predict the end of the world, stand on the corner with “the end is near sign”. Even people with limited mental capacity can be made depressed with enough of this forced darkness. Come on, electronic media is the new SOMA. No pills, just a screen. Ignorance is dead. Stupidity runs rampant, however.

      • Stupidity is like entropy-it always wins! Life is a constant battle to keep stupid away from the door.

      • Ignorance is bliss but stupidity is pure hell. Your life is usually one self-caused calamity after another.
        Most of these people are stupid as well as ignorant. I will posit that it is the stupidity that maintains their lack of knowledge. Ignorance can be corrected, stupidity cannot. These people wouldn’t continue to be happy if somebody didn’t keep tying their shoes and wiping their noses.
        BTW the quote must be finished for it to make sense:
        “When ’tis folly to be wise, ignorance is bliss.”
        Closer to Voltaire’s: “When the men in power are wrong, it is dangerous to be right.”

    • “has demonstrated that the excess carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere through the combustion of fossil fuels interferes with the health of phytoplankton which form the base of marine food webs.”
      It is impossible to show that fossil fuel CO2 emissions have any effect on atmospheric CO2, It simply has not been shown. Our emissions have been going up logarithmically while CO2 has been gone up linearly and even at a slightly decreased slope.
      So, their statement above is a lie. And, how can more CO2, which they need to live be bad for photosynthesis. It is the most limiting growth factors in plants. Yes, iron is also a limiting factor, so more CO2 ensures that the CO2 supply will not be a factor.
      There is no downside to CO2. It also cannot acidify sweater, which is a complex buffer, while carbonic acid is a very weak acid that can only acidify distilled water, not seawater.
      Their connect to fossil fuel combustion with the food web is truly junk science.
      “In these regions, high concentrations of atmospheric CO2 could decrease phytoplankton growth, restricting the ability of the ocean to absorb CO2 and thus leading to ever higher concentrations of CO2 accumulating in the atmosphere.” ”
      Wow, how would higher CO2 partial pressure prevent more dissolved CO2 and more absorption by photo plankton? And, with slightly warmer water, CO2 would cook out, so having more CO2 would counter this effect. Remember, that, when plankton use up the water CO2 content, it fosters dissolution of more CO2 into seawater, not less. Warmer conditions would be beneficial, particularly in the face of higher atmospheric CO2.

    • It is my experience that warmer temperatures promote the growth of algae. And have they not tried adding iron to the sea and found it does not work as they assumed?

  1. We live in the best of all possible worlds. Isn’t that right, Dr. Pangloss?
    It just amazes me how much the climastrologists believe in stasis.

    • You should be amazed at the creativeness. These kids take “settled science” and apply it in clever new scenarios of doom. What do bet that one of these brilliant acolytes concocts an interactive computer game where you can fight ocean acidification and help the green slime conquer the seas.

      • Yes, Solsten. Game makers create whatever sells. Saving the ocean and planet sells. There are games for alien invasion, fanatasy battles among mythical creatures, probably some very dark ones we can’t mention here. Whatever SELLS. It’s not believe in global warming, it’s believing in making all the money you can.

      • I used to play a world domination game wherein one of the random mechanisms during the game was “global warming has destroyed one of your fields”. However, oddly the snowier portions of the game didn’t warm accordingly as well. According to the programmers global warming is only local.

    • You beat me to it. Another cute disaster-theory bites the dust in the face of historical evidence.

    • “Paleodata suggests just the opposite. As we warmed after the Little Ice Age plankton and ocean productivity increased”
      This article is about the effect of dissolved carbon dioxide and the reduction of carbonate, not warming.

      • Nick, Are you seriously suggesting that there was no rise in CO2 since the Little Ice Age. Or are you saying that rise in CO2 had noting to do with warming?

      • Unfortunately the study is paywalled, therefore it’s impossible to know how their experiment was carried out. It would be useful to understand the pH levels used, as well as how they achieved it (I’ve read about some experiments using sulfuric acid). Nature publications tend to publish a lot of work which assumes CO2 atmospheric concentrations in excess of 800 ppm (some even use 2000 ppm). They proceed to shock a stable system with the low pH seawater without allowing for a transition period (which in real life takes decades or centuries). I would suggest you should take note of the actual CO2 concentration they assumed, how they transform that to ocean pH, the assumed water temperature, and the way the lower pH seawater is introduced. Documenting these parameters and procedures would be used to prove 95% of these papers are worthless.

      • well of COURSE they can’t grow, sheesh.. anyone who’s ever looked at low pH fresh water knows NOTHING can survive in such hostile conditions..
        /sarc x 10

      • “Or are you saying that rise in CO2 had noting to do with warming?”
        I’m saying that warming, which you related it to, has nothing to do with the effect here. If you think you have demonstrated something about CO2 affecting these organisms, you should show a relation to that.

      • “high concentrations of atmospheric CO2″…so how high did they jack up CO2 to see this effect?
        had to be higher than it’s been in history….because history says it ain’t so

      • Nick
        do you agree the carbon sinks are increasing? if so how is that possible under this scenario?

      • “Nature publications tend to publish a lot of work which assumes CO2 atmospheric concentrations in excess of 800 ppm”
        …they said double….which would be 800 ppm

    • In addition to increasing Diatoms and primary marine production since the 1800s, coccolithophores that need carbonate ions , have also thrived.
      https://hub.jhu.edu/2015/11/26/rapid-plankton-growth-could-signal-climate-change/
      Published today in the journal Science, the study details a tenfold increase in the abundance of single-cell coccolithophores between 1965 and 2010, and a particularly sharp spike since the late 1990s in the population of these pale-shelled floating phytoplankton.

  2. If it’s not sea level rising, it’s ocean acidification that’s attributed to humans. There seems to be an endless supply of these kinds of wild speculations.
    It was hotter in the 1930’s than it is today and the critters seem to have survived just fine. Of course there was less CO2 in the atmosphere back then, but I would think the increased CO2 now would enhance the growth of plankton like it does land-based plants.
    It’s gloom and doom everywhere you turn when it comes to Alarmist’s claims. But the public doesn’t seem to be buying it. That’s what happens when you keep crying wolf and there is no wolf. People stop paying attention to the hype.

    • Or when there is a different kind of wolf like too much nitrogen and agricultural chemicals.
      The idea that acidification is a problem is incredibly myopic in view of all the other ‘man made emissions’.
      In Australia, there was time when all the studies about the great barrier reef dying were attributed to agricultural practices and associated run-off as being the cause of its problems.

    • Plankton suffered terribly during the great depression! Many millions went hungry or were lost at sea. They had no access to higher learning and had to watch the fish going to schools. Awful!

    • The :”wild speculation” about ocean acidification is simply a matter of chemistry.
      “People stop paying attention to the hype.”
      People stop paying attention to the truth, too.

  3. Furthermore the studies blames the lack of carbonate ions. And assumption that environmental carbonate ions is a limiting factor in calcification has been shown to be a myth. Despite extensive search, no marine organism has shown an existence of a carbonate ion transporters, that would be required.
    What all marine organisms do that use carbonate ions is import the abundant bicarbonate ions into a vesicle and then pump out H+ ions causing bicarbonate to convert to carbonate. Protons pumps are ubiquitous and require little energy, while bicarbonate ions make upper 90% of the oceans Dissolved Inorganic Carbon. Bicarbonate ions will remain bountiful even if atmospheric CO2 increases to 2000 ppm. Transporting bicarbonates and converting it with H+ pumping is shown to be the process in most calcifying organisms like coral. So it is most likely this claim is bogus and driven by ignorance

    • “Protons pumps are ubiquitous and require little energy”
      How much is little? It depends on what they need to pump against, and how much. They have to pump one proton, and keep it away, for each molecule of bicarbonate converted.
      But that has nothing to do with the specific mechanism investigated here. They say that absorption of inorganic ferric iron requires that it be complexed with carbonate. While complex calcifying organisms may be able to usefully pump protons, it’s far from obvious that that works for phytoplankton.

      • “Protons pumps are ubiquitous and require little energy”
        How much is little? It depends on what they need to pump against, and how much. They have to pump one proton, and keep it away, for each molecule of bicarbonate converted.

        Given the steep pH differences in various eucaryote cell compartments, and that proton pumps really are part of the basic functionality of all cells, there is little doubt on that algae could not keep their pH stable. They grow in various places, like basic sea water and acidic fresh water, after all.
        If you search for some literature, I’m sure someone has tested how much CO2 algae can stand. It is not like 420 ppm.
        There is a limit of course. But it is not as nature didn’t have places which are just too basic or too acidic all the time. Those places have different bugs, because common bugs can’t evolve into handling of rare habitats.

      • Nick are you really trying to pretend you don’t understand the connection? Seriously?
        The mechanism requires carbonate ions. They are suggesting rising CO2 will reduce carbonate ions. But there are no carbonate ion transporters. The study claims “carbonate availability co-limits iron uptake” but carbonate ions most likely entered as a bicarbonate ion and then was converted.
        What don’t you get Nick?

      • Jim,
        “carbonate ions most likely entered as a bicarbonate ion and then was converted”
        You have no evidence of that, and I think it is unlikely. This is not a precipitation reaction, but a complexing one. The iron must be complexed with carbonate before it can cross the membrane.

      • Nick,
        You have the chemistry backward: iron carbonate is reasonably soluble in water, but iron bicarbonate is many times more soluble. The solubility of iron increases with lower pH, not reverse as this study supposes…

      • “but iron bicarbonate is many times more soluble. The solubility of iron increases with lower pH, ”
        we have a winner…..and CO2 rapidly dissociates to bicarbonate

      • Correct, Hugs.
        Internal membranes routinely have pH differences of several pH units, which we all know is a log scale. Thus maintaining/managing pH changes of the order of small fractions of a unit are trivial, especially when you consider that the surface area of the internal membranes is actually enormously greater than the external area with a small pH gradient.
        On top of that, the internal cytoplasmic pH is more acidic than sea-water, not less acidic.
        And photosynthesisers express large amounts of carbonic anhydrase to increase the interconversion of carbonate/bicarbonate anions to aqueous carbon dioxide so that they can increase the diffusion rate of CO2 into the organism. At least one study (E. Huxlei, if I recall right) looked at gene expression under increased CO2. They found no big changes except for reduced carbon anhydrase production: Consistent with the idea that photosynthesisers have to spend less energy synthesizing the protein under increased CO2, a net gain for the organism.

      • Nick snipes, “Jim,“carbonate ions most likely entered as a bicarbonate ion and then was converted”
        You have no evidence of that, and I think it is unlikely.”
        Nick as I stated a few times, scientists have searched for carbonate ion transporters. The do no find any. But they do find bicarbonate ion transporters and those are essential for concentrating CO2 for photosynthesis.
        The lack of carbonate transporters is strong evidence that environmental carbonate concentrations is irrelevant. What you need to show Nick is how carbonate ions enter toe diatom.
        To convert bicarbonate to CO2, photosynthesizing plankton employ either carbon anhydrase or proton pumping. Coral pump H+ ions into the photosynthesizing vesicles to lower pH to about 4.5. As is so often the case proton pumping is coupled to many reactions.
        What also is ignored in this discussion are the recent studies suggesting one benefit of the diatom’s silicate shell is it modulates the H+ concentrations to buffer against environmental changes diatoms experience daily as pH swings from 7.5 to 8.5 because upwelling dramatically lowers pH and photosynthesis raises pH.

      • Ferdinand,
        “You have the chemistry backward: iron carbonate is reasonably soluble in water”
        No, there is no ferric carbonate in solution. Hydrated Fe⁺⁺⁺ is far too acidic to coexist with carbonate. And also too acidic, or just highly charged, to cross a biological membrane. That is why it needs to be bound in a complex, first with carbonate, then with the transferrin.

      • “there is little doubt on that algae could not keep their pH stable”
        They can modify pH within the cell. But this is about how to absorb iron into the cell. It has to be complexed to cross the membrane, and that has to happen outside the cell.

    • Jim, what about “As carbonate ion gets depleted, seawater becomes undersaturated with respect to two calcium carbonate minerals vital for shell-building, aragonite and calcite.”? Is this relevant?
      https://theotherco2problem.wordpress.com/what-happens-chemically/
      I’ve read that adification could in theory require more energy to pump H+ up a steeper gradient. Although H+ pumps may be ubiquitous and not require much energy, it adds up.
      ” So it is most likely this claim is bogus and driven by ignorance”
      Have you read the paper?

      • Jim: “The expense of pumping, is totally outweighed by the photosynthetic gains.”
        But the lower the pH, the greater the energetic cost. At some point the costs could balance or outweigh the gains. This would presumably happen at the deeper end of the water column in which the plankton now reside; it may not be possible for plankton to simply hang out nearer the top to get more light if nutrients are also limiting. Energy balance can be an important factor in population health. At any rate, that’s not what the research is about anyway….
        “In P. tricornutum, the synergistic interaction of labile iron and carbonate ions occurs at environmentally relevant concentrations, revealing that carbonate availability co-limits iron uptake. Phytotransferrin sequences have a broad taxonomic distribution and are abundant in marine environmental genomic datasets, suggesting that acidification-driven declines in the concentration of seawater carbonate ions will have a negative effect on this globally important eukaryotic iron acquisition mechanism.”
        Carbonate ions are limited as pH decreases, do you accept that? Bicarbonate may not be limiting, but that evidently doesn’t help with iron uptake. That’s what I get from the abstract.
        I really don’t see why you think the authors of the paper are “ignorant,” as you say., especially if you haven’t read the paper and don’t seem to understand the abstract . Your implication that bicarbonate is just as good as carbonate doesn’t seem to be biologically correct. Am I missing something?

    • It seems to me, Jim, that you imagine yourself to be way ahead of the world’s scientists in figuring out the mechanism by which iron, carbonate and pH interact to influence shell building, since it is only beginning to be well-understood by others. And you don’t even have to read the paper to know it’s wrong?
      https://phys.org/news/2018-03-key-biological-mechanism-disrupted-ocean.html
      (Some of the press release not included above)
      “The study,…reveals an unexpected twist to the theory of how iron controls the growth of phytoplankton. By showing how the loss of seawater carbonate hampers the ability of phytoplankton to grab onto iron, the authors show a direct connection between the effects of ocean acidification and the health of phytoplankton at the base of the marine food chain.
      ..
      “In transferrin, iron and carbonate bind simultaneously, and neither can bind in the absence of the other. Such synergistic binding is unique among biological interactions. The research team hypothesized that diatom phytotransferrin uses a similar mechanism and that, as a result, reductions in carbonate ion could lead to reduced phytoplankton growth rates.
      “Using a number of biochemical methods, the researchers were able to independently manipulate pH along with the concentrations of iron and carbonate ion. As they pumped in increasing concentrations of CO2, the team showed that the ability of their diatom to grab onto iron decreased proportionally with the concentration of carbonate ions.
      “Since carbonate and iron have to bind simultaneously, as carbonate concentrations drop, phytotransferrin is able to ‘see’ less iron,” said McQuaid. “The total amount of iron isn’t changing – rather the ability to grab onto it changes, and this ultimately influences the growth rate.”

    • You are on target, Jim!
      From the link provided above.

      “One consequence of acidification is a nearly one-for-one reduction in the concentration of carbonate ions for every molecule of CO2 that dissolves in the ocean. The concentration of atmospheric CO2 is predicted to double by the end of this century; thus, the concentration of carbonate ions at the surface of the ocean will nearly halve by the year 2100. While the negative influence of acidification on corals and shellfish is known, this is the first study to reveal a mechanism that affects life which forms the base of most marine food webs”

      No testing needed, start with gross assumptions.

      “In transferrin, iron and carbonate bind simultaneously, and neither can bind in the absence of the other. Such synergistic binding is unique among biological interactions. The research team hypothesized that diatom phytotransferrin uses a similar mechanism and that, as a result, reductions in carbonate ion could lead to reduced phytoplankton growth rates”

      Add more gross assumptions.

      “Using a number of biochemical methods, the researchers were able to independently manipulate pH along with the concentrations of iron and carbonate ion. As they pumped in increasing concentrations of CO2, the team showed that the ability of their diatom to grab onto iron decreased proportionally with the concentration of carbonate ions”

      voilà!
      Take a small controlled, very constrained environment and pump in CO₂ until the desired results are achieved.
      Just like so many previous mismanaged small aquarium failures by alarmists.
      Take forced results, write up a frightening scenario buffered with imbedded waffle words; possibility”, “suggests”, “predicted to double”.
      Bodge up a faked experiment

      “Using a number of biochemical methods, the researchers were able to independently manipulate pH along with the concentrations of iron and carbonate ion. As they pumped in increasing concentrations of CO2, the team showed that the ability of their diatom to grab onto iron decreased proportionally with the concentration of carbonate ions”

      Force results desired and publish fear fear fear!

      “Ocean acidification is poised to decrease the concentration of sea surface carbonate ions 50 percent by the end of this century”

      A nightmare scenario the research team did not demonstrate.

  4. Why would phytoplankton be killed by their food source? From an evolutionary perspective that doesn’t make sense to me. Generally, lifeforms adapt in response to changing conditions and the more successful of those lifeforms take advantage of the improved levels of nutrients available. It may take some time for those adaptations to occur but the history of life on our planet would suggest the outcome is likely to be no cause for alarm.

    • I’m thinking it is the lack of iron not the slightly warmer air temp and 400 PPM CO2 that is limiting growth. That seems to be what their study shows IMHO. Only in low iron regions of the ocean does this occur.

      • But isn’t climate change supposed to lead to increased precipitation, flooding, and there by runoff?
        Shouldn’t increasing runoff from increasing rains wash more iron bearing soil from the land into the oceans?

      • scare number 17,458,660 — oceans run out of iron
        Yeah, I bet they do. Let try to prevent it by stopping CO2 emissions…

      • Beware of important sounding claims in inorganic chemistry at the picomole level. Generally, you are on the verge of normal reaction chemistry and into other world’s like catalysis and colloids. Different rules can apply. Geoff.

    • Phil Rae; “It may take some time for those adaptations to occur” This is key! The effects of climate change are likely to be too rapid for some organisms to adapt, though others will do fine. Potential for adaptation depends on many things. Even a significant or regional decline, though, could have a large effect on the food web.

      • Luckily the small bugs have a very fast evolutionary response on minimal changes in their living environment.

      • I thought the problem with climate change is that it sneaks up on you. It looks just like weather but in reality it is constantly conspiring to burn us out of our homes within a few short years. It is not a ‘happening” thing!. It’s a “gonna get ya” thing. Like zombiies or The Mummy -relentless but so slow moving that any idiot can adapt. We have been living with Global Warming-DA-DA-DA! for almost 60 years and we’re all still, just barely-oh so close-oh my God-Nope! Still hasn’t gotten us!
        The most asinine scary bedtime story in the history of the world!
        It’s gonna get slightly warmer!!! Maybe!!! In a few years!!! The Plankton won’t like it!!!

      • How do we know this? Computer model? Wild guess? Wishful thinking? Where is the rule in evolution as to a time limit being placed on changes (those millions of years of chance are not part of the theory any more?) and only those placed by humans are bad, assuming humans can do the same thing?

      • Kristi……..Sorry! You obviously missed the irony intended in my comment. We already know, based on the geological record that phytoplankton thrived when CO2 levels were much higher and presumably they adapted successfully to survive under the low CO2 conditions that exist today. They are, no doubt, carrying the genetic code that would enable them to take advantage of higher CO2 concentrations should they arise again. As others have also pointed out, ocean acidification is just another bogus scare story. The buffering capacity of the ocean, in equilibrium with vast amounts of minerals (carbonates, clays) capable of chemical reaction and ion exchange ensure that the ocean pH remains in a range that supports life.

      • “A major group of phytoplankton (single celled algae that float and grow in surface waters), the coccolithophores, grows shells. Early studies found that, like other shelled animals, their shells weakened, making them susceptible to damage. But a longer-term study let a common coccolithophore (Emiliania huxleyi) reproduce for 700 generations, taking about 12 full months, in the warmer and more acidic conditions expected to become reality in 100 years. The population was able to adapt, growing strong shells. It could be that they just needed more time to adapt, or that adaptation varies species by species or even population by population”
        There’s some that may do just fine!
        Hugs: “Luckily the small bugs have a very fast evolutionary response on minimal changes in their living environment.”
        Yeah,, true, there are probably better things to worry about! :- )

      • ha ha kristi, good one. i doubt very much the effects of climate change will occur faster than those in the experiment mentioned in your link .ergo the conditions in the experiment will never occur in the real world.
        atheok is correct when he says jim is on the money. yet again i may add.

  5. The Random Phrase Generator is back at work: “(Global Warming)/(Climate Change) will (increase)/(decrease) the ability of [name your favorite biological entity] to perform [name a biological function] – dooming the planet in just a few short years.

  6. All of science is now a disaster because of the contamination of fraudulent climate studies.

  7. Seems the authors assume the world ocean is a constant temperature top-to-bottom and side-to-side. Also, that winds don’t blow, snow and ice don’t melt, and density and gravity no longer affect liquids.
    Next what happened to the cooling effect of evaporation?
    Makes my head hurt – where’s that glass of wine?

  8. quote “the team shows that a mechanism widely used by phytoplankton to acquire iron has a requirement for carbonate ions. Rising concentrations of atmospheric CO2 are acidifying the ocean and decreasing carbonate, and the team shows how this loss of carbonate affects the ability of phytoplankton to obtain enough of the nutrient iron for growth.”
    quote “Ultimately our study reveals the possibility of a ‘feedback mechanism’ operating in parts of the ocean where iron already constrains the growth of phytoplankton,” said Jeff McQuaid.
    Did they show it, or is it still just a possibility?

      • As I wrote above, the posibility is enhanced by carrying out the experiment with a pH low enough to reduce carbonate ions, so one key parameter is the assumed CO2 atmospheric concentration, water temperature, and resulting pH. And this is seldom documented.
        As far as I can tell these type of experiments are being carried out assuming extremely high CO2 atmospheric concentrations. This is understandable because nowadays it’s impossible to get published in Nature by writing a paper which doesn’t have a bias towards sowing alarmism and panic about global warming. These journals are now subverted for political purposes, therefore it’s difficult to separate science from political dogma.

      • Fernaldo,
        I don’t know what they recorded, couldn’t get to the paper, but did you read this?
        “Using a number of biochemical methods, the researchers were able to >>>>independently manipulate pH along with the concentrations of iron and carbonate ion.<<<<< As they pumped in increasing concentrations of CO2, the team showed that the ability of their diatom to grab onto iron decreased proportionally with the concentration of carbonate ions."
        But this is what I found most fascinating:….
        ""Earlier studies suggested a transferrin-like protein, called phytotransferrin, was at work in the marine environment, but ISIP2A looked nothing like transferrin. It took the development of an entirely new discipline, synthetic biology, to help prove the team's hypothesis that ISIP2A was a type of transferrin. Synthetic biology is the fusion of biology and engineering, and in collaboration with scientists with the Venter Institute, the team developed methods to insert synthetic DNA into a marine diatom. The scientists deleted ISIP2A and replaced it with a synthetic gene for human transferrin, demonstrating that ISIP2A was a type of transferrin.
        "The team then initiated a study to investigate the evolutionary relationships of transferrin and phytotransferrin. To their surprise, the proteins were functional analogs whose ancient origins extend to the pre-Cambrian period of Earth history, predating the appearance of modern plants and animals.
        "The appearance of phytotransferrin some 700 million years ago is consistent with a time in Earth's history marked by massive changes in ocean chemistry, and this ancient evolutionary history helps explain why no one has connected ISIP2A and transferrin," said Miroslav Oborník, a molecular evolutionary biologist from the University of South Bohemia and co-author on the paper."
        https://phys.org/news/2018-03-key-biological-mechanism-disrupted-ocean.html
        and
        "Phylogenetic analysis suggests that ISIP2a is transferrin, ‘phytotransferrin’, which independently and convergently evolved carbonate-coordinated ferric iron binding. New field data from the Southern Ocean suggest that warming interacts synergistically with iron addition to promote enhanced nitrate drawdown and that warming can replace iron by triggering phytoplankton growth in the absence of additional iron inputs. Considering that carbonate ions are required for activity of the ferric iron assimilation system, ocean acidification might inhibit iron uptake, perhaps partially offsetting the positive effects of warming."

  9. Use of terms such as ‘ocean acidification’ and ‘acidifying the ocean’ rather than ‘less alkaline’ or referring to pH levels indicates that this is a political document, not a scientific one.

    • John, no, sorry. “Acidification” is commonly used to indicate a decrease in pH even if in alkaline solution.
      I lived on the Atherton Tablelands for about 3 years. I loved it down there.

      • Here I agree with Kristi. Language is not always logical, and ocean acidification means what it means. Decrease of its pH.
        How commonly is a good question, because in different contexts words tend to have different meaning without people even thinking about it. But in ocean acidification, it is always just ‘decreasing pH’. Just remember that slight neutralization could be ‘basic’ally the same thing.

      • ““Acidification” is commonly used to indicate a decrease in pH even if in alkaline solution”
        It’s so commonly used that I’ve read that dictionaries consider it correct. It’s analogous to using the term warming to describe what’s happening even in a very cold environment. That’s it
        denotation.

        But its connotation—i.e., its suggestive associations— is different. The word suggests to the 97% not familiar with its limited denotation, turning into acid. So its use should be avoided in the context of AGW, to prevent misleading and alarming the audience.

      • Acidification means to MAKE ACIDIC. It’s funny how people complain about the change to “climate change” and just keep on using the redefinition of “acidification” with no qualms. I guess what you want to believe counts the most.

      • Hugs March 16, 2018 at 1:56 am
        Here I agree with Kristi. Language is not always logical, and ocean acidification means what it means. Decrease of its pH.
        How commonly is a good question, because in different contexts words tend to have different meaning without people even thinking about it. But in ocean acidification, it is always just ‘decreasing pH’. Just remember that slight neutralization could be ‘basic’ally the same thing.

        No such thing as ‘slight neutralization’, it’s only neutralization if the pH ends up at the neutral value.
        It’s like referring to an increase in temperature from 20ºC to 25ºC as ‘boiling’ rather than ‘warming’!

  10. “Claim: Global Warming Will Inhibit Plankton’s Ability to Consume CO2”
    The abstract says nothing about global warming. It’s about carbonate concentration and the availability of carbonate-complexed iron.

    • Yeah, ‘the’ Global Warming gets seldom mentioned these days. More of ‘carbon pollution’, ‘climate weirding’, or just plain old climate change. Given I wonder where my woollies are, that’s not a surprise. You need new angles, so let the angler now use iron deficiency.

    • The abstract says nothing about global warming. It’s about carbonate concentration and the availability of carbonate-complexed iron. – Nick Stokes

      Yeah that Anthroprogenic Global Warming sure is an inconvenient truth! Particularly given that the abstracts ability to scare us would be rendered useless if it had made the mistake of mentioning the accompanying warming associated with that predicted rise in C02 by 2100.
      In other words one counteracts the other! And the authors want to have it both ways.
      More warmth good for plankton but if we can just show that reduced iron in these conditions is bad, then bingo!

      Considering that carbonate ions are required for activity of the ferric iron assimilation system, ocean acidification might inhibit iron uptake, perhaps partially offsetting the positive effects of warming -MM41A-03: Iron Bioavailability in High-CO2 Oceans

  11. Eric writes,
    “My large salt water pool hits a maximum temperature of around 80F (27C) in Summer, warmer than most seawater. I’ve never noticed warmer temperatures inhibiting the growth of microscopic plants – peak Summer where I live is a continuous battle to stop the pool turning green.”
    I used to have a above ground swimming pool, that had water warm up to around 90 degrees F.in the middle of the summer, yet still have microscopic plants grow in it even with the chlorine added everyday. Even started using the green killing chemicals failed to completely stop it.
    Covering the pool during the day when not in used helped keep water cooler and slowed the growth, but once they are there it becomes very hard to eradicate it without a total removal of water and start over.
    Gave it up to go back to swim in the always cold Columbia River which is less than 2 miles away. Now go the Tri- City Court Club to swim, no troubles there.

      • Well, I see a mistake in my reply. It is more like +20 ppm / decade because individual years have fluctuations up and down.

      • By the way, by looking at the derivative you increase the visibility of the fluctuations. There is nothing wrong with that, but then, the basic pace of 2ppm per year just keeps going.

      • It’s total nonsense, put forward by people who have ventured outside of their area of speciality, and do not understand how systems typically respond.
        Do you weigh as much as the sum total of food you have eaten over your lifetime? Has your weight over the years proportionately tracked the sum total of food you have eaten over your lifetime? Of course not. It is a dissipative system, and your weight is proportional to the rate of your intake, not to the sum total.

  12. Nobody has done a study yet to see what the millions of gallons of oil a year we’re spreading on the oceans is doing… so any article that describes some problem with transpiration is bullshit until we have those results.

  13. Inability of phytoplankton to acquire iron imperils marine ecosystems
    What despicable bullshit this all is.
    It’s been known forever that phytoplankton growth is iron – limited.
    Suddenly this is the fault of white males in SUVs?
    This is the standard formula of reductionist pseudo-science nonsense.
    Find a chemical mechanism and extrapolate via a series of inductive assumptions a politically-advantageous doom scenario – CO2 is going to kill the oceans.
    While at the same time blissfully ignoring the data that utterly refute this notion, i.e. the fact that the earth existed for hundreds of millions of years throughout the mezozoic with thousande of ppm CO2 in the atmosphere and with marine phytophankton – and everything else – doing just fine.
    This is despicable manipulative deceit.
    It is a perfect example of why Karl Popper is eternally right with his thesis that science has to be deductive and not inductive.
    Deductive says – look, in the past there were thousands of ppm CO2 and phytoplankton were fine
    Inductive says – look, in our lab in a little water tank this and that happened, therefore A, therefore B, therefore C, therefore D, therefore we’re all going to die and vote democrat.

    • You don’t even know what the research is about, ptolemy. Not a clue. You talk about reason? You bash the research without having read it!
      Listen to you: “Suddenly this is the fault of white males in SUVs?” !!! What does that have to do with anything? Why do you associate that with this?
      “blissfully ignoring the data” is right. Sheesh
      OK, go make fun of it. They look at the deep history in a different way, much inferior to yours.
      ……………………………………
      It took the development of an entirely new discipline, synthetic biology, to help prove the team’s hypothesis that ISIP2A was a type of transferrin. Synthetic biology is the fusion of biology and engineering, and in collaboration with scientists with the Venter Institute, the team developed methods to insert synthetic DNA into a marine diatom. The scientists deleted ISIP2A and replaced it with a synthetic gene for human transferrin, demonstrating that ISIP2A was a type of transferrin.
      The team then initiated a study to investigate the evolutionary relationships of transferrin and phytotransferrin. To their surprise, the proteins were functional analogs whose ancient origins extend to the pre-Cambrian period of Earth history, predating the appearance of modern plants and animals.
      “The appearance of phytotransferrin some 700 million years ago is consistent with a time in Earth’s history marked by massive changes in ocean chemistry, and this ancient evolutionary history helps explain why no one has connected ISIP2A and transferrin,” said Miroslav Oborník, a molecular evolutionary biologist from the University of South Bohemia and co-author on the paper.
      …………………………………………….
      Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-03-key-biological-mechanism-disrupted-ocean.html#jCp

  14. Obviously this means the oceans all died and became sterile a very long time ago when atmospheric CO2 was 5X to 10X the current value, so none of us are really here to worry about it. We must all be disembodied spirits dreaming about physical life, although there are some who prefer to have nightmares.
    Either that or perhaps “natural” CO2 at >2000ppm has less effect on ocean pH and carbonate ions than evil human CO2 at ~400ppm.

    • Nice one Bill – you perfectly nailed the effects of booze and sugar in our diet.
      And you can actually see them – the zombies.
      Simply cut the booze (totally) and take on a Keto Diet. After 6 months you ‘wake up’ in a land of slow-motion zombies.
      You really do.
      Meanwhile, sod the CO2 – put yer peepers onto this piccy:
      http://yaffa-cdn.s3.amazonaws.com/yaffadsp/images/dmImage/SourceImage/Severn-Estuary-siltation-16.jpg
      That was/is Southern England after a rain storm.
      All that orange stuff in the water is farmland topsoil and what gives it it orange colour is of course= Iron
      Check out any beck, syke, brook, stream or river after almost any rain event and you’ll see that orange stuff racing past.
      No. It has not been happening since time immemorial, not to the extent is now.
      Consider the borne colour to be a water-borne dust storm because that’s exactly what it is.
      And dust storms are signs of happy places and times?
      Then some ‘scientists’, obviously totally blinkered by their settled science & consensus & inside bubbles of magical thinking, imagine there is a shortage of iron in the water?
      “…………Its got bells on”
      Not just iron in those dirt plumes.
      Phosphorus, calcium, magnesium and the myriad trace elements that plants need and use
      So: today’s wonderation for everyone
      “Zombies patently lack self awareness but would you say they are (classically) insane? Are they ‘mad’?

      • Speelchucker Fale ‘borne = brown’
        Oh noes, is this me turning into a zombie, have I answered my own question?
        Am I mad.
        Bit crazy maybe but not stark raving.
        yet.

  15. A team led by scientists from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego and the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) has demonstrated that the excess carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere through the combustion of fossil fuels interferes with the health of phytoplankton which form the base of marine food webs.

    +

    Volume 19, Issue 1
    March 2004
    Nannofossil carbonate fluxes during the Early Cretaceous: Phytoplankton response to nutrification episodes, atmospheric CO2, and anoxia
    Authors
    Elisabetta Erba,
    Fabrizio Tremolada
    First published:
    10 February 2004Full publication history
    DOI:
    10.1029/2003PA000884
    Abstract
    [1] Greenhouse episodes during the Valanginian and Aptian correlate with major perturbations in the C cycle and in marine ecosystems, carbonate crises, and widespread deposition of Corg-rich black shales. Quantitative analyses of nannofossil micrite were conducted on continuous pelagic sections from the Southern Alps (northern Italy), where high-resolution integrated stratigraphy allows precise dating of Early Cretaceous geological events. Rock-forming calcareous nannofloras were quantified in smear slides and thin sections to obtain relative and absolute abundances and paleofluxes that are interpreted as the response of calcareous phytoplankton to global changes in the ocean-atmosphere system. Increased rates of volcanism during the formation of Ontong Java and Manihiki Plateaus and the Paranà-Etendeka large igneous province (LIP) are proposed to have caused the geological responses associated with early Aptian oceanic anoxic event (OAE) 1a and the Valanginian event, respectively. Calcareous nannofloras reacted to the new conditions of higher pCO2 and fertility by drastically reducing calcification. The Valanginian event is marked by a 65% reduction in nannofossil paleofluxes that would correspond to a 2–3 times increase in pCO2 during formation of the Paranà-Endenteka LIP. A 90% reduction in nannofossil paleofluxes, which occurred in a 1.5 myr-long interval leading into OAE1a, is interpreted as the result of a 3–6 times increase in pCO2 produced by emplacement of the giant Ontong Java and Manihiki Plateaus. High pCO2 was balanced back by an accelerated biological pump during the Valanginian episode, but not during OAE1a, suggesting persisting high levels of pCO2 in the late Aptian and/or the inability of calcareous phytoplankton to absorb excess pCO2 above threshold values.

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2003PA000884/full
    +
    https://i1.wp.com/debunkhouse.files.wordpress.com/2018/03/geoco2.png
    +

    Several independent studies have demonstrated that rich source rocks are largely concentrated in several stratigraphic intervals during the Phanerozoic (the past 542 million years). Such unequal distribution of source rocks in the geological record is apparent both on a global scale and in a given sedimentary basin.
    These major stratigraphic intervals in Earth’s history are as follows (the ages are from the 2004 Geologic Timescale):
    Silurian (444-416 Ma)
    Late Devonian (385-360 Ma)
    Pennsylvanian-Late Permian (318-270)
    Late Jurassic (165-145)
    Middle Cretaceous (125-89 Ma)
    Oligocene-Miocene (34-5 Ma)

    https://www.geoexpro.com/articles/2016/02/rich-petroleum-source-rocks
    = <
    https://youtu.be/2V3CfD8TPac

    • Those are simply the intervals when there was large-scale deposition of organic material in the oceans. Some of them were hothouse intervals with anoxic deep seas (Silurian, Devonian, Jurassic, Cretaceous), otherts were doubthouse/icehouse intervals of major CO2 drawdown connected with glaciation (Carboniferous-Permian, Neogene).

      • David Middleton:
        “The point is that if phytoplankton thrived through wild swings in atmospheric CO2 from 400 ppm to >4,000 ppm, they won’t be bothered by a swing from 260-320 to 560-700 ppm.”
        The point there is that they had thousands of years to adapt…or they went extinct. The rate of change is an extremely important factor. When in the past has the planet had such an increase in GMT, SST, atmospheric CO2 and ocean acidifcation in the space of 100 years? Not only that, but humans have had a great impact on land use that also affects the sea in some areas, particularly river deltas. To suggest current changes should not be a concern because it’s “just” normal natural variation (or even if it’s a human product) is not valid unless you can show it has happened before at the current rate with few ill consequences – no major extinctions or gross climatic instability..

      • Kristi, organisms regularly deal with swings of pH and temperature *much* larger than AGW is projected to produce on a yearly, seasonal, and even daily basis. It has never been shown to my satisfaction that species already capable of dealing with large natural variations in anything will somehow be helpless in the face of a comparatively tiny trend in the multi-decade mean — especially when the shifts are in the direction that has been more conducive to life in both historical and geological time.

      • “Kristi Silber March 16, 2018 at 1:06 pm

        The point there is that they had thousands of years to adapt…or they went extinct. The rate of change is an extremely important factor. When in the past has the planet had such an increase in GMT, SST, atmospheric CO2 and ocean acidifcation in the space of 100 years? Not only that, but humans have had a great impact on land use that also affects the sea in some areas, particularly river deltas. To suggest current changes should not be a concern because it’s “just” normal natural variation (or even if it’s a human product) is not valid unless you can show it has happened before at the current rate with few ill consequences – no major extinctions or gross climatic instability”

        That is an imaginary construct wrapped in falsehoods.
        A) Prove that anthropogenic “climate change” or “global warming” is happening beyond natural rhythms.
        – – This has not been proved to date.
        B) Prove that previous eras had long periods separating prior/succeeding eras!
        – – All modern paleo reconstructions have very granular time periods. Impossible to show decades or even centuries.
        C) Plankton, phytoplankton, algaes, etc. are ancient life; without need to de-evolve to activate existing genes.
        – – mismanaged aquariums are not representative of oceans, climate or cellular or multi-cellular life.
        D) Your claim that normality must be proven first is totally bogus.
        Research, especially extreme research claims must be fully proven and independently replicated.
        E) Warming rates prior to the recent modern warming rate have been identified, that have the same rate or even faster rate of temperature increase.
        F) CO₂ levels fell to near starvation for many plants. Increased levels of CO₂ have benefited, without doubt, all Earth wildlife.
        G) Over thirty years, every alarmist doom prognostication has failed or is failing. Not that alarmists were ever realists or scientists.

    • +

      End-Cretaceous marine mass extinction not caused by productivity collapse
      ABSTRACT
      An asteroid impact at the end of the Cretaceous caused mass extinction, but extinction mechanisms are not well-understood. The collapse of sea surface to sea floor carbon isotope gradients has been interpreted as reflecting a global collapse of primary productivity (Strangelove Ocean) or export productivity (Living Ocean), which caused mass extinction higher in the marine food chain. Phytoplankton-dependent benthic foraminifera on the deep-sea floor, however, did not suffer significant extinction, suggesting that export productivity persisted at a level sufficient to support their populations.

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3271934/
      +

      Phytoplankton evolution accelerated during the Mesozoic as dinoflagellates, and coccolithophorids rose to dominate marine phytoplankton communities (4–6). Sea level rose during this time, peaking in the Late Cretaceous with the creation of vast epicontinental seas (7). At times, low oxygen waters of the oxygen minimum zone (OMZ) shoaled into the neritic zone and spread into epicontinental seas during global OAEs (8). This was also a time of diversification of deep-sea benthic foraminifers and the development of diagnostic “depth” assemblages along the continental margins, probably in response to changing oxygen levels and trophic resources (9, 10).
      […]
      A repetitive pattern is emerging: multiple invasions of the plankton by a number of different benthics, typically during times of high global sea level and perhaps initiated by a dynamic food supply or oxygen stress in the benthos or extinction in the plankton. Many of these unusual planktics existed in epicontinental seas or had restricted geographic distributions along continental margins, such as Bifarina, Tenuitella insolita, Rectoguembelina, Zeauvigerina, and Antarcticella. Others like Heterohelix (and their descendents), Guembelitria, Tenuitella, Cassigerinella chipolensis, Streptochilus, and Gallitellia became very successful in the pelagic realm, with some more common and distributed more widely than others. Fluctuating sea level and changing conditions of the OMZ are two of many factors that may have provided opportunities for benthic foraminifers to make the leap into the plankton. Changing phytoplankton community structure of the upper water column, including the diversification and rise in dominance of dinoflagellates and coccolithophorids during the Mesozoic Era, and diatoms during the Cenozoic (4–6), may have also facilitated planktic foraminiferal evolution by stimulating experimental forays into the photic zone of the upper water column.

      http://www.pnas.org/content/106/34/14183
      =<<
      https://youtu.be/2V3CfD8TPac

  16. The paper is available here:
    http://sci-hub.hk/10.1038/nature25982
    It is not easily digested, and I am no specialist in cell chemistry, but it would seem that the effect is rather variable. In (probably nutrient rich) antarctic seawater iron uptake actually increased when CO2 was increased from 400 to 1000 ppm, in (probably nutrient poor) North Pacific seawater it decreased slightly and in “synthetic seawater” (whatever that is) it decreased strongly.
    A caveat is that they apparently used bubbling with air with varying CO2 (50-5000 ppm) to vary experimental conditions. This may cause an unrealistic degree of aeration/oxygenation which might affect the phytoplankton.

  17. It was luck that led me to analytical chemistry as the first of several ventures into aspects of science. Analytical chemistry first requires knowledge of basic chemistry, then of how to design detection methods, how to calculate accuracy and precision, how to detect and deal with extraneous variables, how to close the budget on measurements.
    From here, to mineral exploration geochemistry, emphasis on integrity of measurement, sampling theory, the irrelevance of adjusted raw data, closing the loop with reconciliation of resource estimates before and after mining, eliminating to sensible levels the errors from analytical chemistry there in.
    Shall not recount the rest, except to note the shock of poor science by the majority of climate researchers whose papers I studied. I can show flagrant errors and lack of understanding coupled to every one of the matters I listed above. It is now at the stage of “Show me a global warming paper and I’ll show you yet another original sin of science”. Andy May has shown the process magnificently here.
    Collectively, a major sin is the rush to publish. You do not claim evidence for the global dilution of plankton until you are sure that you have covered all the variables and assigned error envelopes to their estimations. You do not claim a global study when you have vastly undersampled the globe. You do not claim hard results coming from a soft, error prone method of measurement. You do not claim a mechanism before you confirm your claim, with independent others also confirming, is proven adequately. You do not claim that therefore, the globe has a fever unless you also claim that your brain never grew up properly. You do not claim to be a scientist when you write unsubstantiated, loose drivel.
    It is so easy to come to like a scientific method, like using a colored disc on a rope to measure a sea property or two, to like it so much that without knowing it, you underplay it’s scientific deficiencies and present its results as near-biblical in certainty. Too easy to avoid the hard work of confirmation by other methods and so on. In the analytical chemistry lab, you lived or died on your ability to conform to the completeness of the scientific method. In the climate labs of today, you just live. At the expense of others, until the penny of proper, hard science drops and you are no more.
    Geoff.

  18. The title of the essay is misleading. The investigation is about the effects of CO2 not temperature.
    Having said that, it seems strange that they ignore any effect that temperature may have on the iron/ carbonate bonding process. Also, it would have been usefull if the abstract had attempted to put the findings into a quantative global contex. It says that there are ‘vast’ areas of ocean in which the scarcity of iron controls the growth and productivity of phytoplankton, but the oceans are themselves vast. Such sloppy use of adjectives in abstracts heightens the suspicion the ‘message’ has to rule the science.

    • It’s an abstract. It’s meant to summarize the research, not detail the area of ocean where iron is limiting – that’s just putting the research in context. Unless you’ve read the paper, you don’t know if they discussed temperature or not.

      • i read recently that in the supposed iron and hence phytoplankton deficient areas of ocean it turned out there was plenty phytoplanton, they were just much smaller “micro” phytoplankton.nature abhors a vacuum ,she will always find something to fill it with.

  19. This type of story, and there lots of them these days, seem to me to be the final phase of we’re all doomed. People \re asking where’s the Global Warming, which unfortunately for doomsters still has as much traction as Climate Change, with failed predictions of melting Arctic Ice and ice free summers something new for the future is required. The specification to find things adversely affected by increasing CO2 has been sent to research institutes around the world and research like this is the end result.
    The fact that we still have historically low levels of CO2, and life on land and in oceans and rivers and lakes and ice and in the air survived and indeed flourished at much higher levels seems to have passed them by completely.
    Count me unimpressed.

    • “The fact that we still have historically low levels of CO2, and life on land and in oceans and rivers and lakes and ice and in the air survived and indeed flourished at much higher levels seems to have passed them by completely.”
      No, they just know about evolution, something that I’ve never seen a single “skeptic” consider (ok, 1, I think – not even sure he was a “skeptic”). Why is that? Besides, our CO2 levels are not “historically” low – they haven’t been this high for at least a million years, before humans were even around.
      “This type of story” is simply people doing their job trying to understand what to expect from ocean acidification. It’s an extremely important topic.
      The predictions for the Arctic ice have failed? You mean this winter returned the Arctic to its pre-Industrial Revolution state? Boy, I hadn’t heard. Bizarre!
      I just don’t understand. It seems that from the “skeptic” standpoint there is no way scientists can ever do anything that isn’t dumb, wrong, orffensive, and/or a waste of money if it has anything to do with climate… unless it shows that the consensus is wrong. In that case, anything goes, no matter how rotten the science or illogical the argument.
      That’s not skepticism at all, it’s denial..
      [??? .mod]

      • I didn’t really understand that. But I assume you mean that all species die before they encounter changes in CO2. In which case I give you
        Martialis Huereka-120 million years old
        Frilled Shark – 150 million years old
        Horseshoe Shrimp – 200 million years old
        Sturgeon – 200 million years old
        Coelacanath – 360 million years old
        Horseshoe Crab – 445 million years old
        Nautilus – 500 million years old
        Jelly Fish – 550 Million years old
        Sponge – 580 million years old
        Cyanobacteria – 2.8 billion years old
        Who knows what the Arctic Ocean was when Eric the Red and Leif Ericsson did their exploration, or when Breton Fishermen fish the cod on the Grand Banks
        I’m no conspiracy theorists but I’m realistic enough to know that “he who pays the piper calls the tune”
        Count me unimpressed.

      • denial of what kristi ? i strongly suspect you should spend less time on the skeptical science website and find less alarmist sources for your historical “facts”.

  20. Never mind plankton, what about we poor humans?
    A recent study has shown that rising CO2 levels have a second derivative correlation with Taxonomic distribution mechanisms reducing the endocytosis of phyto transferrin in ion- coordination. This results in depletion of energy uptake of labile organic sources and a tendency to rely on intermittent alternatives, which can cause picomolar stress, particular in areas of concentrated conurbations.
    This increase in Taxonomic reaction raises the possibility of serious consequences to the human species unless alternative mitigating distribution mechanisms can be identified.
    The study is ongoing and yet to be published
    :/sarc.

  21. Why don’t these people look at the paleoclimate record for more clues as to how sensitive the biosphere really is to increased CO2? According to Berner (1998-2001) atmospheric CO2 levels were > 1000 ppm , with correspondingly higher temperatures, for most of the last 250 my, during which time the fossil record shows robust land- and marine-based life forms, including coral reefs. Rapid changes in CO2 too high for life forms to adapt? Check out the CO2 and temperatures spikes of the PETM and other associated hyperthermals. Studies of these episodes should be undertaken as at least an independent line of evidence to test the model-based conclusions.

    • BECAUSE THE BIOSPHERE IS NOT THE SAME! It would mean absolutely NOTHING! Organisms evolve. Really! It’s true!

  22. Why pick on plankton to show how transformational CO2 can be? Or from other research, CO2 and the greeting of the globe with land plants?
    What about humans?
    Where are all the papers about CO2 altering US?
    I offer the observation that our grandchildren have had disproportionately large teeth growth since the 1950s increase of CO2.
    Now, design a hard, tight, error-free experiment to investigate this hypothesis.
    Mods, it might make an entertaining post to invite submissions. Might show who knows how science works.

  23. These “scientists” merely found what they wanted to find. “Ocean acidification” is the fall-back “science” for Warmunist pseudoscientists. Warming hasn’t really panned out for them as the Pause put the kibosh on that, and the “scary weather” ruse is already wearing thin. They are desperate to keep the CAGW gravy train trundling along for at least a little while longer, hopefully until 2020, when (they hope) Trump gets voted out and someone more of the Warmunist persuasion gets back in.

  24. ‘makes it more difficult for pond scum to grow. ‘ I don’t think so. Most governments have increased in size by adding climate change departments, climate change ministries etc.

  25. By this logic I’ve been doing it wrong when putting plants I’m growing in a warmer place to get them started and increase growth and productivity.
    It’s about as sensible as telling the time by having it written on a piece of paper!

    James Bull

  26. Bull manure. Stromatalites are still around. Ian Malcolm is a fictional character but his quote is spot on, “Life finds a way”..this is yet another missing piece of the GCMs. They fail to account for the adaptability of life. And the simpler the life form, the more durable it is. Except insects, they are far too specialized.

    • RE: “Except insects, they are far too specialized.”
      Don’t be so quick to count out insects, Keith During a 30 year career in agricultural pest control I witnessed many rapid adaptations in many insect species. The LD50 (lethal dose for 50% of the population) for several once popular insecticides increased in some cases by 400% essentially making the product useless for pest control. In particular I recall being told that 2 different types of product were “immune to evolutionary adaptation by insects.” The first was Chlordimeform, which killed insect eggs by fuming action, thus it was claimed they could never develop resistance to it since it killed them in the egg stage. But they did. Each generation laying more resistant eggs requiring ever higher doses of the product to be effective until it became uneconomic to use. The second was the use of pheromones to interrupt their breeding. A PhD in biology told me specifically that “this was the answer” since we were interrupting breeding before they could develop resistance. But they did as the females began altering their scent slightly and still managed to attract males. (I knew a few girls in high school like that too…)
      The situation with harmful insect control with pesticides is very similar to that of pathogen control with antibiotics. Life adapts as fast or faster than the chemists can devise new chemicals.

  27. The extracts shown here indicate that it a drop in carbonates, not increased temperature that is the problem.
    Of course these critters survived quite nicely back when CO2 levels were 5000 to 7000 ppm, so the small increase we are seeing is not likely to bother them.

  28. These people have a twisted view of the fragility of life. What they don’t seem to know is how insatiable life is. All life (even microscopic photo plankton) is desperate to survive and will 99% of the time, find a way. And don’t forget natural selection, even if the plankton did have a more difficult time, natural selection would solve the problem very rapidly.

  29. From what Nick Stokes says above, that this claim is not about warming, but rather about limited iron in the oceans and this from the internet:
    “Anthropogenic coal fly ash (FA) aerosol may represent a significant source of bioavailable iron in the open ocean.”
    Leads to the conclusion that we should increase the number of coal fired power plants.

    • You might have a point there. Another important source of iron is windblown dust, so the CO2-caused greening of the deserts may well have a negative effect on ocean productivity.
      Where do I apply for a grant?

    • Iron availability in oceans requires sulfate ion. Yes, carbonate also works but it is slow.
      This is why carbon dioxide in the atmosphere dropped after Pinatubo eruption.
      Sulfur emissions from coal also helps. But US coal plants no longer emit..since the 1980s.

  30. Remember the paper by a world expert that explained how ocean research studies are badly done? This is another one and one that gets redone every couple of years. Here are things wrong with the type of linear thinking regarding such a crisis (notice the crises are always ‘poised” to begin):
    1) Seawater is naturally buffered -resists pH change through complex interaction of carbonic acid dissociation and dissolved CO2.
    2) A drop in pH increases solubility of both lime and iron which are abundant along shorelines, in sediments carried to sea by rivers, volcanic rocks, dust from deserts like the Sahara, sub-sea volcanic and hydrothermal vents on the seafloor – white and black smokers (white ones are largely calcium carbonate), meteoric dust constantly raining down…
    3) The creatures themselves alter the pH around themselves to facilitate availability and use of calcium carbonate and iron. The euphemism for this in these types of papers is “how plankton fix the lime and iron from seawater is imperfectly known”.
    4) A major “tell” in these papers is they choose a particular species to yammer on and leave 1one to believe they are talking about all plankton. Diatoms have silica (‘quartz’) hard parts and not calcium carbonate!
    5) These papers have a big taboo, a name which cannot be mentioned. The White Cliffs of Dover. This enormous Cretaceous limestone formation is …entirely composed of coccolithiphores -the skeletons of billions of tonnes of plankton formed when CO2 was 10 times today’s abundance in the atmosphere. QED. You will never have to concern yourself with this silly scare.

    • 6. When you read the paper they note that phytoplankton have an alternative and much larger source of iron, i e organically bound iron, though the uptake is slower.
      Actuall (as often) there isn’t much wrong with the actual paper. The problem is the overwrought press-release and the ensuing further exaggeration and dumbing down by the MSM.

  31. More fake-science & what/who your and my tax-dollars are funding. Just an endless parade of absurd scare-mongering & direct evidence that no REAL effects of CAGW can be found.

  32. And one more thing. It appears they assume a carbonate consumed is irreplaceable. This is far from the truth. There are massive stores of carbonate in the ocean that will dissolve more carbonate into the ocean as it is used, in accordance with the equilibria. This is a tempest in a teapot.

    • Yes, a few back-of-the-envelop calculations comparing glocal CO2 emissions to the amount of exposed solid carbonate in the Great Barrier Reef alone show it to be just a drop in a bucket. And that’s before one considers theoceans supersaturation of Aragonite in solution.
      Thus the more sensible alarmists actually admit that ‘dissolving coral reefs’ will always remain fictional. They concentrate instead on the vulnerability of free-floating polyps in the ocean, suggesting that their ability to re-colonize will be reduced after natural events like El Ninos that cause coral bleaching.

  33. it would be so EASY to verify or disprove this claim… an Actual Experiment…
    set up 4 stations that are environmentally controllable for CO2 and temperature
    3 runs – 1.5 years to do-
    get some plankton somehow- get 5 large ~200+ gallon aquariums/tanks, put the same amount of phyloplankton (thalassiosira rotula strain) each tank.
    put one tank in each station -all rooms each run to be 10c/15c/20c respectively
    station 1 “control” current conditions- normal air composition – record the co2 levels hourly for all stations to ensure quality control.
    station 2 “low” conditions. control the co2 to be @ 250 ppm
    station 3 “medium” conditions, control the co2 to be @ 600ppm
    station 4 “high” conditions, control the co2 to be @1000ppm
    monitor growth of said plankton for 6 months….record result clean tanks, restart at new temp.
    publish paper “phyloplankton growth in sea water at various carbon dioxide levels & temperatures”
    wait, they have done that for TEMPERATURE already….http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0063091
    looking at that particular strain, it THRIVES at temps 15 & 20c-now we just have to see how the growth is affected by CO2 at those temps.

    • It might be easy to run THAT experiment, but it has absolutely nothing to do with the research reported.

  34. They’re “forgetting something”, I think. multiplicative adaptation. I’m a professional winemaker, and we use this little beast yeast to convert fruit-sugars to alcohol (and CO₂). You know, fermentation.
    Having performed hundreds of experiments aside from the main winery needs, I’ve determined (easily validating Ameral’s 1950s results) that a wee bit of yeast in a absolutely sterile starting culture will multiply and multiply over and over, rendering the whole aliquot “fermented” in almost finite time. Doesn’t matter whether one adds 1 ppt or 3 ppt. (parts per thousand).
    What does matter is the temperature and micronutrient load of the starting culture. A lot. Huge is temperature… 35° C will be 5× faster than 25°C, all in all. Doubling nutrients tho’ determines more whether the fermentation “completes cleanly” or not. Deactivated yeasties tend to hold onto their micronutrients, limiting the ability of the remaining active ones to complete fermentation. We call that “stuck fermentation”. Can be a problem.
    But the main point is that a soup of biota definitely adapts to the change of nutrients, energy sources, temperature and byproduct load quite remarkably, under significant variation in conditions.
    At the beginning, a grape must may be up to 30% (by weight) fermentable sugars. By the end, it is near-zero. It might have parts per thousand of nutrients like nitrogen, selenium, cobalt, manganese. At the end, most of the minerals may well be undetectable. LIMIT draw down. But remember, a gram (say) of starter yeast in a 1,000ℓ test bâhtch might produce over 5,000 g of daughter cells. Sometimes more. That’s a huge amount of “adaption to the giant sugar opportunity”.
    I can only imagine that in the bug-eat-bug world of the ocean, the biota is nominally primed to take off to any degree that the limit-function of available nutrients and food sources allows. At all times. If the ever so slightly warming ocean and the ever so slightly decreasingly alkaline sea water are mildly inhibitory to nominal phytoplankton metabolic function, with the increase of CO₂, I am certain that they’ll just multiply more quickly, or die off more slowly in response. If the limit is IRON, then no tiny amount of warming/acidification is going to change that relationship. IRON will.
    Hence – to sound like an old saw – why I am a super-advocate of open-ocean experiments in iron fertilization of largish tracts of the sea. Seriously. Let’s at least try a few 100 km² plots, say “one per named ocean basin” or something. Try ’em out. Put a few billion into it. See how it fares. There won’t be even a scintilla of a chance for a “big kaboom”. If the first pilots point to issues that look detrimental, STOP. Gradually in the next few years the ecosystem(s) of the pelagic zone will eat up the excess iron, and SINK it. Along with gigatons of CO₂.
    Anyway, off my soapbox.
    GoatGuy

    • GG
      From the little bit I got from hanging around ancient and mostly now deceased plankton research types I suspect you are right. From the lots of papers I have read on the not really dead Louisiana ‘Dead Zone,’ it is claimed to be caused by phytoplankton that may be limited by N, P, or Si (lots of iron in the mud) and what about others like vitamin B12. I think they need to check the pH there. A fundamental ecological theorem is that limiting factors change. This interesting one suggests iron dust stimulates blue-greens (still their color) that produce nitrogen that stimulates dinoflagellate red tide blooms. Now we wouldn’t want to stimulate red tides would we? Actually you can study a lot of fish that way and chase off the tourists. The responsible blue-green is tropical.
      Walsh, J. J. And K. A. Steidinger. 2001. Saharan dust and Florida red tides: the cyanophyte connection. J. Geophys. Res. 106(C6):11597-11612.

  35. I’m bad at chemistry and get confused. I understand that colder water holds more CO2 so colder water at higher latitude is lower pH.
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/store/10.1029/2009GL040999/asset/image_n/grl26570-fig-0001.png?v=1&s=a0b2ad6e478c7c7c6c06691ff77e580818c0b11d
    But then I look at chlorophyll detected from space showing that the lower pH water is generally more productive – https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=4097
    So from the above I can’t see how anyone can say lower pH is bad for marine plant life in general.
    Getting more specific with phytoplankton and iron there’s a page at NASA that appears to fly in the face of the above study on the basis of fluorescence detection which also shows lower pH waters at higher latitudes doing just fine. https://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/modis_fluorescence.html
    But it says “More fluorescence is emitted when waters are low in key nutrients such as iron. ” and “For instance, the amount of fluorescence increases when phytoplankton are under stress from a lack of iron, a critical nutrient in seawater. When the water is iron-poor, phytoplankton emit more solar energy as fluorescence than when iron is sufficient.” showing this map:
    https://www.nasa.gov/images/content/352289main_FluorYield_226.jpg
    And then it shows a map of iron:
    https://www.nasa.gov/images/content/352356main_fe.jpg
    .. which shows some areas of glaring exception to their assertion of iron being a key determinant of lower fluorescence such as due south of India at the equator being relatively high in iron but also high fluorescence.
    Am I reading something wrong? It appears that iron is a factor but not a critical one for phytoplankton or marine plants in general in the cooler lower pH waters that can hold more CO2. I can only conclude that a higher concentration of CO2 will benefit the warmer lower latitude waters based on the above observations.

    • Dunno – hard to tell from the tiny map (and I don’t know what the colors mean on the iron map), but it looks to me like a pretty good negative correlation, even if there is a little overlap.. Wonder when the fluoro image was taken.
      Interesting article, thanks for posting it.

    • Totally skipped the first part, got hung up on the second. The pH alone won’t necessarily make a difference, it’s the interaction of pH with other factors. One might generally say that all else being equal, low pH is likely to affect phytoplankton, but how low is “too low” will depend on the species. Or you could say that in some circumstances a pH of X will be a problem for Y species, but in other circumstances it will be fine.
      That is why pH and plankton might not match. But why the difference in the satellite images, even if measuring different wavelengths? That’s interesting.

  36. I find it remarkable indeed how many people here are so much smarter than the people who did the research. Amazing how you all know so much – and without even reading the paper! All you need is a very, very basic idea of chemistry (and no knowledge of plankton biology) to figure out how stupid scientists are. Wish I were omniscient like that!
    But then, it’s easy, isn’t it? Any scientist who studies anything that could be considered a negative effect of AGW is wrong (and probably a socialist), and anyone who says science by the consensus is stupid/corrupt/fake is correct, even if they have no evidence, no better hypothesis, are unqualified to judge and have ties to Big Oil. The only reason one might have to think is to make up excuses to reject science.

    • What evidence can you present that science by consensus is valid?
      Explain to us how the truth could actually be influenced by how many people know it or believe it?

      • The evidence is in plain sight: Very few scientists will tell you the sun revolves around the earth. A few might tell you the Earth is 8000 years old, but not many.

      • Paul P.: “Very few scientists will tell you the sun revolves around the earth. ”
        That doesn’t address my question at all. What would address it is for you to answer the question, if many scientists told us that the sun revolves around the earth – would that make it true? (I’ll answer it for you .. NO!)
        I claim that consensus does not establish the truth. Given that scientific truths exist before anyone even discovers them, the number of people who know them obviously has no bearing on their existence. How am I wrong?

      • That’s the point – there is no evidence that will convince people who have already made up their minds. They just throw it out, as so many have done here. The consensus isn’t the point, that was just a term to differentiate scientists who believe AGW theory and think it’s a problem from those who don’t for whatever reason. (I never know what to call the different groups)
        The truth is not influenced by how many people believe it. However, if thousands of scientists all over the world work for decades on a particular body of research and over time reach a decisive agreement about part of it, to me it seems likely to be true. That’s the way science works. They don’t agree about every bit of it, and that’s how science works, too. It’s also good that not everyone agrees even on the basics since that means research comes under extra scrutiny.
        That said, the scrutiny it receives around here is not always appropriate. Usually people are “primed,” as they say in psychology, to know what to think by little comments Eric and others make, normally ridiculing something. Then it’s all too easy to join the crowd, affirm one’s preconceptions, restate one’s beliefs, and find that whatever research has been posted is either stupid or proves that “consensus” climate science is wrong, in which case it’s excellent. This is hyperbole and a broad generalization; I don’t mean to offend anyone, I’m just stating my observation. It’s the same on AGW sites, too, I assume. It would be nice if people everywhere recognized the limits of their knowledge before dismissing that of others. I’m not always good at it myself, but I’m trying to get better.
        I have many reasons for believing in AGW. The consensus is one of them, but not the most important.

      • Original Mike M====== it addresses your question exactly. It is the LACK of scientists that profess the sun revolves around the earth that makes “consensus” a valid point. As time goes on, and the number of anti-AGW scientist dwindle, the voices going against the current consensus view will fade into oblivion .

      • C. Paul Pierett “It is the LACK of scientists that profess the sun revolves around the earth that makes “consensus” a valid point. ”
        My point survives again by examination of the reverse condition – Would a LACK of scientists professing that the earth revolves around the sun make the consensus that the sun revolves around the earth true?
        That is exactly what Galileo faced when he publicly challenged the Aristotelian consensus model enforced by a POLITICAL body. He was ridiculed and worse by an endless stream of mental midgets but he stood his ground on the basis of scientific reasoning right up until that political body threatened to kill him unless he admitted that he was wrong. He escaped death by pronouncing that the consensus was correct, that the sun revolves around the earth but that did not change the truth.
        Truth and scientific facts are immalleable, they exist ABSOLUTELY independent of human thought let alone belief. Gravity existed before Newton, atoms existed before Leucippus, microbes existed before Marcus Terentius Varro, and the earth was orbiting the sun long before Copernicus or Galileo. It still is by the way and not because the consensus evaporated. Climate will likewise continue to change well after your CAGW consensus has been fully evaporated by the intense heat of ever increasing amounts of contrary evidence.
        It’s just a matter of time….

  37. Original Mike M
    ” Given that scientific truths exist before anyone even discovers them, the number of people who know them obviously has no bearing on their existence. How am I wrong?”
    OK, that’s a good start. Now, say the truth is a frog and you have 100 herpetologists come along to look at it and tell you if it’s a frog or a lizard. If 97% told you it was a frog, who would you believe?
    Or is it impossible to make it strictly an issue of science, without getting all kinds of political ideology mixed in and making assumptions about how corrupt/dumb scientists are these days?
    Given that scientific truths exist before anyone even discovers them, the POLITICS of people who know them obviously has no bearing on their existence. How am I wrong?

    • Kristi Silber

      Given that scientific truths exist before anyone even discovers them, the POLITICS of people who know them obviously has no bearing on their existence. How am I wrong?

      You are wrong because that (fake news/fake science!) “97%” charade of scientists are paid by the bureaucrats and politicians who are setting up the university and laboratory and computer money to CREATE the “facts” that are put together to CREATE the CAGW story. Don’t follow the “story line”? No degree, no grants, no hires, no publications, no tenure, no research money. The politics of their CAGW story IS their existence and their career. You do realize that the myth of your “97% of scientists believe in global warming” is a politicized story of false “science” by selecting 75 “proper” answers from 2 questions of 5 questions asked of 13,500 members – of who, 7500 answered. That you believe it, that you cite it as evidence shows only your lack of understanding of the issue.

      • RACookPE1978
        Please provide us with a link to a peer reviewed scientific study that falsifies the 97% claim. Thank you in advance. Is there one that shows it at 92%, or 87% or 73% ?

        • 75 replies to two questions (of the five asked on the survey) were selected from the top 77 government-funded “scientists” as ranked by the by the authors of the survey from the 7500 total who replied. Ranking was based on the number of papers each “scientist” was credited with authoring. Methodology is IN the paper creating the 97% belief.
          By the way, we have never been told what the other three questions were.
          The two known question are (paraphrasing slightly):
          “Has the earth warmed in recent years?
          Is human activity responsible for some of that warming? ”
          And, by the way, I too would answer “Yes!” to both questions.

      • Your personal opinion of a published study does not invalidate it. I asked you for an alternative study that falsifies the one that claims 97%. Please post a link to a study that shows something less than 97%, like maybe 87% or 53%. It is my understanding that the original study showing 97% has not yet been retracted.

        • The ORIGINAL STUDY listed their methodology: Why would another study be “published” to discredit the crown jewel of the CAGW industry’s propaganda piece?
          75/77 is 97% after all. And, by the way, I do agree with both questions asked: It’s just that the propaganda standing in front of the lies is what must be exposed.
          My “opinion” is irrelevant: The “facts” of climate science are not affected by the retraction, or promotion, of a false story created to serve the government’s agenda.

      • RACookPE1978, you need another study to falsify the ORIGINAL one. Don’t you understand how science works? Let me give you a clue. Blog posts, and comments attached to them don’t carry weight in the world of science.

      • C Paul,
        Obviously you have not been paying attention to this debate or you would be aware of the multitude of articles, critiques and yes, peer reviewed studies refuting the alleged 97% consensus. In case you missed it here is a short list of references:
        https://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/12/19/97-articles-refuting-the-97-consensus-on-global-warming/
        If you continue to deny the obvious we will know that you need no facts to support your beliefs, and hence you will be dismissed as a person who has nothing of value to contribute to the debate.

      • visits from two skeptical science denizens in one post , deary me.c.paul might be the last alarmist to ever use the 97% study in an argument on here. surely must be the last person to learn it was a bogus claim and scientifically proven to be so.

    • Kristi Silber
      A good example to illustrate how a consensus can be wrong is luminiferous aether theory which was accepted science up until 1887 when it was possible to devise an experiment to prove or disprove it. The majority accepted it as true but then the Michelson–Morley experiment disproved it. It took another 20 to 30 years to eradicate aether from radiative physics likely only because of stubborn pride.
      A huge difference between that consensus and the current CAGW consensus is that it isn’t just a matter of pride, CAGW is indeed far more a matter of politics than science. With aether theory there was no catastrophic doom associated with believing it or not believing it. There was no massive federal funding to pay people to “study” it and then dig in their heels trying to defend its existence in order to retain their careers. There were no politicians hitching their elections to it or attempting to steer global economics because of it.
      “OK, that’s a good start. Now, say the truth is a frog ….”
      I believe you are trying to say that there is consensus of scientists agreeing on a given genome for this or that species – fine. Per your example we now have DNA testing to examine relative zoological relationships. Before that was possible there were all kinds of disagreements on the subject. Therefore the emergence of strong experimental PROOF led to a much stronger consensus; it is a perfect example of a consensus driven by an actual scientific basis. If someone disagrees now they are burdened with having to disprove DNA testing (or whatever, I’m no biologist).
      In stark contrast there is no “DNA test” (yet) to use to slam your CAGW theory anymore than scientists had one to disprove Lysenko. He didn’t believe in genetics and Stalin imprisoned biologists who did. There was an instant consensus in the USSR that genetic theory was false, a consensus based not on science but on fear.
      Wiki – “Lysenko compared his opponents in biology to the peasants who still resisted the Soviet government’s collectivization strategy, saying that by opposing his theories the traditional geneticists were setting themselves against Marxism.”
      Sounds familiar doesn’t it? The only major difference with CAGW is that its basis includes a lot of money in addition to intimidation and ridicule of those who refuse to accept it without proof. (count me as one who is unafraid of moronic twits like Sheldon “Uncle Joe” Whitehouse who wants to throw me in jail.)
      You have no proof that getting warmer is bad and no evidence that it was bad in past periods of warmth.
      You have no proof that more CO2 is bad and no evidence that past periods of higher CO2 were harmful.
      You have no proof that ECS of CO2 is significantly large and no evidence it was ever a significant factor “controlling” earth’s temperature in the past.
      Without the above CAGW is indeed Lysenkoism – purely political and devoid of evidence.

      • Did the evidence for luminiferous ether accrue over decades, with thousands of scientists studying it?
        Lysenko was easily disproved. What does that have to do with anything? He wasn’t even a scientist. It was under Stalin. There’re no analogy there.
        ” The only major difference with CAGW is that its basis includes a lot of money in addition to intimidation and ridicule of those who refuse to accept it without proof. ”
        Money? How about the world’s biggest corporation and what it has to lose. There are billion dollar industries that don’t want to lose their profits to renewable energy. You don’t think they’re in this game?
        “I believe you are trying to say that there is consensus of scientists agreeing on a given genome for this or that species – fine. ”
        No, my point has nothing to do with DNA, my point is about scientific consensus. If there are 100 equally-trained scientists and 97% say one thing and 3% say another, and the 97% make complete sense to me while the arguments from the 3% don’t hold water, I’m going with the 97%.
        Politics has come to play a role in the debate over anthropogenic climate change, but it shouldn’t. There is absolutely no reason to bring politics into an assessment of science. There are relatively few “consensus” scientists who are vocal advocates, far fewer who actively lobby, very unlike the contrarian scientists. It’s not a good sample size, but at the one round of congressional testimony on climate change I’ve seen there were three contrarians and Michael Mann, who spent most of the time whining about his persecution. Most scientists stay out of politics because they aren’t supposed to and don’t want to be biased.
        It’s the results that should play a role in the public arena. Unless someone can prove otherwise there is no reason to interpret climate science in any way except at face value. No one has yet shown why it shouldn’t be. Deniers seem to want so badly to think it’s corrupt that many will sooner believe 8 independent investigations into “climategate” were also corrupt than admit they’ve been manipulated.. .Some think any adjustment to data is fraud when without the adjustment the data would not represent reality. Many think the models are useless. The main thread running through all these accusations is ignorance. Ignorance of what scientists do and who they are, and ignorance of the practice of climate science (particularly modeling) itself. They know enough to discredit them and not enough to realize the assumptions they make when they do so..
        I trust the scientific community not so much because I think scientists are infallible but because so much of the profession is focused on eliminating bias, and because the diverse teams of scientists and the replication of so many datasets, experiments and models, even if none is perfect, together are trustworthy..

        • Kristi Silber

          ” The only major difference with CAGW is that its basis includes a lot of money in addition to intimidation and ridicule of those who refuse to accept it without proof. ”
          Money? How about the world’s biggest corporation and what it has to lose. There are billion dollar industries that don’t want to lose their profits to renewable energy. You don’t think they’re in this game?

          Follow the money. The real “money” is the 1.3 trillion in carbon taxes that are NOT being fed to the (democrats pushing global warming hysteria) in the federal and state governments, the 13 trillion in carbon future trading being denied the global bankers and investors, and the 90 billion in CAGW “science” budgets spent FOR those “scientists” travel, laboratories, campuses, computer programs and hardware, and salaries, retirement budgets, and – most important of all: POWER.
          the “companies” you blindly accuse are providing life-services and energy to the world’s 6 billion innocents who cannot live without fossil fuels. And NO – they do NOT provide money to the skeptics who are fighting your deadly propaganda.

    • I don’t like the 97% figure because it is too precise, but I gues it’s easier than saying, “over 95%” or whatever.
      “The consensus that humans are causing recent global warming is shared by 90%–100% of publishing climate scientists according to six independent studies by co-authors of this paper. Those results are consistent with the 97% consensus reported by Cook et al (Environ. Res. Lett. 8 024024) based on 11 944 abstracts of research papers, of which 4014 took a position on the cause of recent global warming. A survey of authors of those papers (N = 2412 papers) also supported a 97% consensus. Tol (2016 Environ. Res. Lett. 11 048001) comes to a different conclusion using results from surveys of non-experts such as economic geologists and a self-selected group of those who reject the consensus. ”
      http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/11/4/048002/meta
      RACookPE1978 – Your claims are without evidence. They are simply assumptions and have no place in a scientific discussion. Of course, you’re free to have them, but making such assumptions will bring you no closer to truth…
      “It’s just that the propaganda standing in front of the lies is what must be exposed.”
      If you are concerned about propaganda, you should look at the propaganda planned, funded and implemented by FF that has been spread for decades in order to discredit AGW. Exxon alone has spent millions on it. See climatefiles.com
      Here’s an excerpt from one example, with some of the people and entities involved (http://www.climatefiles.com/exxonmobil/1998-global-climate-science-communications-team-action-plan/):
      “Members who contributed to the development of the plan are A. Adams, John Adams Associates; Candace Crandall, Science and Environmental Policy Project:; David Rothbard, Committee For A Constructive Tornorrow: Jeffrey Salmon. The Marshall Institute; Lee Garrigan, Environmental Issues Council: Lynn Bouchey and Myron Ebell,’ Frontiers of Freedom: Peter Cleary. Americans for Tax Reform: Randy Randol, Exxon Corp; Robert Gehri. The Southern Company; Sharon Kneiss, Chevron Corp: Steve Miiloy, The of Sound Science: Coalition: and Joseph American Petroleum lnstitute.”
      One step of the campaign is to “Identify, recruit and train a team of five independent scientists to participate in media outreach.” Who were those five?

  38. Eric you need to use a solar ionizer in your pool…..use one for the first time last year and not an ounce of problems the algae all year……also used about 1/3 rd the amount of chlorine.

  39. The role of CO2 in ocean acidification is exaggerated. In the link https://scripps.ucsd.edu/news/key-biological-mechanism-disrupted-ocean-acidification
    is stated: “One consequence of acidification is a nearly one-to-one reduction in the concentration of carbonate ions for every molecule of CO2 that dissolved in the ocean”.
    This assertion may be refuted not only by logical reasoning as AtheoK (March 16, 2:43 pm) did, but also by calculation.
    Only a small part of dissolved CO2 can be converted to carbonic acid: CO2 + H2O ↔ H2CO3, and a small part of H2CO3 produces hydrogen ions according to: H2CO3 H+ + HCO3- . The values of constants of these equilibrium reactions for NaCl solution (close to the ionic strength of seawater) are given by R.Soli and R.Byrne (2002):
    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/248288054_Carbon_Dioxide_System_Hydration_and_Dehydration_Kinetics_and_the_Equilibrium_CO2H2CO3_Ratio_in_Aqueous_NaCl_Solution
    Ratio of CO2/H2CO3 at 15oC is 840, so 1 mole of dissolved CO2 produces only 1.19 mmole H2CO3. Dissociation constant of H2CO3 is given by equation: log Ka = -0.994 -610.5/T. At T = 288K, Ka = 0.00077. Concentration of H+ ions can be calculated from:
    x2 = 1.19 * 0.00077, so x =[H+] = [HCO3-] = 0.03 mmole. So, 100 000 molecules of dissolved CO2 produce only 3 hydrogen ions that can convert carbonate ion to bicarbonate.

  40. Sorry, second chemical equation should be written as: H2CO3 H+ + HCO3-. In the last math equation x^2 (x squared).

    • That assumes a limitless supply of carbonate, no?. The problem is the oceans are losing their buffering capacity, which is why pH is decreasing.

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