The Total Myth of Ocean Acidification: Science! Edition

Guest myth-busting by David Middleton

From the American Association of Science of America [1]…

Ocean acidification could boost shell growth in snails and sea urchins

By Katie Camero Jul. 23, 2019 , 2:00 PM

The world’s oceans are acidifying rapidly as they soak up massive amounts of the carbon dioxide (CO2) released from burning fossil fuels. That’s bad news for tiny marine critters like coral and sea urchins that make up the base of the ocean food chain: Acidic water not only destroys their shells, but it also makes it harder for them to build new ones. Now, scientists studying sea snails have discovered an unexpected side effect of this acid brew—it can help some of them build thicker, stronger shells by making their food more nutritious.

Often called climate change’s “evil twin,” acidification happens when the ocean absorbs atmospheric CO2. As CO2 dissolves, the process releases hydrogen ions, lowering the water’s pH and increasing its acidity. That acidic water…

[…]

To find out what is happening in the wild, Sean Connell, an ecologist at the University of Adelaide in Australia, and colleagues traveled to underwater CO2 vents off the coast of New Zealand’s White Island (Whakaari). Water near the vents is about as acidic as most of the ocean is predicted to be by the end of the century. The researchers collected five sea snails (Eatoniella mortoni), along with five samples of turf algae, a staple of the sea snails’ diet.

[…]

Despite the idea that some marine organisms can resist the dangers of climate change, Riebesell says biodiversity is still decreasing, especially at CO2 vents, and that could make ecosystems less resilient. “Even if some organisms benefit from warming and acidification, there are still losers,” Riebesell says, “and evolutionary adaptation is not fast enough to compensate for the loss of these losers.”

Science! As in, “she blinded me with…”[2]

The phrase “ocean acidification” was literally invented out of thin air in 2003 by Ken Caldiera to enable liberal arts majors to sound sciencey when scaring the bejesus out of the scientifically illiterate masses. The geochemical process has been well-understood for about 100 years… But didn’t get a crisis-monger nickname until 2003.

When the pH of seawater decreases, calcium carbonate dissolves.  In warm, shallow seas, at a pH of about 8.3, dissolution of aragonite and calcite particles by inorganic processes is almost nonexistent.  However, since the classical studies of the Challenger expedition, it has been known that the proportion of calcium-carbonate particles in seafloor sediments decreases as depth of water increases (Table 5-1).  Such decrease is particularly rapid at depths between 4000 and 6000 m.  Although the reasons for this decrease have been debated, the evidence suggests that calcium carbonate dissolves because the COconcentration increases with depth.  The control on COappears to be part biological; it results from biological oxidation of organic-carbon compounds.  Also, the water masses at greater depth were derived from the polar region; their temperature is lower and the water contains more dissolved CO2. Increased concentration of CO2 is in turn reflected by lower pH, which leads to calcium carbonate dissolution.  However, the increase of pressure with depth may also be involved; such increase affects the dissociation of carbonic acid (Eqs. 5-11 and 5-12).  The depth at which the calcium-carbonate decreases most rapidly is known as the carbonate-compensation depth, defined as the depth at which the rate of dissolution of solid calcium carbonate equals the rate of supply.

Friedman and Sanders, 1978, pages 133-134
Friedman and Sanders, 1978, pages 133-134
Friedman and Sanders, 1978, pages 133-134

Why do you think the Science! journalist is a Liberal Arts major?

Well… There’s this…

Katie Camero
Katie Camero is a Diverse Voices in Science Journalism intern for the News section of Science in Washington, D.C.

Science! As in, “she blinded me with…”[2]

Then there are the things she wrote in this article…

Note: Most of my rebuttals are from these two WUWT posts:

  1. The Total Myth of Ocean Acidification
  2. The Total Myth of Ocean Acidification, Part Deux: The Scientific Basis

The world’s oceans are acidifying rapidly…

Katie Camero, Liberal Arts major

Horst schist!

Figure 1.  Station ALOHA, Hawaiian Ocean Time Series (HOTS) calculated pH (at 25 °C) trend  (Oct. 1988 – Nov. 2016).  Adapted from: Dore, J.E., R. Lukas, D.W. Sadler, M.J. Church, and D.M. Karl. 2009. Physical and biogeochemical modulation of ocean acidification in the central North Pacific. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 106:12235-12240

While the Station ALOHA pH trend does exhibit a negative slope and correlates well with pCO2 (R² = 0.8646), most of the values fall within 2δ of the 1994-2005 mean.  Over the past 29 years the pH has dropped from 8.1 to 8.1, rounded to 1 decimal place.

Acidic water not only destroys their shells, but it also makes it harder for them to build new ones.

Katie Camero, Liberal Arts major

Good fracking grief! Seawater can’t become acidic, at least not under real world conditions. A study of seawater pH near active volcanic CO2 vents in the Mediterranean (Kerrison et al., 2011) found that the pH immediately adjacent to the vent was still alkaline, despite being subjected to the equivalent of nearly 5,600 ppm CO2.

Figure 2. CO2 fugacity vs pH.  Data from Kerrison et al., 2011.

Partial pressure and fugacity (μatm) are a little lower than what the mixing ratio (ppm) would be, depending on temperature and humidity.  However, they are close.  A partial pressure (pCO2) of 350 μatm generally equates to about 350 ppm in the atmosphere.   At nearly 5,600 ppm CO2 the seawater was still alkaline, not acidic.

To find out what is happening in the wild, Sean Connell, an ecologist at the University of Adelaide in Australia, and colleagues traveled to underwater CO2 vents off the coast of New Zealand’s White Island (Whakaari). Water near the vents is about as acidic as most of the ocean is predicted to be by the end of the century.

Katie Camero, Liberal Arts major

“An ecologist at the University of Adelaide in Australia” is not an upgrade relative to a Liberal Arts major at Boston University, if they really think that the water near CO2 “vents is about as acidic as most of the ocean is predicted to be by the end of the century.”

The pH of the water nearest to the Mediterranean CO2 vents ranged from 7.01 to 7.15. At least one study from White Island, found “reduced mean pH levels (7.49 and 7.85) relative to background levels of 8.06” (Brinkman & Smith, 2014). Without a reference to pCO2 of the seawater, these numbers are useless.

Atmospheric CO2 is on a trajectory to reach 550-600 ppmv by the end of this century. There is no scientific basis to assert that this will drop the average pH of he open ocean from 8.1 to less than 7.5. Atmospheric CO2 would have to rise to 1,000 to 2,000 ppmv to drive average seawater pH below 7.5.

Figure 3.  Cenozoic seawater pH from boron isotopes in planktonic foraminifera (modified after Pearson & Palmer, 2000). Note that pH was lower than the PETM 51.5 (EECO) and 59.5 Mya. HOTS Station Aloha is added for reference.
Figure 4. Cenozoic CO2 atmospheric mixing ratio and seawater partial pressure.  Notice the huge difference between atmospheric CO2 and pCO2.  Also notice that pCO2 was higher before and after the PETM and that stomata data indicate that CO2 was about what it is today, apart from a short duration spike to about 800 ppmv 55.2 Mya.  Talk about settled science! The Mauna Loa instrumental record (MLO) is added for reference. Note: Tirpati should be Tripati.

Besides, it’s not the pH that matters!

All that matters are the aragonite (Ωarg) and calcite (Ωcal) saturation states.

Figure 5.  Station ALOHA Aragonite and Calcite saturation state trends (Oct. 1988 – Nov. 2016).   Adapted from: Dore, J.E., R. Lukas, D.W. Sadler, M.J. Church, and D.M. Karl. 2009. Physical and biogeochemical modulation of ocean acidification in the central North Pacific. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 106:12235-12240

While the addition of CO2 to seawater will lower the Ωarg and Ωcal, increasing the temperature will increase the saturation states. And temperature dominates pCO2.

In situ Ωarg vs. pCO2

Figure 6.  Station ALOHA aragonite saturation vs pCO2 in situ.  Adapted from: Dore, J.E., R. Lukas, D.W. Sadler, M.J. Church, and D.M. Karl. 2009. Physical and biogeochemical modulation of ocean acidification in the central North Pacific. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 106:12235-12240

Note that In situ Ωarg has a much better correlation to SST than to in situ pCO2

Figure 7.  SST vs aragonite saturation.  Adapted from: Dore, J.E., R. Lukas, D.W. Sadler, M.J. Church, and D.M. Karl. 2009. Physical and biogeochemical modulation of ocean acidification in the central North Pacific. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 106:12235-12240

Despite the idea that some marine organisms can resist the dangers of climate change, Riebesell says biodiversity is still decreasing, especially at CO2 vents, and that could make ecosystems less resilient. “Even if some organisms benefit from warming and acidification, there are still losers,” Riebesell says, “and evolutionary adaptation is not fast enough to compensate for the loss of these losers.”

Katie Camero, Liberal Arts major

Well… Duh! Ries et al., 2009 conducted a laboratory experiment on a representative sample of marine calcifiers (oceanic critters that make shells, tests, carapaces, etc. out of CaCO3)…

To investigate the impact of ocean acidification on a range of benthic marine calcifiers, we reared 18 calcifying species for 60 d in isothermal (25 °C; see the Data Repository for discussion) experimental seawaters equilibrated with average pCO2 values (±SD) of 409 (±6), 606 (±7), 903 (±12), and 2856 (±54) ppm, corresponding to modern pCO2, and ~2, 3, and 10 times pre-industrial levels (~280 ppm), respectively, and yielding average seawater saturation states (±SD) of 2.5 (±0.4), 2.0 (±0.4), 1.5 (±0.3), and 0.7 (±0.2) with respect to aragonite (see the Data Repository for detailed methods). These carbonate system parameters were selected to represent the range of values predicted for the coming millennium (Brewer, 1997; Feely et al., 2004) and to span those reported to have occurred since mid-Cretaceous time (ca. 110 Ma; Royer et al., 2004; Tyrrell and Zeebe, 2004). The organisms’ net rates of calcifi cation (total calcification minus total dissolution) under the various pCO2 treatments were estimated from changes in their buoyant weight and verified with dry weight measurements after harvesting.

Ries et al., 2009

The aragonite saturation data from Station ALOHA indicate that critical levels would occur at much higher pCO2 levels than Ries’ formulations.  Most of the marine calcifier taxa were relatively unaffected below the equivalent of 600-900 ppm CO2.

Taxa without a strong preference for aragonite over calcite, that had a higher degree of organic cover and those that utilized photosynthesis tended to fare better under high COconditions.  Some of the best seafood (crab, shrimp & lobster) thrive in under high COconditions.

Figure 8.  Figure 1 from Ries (Left), red boxes approximate current calcification rate range.    (Right) Letters indicate the pCO2 level at which the calcification rate drops below the current range.   Adapted from: Dore, J.E., R. Lukas, D.W. Sadler, M.J. Church, and D.M. Karl. 2009. Physical and biogeochemical modulation of ocean acidification in the central North Pacific. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 106:12235-12240  and Ries, Justin B., Anne L. Cohen, Daniel C. McCorkle; Marine calcifiers exhibit mixed responses to CO2-induced ocean acidification. Geology ; 37 (12): 1131–1134. doi: https://doi.org/10.1130/G30210A.1

The only marine calcifier which appears to be in peril at pCO2 levels likely to be reached in the next few centuries is the soft clam,  Mya arenaria,… And this is fracking HILARIOUS!!!

The high tolerance of environmental factors is reflected in two statements made by Hidu & Newell (1989) about clam culture: “Mya larvae are among the most hardy that we have reared; one has to work overtime with incompetence to destroy a brood.” and “If Mya are hardy as larvae they are even more hardy as juveniles.”

Strasser, 1998

Do I need to explain this?

Ries et al., 2009 tried as hard as they could to wipe out marine calcifiers with “ocean acidification.”  The only taxa, they were able to even remotely imperil was Mya arenaria (called “steamers” where I grew up)… possibly the hardiest of all hardy marine calcifiers.  This bit can’t be repeated too often…

“Mya larvae are among the most hardy that we have reared; one has to work overtime with incompetence to destroy a brood.”

You really couldn’t make this schist up if you were trying.   Mya arenaria is possibly the most successful invasive species of the Phanerozoic Eon… It was an invasive species before Adam met Eve… Long before Adam met Eve.  Yet, it is the only taxa that Ries et al., 2009 managed to “work overtime with incompetence to destroy a brood.”

References

Brinkman T. J., Smith A. M. (2014) “Effect of climate change on crustose coralline algae at a temperate vent site, White Island, New Zealand”. Marine and Freshwater Research 66, 360-370.

Dore, J.E., R. Lukas, D.W. Sadler, M.J. Church, and D.M. Karl. 2009. “Physical and biogeochemical modulation of ocean acidification in the central North Pacific”. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 106:12235-12240

Friedman, G.M. and Sanders, J.E. (1978) “Principles of Sedimentology”. Wiley, New York.

Kerrison, Phil & Hall-Spencer, Jason & Suggett, David & Hepburn, Leanne & Steinke, Michael. (2011). “Assessment of pH variability at a coastal CO2 vent for ocean acidification studies.” Estuarine and Coastal Marine Science. 94. 129-137. 10.1016/j.ecss.2011.05.025.

Pagani, M., J.C. Zachos, K.H. Freeman, B. Tipple, and S. Bohaty. 2005. “Marked Decline in Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Concentrations During the Paleogene”. Science, Vol. 309, pp. 600-603, 22 July 2005.

Pearson, P. N. and Palmer, M. R.: “Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations over the past 60 million years”. Nature, 406, 695–699,https://doi.org/10.1038/35021000, 2000.

Ries, Justin B., Anne L. Cohen, Daniel C. McCorkle; “Marine calcifiers exhibit mixed responses to CO2-induced ocean acidification”. (2009). Geology ; 37 (12): 1131–1134. doi: https://doi.org/10.1130/G30210A.1

Royer, et al., 2001. “Paleobotanical Evidence for Near Present-Day Levels of Atmospheric CO2 During Part of the Tertiary”. Science 22 June 2001: 2310-2313. DOI:10.112

Strasser M, 1999. “Mya arenaria: an ancient invader of the North sea coast”. Helgolander Meeresunters 52:309–324.

Tripati, A.K., C.D. Roberts, and R.A. Eagle. 2009.  “Coupling of CO2 and Ice Sheet Stability Over Major Climate Transitions of the Last 20 Million Years”.  Science, Vol. 326, pp. 1394 1397, 4 December 2009.  DOI: 10.1126/science.1178296

Pop Culture References

[1] American Association of Science of America

[2] Science! As in, “she blinded me with…”

Thomas Dolby – She Blinded Me With Science from Mad Hatter on Vimeo.

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Editor
July 25, 2019 2:37 am

I doubt that Ms Camero would understand this, particularly as it runs counter to her prejudices.

In the meantime the alarmist juggernaut sails on.

Reply to  Keitho
July 25, 2019 4:32 am

Juggernauts do not sail despite the poor transliteration of Sanskrit natha, ‘lord’, into naut.

July 25, 2019 2:56 am

“Besides, it’s not the pH that matters!

All that matters are the aragonite (Ωarg) and calcite (Ωcal) saturation states.”

So after all the nonsense about pH 7 etc, the truth emerges. Yes, it’s not the pH that matters. And CO2 does dissolve CaCO3. How much is the issue, but the fact that the (buffered) pH changes slowly is not the measure.

Sheri
Reply to  David Middleton
July 25, 2019 5:30 am

Thank you for the correct term!

Loydo
Reply to  David Middleton
July 25, 2019 9:33 pm

Acidification, de-alkalination, its all a bit semantic really. I sure as hell wouldn’t want the carbonate geochemistry of my blood to change that much.

Acidemia is said to occur when arterial pH falls below 7.35, while its counterpart (alkalemia) occurs at a pH over 7.45.

Signs and symptoms include headaches, confusion, feeling tired, tremors, sleepiness, flapping tremor, and dysfunction of the cerebrum of the brain which may progress to coma.

Life, so delicately balanced.

beng135
Reply to  Loydo
July 26, 2019 10:02 am

Loydo, that’s a silly, kindergarten analogy. Even you can do better than that. But be careful of your delicate balance.

Richard G.
Reply to  Loydo
July 26, 2019 6:21 pm

“Life, so delicately balanced.”-Loydo

You need to consider life in terms of the word Homeostasis.

Homeostasis definition: the tendency of a system, especially the physiological system of higher animals, to maintain internal stability, owing to the coordinated response of its parts to any situation or stimulus that would tend to disturb its normal condition or function.”

“Homeostasis is the tendency of organisms to auto-regulate and maintain their internal environment in a stable state.”

You as a person can leave the terrestrial environment bathed in atmospheric gas, plunge into a fresh water river or lake, emerge back to the terrestrial realm and plunge directly into the ocean environment without suffering a chemical shock that is fatal, even though you have whip-sawed your skin with enormous environmental changes. Why? Because we auto-regulate our internal chemistry, as do all marine organisms.

Marine organism Shell formation happens in isolation from the variable external ocean environment, as it has over the aeons. Isn’t Life a marvel?

Richard G.
Reply to  Loydo
July 26, 2019 6:35 pm

“Life, so delicately balanced.”-Loydo

Search term: Homeostasis.

“Homeostasis is the tendency of organisms to auto-regulate and maintain their internal environment in a stable state.”-Wiki

Academia: Signs and symptoms include headaches, confusion, feeling tired, tremors, sleepiness, flapping tremor, and dysfunction of the cerebrum of the brain which may progress to coma. Did I forget to include hysteria?

Marine organisms have been busily growing shells isolated by their tissues from the hostile and variable marine environment for aeons. Isn’t life a marvel of perseverance?

Latitude
Reply to  Nick Stokes
July 25, 2019 6:04 am

If ocean acidification is possible…it dissolves calcium carbonate…acidification has to, that’s the buffer…..kills corals and plankton with calcium carbonate structures by dissolving them.

When corals with calcium carbonate skeletons evolved when CO2 levels were over 10 times higher….
.and the White Cliffs of Dover formed from plankton with calcium carbonate shells when CO2 levels were almost 3 times higher?

CO2 levels many times higher…could not have caused acidification…corals would not have evolved, they would have dissolved…..plankton with calcium carbonate shells would not have evolved, it would have dissolved

..and even if the had evolved….acidification would have dissolved any trace of them…because the only trace we have of them is their calcium carbonate skeletons

.more CO2 in the ocean makes plankton with calcium carbonate skeletons grow better and faster…just like plants
CO2 does not make the ocean acid….

Phytoplankton calcification in a high-CO2 world.

Abstract
Ocean acidification in response to rising atmospheric CO2 partial pressures is widely expected to reduce calcification by marine organisms. From the mid-Mesozoic, coccolithophores have been major calcium carbonate producers in the world’s oceans, today accounting for about a third of the total marine CaCO3 production. Here, we present laboratory evidence that calcification and net primary production in the coccolithophore species Emiliania huxleyi are significantly increased by high CO2 partial pressures. Field evidence from the deep ocean is consistent with these laboratory conclusions, indicating that over the past 220 years there has been a 40% increase in average coccolith mass. Our findings show that coccolithophores are already responding and will probably continue to respond to rising atmospheric CO2 partial pressures, which has important implications for biogeochemical modeling of future oceans and climate.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18420926

Latitude
Reply to  Latitude
July 25, 2019 6:07 am

Growing corals turn water more acidic without suffering damage

More acidic water may be a sign of healthy corals, says a new study, muddying the waters still further on our understanding of how coral reefs might react to climate change.

Andreas Andersson of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego, California, and his colleagues carefully monitored a coral reef in Bermuda for five years, and found that spikes in acidity were linked to increased reef growth.

https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn28468-growing-corals-turn-water-more-acidic-without-suffering-damage/

Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  Latitude
July 25, 2019 11:54 am

Read here recently: the limitation on coral growth in shallow waters is the unavailability of more CO2. Corals alter the pH of the waters they live in, until they run out of CO2.

From the article above: “Often called climate change’s “evil twin,” acidification happens when the ocean absorbs atmospheric CO2. As CO2 dissolves, the process releases hydrogen ions, lowering the water’s pH and increasing its acidity. That acidic water…”

It doesn’t seem to have occurred to the authors that there is a large exit of CO2 from the oceans due to all that global warming they keep finding. If the ocean warms, CO2 enters the atmosphere. Then they worry about all that CO2 going back into the oceans that it just came out of. So which is it? CO2 leaving the oceans or entering them? Or are we supposed to be doubly scared, individually?

If the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere is X and rises to Y, and the oceans warm up (presumably from global warming) then are we back to X after all?

How do we know that the slight change in pH near Hawaii was not due to ocean cooling? Does the pH change match the CO2 concentration in the air? If so, then it means the oceans are not warming after all. It should not match the concentration, it should match the combination of temperature rise (supposedly) and CO2 increase. Yes?

I appreciate the comment that the concentration would reach >5600 ppm before the alkaline water pH drops to neutral. That is a number worth remembering.

Latitude
Reply to  Crispin in Waterloo
July 25, 2019 12:29 pm

Crispin, they sorta got their horse and cart confused.

The corals eat more….they poop and pee more..but if the corals are eating more…they are not the only thing eating more….bacteria crank up…ammonification, nitrification, denitrification, etc….produce acids

there are no clean surfaces in the ocean…it’s all one big bacterial biological filter
the amount of acid produced is unfathomable….CO2 would not even register

Jan E Christoffersen
Reply to  Latitude
July 25, 2019 12:48 pm

Latitude,

In oceans, shouldn’t “spikes in acidity” always be referred to as”decreases in alkalinity”?

Latitude
Reply to  Jan E Christoffersen
July 25, 2019 5:26 pm

of course….but that was Scripps and their agenda

Andrew_W
July 25, 2019 3:08 am

“American Association of Science of America” something conjured out of thin air?
Never heard of it, and outside of this WUWT post neither has Google.

Reply to  David Middleton
July 28, 2019 6:27 am

Yes, but did you register the name with the American department of redundancy department?

Graemethecat
July 25, 2019 3:17 am

The dimwits promoting this scare are clueless about Physical Chemistry. The buffering effect of all that carbonate and bicarbonate ion in seawater swamps any acidification by atmospheric CO2.

chaswarnertoo
Reply to  Graemethecat
July 25, 2019 4:45 am

Its 1/1064 true? Or 400/1000000 true?

aleks
Reply to  Graemethecat
July 25, 2019 7:36 am

That’s right! Moreover, the buffer effect of the carbonate-bicarbonate system is enhanced due to the presence of borates and silicates in seawater.

Julian
July 25, 2019 3:20 am

Thats the trouble, these sort of people are being aired by the low resolution MSM.

Darcy
Reply to  Julian
July 25, 2019 6:12 am

Indeed they are!

The leader of the Green Party here in the U.K. and the only Green Party MP we have is Caroline Lucas. She has a PhD and has been introduced as “Dr Caroline Lucas” at various events.

When I saw her years ago she clearly had her oxides of Carbon mixed up! It was as tho’ monoxide and dioxide were interchangeable to her.

I thought “What the hell has she achieved a PhD in?”

So I looked it up.

It’s:-

“A study of Women as Reader in Romantic Elizabethan Romance”

Could you possibly make this up?

Graemethecat
Reply to  Darcy
July 25, 2019 9:22 am

Caroline Lucas is a walking, breathing exemplar of the Dunning-Kruger Effect. She is unbelievably ignorant and dumb, but rates her intellect extraordinarily highly.

Michael Jankowski
Reply to  Darcy
July 25, 2019 9:29 am

Careful. Think Mosh claims to have a degree related to that.

Craig from Oz
Reply to  Darcy
July 25, 2019 8:09 pm

Okay, that is 20 minutes I will never get back.

I looked up ‘A study of Woman as Reader…’ and discovered it was vanity press published and available from Amazon. There is a preview available, from which I have concluded two things.

– Caroline, for example, is not a great wordsmith, for example.
and
– women in Elizabethan times read books, which were written for them, but by men and hence still somehow oppressed them.

Right… And from this Caroline is a Doctor…

Ladies and Gentlemen? Higher Education.

Marv
Reply to  Julian
July 25, 2019 7:11 am

“… low resolution MSM.”

That caters to an extremely dumbed-down public.

Peter
July 25, 2019 3:25 am

Doesn’t a warming ocean have a net outgassing of all gases including CO2?

Does rising atmospheric CO2 stop the net outgassing and actually cause a net ingassing of CO2?

I thought that over 90% of the combined ocean/atmosphere CO2 was in the oceans so it seems to me that it would take an enormous amount of CO2 ingassing to make any appreciable ph change in the oceans,

Robertvd
Reply to  Peter
July 25, 2019 7:25 am

So a colder ocean as we had before the current warm Holocene period during 90,000 years should in theory hold much more CO2.

Phil.
Reply to  David Middleton
July 29, 2019 7:01 am

Not when CO2 is being added to the atmosphere at a far higher rate, then the net flow is into the ocean. This is the case at present.

tty
Reply to  Robertvd
July 25, 2019 8:35 am

Yes. And that is the probable reason behind the low pCO2 during glacial periods, and the reason why CO2 lags temperature by 1,000-5,000 years. The deep ocean reacts slowly.

WBWilson
Reply to  Robertvd
July 25, 2019 8:50 am

And, during the Phanerozoic Eon, the oceans have never, with the possible exception of the Ordovician glaciation, been colder than they are during the current Ice Age.

4TimesAYear
Reply to  Robertvd
July 26, 2019 2:47 am

It definitely could: “The ocean can handle all the carbon that is left for humanity to burn. There is enough calcium in the upper 200meters of the ocean to combine with all CO2 that you can burn from what we call the null reserves of fossil fuel” ~ Dr. Tom Segalstad https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-g-c_WbJWAQ

Peter
July 25, 2019 3:27 am

Doesn’t a warming ocean have a net outgassing of all gases including CO2?

Does rising atmospheric CO2 stop the net outgassing and actually cause a net ingassing of CO2?

I thought that over 90% of the combined ocean/atmosphere CO2 was in the oceans so it seems to me that it would take an enormous amount of CO2 ingassing to make any appreciable ph change in the oceans,

Latitude
Reply to  Peter
July 25, 2019 6:34 am

there are no clean surfaces in the ocean…it’s all one big biological filter….and the amount of acids produced by those processes is unfathomable…

CO2 is totally a non player

Reply to  Peter
July 26, 2019 1:17 am

“Doesn’t a warming ocean have a net outgassing of all gases including CO2?”
Not if the cause of warming is us puutting CO2 in the air.

Where do you think it goes. With burning and land clearing, we have added about 550 Gtons C to the air. That would have been enough to double the concentration. It is also about equal to the total mass of land biosphere. But fortunately, only about half that carbon has stayed in the air. The rest went into the sea. Where else? That is the net flow.

xenomoly
Reply to  Nick Stokes
July 26, 2019 7:24 am

I LOVE these wild guesses about vast quantities of gasses. The “indirect measurements” for these massive quantities all have margins of error that make these guesses damn near useless but warmists state them without reservation or hint of skepticism about their scale. Just tack on some peer reviewed claims, get the paper published in a journal whose reviewers are all ideological fellow travelers – and viola – a new grant for the next quarter is guaranteed.

It does not matter that these numbers are just bullshit estimates. They are PEER REVIEWED bullshit estimates. It does not matter that you could never build a structure with the guesswork of this level involved and have it not topple over immediately — its PEER REVIEWED.

Come on, man. I get that everyone gets together at a conference and all agree that scientist X’s bullshit estimate for a feature of the world that cannot possibly be directly or plausibly indirectly measured is the CONSENSUS — but agreed upon bullshit is still bullshit.

commieBob
July 25, 2019 3:34 am

… biodiversity is still decreasing, especially at CO2 vents …

OK, what does that remotely have to do with anthropogenic CO2 emissions. It is a complete red herring.

Stewart Pid
Reply to  David Middleton
July 25, 2019 6:56 am

So much ridiculing and so little time. As one old time geologist to another “may the force be strong with you” and your ridiculing!!

Tom Abbott
Reply to  David Middleton
July 26, 2019 6:44 am

“Unless these are brand-spanking-new CO2 vents”

You beat me to it! 🙂

If they were old CO2 vents, then whatever lives there has already adapted to them, and any loss of species would have to be related to somthing other than CO2.

DaveS
Reply to  commieBob
July 25, 2019 5:16 am

Will lower pH turn red herrings a deeper shade of red?

michael hart
July 25, 2019 3:43 am

Good article.

“Seawater can’t become acidic, at least not under real world conditions.”

Yes. It’s worth repeating that pure water is far more “acidic” than the ocean is ever predicted to get. If CO2 was going to ever cause a pH crisis then it would happen in less-buffered fresh water systems first. But it doesn’t. Life forms self-buffer to a far greater extent than can ever be a problem due to CO2 in the real world. Any changes are likely net beneficial because the base of the food chain wants more, not less, CO2.

Graemethecat
Reply to  michael hart
July 25, 2019 4:46 am

Yes, but an “unmeasurably small decrease in seawater pH” doesn’t sound nearly scary enough.

R Shearer
Reply to  michael hart
July 25, 2019 5:32 am

Rain water is 10,000% more acidic than sea water and we all know how corrosive rain water is.

Phil.
Reply to  R Shearer
July 29, 2019 7:09 am
MangoChutney
July 25, 2019 3:43 am

Anybody know the pH of the ocean?

It’s a rhetorical question of course since the ocean doesn’t have a pH value. Instead, the pH varies from place to place and in some places varies on a yearly basis, seasonal basis, monthly basis, daily basis and an hourly basis.

Same as the earth’s temperature.

Bernhard
July 25, 2019 4:25 am

Calcium carbonate solubility is complex. As the water warms, it holds LESS calcium carbonate, and given a nucleation site, it will come out of solution. As ocean temperatures vary a good bit around the world, and at various depths, the solubility will vary greatly, also. If the water borders the atmosphere, as shallows do, the atmospheric CO2 can significantly impact solubility also. Given the complexities, field studies at the site of the specific organism of interest are the best way to figure out what is happening to that organism. But given all of the known factors that significantly impact the solubility of calcium carbonate, they should be monitored, and controlled for. Generalizations do not apply very well, given the widely varying conditions in all of the different environments.

Ron Long
July 25, 2019 4:45 am

Good assembling of diverse data into a good comment about ocean acidification, David. The depth of Calcite/Carbonate Compensation, 4,000 to 6,000 meters, is used by stratigraphers to suggest depth of sedimentation. RE the CO2-rich, cold water from polar regions sinking into the ocean depths and supporting less carbonate particles, the carbonate structured sea life in the polar regions is abundant (and tasty!), and this suggests to me that it is the increasing pressure that reduces carbonate particles. Aragonite is a poorly-organized crystal structure which tolerates a lot of add-on cations, does not fizz under attack by acid, and is a candidate, along with cockroaches I guess, to be ultimate survivors in this planet. So, ocean acidification? Never mind.

priffe
July 25, 2019 4:50 am

But you are saying that 1000-2000 ppm CO2 could actually lower the ocean pH to 7.5? Really?
Surface water? How deep?

“Atmospheric CO2 is on a trajectory to reach 550-600 ppmv by the end of this century. There is no scientific basis to assert that this will drop the average pH of he open ocean from 8.1 to less than 7.5. Atmospheric CO2 would have to rise to 1,000 to 2,000 ppmv to drive average seawater pH below 7.5.”

TimTheToolMan
July 25, 2019 5:10 am

“Even if some organisms benefit from warming and acidification, there are still losers,” Riebesell says, “and evolutionary adaptation is not fast enough to compensate for the loss of these losers.”

Is that a fact. It seems to me that if there was an evolutionary advantage to being able to grow one’s shell more efficiently then those specimens that could, would breed and thrive and natural selection would take care of them in the kinds of timeframes they need. This isn’t a case of needing genetic mutations which is much slower.

michael hart
Reply to  TimTheToolMan
July 25, 2019 11:38 am

A good point. Studies on the evolution of antibiotic-resistance can depend strongly on the size of the flask used. Claims made about how ocean life forms will adapt over time are almost certainly not sampling the full genetic diversity of the oceans, even for a single species. How they adapt wrt each other in a complex ecosystem is almost totally unknown.

Don Schwartz
July 25, 2019 5:16 am

Here is a much simpler explanation as to why acidification of the ocean due to driving SUVs is junk science. Several years ago I saw a lecture by an economist who was talking about peak oil. He said that all the oil man has pulled out of the ground was about equal to the volume of water in lake Tahoe. Lake Tahoe is a very big lake but if you go to it on Google Earth and zoom out you can easily see how insignificant it is compared to the ocean. Not to mention that much of the volume of oil is hydrogen.

tty
Reply to  Don Schwartz
July 25, 2019 8:10 am

Another explanation why acidification of the ocean is impossible, as given to me by an oceanographer: “The ocean consists of an alkaline liquid in an alkaline container”

TonyL
July 25, 2019 5:32 am

I really do not understand.
1) As a kid, my friends and I would swim at the local lake. The whole town did. We were all familiar with the local shellfish of various sorts. This was common experience for one and all. With fresh water systems far more acidic than ocean water, if ocean acidification was a problem, these freshwater species would not exist. But they do, in abundance.

2) Later on I was fortunate enough to travel to far off locations. On one island, you can see a great profusion of shellfish just off the beach amid streams of carbon dioxide gas coming up off the bottom and rising to the surface. The carbon dioxide is produced by the volcanic hot spot deep below. One location is so convenient with the outgassing so dramatic that the place is a tourist attraction. Clearly, the scientific community is well aware of these sites and their importance. As such they have been well studied, as you would expect.

3) Back in the day:
Graduate school in Chemistry. The Marine Sciences people were working on the ocean pH problem. It was important to them because a whole host of reactions they were interested in have a pH dependence. They knew way back then that the problem was enormously complex with lots of “moving parts”, and an approximation was the best they could hope for, if they could do even that. The one thing they were sure of was any simplistic formula based on atmospheric carbon dioxide was just plain wrong.
My small part in this mess was to empirically measure some binding constants of some generic “natural” organics to some hydrated colloids. Very curious, the selected hydrated colloids were also pH buffers in seawater. So at least some of the seawater components have multiple roles in both binding chemistry and in pH equilibrium chemistry. And, yes, seawater is pH buffered.
Even a casual look at the system by any disinterested observer would reveal huge complexities. The failings of any simplistic model would be immediately apparent.

4) You have to love the Biochemistry types. Lifeforms of all conceivable descriptions control their intracellular pH via a biochemical process known as the Proton Pump (surprise!). One of the big claims to fame of the Proton Pump is that it is extremely energy efficient. It can work over a wide range without requiring an inordinate amount of energy from the cell. So we see not only that organisms have some tolerance to pH changes but why. The day/night pH swings of some biologically active marine sites like kelp beds and coral reefs have been measured and found to be greater than 1 full pH unit. (wow!)

In conclusion:
For someone to claim that ocean acidification due to carbon dioxide could/might/maybe become a problem has to be ignorant of all of the above.

Reply to  TonyL
July 25, 2019 4:18 pm

TonyL,
Thank you for the reminders of real world complexities.
Back in the 1970s I did some considerable work on electrodes, not just pH and conductivity, but the emerging specific ion types like Na, F, and more, led by Orion Research, Mass.,USA.
The work included soil/water extracts and the like, a few on sea water, some blood serum, saliva, etc but certainly a greater range than the pure solutions that most lab research never goes beyond.
In summary, I gave up this work after about a year because it became too complex for my single, simple brain. The impacts of solids in suspension, colloids, near-colloids and biological material were large, hard to reproduce and hard to systematise.
Consequently, this hands-on research caused me to be highly sceptical of solution studies involving pH, as most must to, when the author appears unaware of such complexity. Expressed ignorance is common. Even the definition of pH, using concentration instead of activity terms, is often wrong. Authors unaware of the Debye and Huckel equations should be treated with distrust until shown otherwise.
There have been occasional, welcomed, competent solution chemistry papers in the last 30 years of climate science, but most are of low standard, what I think of as comic book standards. This trend to more, poor, climate science, lamentably, continues to snowball from lack of review by competent scientists. Caveat emptor. Geoff S

chaamjamal
July 25, 2019 6:09 am

No empirical evidence is found that changes in ocean inorganic co2 is related to fossil fuel emissions

https://tambonthongchai.com/2018/09/29/ocean-acidification-by-fossil-fuel-emissions/

Natalie Gordon
July 25, 2019 6:10 am

I attended a Florida State University seminar for the general public at their gulf coast field station. The scientist there showed a set up where local corals were in boxes with water flowing through. He then showed us dead corals that died after artificial acidification. It was horrific and had the audience gasping in horror. During the question and answer I asked how much had they dropped the pH to get that effect. I got a razzle dazzle of BS. I asked again, specifically how many pH points did they drop the water? Did they bring it down to 6? to 4? The scientist simply refused to answer me. If he poured concentrated sulfiruc acid on the corals of course they would die. His absolute refusal to tell me how exactly much they dropped the pH to get that death effect sticks out in my mind to this day. My BS metre was in overdrive.

Graemethecat
Reply to  Natalie Gordon
July 25, 2019 7:24 am

Breathtaking dishonesty by FSU. How could they sink so low?

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Graemethecat
July 25, 2019 11:25 am

It isn’t referred to as Free Shoes University for nothing.

michael hart
Reply to  Graemethecat
July 25, 2019 12:01 pm

Unfortunately it’s quite common in too many scientific papers.
If a given compound doesn’t have the expected effect then you simply increase the dose until something (usually bad) does happen (which always will). Then you write it up, and submit for publication.

Alasdair
July 25, 2019 6:49 am

Oh Dear! So all those lovely blue oceans are going to turn pink😴😴😴

beng135
Reply to  Alasdair
July 26, 2019 10:35 am

Or greenish like for much of Earth’s early history. If acidified enough, the iron oxide would disassociate.

HD Hoese
July 25, 2019 6:56 am

I am afraid that evidence from the late 19th century is not admissible, from the late 20th only selectively. When I was in graduate school a colleague and I did a study on a small freshwater acid spring, don’t recall the pH, but really acid, well below 7. It had algae fed on by snails. Shells were not as substantial as they could be, but were numerous, clearly reproducing. In the most productive places in the world if you go into the sediment, it likely will be an acid pH, sometimes smells of hydrogen sulphide. Full of life, organic matter sinks. The so called “dead zones” are anything but dead, the anaerobic, often around 7. boundary just being some degree up in the water column. pH acid, full of life, just not aerobic. Even in the sediment there are animals like nematodes.

Google Earth, love them anyway, has fish skeletons, click oceans, to show these waters, all I know of in very productive places. Their homework is poor. Currently there is a summer norther in the Gulf of Mexico. Sometimes it has produced upwelling from blowing the surface water offshore. Fish forced to shore, sometimes die. Been going on for who knows how long, at least before when pH was easy to measure. I am told there are old movies showing wagons on the beach picking up fish. One of the earliest to be studied was off Walvis Bay, touted for its productivity, not the occasional mortality which doesn’t happen without life.

(Sverdrup, et al., 1942) is especially not admissible because they had the concept of a ‘dynamic equilibrium.’

tty
Reply to  HD Hoese
July 25, 2019 8:18 am

That reminds me of a biologist who was once asked why swamps smell bad: “Where there is a lot of life, there is a lot of death”.

Nick Schroeder
July 25, 2019 6:57 am

The pH scale is log so every whole number is a power/factor of ten.

By definition pH is the negative exponent of the hydrogen ion concentration.

For instance, pH 9 is 10^-9 or 1 part per billion, .000000001.

pH 8 is 10^-8 or 10 parts per billion.

To go from pH 9 to pH 8 is factor of 10 or 1,000%!!!! Makes 26% look trivial.

Ocean “acidification” of pH 8.2 to pH 8.1 is a change in H ions of 1 ppb.

I’m fairly certain the ocean flora and fauna don’t even notice.

Graemethecat
Reply to  Nick Schroeder
July 25, 2019 7:30 am

Just measuring pH to better than 0.1 unit is difficult, requiring careful calibration of the pH meter and control of temperature. Furthermore, high concentrations of ions like chloride can influence the value.

tty
Reply to  Graemethecat
July 25, 2019 8:29 am

It is actually not difficult to measure very slight changes in pH, like 0.05. What is difficult is to calibrate your instrument to an absolute value. This can only be done with calibration buffers which are only accurate to about 0.1 units. This should be made at daily, or at the very least, weekly intervals, since pH Meters tend to drift.

July 25, 2019 8:33 am

It is those who know least about Science who have the most to say about it. A PhD in “A study of Women as Reader in Romantic Elizabethan Romance”….. that really equips you to go into the Scientific Details!!

John of Cloverdale, WA, Australia
July 25, 2019 9:12 am

I prefer Katie’s other article, “Chimpanzees grow closer when they watch a movie together.”
She says, “Watching a movie with a friend can make you feel closer to that person, and more likely to hang out with them in the future. The same, it turns out, is true of chimpanzees.”
https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/07/chimpanzees-grow-closer-when-they-watch-movie-together

HD Hoese
Reply to  John of Cloverdale, WA, Australia
July 25, 2019 11:21 am

Did your read that link? Sigma Xi, the great partner of AAAS had sent it out as science. “The apes spent about seven more seconds in the same room with each other after watching the videos together than when they watched the videos separately……They also only groomed each other when they had watched the video together….They found that the apes were more motivated to approach the human, who sat on the other side of the cage, after watching the video with them—approaching them 12 seconds faster, on average—than when the two species watched the video separately.”

Seconds matter sometimes.

Ossqss
July 25, 2019 9:22 am

I read this last week and am still trying to translate it…..

https://www.pmel.noaa.gov/co2/story/Quality+of+pH+Measurements+in+the+NODC+Data+Archives

Reply to  David Middleton
July 26, 2019 1:04 am

“Using percentage increases for minuscule numbers should be some sort of fraud… “a 26% increase in the hydrogen ion concentration over the past 100 years”.”

No. Focus on H⁺ as reagent would be misplaced; there is far too little of it. But in a buffering situation, it is a good indicator. Generally, a proportional change in [H⁺] reflects an equal proportional change in some major reactants, and that is important. If you look at the Wiki Bjerrum plot, which is on a log scale, you see that a 26% increase in [H⁺] means a 26% decrease in carbonate concentration. And that does matter.

Reply to  Nick Stokes
July 26, 2019 1:40 am

Nick,
I think your comment about carbonate is wrong and will shortly spend some time checking it. Intuitively, a change of 26% in H+ that has already been claimed as a pH change of 0.1 creates a scenario whereby carbonate would appear and disappear all over the place in the variable neighbourhood of growing species, creating barriers to Life that I do not think are there. But let me delve a little deeper.

O s q s s
The complexity of that pmel report is trivial. It does not even mention some of the error sources that I blogged about earlier today. But I suspect that the requisite skills to reside with some in NOAA if only they had the guts to be scientific and not zealots.
Geoff S

Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
July 28, 2019 4:24 am

Nick,
What changes in carbonate concentration do you likewise calculate for other pH changes of 0.1 units, such as 8.1 to 8.0, then 8.0 to 7.9 and so on.
You seem to be proposing that the pH change of 8.2 to 8.1 that started the discussion was not a general change for illustration, but a unique change that coincided with a critical effect on carbonate, like the change with an acid/base titration.
(I have been quite unwell for many weeks now so please tell me if I am still not making much sense).
Geoff S

Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
July 28, 2019 5:16 am

Geoff,
Sorry to hear about your illness – best wishes for future health.

The reason that buffers stabiise pH is that they lock proportional changes in pH to those of substances present in much larger quantity. Looked at from the other (usual) end of the telescope, it means that if there is a change in pH despite the buffering, some large reaction must have occurred.

Sea water is at the acid end of the HCO₃⁻/CO₃⁻⁻ buffer. That means that the minor component, [CO₃⁻⁻] varies proportionally with [H⁺]. So a 0.1 shift, with is 26% rise, is locked (at equilibrium) to a 26% fall in [CO₃⁻⁻]. That is just arithmetic – it doesn’t imply that this is some specially significant point.

knr
July 25, 2019 10:51 am

Scary words are used when the science is weak not strong , and in climate ‘science ‘ there are lots of ‘scary words used ‘

Gunga Din
Reply to  knr
July 25, 2019 2:43 pm

“Acidification” sounds scary so they use it.
“Less Caustic” is just as accurate as acidification but it doesn’t sound scary. It accurately sounds good!

Art
July 25, 2019 11:05 am

Quote – “As CO2 dissolves, the process releases hydrogen ions, lowering the water’s pH and increasing its acidity. That acidic water…”
_________________________________
No, it’s not acidic water. It’s just a miniscule amount less alkaline, but it’s still alkaline.

July 25, 2019 12:46 pm

What’s with the mention of crab, shrimp and lobster as if they’re calcifying shellfish?

Jan E Christoffersen
July 25, 2019 12:49 pm

Latitude,

In oceans, shouldn’t “spikes in acidity” always be referred to as”decreases in alkalinity”?

RB
July 25, 2019 1:42 pm

cold water can hold more CO2 than warm water. When cold water warms, it releases CO2 into the atmosphere. The study claims that the oceans are absorbing more CO2, which means the oceans are cooling, not warming. Which is it? If the oceans are warming, then they can’t absorb more CO2. If the water is actually absorbing more CO2, then the oceans are cooling, and by extension, the atmosphere will be cooling also. Get your story straight.

Reply to  RB
July 25, 2019 3:24 pm

Years ago, on a random “climate” thread, I pointed out that warming oceans cannot absorb more CO2 (per Henrys Law). For that comment, I was told that I “should be put on trial”. (That was their contribution to science.)

Reply to  ontherocks
July 26, 2019 3:48 am

“per Henrys Law”
Totally misunderstood. Henry’s Law does not say, as many seem to think, that warming drives out CO2. It simply says that at any fixed temperature, there is a partition coefficient that renders the concentration in solution proportional to that in the gas phase. That is why, when we put more CO2 in the air, more goes into the sea.

It’s true that for CO2, and many gases, the coefficient varies negatively with temperature. But Henry’s Law didn’t say that. In fact, it doesn’t really apply to sea water at all, since CO2 is not simply dissolved, but is mostly reacted in solution.

Phil.
Reply to  Nick Stokes
July 30, 2019 9:04 am

CO2 dissolved in water is in equilibrium with its reaction product, Carbonic acid, the equilibrium constant is [H2CO3]/[CO2] ≈ 1.2×10−3 in seawater, so most of the absorbed CO2 remains as CO2.

Javier
Reply to  RB
July 26, 2019 2:32 am

CO2 dissolution is not only a factor of temperature, but also of partial pressures of CO2 in the atmosphere and ocean surface. As atmospheric CO2 partial pressure increases, CO2 dissolves into the ocean, even if the ocean is warming. The increase in atmospheric CO2 has made the ocean a sink for CO2, not a source.

jmorpuss
July 25, 2019 2:44 pm

“The research is the first global analysis that shows that acidification from shipping can during the summer months equal that from carbon dioxide.

Rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere cause a steady acidification of the ocean as carbon dioxide dissolves into the water and produces the weak acid carbonic acid. Other gases can also cause acidification, for example sulfur and nitrogen oxides, which dissolve to give the strong acids sulfuric acid and nitric acid respectively.

“These oxides are present in the exhaust gases from ships’ engines,” said David R. Turner of the University of Gothenburg in Sweden. “Sulfur oxides come from the sulfur present in marine fuel oil, while nitrogen oxides are formed from atmospheric nitrogen during combustion. Emission of these oxides causes atmospheric pollution, followed by marine pollution (acidification) on deposition.”
https://phys.org/news/2013-05-emissions-shipping-ocean-acidic.html

Hocus Locus
July 25, 2019 5:00 pm

What about this??

comment image

Hocus Locus
Reply to  Hocus Locus
July 25, 2019 5:02 pm

Pls delete wrong forum.

MarkW
July 25, 2019 5:33 pm

When one scam doesn’t work. Switch to the next one.

Mike
July 25, 2019 6:18 pm

”………….Now, scientists studying sea snails have discovered an unexpected side effect of this acid brew”

Acid brew???? Is that when they add sulphuric acid to their tanks to see what happens?

Craig from Oz
July 25, 2019 10:49 pm

“…Sean Connell, an ecologist at the University of Adelaide in Australia, and colleagues traveled to underwater CO2 vents off the coast of New Zealand’s White Island…”

Sean Connell, ladies and gentlemen, doing it tough for science.

Still, going to New Zealand for the snails does make a change from visiting to see Hobbits…

dennisambler
July 26, 2019 4:28 am

https://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2016/01/01/tony-thomas-the-fishy-science-of-ocean-acidification/

Tim Flannery, head of Australia’s Climate Council, is of the view that CO2 falling into the ocean produces “carbolic acid” or phenol, that useful disinfectant which can still be bought on eBay in the form of soap bars. Flannery is, as always, correct in terms of the prevailing hysteria, if not real-world facts. His prophecy is affirmed by Ocean Acidification International Coordination Centre (OAICA) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which agree that

“Too much carbon is flooding the ocean with carbolic acid, with devestating (sic) effects on life in the sea.”

That would do it…

July 26, 2019 4:49 pm

“Ocean acidification” doesn’t mean the ocean’s pH is below the basic line of 7.

It means its “acidity,” as a solution, is decreasing.

Can we finally be clear on this?

Editor
Reply to  David Appell
July 27, 2019 4:27 am

[Your definition is not only NOT CLEAR, its wrong. “Acidity” increases with positive ions. As the pH numbers get lower, the acidity INCREASES, but only after passing a neutral 7 pH. Its still caustic above 7, as the number of negative ions DECREASE in relation to positive ions. Mod]

Phil.
Reply to  Les Johnson
July 29, 2019 7:21 am

No it’s correct, in chemistry ‘acidification’ is the process of adding acid to a solution. It’s quite correct to say that you’ve acidified a solution by adding acid to it to change its pH from 8.3 to 8.0, say, you’ll have doubled the [H+].

Wim Röst
August 1, 2019 10:19 am

“The depth at which the calcium-carbonate decreases most rapidly is known as the carbonate-compensation depth, defined as the depth at which the rate of dissolution of solid calcium carbonate equals the rate of supply.”

WR: What happens with the dissolved calcium carbonate when ocean water is welling up to the surface? Will extra CO2 enter into the atmosphere as soon as the deep water again comes into contact with the atmosphere? Or are other chemical reactions taking place?

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