Claim: Scientists find link between fast-melting Arctic ice and ocean acidification

Discovery highlights dual threat to the climate and survival of plants, shellfish, coral reefs and other marine life

Peer-Reviewed Publication

UNIVERSITY OF DELAWARE

Ice-melt in the Arctic
MAGE: RESEARCHERS, INCLUDING THE UNIVERSITY OF DELAWARE’S ZHANGXIAN OUYANG, TRAVELED ABOARD THE ICEBREAKER R/V XUE LONG INTO AN ACTIVE MELTING ZONE IN THE ARCTIC OCEAN TO GET SAMPLES FOR ANALYSIS. view more 
CREDIT: PHOTOS COURTESY OF ZHANGXIAN OUYANG, WEI-JUN CAI AND LIZA WRIGHT-FAIRBANKS/ UNIVERSITY OF DELAWARE

An international team of researchers have sounded new alarm bells about the changing chemistry of the western region of the Arctic Ocean after discovering acidity levels increasing three to four times faster than ocean waters elsewhere.

The team, which includes University of Delaware marine chemistry expert Wei-Jun Cai, also identified a strong correlation between the accelerated rate of melting ice in the region and the rate of ocean acidification, a perilous combination that threatens the survival of plants, shellfish, coral reefs and other marine life and biological processes throughout the planet’s ecosystem.

The new study, published on Thursday, Sept. 30 in Science, the flagship journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, is the first analysis of Arctic acidification that includes data from more than two decades, spanning the period from 1994 to 2020.

Scientists have predicted that by 2050 — if not sooner — Arctic sea ice in this region will no longer survive the increasingly warm summer seasons. As a result of this sea-ice retreat each summer, the ocean’s chemistry will grow more acidic, with no persistent ice cover to slow or otherwise mitigate the advance.

That creates life-threatening problems for the enormously diverse population of sea creatures, plants and other living things that depend on a healthy ocean for survival. Crabs, for example, live in a crusty shell built from the calcium carbonate prevalent in ocean water. Polar bears rely on healthy fish populations for food, fish and sea birds rely on plankton and plants, and seafood is a key element of many humans’ diets.

That makes acidification of these distant waters a big deal for many of the planet’s inhabitants.

First, a quick refresher course on pH levels, which indicate how acidic or alkaline a given liquid is. Any liquid that contains water can be characterized by its pH level, which ranges from 0 to 14, with pure water considered neutral with a pH of 7. All levels lower than 7 are acidic, all levels greater than 7 are basic or alkaline, with each full step representing a tenfold difference in the hydrogen ion concentration. Examples on the acidic side include battery acid, which checks in at 0 pH, gastric acid (1), black coffee (5) and milk (6.5). Tilting toward basic are blood (7.4), baking soda (9.5), ammonia (11) and drain cleaner (14). Seawater is normally alkaline, with a pH value of around 8.1.

Cai, the Mary A.S. Lighthipe Professor in the School of Marine Science and Policy in UD’s College of Earth, Ocean and Environment, has published significant research on the changing chemistry of the planet’s oceans and this month completed a cruise from Nova Scotia to Florida, serving as chief scientist among 27 aboard the research vessel. The work, supported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), includes four areas of study: The East Coast, the Gulf of Mexico, the Pacific Coast and the Alaska/Arctic region.

The new study in Science included UD postdoctoral researcher Zhangxian Ouyang, who participated in a recent voyage to collect data in the Chukchi Sea and Canada Basin in the Arctic Ocean.

The first author on the publication was Di Qi, who works with Chinese research institutes in Xiamen and Qingdao. Also collaborating on this publication were scientists from Seattle, Sweden, Russia and six other Chinese research sites.

“You can’t just go by yourself,” Cai said. “This international collaboration is very important for collecting long-term data over a large area in the remote ocean. In recent years, we have also collaborated with Japanese scientists as accessing the Arctic water was even harder in the past three years due to COVID-19. And we always have European scientists participating.”

Cai said he and Qi both were baffled when they first reviewed the Arctic data together during a conference in Shanghai. The acidity of the water was increasing three to four times faster than ocean waters elsewhere.

That was stunning indeed. But why was it happening?

Cai soon identified a prime suspect: the increased melt of sea ice during the Arctic’s summer season.

Historically, the Arctic’s sea ice has melted in shallow marginal regions during the  summer seasons. That started to change in the 1980s, Cai said, but waxed and waned periodically. In the past 15 years, the ice melt has accelerated, advancing into the deep basin in the north.

For a while, scientists thought the melting ice could provide a promising “carbon sink,” where carbon dioxide from the atmosphere would be sucked into the cold, carbon-hungry waters that had been hidden under the ice. That cold water would hold more carbon dioxide than warmer waters could and might help to offset the effects of increased carbon dioxide elsewhere in the atmosphere.

When Cai first studied the Arctic Ocean in 2008, he saw that the ice had melted beyond the Chukchi Sea in the northwest corner of the region, all the way to the Canada Basin — far beyond its typical range. He and his collaborators found that the fresh meltwater did not mix into deeper waters, which would have diluted the carbon dioxide. Instead, the surface water soaked up the carbon dioxide until it reached about the same levels as in the atmosphere and then stopped collecting it. They reported this result in a paper in Science in 2010.

That would also change the pH level of the Arctic waters, they knew, reducing the alkaline levels of the seawater and reducing its ability to resist acidification. But how much? And how soon? It took them another decade to collect enough data to derive a sound conclusion on the long-term acidification trend.

Analyzing data gathered from 1994 to 2020 – the first time such a long-term perspective was possible — Cai, Qi and their collaborators found an extraordinary increase in acidification and a strong correlation with the increasing rate of melting ice.

They point to sea-ice melt as the key mechanism to explain this rapid pH decrease, because it changes the physics and chemistry of the surface water in three primary ways:

  • The water under the sea ice, which had a deficit of carbon dioxide, now is exposed to the atmospheric carbon dioxide and can take up carbon dioxide freely.
  • The seawater mixed with meltwater is light and cannot mix easily into deeper waters, which means the carbon dioxide taken from the atmosphere is concentrated at the surface.
  • The meltwater dilutes the carbonate ion concentration in the seawater, weakening its ability to neutralize the carbon dioxide into bicarbonate and rapidly decreasing ocean pH.

Cai said more research is required to further refine the above mechanism and better predict future changes, but the data so far show again the far-reaching ripple effects of climate change.

“If all of the multiple-year ice is replaced by first-year ice, then there will be lower alkalinity and lower buffer capacity and acidification continues,” he said. “By 2050, we think all of the ice will be gone in the summer. Some papers predict that will happen by 2030. And if we follow the current trend for 20 more years, the summer acidification will be really, really strong.”

No one knows exactly what that will do to the creatures and plants and other living things that depend on healthy ocean waters.

“How will this affect the biology there?” Cai asked. “That is why this is important.”


JOURNAL

Science

DOI

10.1126/science.abo0383 

ARTICLE TITLE

Climate change drives rapid decadal acidification in the Arctic Ocean from 1994 to 2020

ARTICLE PUBLICATION DATE

29-Sep-2022

From EurekAlert!

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Rolf H Carlsson
October 2, 2022 2:15 am

Sorry, did I miss the data – what was the actual ph-value, and how, exactly, had it changed?

Right-Handed Shark
Reply to  Rolf H Carlsson
October 2, 2022 2:24 am

You expect actual data? It’s enough that you know that it’s “worse than they thought”..

toorightmate
Reply to  Right-Handed Shark
October 2, 2022 5:49 am

It’s a supply chain issue. There is no litmus paper to be wasted here.

Steve Case
Reply to  Rolf H Carlsson
October 2, 2022 3:30 am

Data? They ain’t got no data. They don’t need no data.
They don’t have to show you any stinkin’ data!

Rod Evans
Reply to  Steve Case
October 2, 2022 3:40 am

“We own the science and the science is what we say it is”, paraphrasing for the WEF
The scientific data is showing it is already 3 basic WEF units towards catastrophe, so there it is, case proven

HotScot
Reply to  Rod Evans
October 2, 2022 3:56 am

WEF = World Ecommunist Forum.

Scissor
Reply to  Steve Case
October 2, 2022 6:28 am

There’s quite a bit of data in the supplemental file.

file:///C:/Users/Randy/Downloads/science.abo0383_sm.pdf

Table S1 shows that variables are hardly controlled for with different methods, times, analysts acquiring data.

But it’s a sad joke. They basically assume their conclusions, then show that their conclusions agree with their assumptions.

PCman999
Reply to  Scissor
October 2, 2022 8:08 am

Hi Scissor – or is it really Randy?

The link you gave is to your computer’s drive. We won’t be able to access it.

JMarkW
Reply to  Scissor
October 2, 2022 5:25 pm
Reply to  JMarkW
October 2, 2022 10:54 pm

Thanks for the link to the data, JMarkW. It appears the authors are concerned about changes in mean pH over the past twenty years of about 8.13-8.00, 8.18-8.00, 8.18-8.00, 8.16-8.06, and 8.22-8.13 in various regions of the Arctic. No mention that I saw of the daily range of pH change in each of the areas, but I suspect it dwarfs these changes.

Lit
Reply to  Wayne Raymond
October 3, 2022 2:02 am

So, there´s no acidification. Acidification happens only below pH7. If pH drops from 8.1 to 8.0 it´s still alkaline, such a reduction is not an acidification, it´s neutralization. But that wouldn`t cause headlines. Nobody gets scared when the story is “arctic ocean gets a little more neutral”.

HotScot
Reply to  Rolf H Carlsson
October 2, 2022 3:55 am

DATA = Dis Aint Too Accurate.

Redge
Reply to  Rolf H Carlsson
October 2, 2022 4:08 am

See here

Prjindigo
Reply to  Rolf H Carlsson
October 2, 2022 4:49 am

they’re comparing to a study done over 100 years ago using cork stoppered phials of sea water that took up to 18 months to return to the lab without any kind of pressure or temperature control… which obviously became mildly more alkaline than when sampled due to evaporation

Last edited 2 months ago by prjndigo
navnek
Reply to  Rolf H Carlsson
October 2, 2022 7:12 am

A few years ago I saw actual data from Hawaii. Seems that “terribly acidic” waters nearby have a pH of over 8. So what is the alarm all about?

Also, one wonders about the historic pH. How many years has pH data been availalble? Note that the alarmists used to fear the ozone hole, but that data has only been available for a bit over 50 years OH, and the ozone hole closed all by itself.

Or how about “historic” rises in temps the past 150 yrs? Reliable data has only been available since the beginning of that era. And note that the Little Ice Age ended a bit before that, and these rises are most likely due to a return to “normal.”

Prjindigo
Reply to  navnek
October 2, 2022 6:03 pm

Very little reliable temperature data older than 1990 since all the thermometers wear out with age and before the 1960’s they had to be SLUNG down every day by hand… statistically nobody actually bothered and the thermometers were delivered in boxes so most aged together. When thermometers get old they stop rising to the actual temperature. You’ll literally have 2.5°F slack over 25 years.

n.n
Reply to  Rolf H Carlsson
October 2, 2022 9:58 am

It’s “peer-reviewed” a.k.a. consensus science a.k.a. social philosophy (e.g. cargo cult, political congruence) a.k.a. “flat-Earth”.

Robert of Ottawa
Reply to  Rolf H Carlsson
October 3, 2022 11:12 am

Can I suggest that crimatologists just shut up and collect data for a coupe of thousand years before we start talking of trends and drawing conclusions.

fret
October 2, 2022 2:27 am

They don’t say what pH values they recorded.

“”…collaborators found an extraordinary increase in acidification and a strong correlation with the increasing rate of melting ice.””

What increasing rate of melting?

Fret rating: more alarmist nonsense

HotScot
Reply to  fret
October 2, 2022 4:03 am

….

Hair on fire.png
fret
Reply to  HotScot
October 2, 2022 4:30 am

Bender for President

ATheoK
Reply to  fret
October 2, 2022 8:53 am

comment image

Their melting more acidic ice sampling.

Last edited 2 months ago by ATheoK
Clyde Spencer
Reply to  fret
October 2, 2022 11:16 am

Nor did they define “extraordinary” other than to imply it is 3-4 times greater than elsewhere in the world.

Saighdear
October 2, 2022 2:35 am

OCh I’m fed up reading the sometimes waffle over a non-event ( as in AGW stuff) alarmism / crisis.
So ‘fast-melting Arctic ice’ = not Slowly or Ordinary / common ice melting. and the Western Arctic ? Where do yo turn to from the N Pole ? All points South. But, so it sounds like its coming from / through the Bering Strait? China ( ! 🙂 ) but could also be Japan, Korea, Oh no – its RUSSIA …. och give over – it’s from COntinental AMerica CALIFORNIA – all those greenies dumping their unwanted non-green debris on other people. ( all sarc).Is this another case of perhaps Chinese influence through a Western Institution for Control ? …Just having a say. better than simply “reblogged elsewhere”.

Trying to Play Nice
Reply to  Saighdear
October 2, 2022 6:08 am

The talk about the person from University of Delaware who just “completed a cruise from Nova Scotia to Florida” and then start jabbering about the western Arctic Ocean. When did the Arctic Ocean include Nova Scotia to Florida?

Stephen Skinner
October 2, 2022 2:42 am

Rivers are acidic and moving, yet they freeze.

Last edited 2 months ago by sskinner
b.nice
October 2, 2022 2:46 am

LOL,

The drop in sea ice since the extreme high of 1979 has allowed many marine creatures to return to the Arctic.

Narwhal, molluscs, etc that show no remains since the MWP are being seen in increasing numbers as the Arctic recovers from its deep freeze.!

The Arctic is NOT acidic and will never become acidic.

Last edited 2 months ago by bnice2000
b.nice
Reply to  b.nice
October 2, 2022 2:54 am

The drop in sea ice slightly toward the pre-LIA levels has opened up the food supply for the nearly extinct Bowhead Whale, and they are returning to the waters around Svalbard.

https://partner.sciencenorway.no/arctic-ocean-forskningno-fram-centre/the-ice-retreats–whale-food-returns/1401824

The Blue Mussel is also making a return, having been absent for a few thousand years, apart from a brief stint during the MWP.

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0959683617715701?journalCode=hola

Many other species of whale are also returning now that the sea ice extent has dropped from the extreme highs of the LIA. Whales cannot swim on ice. !

https://blog.poseidonexpeditions.com/whales-of-svalbard/

navnek
Reply to  b.nice
October 2, 2022 7:17 am

“Whales cannot swim on ice.” Good point. Nor can they breath through it. To breath, they need to be able to surface.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  navnek
October 2, 2022 11:20 am

The US and Russia are doing their part to assist the survival of Arctic marine mammals by surfacing submarines to create breathing holes for the air breathers.

Gerard O'Dowd
Reply to  navnek
October 2, 2022 2:47 pm

If whales are present doesn’t that mean the biologic food chain they feed upon is also intact?

Similarly polar bear numbers seemed to have increased in recent decades in the Arctic though I can’t quote a census data reference other than Jim Steele’s Landscapes and Cycles.

I do remember specific Experimental data from 20 years ago found that Crustacean shell Formation is biologically resistant to acidic PH conditions in the lab.

It’s the same BS as coral reef bleaching alarms. One does have to applaud the Climate Change Alarmist cult for their garbage recycling capability.

Gary Pate
Reply to  Gerard O'Dowd
October 2, 2022 11:41 pm

When Al Gore was born there were 5000 polar bears in the world. Today only 26000 remain. Send money!!!

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  navnek
October 2, 2022 7:55 pm

Captain Obvious has joined the discussion…

bill
Reply to  b.nice
October 2, 2022 3:17 am

The press and the global warming crowd deliberately suppress the fact that ANTARCTICA has had record cold, snow and ice accumulation for decades. Even the last few years, ANTARCTICA cold, snow and ice have hit record numbers. The number of catastrophic hurricanes and tornadoes has dwindled the last couple of decades. The oceans have not risen appreciably other than the normal waxing and waning of ice melt and evaporation cycles. If you try to google it, the first few pages will be pro global warming but when you drill down to the more reputable “scientific” sites it says no global warming. Also droughts, cold snaps, and weather extremes are the rule all throughout recorded history. There are records clear back to the 1400’s verifying this fact. One has to dig for this data because the political and globalists agenda has big-tech, the leftist media, et al working at sequestering real facts as the “Brown Shirts” did for Hitler. Most folks don’t even go past the first page and these hyena Globalists at google know this. 

Lastly, look up the sun-spot cycle which is an eleven year cycle. The weather patterns on earth are affected profoundly by this cycle.

They try to explain it away with all kinds of mental gymnastics but it doesn’t pass the smell test. Funny one never hears of this, but then again suppression of reality by ideologues is commonplace. 

P.S. the so-called doomed Great Barrier Reef is thriving and growing.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  bill
October 2, 2022 11:31 am

Lastly, look up the sun-spot cycle which is an eleven year cycle. The weather patterns on earth are affected profoundly by this cycle.

That is a commonly held opinion. However, Willis Eschenbach has said that he has explored this thoroughly and has not found a correlation. He has a standing challenge to prove him wrong. Can you provide any evidence to show that he is wrong?

dodgy geezer
October 2, 2022 2:47 am

Surely everyone knows that acid is hotter than alkali?

Ed Hanley
October 2, 2022 2:53 am

Sorry, folks. No data in the article, and the original publication is paywalled. The abstract does not hold out hope that the article offers any significant data but deals more with speculative processes.

For the record: Ocean waters are not acid, that is they are pH >7, 8.1 – 8.2 on average. Any change in pH that is > 7 is “change in alkalinity,” not “acidification”. E.g. would you call a change from pH = 8.1 to 8.2 “decrease in acidification”? No, me neither. So why would you call a change from 8.2 to 8.1 “ocean acidification”? It ain’t acid, folks. The ocean is alkaline. You say, “It’s moving toward being acid, so we can call it acidification.” OK. Then this glass of water sitting in the sun has gone from 72° to 87°, so I can say, “It’s increasingly boiling.” No? Well, same thing.

There was a guy on the radio that used to say, “Words mean things!”

knr
Reply to  Ed Hanley
October 2, 2022 4:32 am

But ‘acidic ‘ sounds scary and it is that not good science which is important to them. To be fair they are following normal practices in ‘climate science

PCman999
Reply to  Ed Hanley
October 2, 2022 6:58 pm

And the creatures of the sea are used to huge variations in pH due to various reasons and keep on keeping on.

b.nice
October 2, 2022 2:57 am

“and a strong correlation with the increasing rate of melting ice.”

So the changing acidity ceased about 15 years ago, is that what they are saying

Current Arctic sea ice extent is above the 15 year average.

Thing is, that Arctic sea ice is NOT melting at an increasing rate. !

Dan Davis
Reply to  b.nice
October 2, 2022 4:26 pm

2007: NASA climate scientist Jay Zwally’s prediction: “The Arctic Ocean could be nearly ice-free at the end of summer by 2012, much faster than previous predictions.”

2007: BBC “Scientists in the US have presented one of the most dramatic forecasts yet for the disappearance of Arctic sea ice ” “Their latest modelling indicates that northern polar waters could be ice-free in summers within just 5-6 years.” Professor Wieslaw Maslowski from the Department of Oceanography of the US Navy predicted an ice-free Arctic Ocean by the summer of 2013.

2008:  University of Manitoba professor David Barber prophesied: “We’re actually projecting this year that the North Pole may be free of ice for the first time [in history]. This is a very dramatic change in the High Arctic climate system.”

2009:  Al Gore predicted the North Polar Ice Cap could be completely ice free within the next five to seven years.
Gore made his prediction at COP15 Copenhagen which ran from Dec 7 – Dec 18, 2009, where he repeatedly referenced “state-of-the-art” computer modeling to suggest that the north polar ice cap may lose all of its ice by 2014.

2012: Head of the Polar Ocean Physics Group at the University of Cambridge (UK), Professor Peter Wadhams, foretold of a complete collapse of the Arctic ice sheet by 2015-2016 

And On and On and On…

Alexy Scherbakoff
October 2, 2022 2:59 am

4 times quicker than the rest of the ocean 4 X 0 = 0

Ron Long
October 2, 2022 3:13 am

Studying (if that is what they actually did) a geologic process from 1994 to 2020 is only a popcorn fart in time to a real geologist. This phony “acidification” claim totally ignores the prior earth history of much stronger warm periods, which got us to where we are today.

Graemethecat
Reply to  Ron Long
October 2, 2022 7:02 am

The authors of this dross don’t explain why there was no mass extinction event last time the Arctic was seasonally ice-free during the Holocene.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Graemethecat
October 2, 2022 11:34 am

Only ice worms can live in ice.

bill
October 2, 2022 3:16 am

The press and the global warming crowd deliberately suppress the fact that ANTARCTICA has had record cold, snow and ice accumulation for decades. Even the last few years, ANTARCTICA cold, snow and ice have hit record numbers. The number of catastrophic hurricanes and tornadoes has dwindled the last couple of decades. The oceans have not risen appreciably other than the normal waxing and waning of ice melt and evaporation cycles. If you try to google it, the first few pages will be pro global warming but when you drill down to the more reputable “scientific” sites it says no global warming. Also droughts, cold snaps, and weather extremes are the rule all throughout recorded history. There are records clear back to the 1400’s verifying this fact. One has to dig for this data because the political and globalists agenda has big-tech, the leftist media, et al working at sequestering real facts as the “Brown Shirts” did for Hitler. Most folks don’t even go past the first page and these hyena Globalists at google know this. 

Lastly, look up the sun-spot cycle which is an eleven year cycle. The weather patterns on earth are affected profoundly by this cycle.

They try to explain it away with all kinds of mental gymnastics but it doesn’t pass the smell test. Funny one never hears of this, but then again suppression of reality by ideologues is commonplace. 

P.S. the so-called doomed Great Barrier Reef is thriving and growing.

rah
October 2, 2022 3:38 am

expert Wei-Jun Cai, also identified a strong correlation between the accelerated rate of melting ice in the region and the rate of ocean acidification,………..

That right there that I underlined told me this is just more climate disaster porn and not science. According to DMI both extent and volume of sea ice is higher than it has been since 2018 and still within 2 standard deviations of the 2004 to 13 mean.

HotScot
October 2, 2022 3:54 am

Job creation scam scheme.

Redge
October 2, 2022 4:04 am

The authors sneakily change the scale of the Y axis for different locations to make things look really bad

From the supplementary materials, looks really scary folks:

Screenshot 2022-10-02 120126.jpg
Redge
Reply to  Redge
October 2, 2022 4:07 am

The error bars are much larger than the “acidification”:

Screenshot 2022-10-02 120619.jpg
bigoilbob
Reply to  Redge
October 2, 2022 6:12 am

That by itself means nothing. If there were much more data the trends might have been meaningful. But as it is, there is a ~10% chance that the pH is actually flat or rising, and the aragonite concentration as just about as likely to be rising. In fact, they shouldn’t even be listing the purportedly negative aragonite trend, considering the fact that it’s +/- is so much higher. Data evaluation 101…

ATheoK
Reply to  Redge
October 2, 2022 9:13 am

It looks like they used a anomalous year to start their graph. Eliminate that and the trend looks flat.
Their data shows a range of values. Selecting one high point as their slope start changes the overall slope. Just as using 1979 as the starting point for Arctic sea ice graphs ignore the Northern Hemisphere warming from the Little Ice Age (LIA).

It also looks like they ignore data prior to approximately 1995. One suspects that the starting datum is contrived so they can force a scary negative slope appearance.

ATheoK
Reply to  ATheoK
October 2, 2022 9:22 am

One also notices that for some graphs they have data to 2020, while their sea ice graph stops in 2018.

Arctic PH silliness.JPG
Clyde Spencer
Reply to  ATheoK
October 2, 2022 11:42 am

As is all too common, there are no error bars shown.

Jason S
Reply to  Redge
October 2, 2022 9:36 am

Thanks for sharing. Every data point in the time series has overlapping error bars, therefore their claim is invalid. There are no statistically significant trends in any of those graphs. But then again, the AGW team has never been held to actual scientific standards, why start now.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Redge
October 2, 2022 11:40 am

The 1994 pH value looks like an outlier that is influencing the slope of the trend.

Tom.1
October 2, 2022 4:11 am

I am still looking for that study that says, “Great news, it’s not as bad as we thought.”

knr
October 2, 2022 4:28 am

Scientists have predicted that by 2050 long after they will be in no position to be asked why they got it so wrong ! Funny how the time scales so often work in that way almost as if they knew that it gives them a free pass to ring as many alarm bells as they like without having to answer as to why !
Stil I love such claims, especially when for the vast majority of history for the Artic they have no bloody idea at all what these values were but they ‘know’ now it is worse than ever!

AndyHce
Reply to  knr
October 2, 2022 10:32 am

The can’t ‘t hold a candle to the astronomers who claim the sun will expand to fry the earth in about 1,000,000,000 years.

Ziggarat
October 2, 2022 4:32 am

On the plus side – the goal post for when Armageddon happens is now 2050. I am old enough to remember the world ended in 2000.

H.R.
Reply to  Ziggarat
October 2, 2022 7:23 am

I was wiped out with the rest of the world in 1985. I guess the 2000 end of the world was just to pick up the stragglers that refused to die in 1985.

There is proof of the mass die-offs. Look at how many people voted Democrat. You don’t get those kinds of numbers from the living.

Prjindigo
October 2, 2022 4:48 am

Wouldn’t they have to find Oceanic Acidification first?

DPP
October 2, 2022 4:51 am

When the Arctic sea ice extent is the greatest it has been in over a dozen years, I guess you have to raise the alarm on something else. This ocean acidification is right up there with the ‘snow doesn’t smell the same’ scam from a few years ago.

Ian Macculloch
October 2, 2022 4:53 am

And now the third La Niña event is about to bleach the Ningaloo Reef off WA. A pidgeon pair of events heinous events.

Climate believer
October 2, 2022 5:02 am

“The acidity of the water was increasing three to four times faster than ocean waters elsewhere.”

LOL! they are beyond shameless.

H.R.
Reply to  Climate believer
October 2, 2022 7:30 am

It’s bad enough that everywhere is warming twice as fast as everywhere else.

Now we are going to find the oceans acidifying 3 to 4 times faster everywhere as everywhere else.

The Earth just can’t catch a break with all these pesky humans around. Oh sure, we could get rid of everybody. But then who would be around to measure the pH to see if that worked?

Brad-DXT
Reply to  H.R.
October 2, 2022 10:05 am

The WEF has a few plans for that.

Slowroll
Reply to  Climate believer
October 2, 2022 11:22 am

It’s the Arctic lake woebegone…where all the samples are above the average…

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Climate believer
October 2, 2022 11:46 am

And, they don’t specify whether that was measured as pH or actual hydronium ion concentration. Sloppy!

Nelson
October 2, 2022 5:46 am

I just don’t understand how any serious arctic researcher can ignore the cyclic nature of the AMO/PDO in discussing the changing conditions in the Arctic.

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Nelson
October 2, 2022 8:24 am

$$$

toorightmate
October 2, 2022 5:48 am

I can fully understand why the Western Arctic Ocean is acidifying so rapidly.

Can’t you?
What about you?
Well, what about the bloke you’re standing next to?
Well, what about King Canute?
Well, what about the bloke selling popcorn?

Gee you’re a thick mob!!!!

Captain climate
October 2, 2022 5:49 am

Did they discover that the ocean is still highly alkaline and that shell-building creatures aren’t going anywhere? What a pile of dog s*** research. I want every penny of funding of this trash back.

Stephen Skinner
October 2, 2022 5:51 am

Some time a go I asked NASA via an info email about the pH scale and received back a table showing both the pH scale along with a pOH scale. Here is my interpretation which I would be happy for someone to correct.

pH and pOH.jpg
Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Stephen Skinner
October 2, 2022 11:50 am

Are you suggesting that these researchers are inadvertently using the pOH scale, and don’t realize it?

toorightmate
October 2, 2022 5:53 am

The stark raving academic idiots in OZ who have been telling us that run off from famers fertilizers and pesticides has been ruining the GB Reef for the past 90 years have never, ever provided me one single water analysis- after me having asked multiple “authorities” on several occasions.

Peta of Newark
October 2, 2022 6:46 am

And why not, it is after all what set off the UK Acid Rain panic some while ago.

i.e. Folks in the UK got their underwear all-a-twisted because of Oxides-of-Sulphur coming the smokestacks of UK power-stations, floating across the North Sea and raining out on the forests of Scandinavia
As proof of the damage this ‘rain’ was doing, bimbo news readers visited stands of Larix Decidua in Norway and Sweden, during wintertime, and pointed to the hideous damage
See what I mean: Healthy European Larch in the winter.
Stupid Burns – even more than acid.

Also that the Scandinavians were throwing powdered Limestone into their rivers and lakes – to counteract excess acidity in the waters therein.

The Scandinavians, although disappointed and bemused (the Sulphur was acting as fertiliser for their trees) – they kept tight-lipped about it all

Because they knew that the acid in the lakes and rivers was of their own doing – by their draining of swamps, wetlands and peatbogs so as to get in with big machinary to grow and harvest the trees.

Of course, water always flows downhill (like heat energy) and, had they not neutralised the acidified rivers with Lime, that acidified bog-water would have acidified the (real) sea/ocean it poured out into

I’ll see you “A Pound To A Penny” that that is what’s going on here.
But who’s doing it – who is draining wetland?

The Russkies to the West, or the Alaskans to the East (of the affected water)

Dorn
Reply to  Peta of Newark
October 2, 2022 9:07 am

Rarely there are so many bulls in one post … the acids are real, but less devastating and easier to fix than thought at the time.

Just walked at the coast, saw lichen that had already disappeared due to air borne acids. It’s healing.

October 2, 2022 7:07 am

Ja. Ja
It is getting more acidic from all those volcanoes.
https://breadonthewater.co.za/2022/08/02/global-warming-how-and-where/

Gary Pearse
October 2, 2022 7:26 am

“changing chemistry of the western region of the Arctic Ocean after discovering acidity levels increasing three to four times faster than ocean waters elsewhere.”

Here’s the link they don’t know they have discovered! When the ice melts, fresh water dilutes seawater. The seawater has a pH of 8.1 and fresh water has a much more ‘acid’ pH of 7.0 (its neutral). It’s a logarithmic scale between the highest acidity at pH of 0.0 and the lowest at pH14.

Here’s what you need to do to remove the alarm: put a much longer handle on your scoop.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Gary Pearse
October 2, 2022 7:37 am

Oh the logarithmic thingy? When you go from pH 8 to 7 you double the acidity, pH 7 to 6 you redouble acidity again! Also look up ‘buffering’. Its a chemical-based resistance to acidification possessed by ocean chemistry.

Pete Bonk
Reply to  Gary Pearse
October 2, 2022 9:45 am

Not double, but each pH unit differs by a factor of 10: 1, 0.1, 0.01, 0.001, 0.0001, etc.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Gary Pearse
October 2, 2022 11:59 am

When you go from pH 8 to 7 you double the acidity, …

No, the water becomes neutralized. The ratio of hydrogen-ions to hydroxyl-ions is 1; that is, they are equal.

… pH 7 to 6 you redouble acidity again!

No, the hydrogen-ion concentration increases 10-fold, having become acidic because the hydrogen ions are more abundant than the hydroxyl ions.

This is a key point that the promoters of “ocean acidification” don’t understand. The chemical behavior of a water solution is determined by whether the hydronium-ion or hydroxyl-ion is more abundant. In sea water, the hydroxyl-ion dominates.

Last edited 2 months ago by Clyde Spencer
Gary Pearse
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
October 3, 2022 12:39 pm

Ooops! I actually know that! Thank you? I have been so possessed by ECS temperature from doubling of atmospheric CO2 over the last decade and a half. Maybe my 85yrs plays a small part, too😁

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Gary Pearse
October 2, 2022 11:56 am

Fresh water, without buffering capacity, will quickly reach the pH of rainwater (~5.5) unless the basin is alkaline. The addition of organic acids from vegetation can drive it even lower, as is frequently found in swamps.

Doonman
October 2, 2022 7:51 am

…after discovering acidity levels increasing…

Once again and of course as any high school chemistry student knows or fails the course, acidity levels do not exist at any level above pH 7.0. The solution is basic.

Anyone with any sort of rudimentary chemistry instruction would report “after discovering basic levels decreasing”.

But of course, the intent of the report is to scare the illiterate, not to inform the public.

Phil.
Reply to  Doonman
October 4, 2022 10:27 am

No you’d report it the way they do: “If all of the multiple-year ice is replaced by first-year ice, then there will be lower alkalinity and lower buffer capacity and acidification continues,”
That it is the ‘alkalinity’ is lowered by the process of adding an acid (acidification).

Pflashgordon
October 2, 2022 8:07 am

Where, when and how deep did they measure? Did they analyze a full range of parameters?

At first blush, when Arctic ice (generally non-saline or low salinity) melts, it would naturally dilute near surface seawater, thus reducing alkalinity, until that layer is vertically mixed. Depending on their “experimental design” (actually, they probably did not have an experimental design), they may have merely observed this short term, localized effect.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Pflashgordon
October 2, 2022 12:11 pm

Generally, saturated saline brine is squeezed out of pack ice. However, if the freezing proceeds rapidly, brine can be trapped in the ice. Thus, when it melts, the salinity is higher than for ice made from freshwater, such as is contributed by glaciers.

It seems that there are many things that these researchers don’t understand, or don’t bother to state as explicit assumptions.

ATheoK
October 2, 2022 8:48 am

Original title of this example of bad science?

“FAST-MELTING ICE MAY CONTRIBUTE TO OCEAN ACIDIFICATION”

May” is such a permanent condition adjective…

The first sentence of the research?

“UD’s Wei-Jun Cai and collaborators find correlation between Arctic meltwater and changing ocean chemistry”

Even beginning researchers should know, Correlation is not causation.

No data provided.
This appears to be another ‘publish or perish’ illegitimate claim pushed into the news for a glory/grant seeking researcher..

Dave Fair
Reply to  ATheoK
October 2, 2022 2:20 pm

Look on the bright side: A whole bunch of people got to take ocean cruses.

Wharfplank
October 2, 2022 9:40 am

The best and brightest brought to you by the CCP, PLA, PLAN , etc

Coeur de Lion
October 2, 2022 9:41 am

Just under four point seven Wadhams this equinox, but that’s fifteen years of ‘weather’ not ‘climate’.

Bungee
October 2, 2022 9:52 am

So they discovered that if you dilute an alkali with (neutral) fresh water, it becomes less alkaline and more neutral.

Phil.
Reply to  Bungee
October 4, 2022 10:20 am

No they discovered that if you dilute sea water with a weak acid (pH ~5.0) it becomes less alkaline. As they said “If all of the multiple-year ice is replaced by first-year ice, then there will be lower alkalinity and lower buffer capacity and acidification continues,”

Dusty
October 2, 2022 10:12 am

So, if I understand this properly, fresh water in a shallow halocine layer of the smallest portion of the smallest ocean absorbs CO2 three to four times faster seasonally as ice melts, and as it flows easterly into the Atlantic Ocean eventually warms, presumably giving up some of that CO2, but this endangers all life in the oceans if not the world because Arctic ice coverage is deceasing, except the ice coverage appears to have stopped deceasing and has started increasing again, therefore more study is needed.

Is that about it?

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Dusty
October 2, 2022 12:21 pm

The atmospheric CO2 concentration measured in the Arctic, (e.g. Pt. Barrow) has seasonal ranges that are much greater than at mid-latitudes such as Mauna Loa. While Ferdinand Englebeen claims it is coming from Bavarian forests, I suspect it is the result of increased tree-root respiration from the high latitude boreal forests and increased bacterial composition of the organic material in the Pleistocene sediments of the high north as the Winters become warmer. This results in higher seasonal CO2 levels and higher CO2 partial pressures that drives the CO2 into the Arctic waters, when exposed to the air.

Phil.
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
October 4, 2022 10:12 am

The range is higher at Pt Barrow because for much of the year the atmosphere there is isolated from the sea water by ice. Once the ice melts the CO2 is able to dissolve in the sea water and the atmospheric CO2 drops rapidly. Once the sea ice reforms the atmosphere is again cut off from the sea water and the CO2 increases again.

Clyde Spencer
October 2, 2022 10:46 am

… after discovering acidity alkalinity levels increasing decreasing three to four times faster than ocean waters elsewhere.

If something isn’t acidic, it can’t become more acidic. This is another example of alarmists flagrantly perverting the meaning of words to scare the public. If ‘scientists’ can’t write objectively, it is a strong indication that they have an agenda and are willing to lie to support or advance that agenda.

Why do they violate the definitions in their own “refresher course?”

Last edited 2 months ago by Clyde Spencer
Clyde Spencer
October 2, 2022 11:01 am

Crabs, for example, live in a crusty shell built from the calcium carbonate prevalent in ocean water.

That shell, as with many marine organisms, is covered with chitin, which is not susceptible to easy dissolution. Many organisms also protect their shells with mucous. Transient pH changes are not a new phenomenon and life has evolved to cope with a changing environment. Lying by omission is just as pernicious as any other form of lying.

KAT
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
October 3, 2022 10:34 am

Strange that the crabs, etc didn’t disappear long ago when atmospheric CO2 was over 10 times present PPM.
Perhaps they all “re-evolved” /sarc

Clyde Spencer
October 2, 2022 11:05 am

In the past 15 years, the ice melt has accelerated, advancing into the deep basin in the north.

Actually, the Arctic ice pack reached a seasonal minimum in 2012, and for the last decade, has reversed the previous trend.

Last edited 2 months ago by Clyde Spencer
Clyde Spencer
October 2, 2022 11:11 am

Scientists have predicted that by 2050 — if not sooner — Arctic sea ice in this region will no longer survive the increasingly warm summer seasons.

“Scientists,” those infallible, pan-dimensional, hyper-intelligent beings who go un-named, have been wrong every time ‘they’ have made similar claims. Why should anyone take this prediction seriously?

Dave Fair
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
October 2, 2022 2:27 pm

They are now classifying UN IPCC CliSciFi climate model-masturbators as scientists?

Bob
October 2, 2022 12:16 pm

There is one thing that the good people here at WUWT are missing about this article. Yes it is a shit report, no facts no figures no scientific evidence, but it is short and written in easy to understand language. The average reader will be able to read all of it, understand it and consider him/herself well informed for having read it. Surely we should be able to prepare a report as easy to read and understand but unlike these jokers tell our readers the truth, not fill them with conjecture and wishful thinking.

garboard
October 2, 2022 12:20 pm

i don’t have a big grant and press releases to back me up but my understanding is that ph levels in the ocean are highly variable depending on biological activity in the area and fluctuate greatly depending on such things as time of day . the only good study i know of effects of ph was done by woods hole where they found reefs in areas of especially low ph ( high acidity near underwater volcanic vents )were thriving . study didn’t get much media attention .

Mike Maguire
October 2, 2022 12:45 pm

You want actual data?

Go here:

Ocean Acidification Database

http://www.co2science.org/data/acidification/acidification.php

Dave Fair
Reply to  Mike Maguire
October 2, 2022 2:45 pm

Veddy, veddy interesting.

michael hart
October 2, 2022 12:54 pm

So much awful Chemistry it’s difficult to know where to start.

If you dilute slightly alkaline sea water with pure water from melting ice then the pH will necessarily trend towards pH7, i.e. neutral. Of course in the global warmer’s play book this means “acidification”. Hence “Water bad”. That in itself is a crime against Chemistry.

Phil.
Reply to  michael hart
October 4, 2022 10:00 am

But it won’t be ‘pure’ water it will be saturated with CO2 and will therefore have a pH between 5.0 and 5.5. So you’re diluting the sea water with an acid.

Alasdair
October 2, 2022 1:09 pm

“The first author on the publication was Di Qi, who works with Chinese research institutes in Xiamen and Qingdao. Also collaborating on this publication were scientists from Seattle, Sweden, Russia and six other Chinese research sites.”

IMO, reading the above, this article has been organised indirectly by the Chinese Communist Party; with Di Qui as lead with SIX other Chinese scientists in support, followed by THREE other compliant scientists from different countries to provide an international flavour.

Those of us who have followed the Arctic melting/sea level rise tainted arguments over the years can but laugh at the regurgitated nonsense in this Article which shouts out that it was written by out of date politicians, not scientists. Witness how unaware they are of how many repeatedly failed Arctic melting ice predictions have been made.

Why on earth this wound up getting published I know not. The AAA Editor should be sacked; but I gather from others that this Organisation has already trashed its reputation, so perhaps that explains it.

angech
Reply to  Alasdair
October 2, 2022 4:25 pm

Since cold water holds more CO2 than hot water sea water in the arctic is intrinsically at a lower pH than tropical ocean water.
They are sampling pools of the coldest ocean water available opened up by an icebreaker which naturally will be more acidic than less cold water 10 kilometres away from the ice.
Then the say it is more acidic?
Well at least they prove their instruments are functioning correctly.

Writing this while waiting for my VW to have a coolant leak fixed.
How appropriate

Gary Pate
October 2, 2022 11:37 pm

So how did the Arctic survive the multiple times in the past when it was much warmer than now?

Jeff Reppun
October 3, 2022 6:33 am
Last edited 1 month ago by Capt Jeff
AZeeman
October 3, 2022 7:57 am

Arctic ice is mostly floating with melting caused by water currents. Antarctic ice is mostly land bound with melting caused by air currents. Arctic ice has shown significant melting since the start of the satellite era while Antarctic ice has shown zero to slight growth since then.
comment image
comment image
Guess which one gets emphasized and which is ignored.

jeff corbin
October 3, 2022 8:21 am

Until we have a better handle on Artic ocean submarine volcanism. venting and geothermal heating system, all bets are off. Submarine volcanism acidifies and heats sea water locally. Dependent on how large and active the system is determines the localized impact.

https://eos.org/articles/using-satellites-and-supercomputers-to-track-arctic-volcanoes
This article does not once mention the submarine volcanic system. But as you can see the Arctic ocean is highly volcanic.

https://www.whoi.edu/oceanus/feature/deeply-submerged-volcanoes-blow-their-tops/

This article was 14 years ago about a massive Arctic ocean submarine eruption that was discovered long after the fact. The fact is I cannot find anything that is tracking Arctic ocean submarine volcanism. GOCE and GRACE systems could monitor gravitation variance as a proxy but not on a local micro scale. Both systems are no long operating.

https://www.nature.com/articles/srep01140

Nature article regarding the natural acidification of sea water via submarine volcanism.

As far as I can tell there is no ongoing monitoring of submarine volcanism related acidification Acidification around the Hawaiian islands if it exists in any sort of cycle, is likely due to sea floor sulfur venting. In addition, all those Islands heat the sea water around them ambiently via magma.

You can measure sea water acidification all you want but until you rule out all the variables such as submarine volcanism, generalization will be haphazard at best.

jeff corbin
Reply to  jeff corbin
October 3, 2022 8:52 am

Much of the Arctic ocean sits over three very deep basins 12,000 to 18,000 feet deep with two very deep fissure ridges Gakkel and Lomonosov volcanic ridges separating the three basins. Who knows what is going on down there? If anyone does! Nor does anyone have any idea how much ambient heat those basins ,or the volcanic and vent system is producing or how the cycle works.

https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Free-air-gravity-anomaly-over-part-of-the-northern-hemisphere-displayed-using-a-Lambert_fig1_238424427,

2002 + Gravitational variance in Arctic. Gravitation variance + anomalies are generally thought to be related to compression of magma into the mantle and crust. These anomalies are dynamic over time. Most of the studies are one and done. This demonstrates the degree the arctic region can have localized ambient heating.

https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Gravity-anomaly-trend-mgal-yr-1-during-2003-1-2009-12-a-according-to-the_fig1_275921882

This is a trend study for Siberian gravitation anomalies using Grace Data.

jeff corbin
Reply to  jeff corbin
October 3, 2022 9:22 am

Solar Cycle, Cosmic radiation, Volcanism and regional gravitation anomaly variance regional geothermal sea heating (SST) and acidification cycles, Who knows if there is a relationship or what the relationship is! Yet we do know Solar minimums allow for greater levels of cosmic radiation to penetrate the earth. Here are Japanese scientists looking for a relationship between comic radiation and volcanism and a publication making a sensational claim.

https://eos.org/articles/are-cosmic-rays-a-key-to-forecasting-volcanic-eruptions

If the Grace and GOCE satellite systems have longitudinal data set for the Arctic through the of a 11 year solar cycle (SC 22, 23), aligned with Cosmic radiation, and the SST data…. it may be possible to catch a glimpse of a relationship between these variables…. way beyond my ability

jeff corbin
Reply to  jeff corbin
October 3, 2022 9:52 am

Oulu graphic 1964-today indicates 2007 to Date as a period of historically high Cosmic radiation. If the Japanese scientists, https://eos.org/articles/are-cosmic-rays-a-key-to-forecasting-volcanic-eruptions, are correct in the understanding of the relationship between volcanism and cosmic radiation, then given the high level of volcanism in the arctic could explain the regional warming, regional acidification and regional melt trend since 2008. Hopefully, we will see the end of the high cosmic radiation trend as SC 24 takes off.

Skinmansd
October 6, 2022 11:17 am

The alarmist call it ocean acidification because moving towards neutral is not very scary sounding.
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