The evidence is inexorably mounting that the climate alarmists have been taking us all for a ride. It is only be a matter of time before their agenda is exposed as one of the biggest con tricks of all time. Thus they are already scrambling to breathe new life into the CO2 emissions scare. It will become obvious (by the passage of years if nothing else) that increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere does not, after all, cause any significant climate change, thus it will be necessary to blame CO2 (and hence man) for some other catastrophic event. So, prepare yourself for the coming “ocean acidification” scam.
The media have already entered the fray with lying narratives that sound like science fiction scripts, warning about the catastrophe of “acid oceans” and “toxic seas.” The BBC have churned out headlines such as “Marine life faces ‘acid threat’,” Acid oceans “need urgent action” and “Acidic seas fuel extinction fears.” Newspapers such as the Daily Telegraph and the Times have got in on the act with scary headlines such as “Mussels face extinction as oceans turn acidic”, “Pollution to devastate shellfish by turning seas acidic” and “Acid seas threaten to make British shellfish extinct”. Just recently, it has got all the more strident: the Sunday Times (March 8, 2009) chimes in under the headline The toxic sea:
Each one of us dumps a tonne of carbon dioxide into the oceans every year, turning them into acidified soups and threatening to destroy most of what lives in them.
And from the Guardian (March 10, 2009) under the headline Carbon emissions creating acidic oceans not seen since dinosaurs:
Human pollution is turning the seas into acid so quickly that the coming decades will recreate conditions not seen on Earth since the time of the dinosaurs. The rapid acidification is caused by the massive amounts of carbon belched out from chimneys and exhausts that dissolve in the ocean. the pH of surface waters, where the CO2 is absorbed from the atmosphere, has fallen about 0.1 units since the industrial revolution, though it will take longer for the acid to reach deeper water.
Note the continual use of the word acid. Yet there is not the slightest possibility that seawater will turn to acid, or even become mildly acidic, so this is drivel. Note also the claim that pH has changed by 0.1 units over the last 200 years: it was not possible a hundred years ago, never mind 200 years ago, to measure pH to the accuracy necessary to support that assertion, so it’s just posturing. Finally, notice that CO2 is branded “human pollution”, though CO2 is an entirely natural and absolutely essential nutrient for plant photosynthesis, without which all life on earth would certainly become extinct very quickly.
As an aside, we should note that if lower alkalinity per se were so unfavourable to shellfish as is claimed then we would have no freshwater shellfish and snails, but we do. The freshwater mussel has lived for thousands of years in waters that are genuinely acidic and with highly variable pH, not only seasonally, but geographically. With spring snowmelt and high rainfall, the pH of rivers and lakes can fall to below pH 5, and experiments have shown that mussels can survive this acidity indefinitely without any deleterious effects to their shells. Note: a pH of 5 has 1,000 times as many “acidic” H+ ions per litre as seawater, and 100 times more than pure water. This is not to say that sea creatures can survive in fresh water – they are adapted to a radically different saline environment – the point at issue is that the idea of a small change in ocean pH due to increased dissolved carbon dioxide having a deleterious effect on marine shells of living organisms is not as obvious as the alarmists make out.
When will they stop? In 1975-76 we would freeze to death by now. Anything to change reality to forcibly make us change. When will there ever be a debate in the, and I hate the word, “Mainstream Media” about both sides. I just came from a dinner party tonight were everyone, liberals, conservatives etc. included, asked the same question. State both sides! Down a prin-rose path we go once again. God be with us.
These are the same people that are all for sequestering CO2 in underground “reservoirs”. What might this due to water percolating into these areas? I guess it would most likely turn it into some kind of super acid that could continue to seep all the way to the mantel! Oh MY! This scenario is just as plausible as the idea that CO2 will sorb into the oceans to the point that animals whose lineage goes back MILLIONS of years would become extinct. On another note, with increased glacial run off carrying more rock flour into the oceans, would not the water (oceans) be buffered more toward alkaline given that it is primarily clay particles and high in calcium flowing into the ocean. This quote is from the USGS website explains rock flour: “The rapid weathering of rock flour, coupled with the intensity of glacial erosion, is a significant geochemical effect of widespread glaciation. In the long term, over geologic time, the added calcium from eroded continental rocks helps pull carbon dioxide from the air and reinforces global cooling.”
I guess global warming lead to global cooling which leads to global warming that leads to……….
Boy, did I see this one coming. I wrote to the people at Freinds of Science last year and predicted this. My logic is simple, but appearantly right on the mark. With the AGW hoax being exposed more and more they needed another avenue to present CO2 as some kind of pollutant. When I read a story about ocean acidification last year I thought, that’s it! This will be the next big thing they will use to demonize CO2. And loe & behold, I was correct.
I really like what Tony posted above. More “facts” that won’t be widely reported about it. So, if CO2 is acidifying the oceans, and rock flour is alkalizing the oaceans. Isn’t that like a big tums?
Tony, Love your post!!
Tony, there are fewer and fewer animals whose “lineage goes back millions of years.” Why aren’t you paying attention- don’t believe the on-going extinctions that have and are occurring at increasing rates? Oh, I know, you will hve a pat answer to that, so we don’t have to worry our little heads about that either. We great humans are immune to anything effecting other of God’s creatures. What does that make us then I wonder? Do tell me, please. Your entire post is mere amatuer speculation- but Neil and Paul seem to greatly appreciate that kind of information. Wow.
Will wonders ever cease? You still don’t think.
Problem is I do think. And you don’t like that. What your side needs to start doing is compromising. That is very difficult for you to do I realize that, but in a modern and civilized society that’s really what it all comes down to. I’ve tried to find some common ground here but I’ve come up against what I was hoping I wouldn’t find- a very strong brick wall.
For a few Enlightenment centuries, the dream of reason — a culture of science — was embraced as the best defense against tyranny, whether the oppression came from cardinals or kings. The supreme modern example of this view was the British philosopher Karl Popper. What separates rational argument from ideological or religious wrangling, Popper explained, is the possibility of disconfirmation. A scientific statement can always, potentially, be refuted by evidence, while an ideological or theological contention can always — no matter what seems to contradict it — be held fast.
No wonder our political system can’t solve big problems. Ruthless opposition and dingbat delusions are the currency of right-wing success, and sand in the gears of democracy. Whether they’re cynical postures or sincere beliefs doesn’t matter. The grand national conversation that was intended to enable citizens and their representatives to find common ground for conflicting values has become a grand national midway of carny-barkers and rodeo clowns.
If it weren’t so scary, it’d be funny that the loons who spread the falsehood that Saddam Hussein was behind 9/11, who say that global climate change is a hoax, and who want creationism to share equal time with evolution in our schools are the same furies who shout “You lie!” at the president and make insatiable demands for evidence of his American birth. Funny, because — from Homer Simpson to Stephen Colbert — hypocrisy is part of the human comedy. Scary, because the scientific checks and balances that are supposed to protect an open society from totalitarianism are pretty much impotent in an age of right-wing â€œpolitainmentâ€.
Wow, you sure have bought into the scam hard. Time to register for some cult deprogramming. Alternatively if it will make you feel better I have some carbon credits lying around that you might like to buy. The sooner you seperate yourself from your money you will feel better.
Compromise is no option.
That’s quite a statement. Very scary… really. You think you’re scard of Liberals?? Trust me The Paul, we are much more scared of you, and your statement above is the main reason.
You do realize don’t you that EVERYTHING about “civilized” life hinges upon compromise. It is not a bad thing, it is a NECESSARY thing.
Wow. One of the first sane things I’ve heard since coming to this website. Eloquent response.
correction: the ONLY sane thing i’ve heard as of yet.
Can We expect Fry R. Tuck to make an appearance soon, too?
I never compromise on principles. Ever.
^^Everything that is wrong with the world is represented in this statement…
Here’s a summary of some of the environmental threats to our oceans. The way things are going, there could be no fish left in the oceans in as little as 40 years.
Global Warming is disproven, and already they are on to a new dire planetary crisis! 40 years? Come on. Go for broke. How about 40 days, and beat Prime Minister Brown’s 50 days before we are on an irreversible course to crispyville?!
Yeah because of overfishing. And anyway not all fish, just the tasty ones.
If Global Warming is a myth, why is the arctic icecap smaller now than at any time in recorded history? Why are Glaciers that have been frozen since the last great ice age melting? I was under the impression that ocean acidification was a byproduct of and not a separate phenomenom from Global Warming. Could one of you all explain to me why, if ocean acidification is not occuring, are the shells of microfauna so much thinner than they were when measurements were first being made twenty years ago?
CO2 is an acidic oxide: an aqueous solution turns litmus from blue to pink. It is the anhydride of carbonic acid, an acid which is unstable in aqueous solution, from which it cannot be concentrated. In organisms carbonic acid production is catalysed by the enzyme, carbonic anhydrase.
CO2 + H2O = H2CO3 formed from carbon dioxide dissolving in water.
I hope in sixty years, you’ll actually realize what the hell your talking about,
The sea doesn’t turn into acid you [personal comment deleted], it turns more ACIDIC, every unit on the pH scale means that the ocean is becoming ten times more acidic than the next number down and that [personal comment deleted] like you who don’t have a masters in marine biology conservation get to say, “Oh well the ocean’s still a base, it’s only increased by a tenth.”
Derr. I thunk it meaned the big blue lake wuz gonna turn into some kinda batterie acids and melt all the fishes. Derrr. Thanks!
I have to say that as a geochemist with an interest in the ocean acidification problem, I find this article to be problematic. I’ll go over a few points:
I do not condone headlines (all from the popular press, i note) talking about the oceans ‘becoming’ acid, however eyecatching they may be. However, it is a simple fact that CO2 is acidic, and in aqueous solution it is an acid. Thus a title like ‘acid threat’ is perfectly reasonable. There has been much hullaballoo raised over ‘ocean acidification’ being a misnomer. This is frankly absurd – it’s like your friend has fallen off a bridge and called out, “help help I’m falling down!”
… and your response is to reply, “No, you can’t be! You’re still way UP in the air!”
“Note also the claim that pH has changed by 0.1 units over the last 200 years: it was not possible a hundred years ago, never mind 200 years ago, to measure pH to the accuracy necessary to support that assertion, so itâ€™s just posturing”
I think maybe you mean that an individual pH measurement wasn’t that PRECISE – and yeah, I doubt that a measurement by eyeball colorimetry with a pH indicator (which I would assume was the technique in practice) is not likely to be precise to within 0.1 pH. HOWEVER, multiple measurements, even imprecise ones, can have the power to resolve changes below instrumental precision. Tamino has a great example here:
Such a change should also be relatively easy to infer based upon the amount of CO2 which has been released, shouldn’t it?
You say that CO2 is not a pollutant because it is a natural substance with important roles. This is a poor argument; there are lots of things which meet these criteria but are toxic and uncontroversially polluting: Nitric oxide is an important cell signalling chemical, but it’s also very toxic. Hydrochloric acid is important in my stomach where it helps me digest food, but I don’t want it in my eyes. A pollutant is an ecophysiological poison, and poisons are contextual.
It is not at all obvious why you are comparing saltwater and freshwater ecosystems. They are comprised of organisms which have adapted over evolutionary time scales to their surroundings; the changes involved in OA are geologically abrupt. Besides, the differences between salt and freshwater ecosystems should be obvious to any aquarist – I fail to see any meaningful comparison between them. Do you have a pet goldfish? Suppose I came and added a spoonfull of salt to Goldy’s bowl every few days. Suppose I said to you, “the oceans are a lot saltier! fish survive in the ocean! Goldy will be fine!”
Would you believe me?
Although its science is pretty straightforward, there has been an unfortunate amount of disinformation regarding ocean acidification, even reaching the US Senate. I have recently been reviewing some of this misinfo, and have bundled my findings into a single handsome document. It discusses the above points in more detail, and also addresses other points raised in the article, such as the “CO2 Is Plant Food” talking point. If you are interested in it you can check it out here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/65151969/CO2-Trouble-Soeder-2011 and there is some background info here: http://tinyurl.com/65lgqhx and http://arkfab.org/?p=312
Thank you for setting the record straight Charlie.
Scripps blockbuster: Ocean acidification happens all the time — naturally
There goes another scare campaign.
Until recently we had very little data about real time changes in ocean pH around the world. Finally autonomous sensors placed in a variety of ecosystems “from tropical to polar, open-ocean to coastal, kelp forest to coral reef” give us the information we needed.
It turns out that far from being a stable pH, spots all over the world are constantly changing. One spot in the ocean varied by an astonishing 1.4 pH units regularly. All our human emissions are projected by models to change the world’s oceans by about 0.3 pH units over the next 90 years, and that’s referred to as “catastrophic”, yet we now know that fish and some calcifying critters adapt naturally to changes far larger than that every year, sometimes in just a month, and in extreme cases, in just a day.
Data was collected by 15 individual SeaFET sensors in seven types of marine habitats. Four sites were fairly stable (1, which includes the open ocean, and also sites 2,3,4) but most of the rest were highly variable (esp site 15 near Italy and 14 near Mexico) . On a monthly scale the pH varies by 0.024 to 1.430 pH units.
Matt Ridley: Taking Fears Of Acid Oceans With A Grain of Salt
[GWPF] [Wall St Journal]
The central concern is that lower pH will make it harder for corals, clams and other “calcifier” creatures to make calcium carbonate skeletons and shells. Yet this concern also may be overstated. Off Papua New Guinea and the Italian island of Ischia, where natural carbon-dioxide bubbles from volcanic vents make the sea less alkaline, and off the Yucatan, where underwater springs make seawater actually acidic, studies have shown that at least some kinds of calcifiers still thrive—at least as far down as pH 7.8.
In a recent experiment in the Mediterranean, reported in Nature Climate Change, corals and mollusks were transplanted to lower pH sites, where they proved “able to calcify and grow at even faster than normal rates when exposed to the high [carbon-dioxide] levels projected for the next 300 years.” In any case, freshwater mussels thrive in Scottish rivers, where the pH is as low as five.
Abive is copied a couple of paragraphs each of two articles based on reali scientific research, NOT propaganda talking points about science bent toward a political campaign, like justification for expanding power of an already bloated bureaucacy . Please blather on some more about your baseless religious beliefs. http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/01/09/scripps-paper-ocean-acidification-fears-overhyped/
Sorry; here is the Tamino reference:
This is a hilarious parody site! Very entertaining!
You can’t counter science with pseudo-science.
Your argument basically adds up to nothing more than a beef with the terms people have used to describe this problem and a lack of understanding of how the actual science works.
Either you are willfully ignorant or you’re intentionally misleading. Either way you are doing a disservice to your readers and yourself.
On a side note, if you in any way make money from promoting this half assed nonsense it may seem like an easy payday, but you’re only hurting yourself and your kids in the long run.
Wow, this is the most retarded article I have ever read. For one, you really don’t understand a single thing about the pH scale or the significance of a .1 drop of it. Two, yes you are right carbon dioxide is natural, it even occurs in the ocean itself, but the chemical sequences of life are not supposed to be thrown off like they have been in since the industrial revolution. Do you even know the chemical formulas that occur when carbon dioxide is blended with water or when it is removed, I highly doubt it otherwise you would have no argument here. Three, the ocean will never “turn to acid” that is just another example of how inexperienced you are with the pH scale, the amount of carbon dioxide (which is much further down on pH scale than water) in the trace particles of the ocean’s composition will increase to the point where nothing can live in it. It would have a similar effect if you were to drop a gold fish into a glass of milk. And the fourth reason your article is so invalid is you have no credit. It is not just that you have probably put as much research into this as I have into ballet, almost none, but that your grammar is so god awful in here there is no way you could possible know what you are talking about. Read a book bro, then get back to me.
Maybe you should go here: https://buythetruth.wordpress.com/2009/03/19/ocean-acidification-scam/
As this post has only been reproduced here and is not the original source for the article and you seem to be addressing the author who, in all likelihood, will never see it here.
This was posted in 2009.