JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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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.

Figure 1. Map of pH sensor (SeaFET) deployment locations.

See Table 1 for details of locations

The authors draw two conclusions: (1) most non-open ocean sites vary a lot, and (2) and some spots vary so much they reach the “extreme” pH’s forecast for the doomsday future scenarios on a daily (a daily!) basis.

At Puerto Morelos (in Mexico’s easternmost state, on the Yucatán Peninsula) the pH varied as much as 0.3 units per hour due to groundwater springs. Each day the pH bottomed at about 10am, and peaked shortly after sunset. These extreme sites tell us that some marine life can cope with larger, faster swings than the apocalyptic predictions suggest, though of course, no one is suggesting that the entire global ocean would be happy with similar extreme swings.

Even the more stable and vast open ocean is not a fixed pH all year round. Hofmann writes that “Open-water areas (in the Southern Ocean) experience a strong seasonal shift in seawater pH (~0.3–0.5 units) between austral summer and winter.”

This paper is such a game changer, they talk about rewriting the null hypothesis:

“This natural variability has prompted the suggestion that “an appropriate null hypothesis may be, until evidence is obtained to the contrary, that major biogeochemical processes in the oceans other than calcification will not be fundamentally different under future higher CO2/lower pH conditions””

 

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.

Human beings have indeed placed marine ecosystems under terrible pressure, but the chief culprits are overfishing and pollution. By comparison, a very slow reduction in the alkalinity of the oceans, well within the range of natural variation, is a modest threat, and it certainly does not merit apocalyptic headlines.

 

We also know that adding CO2 in a sense is feeding the calcifying organisms (like it feeds life above the water too). Co2 dissolves as bicarbonate, which marine uses to make skeletons and shells from. So yes, a lower pH dissolves shells, but the extra CO2 increases shell formation.

 

..

Figure 2. pH dynamics at 15 locations worldwide in 0–15 m water depth. All panels are plotted on the same vertical range of pH (total hydrogen ion scale). The ordinate axis was arbitrarily selected to encompass a 30-day period during each sensor deployment representative of each site during the deployment season. See Table 1 for details regarding sensor deployment.

Figure 3. Metrics of short-term pH variability at 15 locations worldwide, ranked by ascending values. Mean = geometric mean; Max = maximum value recorded; Min = minimum value recorded; SD = standard deviation; Range = Max – Min; Rate = mean of the absolute rate of change between adjacent data points.

There are caveats: possibly marine life is already operating at the “edge of it’s tolerances” (we don’t know), so pushing things further may be still detrimental. Also these extreme environments don’t have the same variety of organisms that less extreme ones do, so we don’t really want to convert the whole equatorial ocean into life as it exists in one Mexican Bay. But conditions in some places are changing more on daily basis than we are being warned to fear from a century long trend.

The bottom line is that claims that these pH changes are unprecedented, fast or unnatural are overstating things dramatically.  Typical estuarine environments have an inflow from rivers (with a lower pH) that fluctuates wildly, so do areas with upwelling, and even the pH in kelp forests varies dynamically.

The alarmist headlines, fears of mass starvation, and satanic allusions are unjustified:

‘Scientists label this acid trend “the evil twin of climate change”.

Anthropogenic climate change set to trigger tipping points,

Ocean acid threatens food chain,

Bbc News – ‘Acidifying oceans’ threaten food supply, Uk warns,

What we don’t know vastly eclipses what we do. We need to study the effects of human emissions of CO2, but not at the expense of other far more pressing threats.

If we care about ocean-life (not to mention our food supply) we need to focus on things that threaten it now.

 REFERENCES:

Hofmann GE, Smith JE, Johnson KS, Send U, Levin LA, et al. (2011) High-Frequency Dynamics of Ocean pH: A Multi-Ecosystem Comparison. PLoS ONE 6(12): e28983. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0028983 [PLOS paper and graphs sourced here]

Hat tip Brice Bosnich (who wrote the post: The chemistry of ocean pH and “acidification”).

———————–

Other information on the topic from  my site:

Ocean Acidification — a little bit less alkalinity could be a good thing

1103 studies show that a slight lowering of pH promotes growth in marine life.

From the SPPI site:

C02 Science’s Ocean Acidification Database

Quantifying the Effects of Ocean Acidification on Marine Organisms

Effects of Ocean Acidification on Marine Ecosystems

Answers to a Fisherman’s Testimony about Ocean Acidification

EPA’s Role in Protecting Ocean Health Should Focus on the “Here-and-Now” Threats

See also CO2 Science website for reviewed papers on the topic 

 

 

 

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Scripps blockbuster: Ocean acidification happens all the time -- naturally, 8.8 out of 10 based on 78 ratings

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225 comments to Scripps blockbuster: Ocean acidification happens all the time — naturally

  • #
    klem

    I’m confident the BBC will not report this, neither will the Canadian CBC. Especially after all of the ‘acidification’ alarmist reporting over the lat few years.

    Will the ABC ignore this as well?


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  • #
    Peter Whale

    So at one end of the ph scale there is sulphuric acid, at the other end of the ph scale is caustic soda, in the middle is plain water. At the moment sea water is a couple of points nearer caustic soda than plain water. If all the co2 in the atmosphere were to be absorbed by sea water it would still be above plain water and nearer towards caustic soda than sulphuric acid. Why do warmists want to turn our seawater caustic?


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  • #
    Roy Hogue

    Why should we believe actual observations? Are there no computer models we can rely on? ;-)


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  • #
    Roy Hogue

    Humor aside, the variability of PH in various non open ocean sites was gone over by someone (memory fails me as to who) several years ago in response to something I posted. These actual observations confirm what has apparently been known for some time and are very welcome.

    Unfortunately they will not move the alarmists one bit.

    I do wish we could stop adding caveats such as

    …possibly marine life is already operating at the “edge of its tolerances” (we don’t know), so pushing things further may be still detrimental.

    simply because that is pure speculation every bit as lacking empirical support as the alarmist position and it leaves an opening for the alarmist to say, “Yes, they are being pushed to the limit of their tolerance. Even you aren’t sure of your position.” We will never know if marine life is already at the limit of its tolerance or not. Even if various species begin to die off there will be no way to prove that CO2 did it. The problem is exactly the same one the global warming alarmist faces. They cannot make any empirical connection between anything they claim is happening and CO2. If they could they would have done so years ago and the debate would be over.


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  • #
    Athlete

    Call it a gut feeling but I suspect that if coral reefs can survive a 55,000 degree atomic blast that a little extra CO2 plant food isn’t going to do them much harm.


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  • #

    Don’t be too harsh on me Roy, the paper is full of caveats (as we’d expect) all of which are plausible, possible, and entirely speculative. I tried to sum up the most important one or two. I guess I forgot to add the line about caveats-in-peer-reviewed papers being put there to pass the thought-police, and to give poor fans of AGW something to toss back condescendingly as if it was somehow a dead-set observation, rather than a “might” “could” “possibly” clause.


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    • #
      Roy Hogue

      I’m not being harsh on you Jo. Or did the caveats com from you and not the researchers?

      I guess your response if the answer, they come from the researchers.

      I just don’t think they do any good. Why give your opponent a handhold? :-)


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      • #
        Rereke Whakaaro

        Roy,

        There is an old saying in boxing: You can’t have a fight from two sides of the ring – you have got to meet in the middle before anything happens.

        I guess the authors of the report (and Jo) were just taking their stance in the middle – and it is better to fight them on your terms, than on theirs.


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  • #
    Peter Miller

    The alarmist theory that rising CO2 levels will catastrophically acidify the oceans is complete drivel.

    Carbonic acid (CO2 dissolved in water) in concentrated form is an extremely weak acid and is plain and ordinary soda water. Extremely weak carbonic acid, such as found in the oceans, may slightly increase the amount of calcium bicarbonate being created there. The oceans are comfortably alkiline at a pH of around 8.15 – alarmist commentaries, such as found in Wikipedia, state the oceans’ surface pH has fallen from 8.25 to 8.14 in the period from 1751 to 1994. Apart from the very obvious question about the accuracy of the 1751 figure, this is no big deal as the oceans’ pH has varied over geological time – and every time it changes, life has to adapt a little. In addition, you need to notice the word ‘surface’, which is never clearly defined. In human equivalent terms, it’s like moving from London to Paris and taking a 100 years to adapt.

    If you compute the numbers, it becomes obvious this is typical alarmist nonsense: The oceans have a volume of 1.35 billion cubic kilometres, which equates to ~1.4 billion billion tonnes. Mankind annually produces around 32 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide – about 40% of this amount, or 13 billion tonnes, is absorbed by the oceans.

    So, carbon dioxide levels in the ocean increase by around one part in 123 million per year, or 1.2 parts per million per century. While it will take time for this gas to circulate throughout the oceans, it will therefore initially be concentrated in the near surface area – so, if we ‘adjust’ to exaggerate the situation (that sounds just like a good ‘climate scientist’) these figures by a factor of 5 to take in the volume of ocean above the main thermocline, we still only achieve an increase in carbon dioxide levels of around 6 parts per million per century, clearly too small to have anything other than a miniscule effect on ocean acidity/ph levels. Finally, around 50% of the ocean floor is covered with recent calcium carbonate rich sediments, which stand ready to neutralise any significant acidification that might theoretically occur.

    The Earth’s tectonic plates are in continual motion and this is responsible for volcanic activity throughout large parts of our planet – without this, only the most primitive forms of life would be possible. Where vulcanism occurs in the oceans, there will be emissions of both carbon dioxide and metal sulphides, which inevitably will cause a localised lowering of the pH in sea water and a concurrent rise in temperature. Sometimes, this can have a temporary negative effect on senstive coral lifeforms – but you never hear an alarmist commentary on the impact of metal sulphides on corals – the only fact ever considered is rising carbon dioxide levels and the fact all volcanic activity releases varying amounts of inorganic poisons like arsenic, antimony, cadmium, lead and mercury into the environment is conveniently ignored.

    The tectonic plates in the oceans are in constant


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    • #
      bananabender

      So who was measuring pH back in 1751? Nobody! Back then measurements of “acidity” and “alkalinity” were nothing more than guesstimates based on taste or simple chemical reactions eg whether the (acidic) substance reacted with marble.

      The modern concept of pH wasn’t invented until 1909. It wasn’t even possible to measure pH precisely until the 1940s.when electrical meters using the saturated calomel electrode first became available. Prior to that pH measurements used imprecise indicator solutions (eg litmus or phenopthalein)


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  • #
    Treeman

    A little aciification coming back back to bite. I’m sick to the stomach laughing!


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  • #
    Speedy

    Jo

    studies have shown that at least some kinds of calcifiers still thrive—at least as far down as pH 7.8.

    I had this thought that the pH of oceans was around 7.8 already??? Either my necktop computer having a conniption or a typo in the article…

    Cheers,

    Speedy


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    • #
      Roy Hogue

      I think the number is about 8.2, not 7.8.


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      • #
        Speedy

        Roy

        If (big if, agree), you believe Wiki, then the “average” ph of the oceans is around 7.5-8.4, Though you can have a meaningful geometric average of a logaritmic parameter is beyond me.

        The basic point though is that the pH of the oceans does in fact vary widely with little or no impact on the sealife. Which is more or less what Jo is alluding to.

        Cheers,

        Speedy


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  • #
    Jaymez

    A good article, which should stop the ocean acidification warriors in their tracks.

    But the real point is we should be concentrating on things we can impact and which are a definite danger to society. I’m currently travelling around the most populous country in the world – China. Despite massive development and economic growth, and adoption of technology, you can’t safely drink the tap water in the capital city Beijing, or in any of their major cities.

    Lack of clean drinking water creates problems the world over making raising healthy children, and fighting infections


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    • #
      Steve Schapel

      Among the noteworthy quotes from that article, Marcus:
      “The little critters that have got shells that are going to be eaten away by the acid, they’re in trouble.”
      LOL!


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  • #
    elsie

    It may have been on this site, I’m not sure, but I can remember reading that all rain is acidic. Years ago when acid rain was thought to be decimating forests, industries were blamed for belching sulfuric acid into the air. Much work was done to ensure this source was eliminated. But still, acid rain fell.

    Then some scientists proved that those darned cosmic rays from space created conditions for acid rain. This varied from time to time depending on how many rays entered the atmosphere which, in turn, depended upon the activity of the sun.


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    • #

      [Elsie on acid rain]

      The acid rain issue in Europe c.late 50s, early 60s, was a bit of a conundrum. The soot was the first thing to be filtered out. Unfortunately, it was the soot that was protecting the trees from the sulphur and other nasties …

      So many plants here in the dry tropics refuse to respond to lashings of tap water, perk up immediately when there is real rain …


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    • #

      Elsie, I asked Brice to write about rain being acidic in his post — those droplets absorb the CO2 out of the air as they fall, and yes, all rain is acidic, and floods are too. It’s part of the reason that estuaries vary in pH so much, and I gather coral reefs don’t form close to river mouths. Does anyone know more on that? (I might be wrong, but I remember hearing that Ningaloo Reef in West Australia goes right up to the beach because there are no rivers flowing into the ocean there. Yet the barrier reef in QLD is much further offshore.)

      Presumably our rainfall is slightly more acidic now than 300 years ago due to rising CO2, and it’s a wonder there is no new “stop acid rain” campaign.


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  • #
    pat

    klem -
    ABC is too busy repeating a “Big Ideas” hour in their “Science” programme slot last nite, which included the Age’s Jo Chandler, on ocean acidificion, and talk from the the presenters and Jo about wicked sceptics and their “vitriol”, their threatening emails to climate scientists, their (sceptic) “crap” etc etc. guess “crap” is the “strong language”. no transcript, but the entire programme is perfectly suited to an “All in the mind” presenter:

    8 Jan: ABC Science: Science on Radio National Summer. Writing in lab coats: Melbourne Writers Festival
    In the third in this series of forums recorded around Australia in 2011, we have an all-star panel discussing their latest books—on sex, gender, genes and climate change, and much more. The event was recorded at the Melbourne Writers Festival, and your host is All in the Mind presenter Natasha Mitchell. Please note that this program contains some strong language.
    Guest: Jo Chandler
    Senior journalist
    The Age Newspaper
    (PLUS OTHERS)
    Presenter Natasha Mitchell/Corinne Podger
    ProducerCorinne Podger
    http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/bigideas/science-on-radio-national-summer-writing-in-lab/3695726

    those “smart, smart” climate researchers Jo speaks of in the above, steered her in the wrong direction here:

    Aug 2010: SMH: Jo Chandler: Pakistan floods the harbinger of a raw, new reality
    Extreme weather events will become more common as climate change bites, writes Jo Chandler.
    Within five years, by 2015, environmental degradation and an increasingly volatile climate are expected to inflate casualties by 50 per cent. Each year an average of 375 million men, women and children will have their lives or their livelihoods taken by a change in the weather. Modelling to imagine the future is never an exact science – the numbers are fluid but the trajectory is unequivocal…
    In the international media and science communities there is vigorous debate over the claim – by a growing chorus of climate experts – that the floods in Pakistan will be distinguished in history not just as possibly the worst humanitarian crisis of the age, but as the first great ”natural” disaster attributable to rising greenhouse gases…
    For years the apocryphal warnings have been laid out in the scientific journals and in sober economic analyses…
    Four years ago Professor Alan Dupont, now the director of the Centre for International Security Studies at Sydney University, co-authored a paper for the Lowy Institute on climate change and security, Heating Up the Planet. It sought to highlight the devastating security implications of changing climate.
    Whether the Pakistan floods can be blamed on rising greenhouse gases, Dupont can’t and won’t guess. But is this the kind of event he was writing about? ”Absolutely,” he says. ”One of the concerns now is that perhaps the impact of these events might be even wider than we thought. The science over the past four years is much stronger. It’s pretty clear that large swathes of the planet are vulnerable.”…
    http://www.smh.com.au/world/pakistan-floods-the-harbinger-of-a-raw-new-reality-20100820-138×6.html

    do Chandler/Fairfax or the rest of the MSM apologise for such unsubstantiated allegations once the facts are known? LOL.

    25 Jan 2011: Eureka Alert: Press Release: Rogue storm system caused Pakistan floods that left millions homeless
    Contact: Vince Stricherz, University of Washington
    http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-01/uow-rss012411.php


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  • #
    Winston

    Open ocean pH in the graph above is notably pretty much a flat line, if it was a patient’s ECG you’d be ringing the undertakers. So, when estuarine and near shore waters are mixed in the general circulation- convection evens out any localised pH spikes and the overall picture is the quintessence of stability.

    If any of the AGW believers can point out something to be worried about here, by all means please enlighten us.


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  • #
    pat

    7 Jan: WSJ: Matt Ridley: Taking Fears of Acid Oceans With a Grain of Salt
    Last month scientists at San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography and other authors published a study showing how much the pH level (measuring alkalinity versus acidity) varies naturally between parts of the ocean and at different times of the day, month and year…
    Another recent study, by scientists from the U.K., Hawaii and Massachusetts, concluded that “marine and freshwater assemblages have always experienced variable pH conditions,” and that “in many freshwater lakes, pH changes that are orders of magnitude greater than those projected for the 22nd-century oceans can occur over periods of hours.”…
    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.
    Laboratory experiments find that more marine creatures thrive than suffer when carbon dioxide lowers the pH level to 7.8. This is because the carbon dioxide dissolves mainly as bicarbonate, which many calcifiers use as raw material for carbonate.
    Human beings have indeed placed marine ecosystems under terrible pressure, but the chief culprits are overfishing and pollution. By comparison, a very slow reduction in the alkalinity of the oceans, well within the range of natural variation, is a modest threat, and it certainly does not merit apocalyptic headlines.
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203550304577138561444464028.html


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  • #
    pat

    O/T but important, especially as Teys is a big employer in my high-unemployement region:

    9 Jan: FarmOnline: Cameron Thompson: Abattoirs’ carbon tax shutdowns
    REGULAR shutdowns in Australian abattoirs, struggling to offset the Gillard government’s carbon tax, could hit production and cost jobs as soon as July.
    Queensland plants at Rockhampton, Townsville and Toowoomba are among those facing scheduled shutdowns and consequent impacts on communities and jobs.
    The shutdowns will affect hundreds of workers and the supply of cattle at several middle to larger-sized plants struggling to reduce greenhouse gas output below the government-imposed maximum of 25,000 tonnes a year.
    Because of the design of the tax, shutdowns of two to three weeks are the only logical way for processors to cut production and sidestep a hefty annual bill of a million dollars or more.
    These are the first in the long list of beef industry impacts, which apply despite a government promise that agriculture was to be exempt from the tax.
    The carbon tax was to apply to Australia’s 500 biggest polluters, but meatworks are over-represented in the target group…
    Meat industry spokesman, Teys Australia’s general manager of corporate affairs, Tom Maguire, says the tax, which takes effect on July 4, endangers the competitiveness of Australia’s most efficient meatworks.
    “It is entirely in the government’s hands to avoid the serious impact on communities and jobs,” he said…
    http://qcl.farmonline.com.au/news/state/livestock/cattle/abattoirs-carbon-tax-shutdowns/2410806.aspx


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    • #
      jl

      This may be an opportunity for some creative accounting to exploit what must be a huge number of loopholes when dealing with a tax on air.
      Many, if not most of the animals unfortunate enough to be visting the abattior are in the prime of youth. They would be belching and farting for years if left alone.
      Methane is a much more potent green-house gas ( insert fart joke here ) than CO2.
      Surely the abattoir can claim credits for all the gas it has prevented from escaping had they not intervened to prevent all those methane producers continue with their wicked work?
      It would make my day to hear that some such ploy left the taxation dept. owing more in credits than it reaped in tax!


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  • #

    Saying that ocean acidification is not a concern because ocean pH fluctuates over short timescales at various sites, is like saying global warming isn’t a concern because global surface temperatures, at a specific location, fluctuate between night/day and summer/winter. A wee bit silly, right?

    Scientific concern is due to current and past observations. When atmospheric CO2 increased rapidly in the past, such as from intense volcanic activity in the Permian Extinction, the oceans acidified and ancient coral went extinct. Coral, and other marine creatures that build their shells of calcium carbonate, were repeatedly devastated by ocean acidification throughout Earth’s past, and when coral were extinguished it typically took millions of years for new, genetically unrelated, forms to evolve.

    This should come as no surprise, coral depend on the calcium carbonate (aragonite) saturation state of the surrounding seawater to build and maintain their skeletons. Should the saturation state fall, as with ocean acidification, then coral have to expend more energy to build and maintain their skeleton. More energy requires more food, and perhaps less energy devoted to reproduction. When the pH is extremely low, and the aragonite saturation state drops accordingly, seawater becomes corrosive to coral. That’s what a number of experiments have found too. The natural CO2 seeps that Matt Ridley incorrectly writes about, show that coral growth declines with increasing ocean acidity. The actual studies contradict Ridley’s assertions. Go figure.

    See: Fabricius (2011)

    We investigated coral reefs, seagrasses and sediments that are acclimatized to low pH at three cool and shallow volcanic carbon dioxide seeps in Papua New Guinea. At reduced pH, we observed reductions in coral diversity, recruitment and abundances of structurally complex framework builders, and shifts in competitive interactions between taxa. However, coral cover remained constant between pH 8.1 and ~7.8, because massive Porites corals established dominance over structural corals, despite low rates of calcification. Reef development ceased below pH 7.7

    Hall-Spencer (2008)
    Here we show the effects of acidification on benthic ecosystems at shallow coastal sites where volcanic CO2 vents lower the pH of the water column. Along gradients of normal pH (8.1–8.2) to lowered pH (mean 7.8–7.9, minimum 7.4–7.5), typical rocky shore communities with abundant calcareous organisms shifted to communities lacking scleractinian corals with significant reductions in sea urchin and coralline algal abundance.”

    Crook (2011)

    Only three scleractinian coral species (Porites astreoides, Porites divaricata, and Siderastrea radians) occur in undersaturated waters at all ojos examined. Because these three species are rarely major contributors to Caribbean reef framework, these data may indicate that today’s more complex frame-building species may be replaced by smaller, possibly patchy, colonies of only a few species along the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef


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    • #
      Winston

      Rob,
      Don’t you think that the main driver for pH decline in oceans due to intense volcanic activity was MUCH more likely to be due to the effect of the constituency of the lava itself (leading to acidification in the form of sulphuric acid, etc) from undersea volcanoes and those adjacent to shoreline rather than anything significantly related to the atmosphere CO2, and certainly not the difference in atmospheric CO2 between for example 280ppm and 380ppm, or even 450ppm?


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      • #
        Winston

        And just where in the above observations do we actually see “real world” evidence for the theoretical “danger” which you espouse? Theory is all fine and good as a starting point, to predict what MIGHT happen if something was to occur, but relatively a moot point if observations do not bear out that acidification is even occuring at the levels of magnitude required to precipitate the scenario you claim, rather than at the modest, or possibly insignificant, levels that we are currently dealing with.


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        • #
          Winston

          Not to mention also, that the Permian Extinction was probably more likely to have been due to an asteroid impact event in the ocean, in combination with the Siberian traps, not the make up of the atmosphere in any direct causative fashion.


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    • #
      Vanishing Point

      You’ve been rather busy in quite a few blogs recently spreading your ‘collective’ wisdom.

      When I was young the scientists were warning me of dire consequences of the upcoming ice age (yet I could no longer ski in late January). Then all of the forests, lakes and rivers in Europe were to be destroyed by the acid rain (yet the forest behind my house was getting thicker than ever and there was more fish in the creek as well). While my economics teacher was quoting advantages of a planned socialist economy I could see that the wild capitalist system was doing so much better. After that the Great Barrier Reef was being eaten alive by the starfish while the human population was under attack by the cosmic rays beaming through holes in the ozone layer. Until recently we were all going to burn due to a small increase in the amount of a trace gas. Now it is back to acid again.

      Are you sure it is not a new version of the bible you get your information from? If I remember correctly it was the original fairy tale and we were all to suffer from fire and brimstone for the sins of our fathers. I think most of the participant here think that was a wee bit silly and can’t really see much difference between the old and the new prophets of doom. You could say that we have evolved and are now much more resistant to bullshit.


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      • #
        John from France

        So what exactly is your point, apart from the general grumpy rant?


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          Vanishing Point

          I don’t mind when a person presents an argument that can be independently tested. It is a different scenario when a complex system is involved and a great number of variables, some known and some unknown, come into play. In this case we can debate an interplay between the components but we can not be certain of the precise interaction.

          When Rob states:

          Saying that ocean acidification is not a concern because ocean pH fluctuates over short timescales at various sites, is like saying global warming isn’t a concern because global surface temperatures, at a specific location, fluctuate between night/day and summer/winter. A wee bit silly, right?

          my question would be how much do we actually and precisely know about ocean pH fluctuations? Just like with global warming we don’t know who was taking the measurements and what the agenda was. It is not enough to present a couple of references and call everybody else a wee bit silly. Human knowledge expands all the time and what sounded a wee bit silly in the past forms the basic science today. By all means lets learn as much as we can about the system but lets not panic because a guy wearing a white coat says so. They have been wrong in the past. Who’s to say they are right now?

          Just like with global warming things may be changing. But unless we know exactly why it may be premature to jump right in and attempt to fix a problem that may not be there or one that we have no power to correct.


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      cohenite

      Whether corals are affected by, and let’s be clear here, we are not talking about acidification but a minute trend towards neutrality, this process depends on the rate of the process; corals are very resistant to decreases in alkalinity as several studies have shown

      The common cry of alarmists is that the rate of the progression towards neutrality is greater than has happened before; this is problematic; as Marsh says [page 7]:

      All the waters north of this line have been
      ventilated to the ocean floor on 10 to 20 year time scales. This is a powerful statement regarding the time scales of ocean ventilation, and has profound implications concerning how rapidly climatic variations can propagate through the oceans.

      If ocean ventilation is this rapid then even if extra CO2 is going into the ocean it is removed before the dire projections regarding acidification/neutrality can occur.

      In any event the alarmists, as usual, have overestimated both the amount of CO2 going into the oceans, using the basis of a doubling of CO2 concentration to 760ppm, and the effect that extra CO2 from a doubling of atmospheric concentration will have on ocean acidification/neutrality.


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        wes george

        That’s right Cohenite. This is the latest appropriation of language as a propaganda tool by the High Church of Green Doom.

        Our pollies reflexively talk about “climate change” caused by “carbon pollution”, not about the evidence (or lack thereof) for the catastrophic anthropogenic global warming hypothesis or the role carbon dioxide plays in natural processes.

        Now they want us to talk about “ocean acidification” as if the oceans are becoming acidic, yet nothing could be more deceptive. It’s language designed to inspire irrational fear and impede a reasonable consideration of the known facts and conceal the import of emergent evidence.

        The fact that “they” have tricked even a sharp cookie like Jo Nova to title a post “Ocean acidification happens all the time,” shows that we have learned nothing from the Orwellian manipulation of language the Warmists put over on us in the last decade. Simply by agreeing to submit to the oversimplified frightfulness of “ocean acidification” to describe the highly multi-variable oceanic carbon cycle, we are conceding to the Green propagandists’ demand to lower the level of the debate to a point where the common language is insufficient to the task of understanding the issue.


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          Rereke Whakaaro

          Well put Wes. It is all about the language.

          Most scientific terms go way above the heads of most readers. Some of us are well enough read to get the gist, but miss many of the finer points.

          But the majority of the population will be drawn towards the simplest sounding argument, whether it is correct or not. People want to say, “Hey, I understand that! It’s simple really when it is put in the ‘right’ way”.

          That is the weakness that propaganda exploits. It takes a situation, and explains it in a way that suits the propagandist, and does so in the simplest possible terms. (“Four legs, good. Two legs, bad” – Animal Farm)

          Very few people are happy to admit that they are wrong or that they don’t understand. But you have to admit to those thing before you can even start to learn and thus change what you believe. Our challenge is to express the truth in the simplest possible way by accepting the lies of the propagandists, and building on them to tilt the message back towards the truth.

          One of my colleagues is fond of saying, “The truth wants to be set free. Our job is simply to find a way of opening the cage”.


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          Speaking of ‘controlling the language’ as a form of propaganda.

          I actually hesitate about mentioning this at all, because it’s almost unable to be believed, and when I heard it, the first thing I almost said was ….. “are you serious?”

          Luckily, close family members I have, er, educated, so I’m not in the bad books with close family.

          It was around the time that the Legislation was going through the House. Well, it had to be because no one is talking about it any more, and interest has waned. (Just an aside on this, see how easy it has become to distract people, by not talking about it, the Paul Keating ‘change the subject’ Principle)

          It wasn’t even an argument. I don’t do arguments. I gently persuade from the point of view of trying to find out what the other person really knows, and then gently introduce facts, that, well, frankly, no one believes anyway.

          A couple of young guys were discussing the ‘Price on Carbon’, one for, and one, well, sort of against, but really in favour as well.

          I was listening, and they asked me what I thought.

          I gently mentioned that this new tax on carbon dioxide, and that was as far as I got.

          The guy who was pro the ‘Price on Carbon’ stopped me right at that point, and said that it wasn’t about Carbon Dioxide at all, and that the problem, he said was just plain Carbon, as per ‘The Price On Carbon’ meme that he believed.

          I could see I was going to get nowhere, as I had that puzzled look on my face, and had to restrain myself from blurting out that ‘Are You Serious?’

          Luckily my good lady wife had finished her coffee, and gently nudged me, a signal for me not to go there, and I excused myself, but as I left, I looked back, and he had this look on his face, you know, that ‘Bloody idiot’ look.

          I’m almost convinced we are beating our heads against a brick wall.

          Tony.


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        Streetcred

        [in a nutshell] But, the oceans are warming and we know that CO2 is liberated from the ocean subsequent to its warming (of the ocean) … the oceans have been warming since the ‘end’ of the LIA thus liberating CO2 which has made its way into the atmosphere in great volumes … heating / cooling / CO2 up / CO2 down, kinda like a pattern developing here ? ;)


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    pat

    9 Jan: FarmOnline: Tom Clapin: Carbon tax sour cream to WA dairy farmers
    WA dairy farmers knew all along they would be hit hardest by the Federal Government’s carbon tax.
    Now it’s official.
    According to Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) figures released last month, the tax will cost dairy farmers $8140 a farm, a year.
    The estimates from ABARES show WA dairy farmers will be the biggest losers with the Australian average at $4482 a farm, a year…
    “It is concerning the government has waited until this legislation has passed, before allowing ABARES to put the facts into the public arena, facts they obviously already knew were true but refused to acknowledge,” Mr Cobb said.
    “Dairy farmers will be one of the hardest hit industries as they rely heavily on electricity and also face rising costs from increased input prices, such as fertiliser and chemicals.”
    The WA dairy industry consists of only 165 farms spread from Albany to Armadale. It is the smallest component of the Australian dairy industry, yet farmers are forced to pay almost double the national average in carbon tax.
    WA dairy farmers are set to lose $6.5 million based on the ABARES figures over the first five years of the carbon tax…
    Dairy producer and Federal MP Nola Marino, Harvey, believes the carbon tax will effect the price of farmer inputs from fuel costs to electricity costs.
    “The dairy farmers end up directly paying the carbon tax by way of this,” Ms Marino said.
    “This is something that farmers cannot pass on.”
    Ms Marino said WA dairy farmers have a perishable product which they needed to sell to the domestic market.
    She said it could have a massive impact on their families.
    “They are price takers,” she said…
    “While it might seem like only dairy farmers are affected it ends up affecting the whole community that dairy farmers are a part of and support.”
    Ms Marino said the Federal Government needed to look at what the tax was doing to small business.
    “It’s no use saying only 500 companies will be paying the tax directly,” she said.
    “Dairy farmers and many other small businesses will be paying this tax by default, and this impacts on the commercial decisions a farmer makes.”…
    (Dairy producer Michael Partridge)”Farmers from other countries don’t pay these taxes and so that affects our competitiveness,” he said.
    http://fw.farmonline.com.au/news/state/dairy/general/carbon-tax-sour-cream-to-wa-dairy-farmers/2410048.aspx


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    pat

    changing the rules and making it up as they go along, as usual:

    8 Jan: NYT: Reuters: Gerard Wynn: Europe Tries to Stem a Plunge in Carbon Prices
    The European Commission is poised to propose the only short-term fix available for a plunge in carbon prices, removing surplus emissions permits in an action that may still do little to increase low-carbon investment.
    The European Union’s emissions trading program needs rescuing from a 10-year glut in the supply of carbon dioxide permits, which has left prices near record lows.
    The best solution would be a price floor, which would set the minimum cost of carbon emissions for a decade or more, sending a clear signal for low-carbon investment and for the 12,000 polluting factories and power plants directly affected by the emissions trading program.
    A price floor has support from some industries and from academics and policy research institutions like Climate Strategies in Britain…
    A European Commission spokesman for climate action, Isaac Valero-Ladron, ruled out a price floor on the basis that it would count as a direct intervention.
    “The Commission does not support the idea of a price floor. We don’t have a price floor. We will never propose a price floor,” he said.
    For now the Union is poised to enact an alternative and more palatable intervention to remove a certain number of emissions permits or E.U. allowances — E.U.A.’s — from the market, in a “withholding” or “set-aside” measure.
    That will not guarantee that prices will be restored to more environmentally effective, prefinancial crisis levels (€15 to €25, or $19 to $32), barring an unlikely European economic rebound.
    The action has political advantages, however. It could be agreed upon by a majority of environment ministers in a tweak to existing auctioning regulation under the trading program, in a process that would take only about six months.
    The European Commission would propose to withhold a certain number of E.U.A.’s, after more guidance, including an expected Parliament vote on the issue within months…
    Some free market proponents suggest that no fix is needed, arguing that falling carbon prices simply reflect less pollution and demand for emissions permits in the aftermath of the financial crisis.
    But the government-led program fails to mimic the way manufacturers of goods in real markets mothball capacity in a downturn, trimming supply in line with demand, thus limiting price falls.
    The carbon market has no such recourse. Supply is fixed and the E.U.A. surplus for each year simply adds to a burgeoning glut, extending the price slide into the future…
    Carbon prices have continued their slide since a brief recovery last month after a European Parliament environment panel proposed to withhold about 1.4 billion E.U.A.’s. That compares with annual emissions of about two billion tons of carbon dioxide under the program.
    A withholding of 1.4 billion E.U.A.’s would certainly help restore price tension, as a renewed E.U.A. shortage would force power generators to switch from burning high-carbon coal to natural gas, implying a carbon price of about €21, given present coal and natural gas prices. That is three times the current carbon price.
    But the Union may not agree to such an ambitious proposal, which might affect fuel bills at a time when many member states are enduring harsh austerity measures…
    How many E.U.A.’s should be removed? Carbon market analysts forecast that a glut in E.U.A.’s and other carbon credits will persist through 2020 and beyond.
    They project a net surplus in 2020 of 650 million E.U.A.’s (Barclays Capital); 1,200 million to 1,300 million (Point Carbon); 800 million (UBS); 800 million (Société Générale); or 566 million (Deutsche Bank).
    Such estimates suggest that regulators should withhold at least 700 million E.U.A.’s, and probably more, to restore price tension…
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/09/business/global/09iht-green09.html


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    pat

    Libertarians “deny climate change” says George. Libertarians deny “environmental issues” says George. George is full of it:

    6 Jan: Guardian: George Monbiot: Why libertarians must deny climate change, in one short take
    I must applaud Matt Bruenig’s summing up of the inherent conflict between libertarianism and environmental issues
    In a simple and very short tract, Matt Bruenig presents a devastating challenge to those who call themselves libertarians, and explains why they have no choice but to deny climate change and other environmental problems…
    So here we have a simple and coherent explanation of why libertarianism is so often associated with climate change denial, and the playing down or dismissal of other environmental issues…
    Libertarianism becomes self-defeating as soon as it recognises the existence of environmental issues. So they must be denied.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/georgemonbiot/2012/jan/06/why-libertarians-must-deny-climage-change


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      Winston

      a simple and coherent explanation of why libertarianism is so often associated with climate change denial, and the playing down or dismissal of other environmental issues…

      Should read “a simple and coherent explanation of why communitarianism is so often associated with climate change alarmism, and the playing up or dramatising of other environmental issues… they are fear individuality and crave conformity,promote fear because they despise the courage of others, shirk personal responsibility in favour of blaming the mass of humanity, are afraid to stand alone as independent individuals but rather prefer hiding within the herd to avoid adressing their own personal failings or shortcomings, lack ambition and resent freedom of thought while simultaneously repressing expression of multiple viewpoints on any given subject that they have labelled as sacrosanct.”


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    pat

    “green jobs” may end up the only employment opportunity in Australia:

    9 Jan: Australia: Chris Kenny: Fat chance of a downsize in times of entitlement
    In Australia the carbon tax will increase the size of government. We will have a Climate Change Authority, a $10 billion Clean Energy Finance Corporation, and a Clean Energy Regulator which will administer the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting System, the Renewable Energy Target and the Carbon Farming Initiative. Bureaucrats and private sector workers will be burdened by carbon permit auctions, compliance audits, assessment of accreditation, and enforcement of penalties. Government will collect an extra $24 billion in taxation over three years and churn half of it back to households in compensation…
    We have learnt in the past year that many green groups opposed to public infrastructure developments are themselves government funded…
    The Henry review suggested serious reform to tackle the welfare churn and to remove welfare traps but little was done, though to be scrupulously fair, one clever aspect of the carbon tax compensation arrangements is that they start to simplify the tax system, increasing the number of people at the lower end who simply don’t pay…
    But those looking to the other side of politics for relief might be disappointed. On one hand the Coalition is promising extensive, as-yet unspecified, budget savings. But it is also committed to extra taxation to fund extended paid parental leave, a publicly funded green corps conservation program, and a direct action climate policy that will see government make decisions about how best to abate carbon. And don’t mention the Greens – they’d just suggest another government inquiry.
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/opinion/fat-chance-of-a-downsize-in-times-of-entitlement/story-e6frgd0x-1226239317070

    19 Dec 2011: Reuters: Rio de Janeiro to set up carbon trading exchange
    Rio’s government contracted the Point Carbon consultancy, owned by Thomson Reuters, to help it define appropriate levels for pollution caps while seeking to preserve the state’s competitiveness…
    http://www.trust.org/alertnet/news/rio-de-janeiro-to-set-up-carbon-trading-exchange

    there’s no possibility the MSM will ever end their CAGW advocacy:

    Point Carbon: About Us
    Our staff includes experts in international and regional climate policy, mathematical and economic modeling, forecasting methodologies, risk management and market reporting.
    Thomson Reuters Point Carbon now has more than 55,000 clients, including the world’s major energy companies, financial institutions, organisations and governments, in over 150 countries. Reports are translated from English into Japanese, Chinese, Portuguese, French and Spanish.
    Thomson Reuters Point Carbon has offices in Oslo (Head Office), Washington D.C., London, Tokyo, Beijing, Kiev, Hamburg, Zurich and Malmo.
    http://www.pointcarbon.com/aboutus/


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    pat

    SCAM, SCAM, SCAM…AND THE SCAMSTERS RUNNING THEM:

    6 Jan: Nasdaq: Jacob Bunge, Dow Jones Newswire: NYSE Euronext To Book $25 Million Charge On Carbon Market Settlement
    NYSE Euronext (NYX) agreed to pay $25 million to settle charges by the French government that its European carbon-trading platform was lax in catching alleged tax frauds carried out by traders on the market, according to a regulatory filing.
    Groupe Caisse des Depots, a state-owned French investment group that has been NYSE Euronext’s partner in the Bluenext SA carbon market venture, will pay a- further $16.6 million under terms of the agreement.
    French tax authorities have been investigating alleged tax frauds by carbon traders on the platform from 2006 to 2009 and detected in 2008 by Bluenext officials, who referred the issue to French regulators.
    The EUR31.8-million settlement agreed by Bluenext is a fraction of the EUR355 million in liabilities and related penalties that French authorities had been seeking. Bluenext authorities have been cooperating with authorities’ investigation of the alleged tax frauds since 2008.
    “After a series of constructive discussions, Bluenext and the French tax authorities have come to a satisfactory resolution, and with this matter now behind us Bluenext can focus on its business priorities, which includes Phase 3 auctions and a relaunch of its derivatives market,” a spokesman for NYSE Euronext said in a statement…

    The split of the settlement between NYSE Euronext and Caisse des Depots reflects the exchange company’s 60% ownership in the venture, with the investment agency holding the remainder. In 2010, NYSE Euronext merged Bluenext with market technology company APX to form a venture called NYSE Blue, with aims of expanding in the North America and Asia…
    Following a near-collapse of the market and charges of mispricing, BlueNext and several other European carbon markets were forced to shut down early last year after national registries in Romania, Greece, Italy, the Czech Republic and Austria were looted by cyber-thieves.
    IntercontinentalExchange Inc. (ICE) maintains the region’s leading emissions- trading platform in the European Climate Exchange. Alongside NYSE Euronext, Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. (NDAQ) and Deutsche Boerse AG (DBOEF, DB1.XE) also maintain smaller efforts in the segment.
    http://www.nasdaq.com/aspx/stock-market-news-story.aspx?storyid=201201031230dowjonesdjonline000259&title=nyse-euronext-to-book-25-million-charge-on-carbon-market-settlement


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    Winston – one can imagine lots of things. Any scientific studies that support this fanciful notion of underwater acidification by sulphur? I thought not. There are a number of scientific plot holes in your hypothesis, but it’s not my intention to debunk ‘smoke’. If you think about it really hard you’ll realize what these shortcoming are. I’ll leave it to you as a ‘work on.’

    And just where in the above observations do we actually see “real world” evidence for the theoretical “danger” which you espouse?

    Surely you jest. You completely missed the 3 studies I linked to?

    Not to mention also, that the Permian Extinction was probably more likely to have been due to an asteroid impact event in the ocean

    That idea has been investigated and discarded. The bulk of scientific literature is rounding on ocean acidification (principally) as the cause of the “Great Dying” in the ocean. The giveaway is the preferential extinction of marine life that relied heavily on the surrounding water for calcification (shell/skeleton-building). In other words those creatures that we expect to depend strongly on the calcium carbonate saturation state of the ocean, were ones most greatly affected, and ones least dependent on saturation state, the least affected. This strongly implicates corrosive seawater as the cause of extinction.

    I have a whole list of peer-reviewed studies on this topic one can read if interested.


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      Winston

      That idea has been investigated and discarded

      How can that possibly be so, since any impact zone in the ocean would likely show no evidence geologically now due to effects of ocean currents on the undersea topography over the last 200 million years. Exactly who has disproved that hypothesis, and by what methodology. Sweeping statement there, I believe.

      The bulk of scientific literature is rounding on ocean acidification (principally) as the cause of the “Great Dying” in the ocean.

      As you do when you look at an issue from only one perspective, predicated on a belief, you search around to find evidence to support it (confirmation bias, I believe), exaggerate the merits of that one factor, and look to find every conceivable scrap of “evidence” to contradict any other factors contrary to that notion.


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        Llew Jones

        The Permian Extinction is thought to have affected 90% to 95% of marine life and about 70% of terrestrial life. However there seem to be few willing or able to guess the atmospheric CO2 levels that existed during the extinction, which some claim was influential in killing off the marine life. Given that missing information, one can only speculate on other factors involved which may have caused the extinction of so much terrestrial life. It is interesting to note that modeling on the P-T Extinction has more recently been done using models that are used in contemporary climate modelling to try to find answers. This gives legs to your point of finding what one is looking for.

        Two hundred and fifty or so million years ago is a long time to assess with much certainty exactly what happened to cause the mass extinction. Thus we are left with speculation.

        It is easy to see, in the context of contemporary catastrophic AGW, how appealing that scenario would appear to those, including the “peers” who are also on the bandwagon.


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      cohenite

      That idea has been investigated and discarded.

      It is misleading to suggest the PT extinction, or indeed any past extinction, was due to AGW. It is true the vast Siberian traps volcanic eruptions, unique in extent and form, occurred then but the modelled extra CO2 caused by the eruption would have risen CO2 levels sufficient to raise temps by only 1.5C-4.5C which could not have caused the extinctions. In addition the changes in the 13C/12C ratio expected to result from a massive release of methane from the eruptions do not match the patterns seen throughout the early Triassic; and the types of oceanic thermohaline circulation which may have existed at the end of the Permian are not likely to have supported deep-sea anoxia.

      What is striking however, is while anoxia was not present by today’s level of atmospheric O2, relative to the levels of O2 before the PT event there was a drastic reduction in atmospheric O2 which had reached a peak of 30% of the atmosphere in the middle of the Permian; this is why the age featured such gigantic insects. The sudden drop in O2 would explain why the PT featured extinctions of most insects, also unique. Rather than being evidence of CAGW the PT is most likely evidence of the end of the era of high levels of O2.

      O2 would be one of the first casualties of an asteroid strike.


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    Vanishing Point – “You’ve been rather busy in quite a few blogs recently spreading your ‘collective’ wisdom

    Yes, it’s a revolutionary idea. I call it reading and understanding the peer-reviewed scientific literature on ocean acidification. You should try it sometime. Rids oneself of ideological thinking.

    You could say that we have evolved and are now much more resistant to bullshit

    Not at all. You seem to absolutely wallow in it.


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      Vanishing Point

      What gave you the idea that I don’t study scientific literature? This is exactly the reason why I no longer believe in AGW (and many other ‘man made’ disasters). After all when New Scientist editors are more concerned about continued flow of funding rather than about ‘saving’ the planet it becomes rather obvious what’s more important to them and their ‘peers’.


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    Peter Miller – “Carbonic acid (CO2 dissolved in water) in concentrated form is an extremely weak acid

    Chemistry fail. Less than one percent of CO2 remains in the oceans as either dissolved CO2 or carbonic acid.

    Extremely weak carbonic acid, such as found in the oceans, may slightly increase the amount of calcium bicarbonate being created there

    Another fail. calcium carbonate (not bicarbonate) is the building material used by marine calcifiers such as coral.

    the oceans’ pH has varied over geological time – and every time it changes

    Yes, it has. But when pH has changed very quickly marine life adapted by becoming dead. Not very convenient for said marine life, nor for humans today who depend upon threatened species.

    Finally, around 50% of the ocean floor is covered with recent calcium carbonate rich sediments, which stand ready to neutralise any significant acidification that might theoretically occur.”

    Sure, and it will take tens of thousands of years for this to happen. Exactly useful is that?


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      Winston

      Less than one percent of CO2 remains in the oceans as either dissolved CO2 or carbonic acid.

      So just how can atmospheric CO2 acidify the oceans, then if it cannot remain in it’s acidic form as you just suggested? You just gave the best explanation of why that cannot be a major concern, out of your own mouth as it were! Epic fail.

      And using studies showing cold CO2 vents from volcanoes ( Fabricius (2011)) does not equate to increase in atmospheric CO2, since it is being bubbled from below, rather than absorbed from above. Apples compared with oranges- very unconvincing to then derive the quantum leap conclusion that increasing atmospheric CO2 will have significant effect on pH. What the study does suggest is that, if this was significantly possible, then there may be an effect on corals, not that such an occurence is even possible or substantive enough to be significant.


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    Geoff Sherrington

    “…..that major biogeochemical processes in the oceans other than calcification will not be fundamentally different under future higher CO2/lower pH conditions”

    There is no valid reason to exclude calcification. It has its cycle in Nature, but I have seen no evidence that it sits there immune to interaction with other cycles – as is implied in the quote.


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    dan

    Acidify verb (used with object), verb (used without object), -fied, -fy·ing. 1. to make or become acid; convert into an acid. 2. to make or become sour.
    By most dictionary definitions, changing pH is NOT acidifying unless the pH changes from the alkaline to the acid range ie drops below 7.0. This has not and is not likely to happen. Scipps need a Webster.
    About 40 giga tons of rain fall annually, most on the oceans. Rain has a pH of 4.5 – 5.6. (All rain is acid rain, always has been, always will be. If it is not acid rain, it is not rain). The pH of rain is due to the absorption of CO2 from the atmosphere
    The oceans have a pH of around 8.2. Our oceans are alkaline. After rain the pH of the ocean will drop but the ocean will not acidify ie not become acid. Then it will rise again, even within 24 hours.
    Bleeding obvious.


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    Winston

    Sulfur dioxide (SO2)Emission rates of SO2 from an active volcano range from 10 million tonnes/day according to the style of volcanic activity and type and volume of magma involved. For example, the large explosive eruption of Mount Pinatubo on 15 June 1991 expelled 3-5 km3 of dacite magma and injected about 20 million metric tons of SO2 into the stratosphere.

    Hydrogen Chloride (HCl)
    Chlorine gas is emitted from volcanoes in the form of hydrochloric acid (HCl).

    Hydrogen Fluoride (HF)
    Fluorine is a pale yellow gas that attaches to fine ash particles, coats grass, and pollutes streams and lakes……..It also promotes acid rain effects downwind of volcanoes, like HCl.

    Secondary Gas EmissionsAnother type of gas release occurs when lava flows reach the ocean. Extreme heat from molten lava boils and vaporizes seawater, leading to a series of chemical reactions. The boiling and reactions produce a large white plume, locally known as lava haze or laze, containing a mixture of hydrochloric acid and concentrated seawater.

    Laze plumes are very acidicExtreme heat from lava entering the sea rapidly boils and vaporizes seawater, leading to a series of chemical reactions. The boiling and reactions produce a large white plume, locally known as lava haze or laze, which contains a mixture of hydrochloric acid (HCl) and concentrated seawater. This is a short-lived local phenomenon that only affects people or vegetation directly under the plume.
    The hydrochloric acid (HCl) comes from the breakdown of seawater-derived chlorides during sudden boiling. Because the lava is largely degassed by the time it reaches the sea, any HCL coming from it is insignificant by comparison. Analyzed samples of the plume show that is is a brine with a salinity of about 2.3 times that of seawater and a pH of 1.5-2.0.

    Key seawater chloride breakdown reactions that produce HCl gas
    MgCl2 (sea salt) + H2O (steam) = MgO (periclase) + 2HCl (HCl gas)

    http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/hazards/gas/index.php

    Doesn’t look like CO2 is the only thing that makes oceans acidic due to volcanism!


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      Winston

      Because the lava is largely degassed by the time it reaches the sea, any HCL coming from it is insignificant by comparison

      Please note that this quote obviously applies to the case of land based volcanoes, where lava slides down the mountainside into the ocean. I would suggest that undersea volcanoes degas under entirely different circumstances (ie. not exposed to the atmosphere prior to contact with sea water) and that the reactions seen varies according to their depth and level of activity. Anyone with different information is more than welcome to add their 2c worth.


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    Geoff Sherrington

    There does not seem to be much ocean more alkaline than pH = 8 in any case.

    How does one correct for mixing and upwelling?

    What caused the present deep pH values in the first place?

    As you note, Jo, there are many matters that we do NOT know.

    http://www.geoffstuff.com/OceanpH.jpg


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    old44

    It may be all well and good that marine life can cope with wild fluctuations in Ph levels in real life, but can it cope in a computer model? I think not.


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    cementafriend

    I have been told by a researcher, in the Marine studies field, who knows one of the authors that this is a useful study which has been suspected by a number of independent researchers around the world. Most of the alarmists about ocean acidification (which is not true and should be called trends to neutralisation) are not involved in Marine studies and certainly have no understanding of atmospheric changes and influences on ocean surfaces.


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    Who’d of thunk that that the Earth’s natural processes far outweigh human beings attempts to change the ocean’s Ph level from a very much basic substance to and acid by pumping in a little CO2.

    It must also be remembered that Nature’s contribution of this CO2 is estimated to be 97%, so our infinitesimal portion is just 3%.

    Ocean Acidification due to man, what a joke, never going to happen.


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    janama

    surely if it’s causing ocean acidification it must be happening in the Great Lakes in the US and other large bodies of fresh water. Is there any evidence for this?


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    Llew Jones

    In a quick scan of posts I did not see any reference to the general impression, or stronger, that the Cripps Institute leans or has in the past leaned toward CAGW. This research also coming from an organisation whose specialty is oceanography is a very telling endorsement that this aspect of the science is, at the very least, far from settled.

    Here’s Scripps self promotion:

    About Us

    Scripps Institution of Oceanography is one of the oldest, largest, and most important centers for ocean and earth science research, education, and public service in the world. Research at Scripps Institution of Oceanography encompasses physical, chemical, biological, geological, and geophysical studies of the oceans and earth.


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    Llew Jones

    Wondered why Rob Painting was so far behind the eight ball on where climate science, even of the diminishing consensus variety, is at until I read that he is an addict of “Skeptical Science”. Not much hope for those addicted to the mostly outdated nonsense that is taught there.


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      Tristan

      Well Llew, you could always go there and explain to them (and all their readers) their errors.

      But you won’t.

      Because you can’t.


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        Rereke Whakaaro

        … you could always go there [Skeptical Science] and explain to them (and all their readers) their errors …

        Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time, and annoys the pig.


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        Tristan

        Any excuse to avoid leaving the pond eh?


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        memoryvault

        Actually, you can, and I have – well at least for a while.

        Once you reach a point where other readers are genuinely interested and beginning to question the “wisdom” of the article, all your comments are “disappeared”.
        Note NOT snipped or moderated – simply disappeared.

        But you know that don’t you Tristan, for you and I have discussed it many times.

        Last time, as I recall, you were going to bring it up personally with John Crook Cook, who, according to you, works “just down the road” from you.

        Whatever came of that Tristan?

        SFA, of course.

        Like all mass-murdering climate cultists you have utterly no sense of morality or ethics whatsoever.


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        Tristan

        MV, I haven’t fogotten about you <3

        Or your myths about the IPCC's views on solar forcings ;)


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        Llew Jones

        I defer to RW’s knowledge of music. Not having his musical background all I can say is I’m sure it’s impossible to teach “scientists” like yourself, and Rob Painting much about climate science.

        Legend has it that John Cook’s journey to becoming a shill for alarmist climate change science began with an argument about climate change, at the meal table with his in laws. Given your’s and Rob’s attempts at the same game here it seems Cook’s teaching skills haven’t progressed much since that legendary meal.

        Cook, last time I checked, had an undergraduate degree in astrophysics from Qld University, which hardly equips anyone to be an expert in climate science though I notice he seems to have landed a job as a propagandist for a climate change department. His job no doubt is helping to keep those in the said department in a job that without CAGW would not exist.

        Been a bit busy til now but noticed Rob has, like you always do, been putting his foot in it a bit. He says he reads a lot of the peer reviewed experts but like you and I’m guessing like all the Cookites, he doesn’t seem to quite understand that none of them are really saying that much at all. At least, in this case, relevant to the Cripps article.


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        BobC

        Tristan
        January 9, 2012 at 4:47 pm · Reply
        Well Llew, you could always go there ["Skeptical Science"] and explain to them (and all their readers) their errors.

        But you won’t.

        Because you can’t.

        Actually, SS has been more than adequately debunked by physicist Lubos Motl

        Don’t hold your breath waiting for an uncensored discussion between Cook and Motl, as Cook isn’t interested in capable of any debate he can’t completely control.


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          Tristan

          Even I can provide rebuttals to most of Motl’s brand of logic, if his list of 100 ‘refutations’ is anything to go by. He’s not someone you should be stacking chips on.


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            John Brookes

            Which is precisely the problem the “skeptical” camp have, Tristan. They have to rely on people like Motl and his lordship and Plimer and an army of superannuated academics to put their case.


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            BobC

            Tristan
            January 10, 2012 at 1:18 am · Reply
            Even I can provide rebuttals to most of Motl’s brand of logic

            Ya sure, ya betcha — you just can’t be bothered right now (ROTFLOL).

            As an “argument from authority”, this is laughable: We’ve observed your “brand” of logic here — it needs serious work before it even deserves the name. (Hint: Snarky comments are not “logic”.)

            John Brookes
            January 10, 2012 at 1:33 am
            Which is precisely the problem the “skeptical” camp have, Tristan. They have to rely on people like Motl and his lordship and Plimer and an army of superannuated academics to put their case.

            Psychological projecting here, John. As you should be well aware, many here are willing and able to argue the anti-CAGW case on cold facts and logic. In fact, that’s a major reason for this site’s existence (and you thought it was to let you make inane comments).

            It’s the CAGW side (your side) that depends heavily on argument from authority — and the authorities you choose are often scientists who haven’t been charged with felonies simply because the statute of limitations on FOIA has run out — and who refuse to openly debate skeptics (understandable, as they have had their heads handed to them every time they tried).


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            Tristan

            Well I sure can’t be bothered to respond to all 100 of his comments, but here’s the first 3.

            1. The Sun influences the Earth’s atmosphere not only directly by the output but also indirectly, by its magnetic field and its impact on the cosmic rays (via solar wind etc.) and other things.

            With no citations this is hand waving.

            2. [...]there exists no way to disentangle CO2 from many other effects or argue that it has become the most important driver.

            Calculating the forcing from CO2 is easy enough. That’s not where uncertainties in the science exist.

            So the climate continues to change in the same way as it did in the past, by the typical changes per year, decade, and century

            There is nothing typical about the current rate of change, as numerous reconstructions have shown.

            3. Cook tries to argue that 97% climate scientists endorse something

            To be precise, 75 of the 77 currently publishing climate scientists who responded to the survey.

            The reality is that most scientists disagree with the basic tenets of the AGW orthodoxy

            Citation please.

            even people like Phil Jones now agree that nothing unprecedented is going on with the climate right now

            Lie.

            while Kevin Trenberth has agreed that the climate hasn’t warmed and the popular models are inconsistent with this fact

            Lie.


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            BobC

            Tristan
            January 10, 2012 at 2:21 am
            Well I sure can’t be bothered to respond to all 100 of his comments, but here’s the first 3.

            Well, this effort is up to your usual low standards:

            1. The Sun influences the Earth’s atmosphere not only directly by the output but also indirectly, by its magnetic field and its impact on the cosmic rays (via solar wind etc.) and other things.
            With no citations this is hand waving.

            First, Motl is saying that Cook doesn’t consider any significant solar effects, such as the recent information on the cosmic ray connection. Did you expect that Motl would reference Cook?

            Second, googling “cosmic ray” and “global warming” (together) gets you over 2 million hits, including peer-reviewed papers from the CERN CLOUD experiment. Real hard to find.

            About Motl’s points 2 and 3: Your own comment,

            With no citations this is hand waving

            is a perfect description of your blatant, unsourced opinions.

            Your claim,

            Even I can provide rebuttals to most of Motl’s brand of logic

            seems to be self delusion.Please, spare us any more of your “logical rebuttals”. It’s easy to predict that their information content will be zero.


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            Tristan

            is a perfect description of your blatant, unsourced opinions.

            Just tell me what you’d like a source for and I’ll give it :)

            First, Motl is saying that Cook doesn’t consider any significant solar effects, such as the recent information on the cosmic ray connection

            He also didn’t consider unicorns or turtle-rotation. Unless one can demonstrate a causal mechanism however, neither are any more significant than Motl’s airy postulation about the sun.

            Second, googling “cosmic ray” and “global warming” (together) gets you over 2 million hits, including peer-reviewed papers from the CERN CLOUD experiment. Real hard to find.

            Well, considering Motl’s facile attempt predated the results from CERN by over a year, Cook might have had a little difficulty considering them ;)

            Not to mention that CERN says nothing about climate change, as was clearly stated by the lead author (Did you forget to mention that or did you not actually know?).

            Number of google hits supposedly indicates evidence for a causal link? Really? Try Unicorns and Climate Change (1.4 million hits).

            Fini.


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            BobC

            Tristan,

            True, the CLOUD experiment hadn’t been published as of Motl’s analysis of SS — but Svensmark’s paper on the cosmic ray – cloud link had been published since 1997 and was widely known. If Cook (or yourself) hasn’t heard of it, he doesn’t know enough to be commenting on AGW.

            Cook’s basic MO is to ignore any data that might contradict his story of CAGW. This is not what you would call an unbiased source. (Or even a reliable one.)

            Also, the CLOUD experiment verified Svensmark’s hypothesis — the CERN authors were specifically instructed not to draw any conclusions regarding AGW. It doesn’t take much intelligence to do it yourself, however.


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    janama – what do you think might be different from freshwater, as opposed to seawater?


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    Winston – read this carefully. Acidification is the increase in hydrogen ions in a solution. In seawater, however, the hydrogen ions do not remain unbound, they react with water molecules (H2O) to form hydronium ions (H3O+). It’s this reaction that lowers ocean pH, the carbonic acid thing is a popular misconception. It’s true that CO2 initially reacts with water to form carbonic acid, but at current pH and temperature, virtually all of it (99+%) undergoes further reactions. I’ll finish there so you follow this step.

    (The phrase.Ocean Acidification is scientifically inaccurate) CTS


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      Rereke Whakaaro

      Rob,

      Why haven’t you responded to Dan at #28?

      I must say his definition seems much more plausible than yours, especially since you haven’t, or can’t, give an authoritative reference.


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        Tristan

        Probably because it’s the usual sort of sidetracking Rob experiences on a regular basis. Quibbling over names is a tactic people regularly employ to avoid having to respond to the thrust of an argument. Whether or not ‘ocean acidification’ is an appropriate name for the phenomenon is a different topic and irrelevant to his comments.


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        John Brookes

        If your argument is no good, then quibble over definitions!


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    janama

    Water with dissolved salt content measuring less than 1% is called Freshwater


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    rjm385 – “Ocean Acidification due to man, what a joke, never going to happen.”

    Too late, it’s already happening. The mean (average) pH of the global oceans has dropped by 0.11 units. A decline of 29%. That is astonishingly rapid by geological terms. Outside of a asteroid impact, here is no geological precedent for a rate of change this fast. Acidification is progressing at 15-30 times the speed of the Permian Extinction, and 5-27 times the speed of the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum Extinction. We won’t achieve the absolute changes involved back then, because there isn’t enough fossil fuel, but it’s the rate of change that is the kicker. Ocean acidification is already dissolving and killing oyster larvae on the North American Pacific coast.


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    Geoff Sherrington – “How does one correct for mixing and upwelling? What caused the present deep pH values in the first place?”

    Some places, such as the North American Pacific coast, are just naturally predisposed to having naturally low pH. That’s mainly a function of the upwelling of cold deep water. The colder water is the more able it is to absorb CO2. Natural processes such as the export of organic debris from the surface (the death of phytoplankton blooms) pumps a lot of carbon containing tissue to the seafloor. Phytoplankton blooms soak up a lot of CO2 (they’re essentially marine-based plants) so act to raise pH in surface waters. When they die and fall to the bottom bacteria break down their bodies (remineralization) releasing the carbon, in the form of carbon dioxide, and thereby acidify the seawater down deep. There’s also the export of phosphates and nitrogen into coastal waters (fertilizer run-off) which stimulates these plankton blooms.

    Local marine life are adapted to natural short-term fluctuations. The trouble is that humans are making it worse. pH fluctuations are larger now because of human influence and in some areas last longer. One of the strangest is that global warming has strengthened the seasonal winds which blow along the North American Pacific coast. This strengthened wind has led to greater upwelling (through a process called Ekman pumping) which washes more strongly acidified seawater onto the coast. The PDO (Pacific Decadal Oscillation) an index measuring the state of the Pacific Ocean, has an effect on the strength and circulation of winds and current, so there is likely to be a great deal of variability over time. But given that the upwelled waters on the Pacific Coast were last at the surface about 40 years ago, acidification is not going to stop there anytime soon. Don’t assume, however, that all the details are worked out. Tatoosh Island, Washington in the US is seeing pH changes far lower than scientists predict, so clearly other forces may be at work.


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    janama

    Rob – didn’t you notice that 5 of the locations measured in the research were at North American Pacific coastal locations!


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    Rereke Whakaaro

    Is it just me, or has the quality of counter argument deteriorated of late? It seems to me that our transitory alarmists are not quite as confident as they once were. More strident, certainly, but not so consistent as some in the past.


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    greg smith

    Jo
    In response to your 11.08 query about the location of reefs wrt rivers, it is not only the Ph of the water which affects corals but the principal driver is the amount of sediment in the water. Corals prefer clear water. For example, on the eastern side of the Indonesian island of Kalimantan, the Mahakam Delta is a major bid’s foot delta system putting huge amounts of sediment into the Makassar Strait. The reefs thrive about 100 km offshore from the delta mouth where most of the sediment has been dumped from the water. Further south at the harbour city of Balikpapan, the river system is lower energy and more estuarine (ie tidal dominated)with, therefore less contained sediment. Corals live on poorly developed reefs just outside the mouth of the harbour and thrive within 20 km of the harbour mouth

    REPLY: Thanks! JN


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    Rereke Whakaaro – I assume you’re Maori using that moniker. If so I find that very disappointing bro. I suppose you’re nothing like your handle implies too?

    Now what did Dan write?

    Oh yeah, he thinks he know better than the ocean chemistry experts who coined the term ocean acidification. And? I explained to Winston what this term means.

    The stuff about rain? I think Dan readily debunked himself there. No need for me to pile it on.

    (No he made a point you failed to address.The phrase Ocean Acidification is scientifically inaccurate.The ocean to start with is ALKALINE) CTS


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      Rereke Whakaaro

      Coining a term is nothing as we both know. Places have been named as home of a taniwha, and roads have been diverted as a result. Got to protect the good tuna wahi, eh bro?

      You spout facts, but make no coherently logical connection between them. You claim to to have read studies. You claim to be basing your statements on the “peer reviewed” literature, but you still you give no references. If you have the mana you call on yourself then you should do that to support your case. Without that you have no mana. You are kau hau.


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    Janama – I’ve read the study. Have you? Note the timescales involved.

    This is no great surprise to oceanographers, shocking perhaps to the naive, but not to oceanographers. I doubt one single scientist expected the global mean (average) pH to be anything other than the global mean pH. Let’s just accept at face value that scientists understood ocean currents existed prior to this study, and because of the constant flushing of seawater at all locations pH would vary. Better?


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    Rereke – “And your sources are?

    Peer-reviewed scientific research. That’s where I get all my information on global warming from. You should try it sometime.

    (Please provide citations to support your statements) CTS


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    Vanishing Point – “What gave you the idea that I don’t study scientific literature? This is exactly the reason why I no longer believe in AGW

    Well that comment right there confirms my suspicions. That’s just skeptic talking point spouted to laypeople who don’t know anything about climate science. It won’t work with me.

    (You keep making science claims.But do not provide citations.You have been asked for sources.And you refuse to provide them.You are now on my screen as a developing troll) CTS


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    Bob of Castlemaine

    O/T
    A new post by Prof. Nir Shaviv, On IPCCs exaggerated climate sensitivity and the emperor’s new clothes. This latest post follows a recent meeting in Israel between Shaviv and Andrew Bolt.

    Nir Shaviv quips,

    If they [the IPCC] do not admit that there is a joker, they must conclude (as described above) that the climate sensitivity must be low. But if it is low, one cannot explain the 20th century without a joker. A classic Yossarian dilemma.
    This joker card is of course the large solar effects on climate.”


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    Winston – keep searching bro. You never know you might find something. But you’re overlooking a rather fundamental flaw.


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    wes george

    The mean (average) pH of the global oceans has dropped by 0.11 units. A decline of 29%.

    Really? I wonder how we know this?

    That is astonishingly rapid by geological terms.

    Really? I’m astonished even more that we know this? Citations?

    Outside of a asteroid impact, here is no geological precedent for a rate of change this fast.

    Really? No geological precedent? So what we are seeing is something absolutely new under the sun? I really, really wonder how we know that?

    Acidification is progressing at 15-30 times the speed of the Permian Extinction, and 5-27 times the speed of the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum Extinction.

    Really? I’m starting to feel like you’ve dramatically exceeded our bounds of knowledge here, smashing through error bars like a bull in a china shop…

    We won’t achieve the absolute changes involved back then, because there isn’t enough fossil fuel.

    Whew, thank goodness. Hey, you must be one of those peak oil catastrophists, right?

    Ocean acidification is already dissolving and killing oyster larvae on the North American Pacific coast.

    Really? I’m sure you have a citation for this, I’ll bet the science is settled and the debate is over. The time for action is NOW.

    Sorry to be so skeptical, but you don’t seem to be in the least bit self-doubting of our absolutely Vulcan-like understanding of oceanic carbon cycles for the last, say, 250 million years. Your brand of certainly smells like faith appropriating a cloak of scientific language to disguise a kind of evangelical fervour. Very much like creationists pretend that logic and reason confirms their faith in the “science” of intelligent design. Faith posing as rational inquiry, how very deceptive. Yet you’re exposed by your lack of sincere curiosity. If you were an honest investigator you wouldn’t talk about the Permian extinction or the PETM as if we actually understand even the most fundamental physics or events around what occurred then. Nor could you make a statement about how much fossil fuel is left on this planet, since that’s a known unknown.

    All your claims sound strangely familiar, like a rehash of the standard eco-apocalypse gospel.

    You know, the Earth is warmer today than in the last 10 million years, unprecedented this, astonishingly rapid that, mass extinctions, the oceans will swallow our cities in the coming decades, 50 million climate refugees and world war while cholera, typhoid and malaria will consume millions more. Virtually a secular Anabaptist fire and brimstone sermon, mate.

    Let’s be frank with each other and more importantly with ourselves. OK?

    Basically, you think we’re all going to die because we have sinned against Gaia. Before the Enlightenment we lived in the Garden of Eden where the climate was in perfect harmony and stasis. No pesky warm periods or little ice ages according the prophet Michael Mann. Then we ate from the fruit of scientific knowledge and built an industrial age premised on greed and were thus cast out of the garden, fallen souls, foul and sinful. And now the day of reckoning is upon us.

    If we kneel and repent before the altar of one world government and surrender our greedy ways, then your mighty priesthood will absolve us and we will be saved. Otherwise, we will be smitten by a vengeful but just Goddess.

    You probably don’t even realise that you’re a climate creationist. A millenarian true believer who for whatever psychological reason needs the crutch of a secular faith based upon all the most manipulative myths of the Abrahamic tradition. Of course, you had to fool yourself first. You may be fluent in the language of modern science but the cognitive and dialectical substructure of your gestalt is pure Old Testament. Funny how the more things change, something always stay the same.

    Btw, pass the hat around for the good preacher.
    ————————————————-
    Thanks Wes, that get a gold star from me. You have outdone yourself…. :-) Jo


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    crosspatch

    Modern corals evolved when atmospheric CO2 levels were about 5x today’s levels. I doubt they will have any problem with 2x today’s levels and that would be about as high as we could get them with fossil fuel burning before we simply run out of fossil fuel to burn.

    In other words, about 2x is the extent to which we could influence the atmosphere if we tried and that human induced CO2 begins to come out the instant we stop producing so much of it. But there is one interesting thing to note and that is that global human CO2 emissions dropped in 2009 but there was no drop in the rate of atmospheric CO2 rise. That would indicate that human CO2 emissions are not a significant contributor to whatever is causing the CO2 level to rise.


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    Winston – re: Fabricius (2011) – you don’t appear to have read it. They took multiple measurements so they could calculate the mean pH over each gridded area. Fossil fuel emissions accomplish the same change in ocean pH. They diffuse into surface waters because of the increased partial pressure (see Dalton’s Law of partial pressure) and Henry’s Law – which essentially means the concentration of a gas dissolved in solution will reach equilibrium with the pressure of that gas in the atmosphere above it.

    Of course mean pH may not be what the coral are responding to, it could be the large pH fluctuations instead. Work is continuing in that respect.


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      Winston

      From the Hall Spencer study you linked- since the Fabricus one which seems similar is hidden behind a paywall with only the summary to go on-

      “Our understanding of how increased ocean acidity
      may affect marine ecosystems is at present very limited”

      “We studied cold vent areas off Ischia in Italy (Fig. 1) where sea
      water was being acidified by gas comprising 90.1–95.3% CO2″

      “Temporal variability in pCO2 will have contributed to
      the pronounced biodiversity shifts observed, as these stations experienced
      short periods of pH as low as 7.4–7.5.” A very important consideration glossed over by the authors, albeit acknowledged in their conclusion

      Vent systems are not perfect predictors of future ocean ecology
      owing to temporal variability in pH, spatial proximity of populations
      unaffected by acidification and the unknown effects of other global
      changes in parameters such as temperature, currents and sea level.

      http://www.bioexpress.ac.cn/upload/20080704-nature07051.pdf

      In the case of cold CO2 volcanic vents, the temporal shifts are not analagous to the slow increase in atmospheric CO2 over time frames of decades- as I said above comparing apples with oranges- these rapid temporal shifts in pH never giving enough time for an equilibrium to be reached within the calcium-rich environment. In other words, the parameters of the site does not allow the water to buffer the enriched water in a graduated fashion as it would in open water and therefore fails to reflect the real-world situation as far as rising atmospheric CO2 is concerned.


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      Winston

      And how is Henry’s Law affected or altered by the concentration of phytoplankton, algae, bacteria or fungi in said solution, any idea Rob?


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        Winston

        Or by concentration of Ca2+ ions or Iron content, etc.


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          Winston

          From Wikipedia, Rob
          “It should also be noted the Henry’s Law is a limiting law that only applies for sufficiently dilute solutions. The range of concentrations in which it applies becomes narrower the more the system diverges from ideal behavior. Roughly speaking, that is the more chemically different the solute is from the solvent.

          It also only applies simply for solutions where the solvent does not react chemically with the gas being dissolved. A common example of a gas that does react with the solvent is carbon dioxide, which forms carbonic acid (H2CO3) to a certain degree with water.”


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            Winston

            Winston – keep searching bro. You never know you might find something. But you’re overlooking a rather fundamental flaw.

            I think 53.2.1.1 suggests that it is you, Mr Painting, that is overlooking a “fundamental flaw”(as stated in post#50) when misapplying chemical laws to a living biological system which is far from dilute and where the solvent reacts chemically with the gas involved, not to mention altering the balance of marine biota who process both that gas and the H+ ions you are so worried about. The uncertainties in this are so large that even the sign (ie. +ve or -ve) of change of pH with rising atmospheric CO2 concentration is far from certain, as much of Craig Idso’s post above explains.


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    crosspatch – I’d rather not rely on the opinion of a pseudonym on the internet. That’s just me though.

    And no atmospheric CO2 were not 5 times today when modern coral evolved. Around 2 and a half times. How would you calculate ocean pH from atmospheric CO2 alone though? And more importantly what was the aragonite saturation state? That’s the real kicker for coral.


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    Wes George – if you are serious about learning about ocean acidification, let us make a deal. I will provide a scientific reference for every single claim. That is a scientific paper published and subject to peer-review. I will do so one at a time. All you have to do is read them and report back here that they support what I wrote earlier. One at a time. Do we have a deal? Or will this shatter this denial complex you seem to have going on?


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      crosspatch

      The ocean isn’t “acidifying” it might become slightly less basic. The ocean is basic. Most species alive today evolved when CO2 levels were much higher including all fish and shellfish. We know with 100% certainty that these animals can survive and thrive in CO2 levels much higher than today’s levels because they did so, often for tens of millions of years.


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        Rereke Whakaaro

        I dunno, Crosspatch, you are getting dangerously close to talking about Evolution, and that is anathema to the religious zealots of the church of Gaia.

        Don’t you know that Gaia has a steady state, and it is only the actions of mankind that is tipping the balance dangerously away from that ideal state?

        Perhaps our new “well read friend” could define the ideal common state for us? Then we can all be enlightened, and all be cognisant of our failings and shortcomings, and adjust our lifestyles accordingly.


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          Andrew McRae

          Not just “well read”, Rereke, but also very well connected.

          You moan about our transitory alarmists declining in substance, but we’ve got a real inner-circle 4th-level-of-hell warmist on our hands now. Best to be gentle and make sure he comes back another day, eh?


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          Tristan

          Oh Andrew, you don’t have to worry about that, you can pay him a visit whenever you like. There’s an open invitation. I know how intimidating SkS is for you lot though. <3


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            memoryvault

            Why bother commenting somewhere where you’ll just be be “disappeared”?


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            Tristan

            Darling, it takes quite an effort to get your posts deleted at SkS. It usually takes continued violations of the comments policy. As much as you wish it were so, if your posts were indeed deleted from SkS, it wasn’t due to your inconvenient brilliance. If your behaviour on this board is anything to go by, I’m not at all surprised that someone decided your presence was intolerable.


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            Winston

            Sweetie-pops,
            Don’t be so condescending.
            Love,
            Honey-bunch


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        Gee Aye

        Jo can you ask an evolutionary biologist to give a primer as this is just getting silly?

        Crosspatch, some of the beasts you are talking about, swimming around in the ocean with wildly different pH to today were your ancestors. I’d like to see how long you’d survive, underwater in an environment such as existed 500 million years ago. The evolution primer will explain that over time with different selective forces both your lineage and the lineage leading to modern fishes and invertebrates, have both had 500 million years of evolutionary change. There is no reason to think that the fish and invertebrates have retained some sort of evolutionary memory, any more than you have.

        The other thing the primer needs to deal with is defining adaptation, tolerance, stress and mutation. I’m not sure who to best recommend to explain quantitative genetics and selective norms


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      John Brookes

      Rob, I’d be scared of taking up your offer. It would take a lot of effort to actually understand each and every paper. And then, if I was Winston, I might have to change my opinion. Changing your opinion is even harder than the effort of understanding the papers….


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        Winston

        See 53.1 above John, plus…..
        From Crook paper also linked by Rob

        Nearshore springs, referred to locally as ‘ojos’ discharge naturally
        low-pH, low carbonate saturation groundwater.

        Discharge from these ‘‘ojos’’ is markedly more acidic (pH = 6.70–7.30 total scale) and less saturated(Xarag = 0.30–0.97 at ojo centers) than the surrounding ocean water (Xarag = 3.60), and they occur in close proximity to one of the Caribbean’s largest coral reef ecosystems (the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef).

        The conditions creating low-pH seawater at the ojos
        differ from those of the ocean acidification scenario: specifically,
        the discharging water at the ojos is derived from
        high CO2 concentrations associated with brackish water that
        has interacted with soil and limestone. It is thus characterized
        by low pH, high Ca2+ (salinity normalized), high dissolved
        inorganic carbon (DIC), and high total alkalinity (TA).
        ” (my bold)

        and furthermore…………….
        but the organisms are also exposed to high nutrients, high dissolved
        inorganic carbon, and high alkalinity that are not necessarily
        predicted in future oceans subjected to acidification
        “. My bold-

        So, also this study, as with the other two linked, are not directly analogous to atmospheric CO2 rise of a gradual fashion over decades. While not valueless, I don’t think this is quite the lay down misere that Rob Painting is “painting” them to be.

        Also….

        “Although the coral species found at the ojo sites
        (S. radians, P. astreoides, and P. divaricata) all occur on
        reef structures, they are rarely major contributors to the
        framework of the Meso-American Barrier Reef: thus, while
        their presence is encouraging when considering the future
        of these specific scleractinian species…………”

        “This work illustrates that while the effects of ocean
        acidification on coral reefs and other calcifying organisms
        may (my bold) be severe, the impacts will differ considerably across
        various species and ecosystems and some calcifying corals
        given the right condition will continue to grow and calcify”. (or it may not)

        “It is possible (my bold), therefore, that the ocean acidification scenario
        will result in an ecosystem shift along the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef” (Or possibly it won’t)
        It would appear alot of uncertainty arises in the application of these studies findings to the real world scenarios to which they hope to be analogous (hence the “mays” and “possiblies”, since there are uncontrolled variables which differ from the scenarios for future CO2 rise they hope to imitate.


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      Jere Krischel

      I’ve got a better idea – how about framing your hypothesis in terms of falsifiability? What observations, past, present, or future, would be sufficient to falsify your hypothesis?


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    cohenite – one problem with the anoxia theory – the marine extinctions did not preferentially select according to that basis. They selected according to the vulnerability of calcification. This implies ocean acidification. There’s been quite a few papers out in the last couple of months that show ocean acidification may be the ‘kill mechanism’ in many extinctions, both major and minor. Be interesting to see how that all pans out.


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      crosspatch

      I would say it is more likely that species would go extinct from a lack of CO2 than from too much. We are currently still near the all time record low CO2 levels in the Earth’s atmosphere. CO2 is also scrubbed out very quickly. If we stopped emitting all CO2 today, the atmosphere would return to pre-industrial levels fairly quickly. But the point is that we are probably close to the point of causing stress on most plant species due to a lack of CO2. If anything, this increase in atmospheric CO2 is providing fertilization of the biosphere and not harming it.


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      memoryvault

      They selected according to the vulnerability of calcification. This implies ocean acidification.

      So let’s get this straight Rob,

      In the period in question, according to a previous post of yours, 96% of marine life became extinct.

      Now you’re saying extinction was “preferential” to the “vulnerability of calcification”.

      So obviously, according to your logic, 96% of all marine life at the time depended on calcification, or the lack of it.

      Would that be right?

      Want to explain it to the sharks?

      They seem to have done just fine.


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    Geoff Sherrington

    Rob Painting #17 says “Saying that ocean acidification is not a concern because ocean pH fluctuates over short timescales at various sites, is like saying global warming isn’t a concern because global surface temperatures, at a specific location, fluctuate between night/day and summer/winter. A wee bit silly, right?”

    Not at all. We know that Life can adapt and exist in regions of fluctuating temperature. Why cannot this be so in regions of fluctuating alkalinity? Where is the hard evidence of these pH fluctuations causing harm (however defined)?


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    Geoff Sherrington

    Rob Painting says “Some places, such as the North American Pacific coast, are just naturally predisposed to having naturally low pH.” That explanation has no meaning. There would be meaning if you had stated that “The global oceans are just naturally predisposed to a pH of 7.5.” Yes, it has to be some value given its inputs and outputs and dynamics & it cannot be zero; but I defy you to derive the value from first principles.

    You avoided the point of my graphical observation, that there is very little of the ocean with a pH above 8, so why are we getting knickers in a twist when most of the ocean is closer to pH 7.5 anyhow? Yes, I’ve read most of Feely’s Oak Ridge papers and I’m far from conned.


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    wes george

    Rob P,

    I’m no more interested in learning about “ocean acidification” then I am about learning more about “carbon pollution.” Both are cynical abuses of language designed to limit our cognitive ability to understand and clearly articulate what we are talking about.

    I am interested in learning more about how the incredible nonlinear and complex system of the Earth’s oceans process carbon dioxide and its role in the global carbon cycle. I look forward to any sources you can bring to bear on the topic.

    I would be especially interested in the feedback loops both negative and positive in the oceanic carbon cycle, geological, circulatory and biological. I understand that our understanding of these kinds of geophysiological processes are still in their infancy, which is why your smug sense of sure knowledge lacks the open-minded inquisitiveness one might expect from someone truly curious about nature. That is to say, I suspect your (subconscious or just unstated?) motives are faith-based and evangelical, rather than an open-ended search for objective understanding regardless of where that may lead.

    This is why you would like to play the old game of duelling appeal to authority or science by consensus. Right? Because you don’t really want to have to honestly and logically defend a position for which conclusive evidence is sorely lacking… Nevertheless, please, by all means, cite your sources, give us your summaries of the results and vigorously make your case, if you can.

    However, you have already utterly failed Crosspatch’s simply logical test….

    How did corals, sponges and the like thrive for 500 million years through all sorts of much higher levels of atmospheric and oceanic CO2 saturation than today?

    You hand waved Crosspatch off, saying that CO2 levels have never been 5 times higher than today, yet that is an unsupportable claim. No one knows that. However, we do know that all sea creatures have evolved through prolonged times of higher CO2 levels than today, even the most recently evolved sea life would have experience great and rapid volcanic events in the last tens of millions of years. What is it about the predominance of negative feedback cycles in billion-year old complex systems that the climate creationists simply can’t grok? What is this irrational obsession with The End Times due to human greed really all about? Are we really talking about an external natural reality here or some kind of internal psychological state which casts a long shadow over how objective reality is framed?

    Your problem is that you have a hypothesis that can not usefully explain the relevant natural history of life on Earth. Since coral have obviously survived CO2 levels much higher than today then your hypothesis of catastrophic mass extinction due to reduced oceanic alkalinity is falsified and no matter how many peer-reviewed experts you got in your pants, you need to recast your hypothesis to take into consideration the wonderful robustness of the Gaiatic system.

    We’re skeptics here.

    Speaking for myself, at least, that means I have NO pre-formed opinion that I am not willing to dramatically revise given sufficient evidence to do so.

    I began life as someone who found the AGW hypothesis quite convincing back in the 1980′s and 90′s. In 2001, I was gobsmacked by Michael Mann’s temperature reconstruction. You can imagine my disenchantment with climatology when Mann’s work was shown to be, well, less than honest by McIntyre, et al. Or maybe you can’t?

    Ever since I’ve been struggling to come to terms with not only how badly I was fooled, but how a whole intellectual class of people are still now in the rapture of what is at the bare minimum an unprecedented scientific exaggeration and at the worse the greatest groupthink insanity since phrenology, eugenics or the Dutch tulip mania. Actually, CAGW is much worse really because of the vast human and economic waste the CAGW faith could have caused if it hadn’t of been exposed just in time.


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      John Brookes

      Oh god. You’ve gone for the “Its too complicated to understand” play. Its too complicated for me, but thats only because my eyes glaze over with terminology. What is amazing is just how much we humans do know and understand.

      And the way life, all types of life, survived over hundreds of millions of years is simple. Mostly they didn’t. They became extinct and were replaced by something else. And rather too often for comfort, most things became extinct when some rather rapid change happened.

      There have been many different hominids over the past few million years, and they are all extinct, except us.

      There is another point, and that is we don’t need a major disaster to ruin our party. There are too many of us on the planet to risk upsetting the balance and risking mass starvation. And when you are trying to feed the 9 billion of us in the second half of this century, there won’t be much wriggle room.


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        MadJak

        Oh god. You’ve gone for the “Us derdy humans are overpopulated” play…..

        It’s worth considering that people were concerned about the word becoming overpopulated with humans in the 19th century, because, apparently we would really struggle to feed 2 billion people!

        Of course, we have and will continue to find a way of “feeding” the 9 billion people you talk of. The problem isn’t so much a lack of food, the problem is more along the lines of the vast majority of the words resources are being chewed up by the smallest percentage of the worlds population.

        The $36t being talked about for mitigating the oxymoron of “Climate Change” would be much better put towards feeding and educating the worlds masses. Of course, we don’t need anywhere near that much to do that, but hey, we would get a better return on investment I am sure.


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        Rereke Whakaaro

        What is amazing is just how much we humans do know and understand.

        Not quite right John. What is amazing is just how much we humans believe, and how much reliance we place on that belief.

        We actually “know” very little, because we can only “know” what we ourselves have experienced (and survived).

        We can interpret what we are told of the experiences of others, but we do not know what they know, we only understand the meaning we ascribe to the words they choose, and we do this within the scope of our own limited range of experiences.

        And that is the basis of belief. It is the acceptance of the description of an incident experienced by others, as if it is our own.

        Nobody has experienced Climate Change. We have all experienced weather. But we are told they are not the same things, so nobody has experienced Climate Change – our lives are too short.

        Of course, some people have had the experience of viewing the output of computer models, and subsequently interpreted of the results. But the interpretation placed on the results of the model is based on what the interpreter already believes – their “personal accumulated wisdom” about the world, based on a range of information, most of which is not their own.


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    John Marshall

    Matt Ridley states that ‘some molluscs thrived in acid water with pH as low as 7.8′ Sorry Matt, 7.8pH is alkali, to be acid the pH must be below 7.0.

    Around volcanic vents on the oceanic ridges the pH can be as low as 4.5 with thriving molluscs.


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    Geoff Sherrington

    Rob Painting writes “Too late, it’s already happening. The mean (average) pH of the global oceans has dropped by 0.11 units. A decline of 29%.”

    Rob, that’s utter garbage. The pH scale conventionally covers 14 orders of magnitude, say 1 to 14 for simplicity. Now 29% of pH 8 (in shallow ocean water)is about pH 2.5, so you’re talking of a change from pH 8 to pH 5.5. Or maybe you mean 29% of the top value, pH 14, which would result in a drop to pH 10. Or not really, because by definition pH is the negative logarithm of the hydrogen ion activity. Put 29% into a proper equation starting at pH 8 and decrease the hydrogen ion activity by 29%. What’s the answer? As a third variation, (0.11/8)*100 = 1.375%.

    Study some classical chemistry before you write. You are quite confused. Chemists do not express themselves like you do. mixing linear and logarithmic scales. Look up IUPAC on Google to see the formality.


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      John Brookes

      Well Geoff. You’ve tried several different methods, but managed to avoid the actual one Rob used. If you have a pH of 8, then the concentration of H+ (or hydronium ions) is 10^-8. Now increase this concentration by the 29% that Geoff mentions. You’ve got a concentration of 1.29 x 10^-8. Now convert back to a pH, and voila, its 7.89, the drop of 0.11 units Rob mentioned.

      So it seems as though Rob was right, the concentration of H+ ions has changed by 29%.


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    wes,
    I’m with you on this even though none of this is in my area of expertise. You mentioned here:

    How did corals, sponges and the like thrive for 500 million years through all sorts of much higher levels of atmospheric and oceanic CO2 saturation than today?

    You hand waved Crosspatch off, saying that CO2 levels have never been 5 times higher than today, yet that is an unsupportable claim. No one knows that. However, we do know that all sea creatures have evolved through prolonged times of higher CO2 levels than today, even the most recently evolved sea life would have experience great and rapid volcanic events in the last tens of millions of years.

    Having read what our ‘esteemed’ new friend has said, and knowing the following:

    There has historically been much more CO2 in our atmosphere than exists today. For example:

    During the Jurassic Period (200 mya), average CO2 concentrations were about 1800 ppm or about 4.7 times higher than today.

    The highest concentrations of CO2 during all of the Paleozoic Era occurred during the Cambrian Period, nearly 7000 ppm — about 18 times higher than today.

    The Carboniferous Period and the Ordovician Period were the only geological periods during the Paleozoic Era when global temperatures were as low as they are today. To the consternation of global warming proponents, the Late Ordovician Period was also an Ice Age while at the same time CO2 concentrations then were nearly 12 times higher than today– 4400 ppm.

    I was wondering when those corals did form then.

    Tony.


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    pat

    this is so outrageous. the money boys are salivating already, without a care for anyone but themselves. i’ve often had pople tell me politics and finance attract psychopaths and i agree more and more every day:

    9 Jan: Reuters: Brent above $113 on Iran supply threat
    by Zaida Espana
    (Additional reporting by Seng Li Peng and Francis Kan in Singapore; editing by Jason Neely)
    Brent Crude prices firmed on Monday, trading above $113 a barrel, lifted by Iran’s threat to shut a key oil-shipping route although worries over the economic health of the euro zone kept gains in check…
    “Overall the geopolitical premium is supporting amid tensions with Iran, but on the other hand the price of crude in euros remains high and will hurt demand in Europe,” Olivier Jakob from Zug-based consultancy Petromatrix said…
    Gains were however capped by economic woes in Europe, where retail sales in the euro zone fell 0.8 percent in November, much weaker than a Reuters poll forecast for a fall of 0.2 percent, while the number of unemployed rose for the seventh consecutive month…

    The West has plans to use strategic oil stocks to offset most of the 16 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude passing through the Strait of Hormuz should Iran block it, industry sources and diplomats told Reuters.
    The International Energy Agency (IEA) may release up to 14 million barrels per day (bpd) of government-owned oil stored in the United States, Europe, Japan and other importers, a rate that could be kept up for a month…
    “”If the impact is limited to 10 million bpd for three weeks, or 210 million barrels, this loss could be easily replaced by an SPR (strategic petroleum reserves) crude release until the Strait is reopened,” the report said…
    Markets will also be affected this week by the reweighting of the world’s biggest commodity indexes, the S&P GSCI Index .SPGSCI and the DJ-UBS Index .DJUBS.
    This could see funds selling off more than $6 billion worth of U.S. crude futures and buy up more than $5.4 billion of Brent crude, analysts estimate, likely creating short-term tremors in the market.
    Expectations of the re-weighting, which was announced two months ago to better reflect market fundamentals, led to the closely watched Brent/WTI spread expanding nearly $3 a barrel last week to near its widest point since mid-November…
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/09/us-markets-oil-idUSTRE7AD06820120109


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      John Brookes

      Pat, are you the new Wendy? Wendy had a newer incarnation, whose moniker I don’t recall. But her modus operandi was rather similar to yours.


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      BobC

      So, what are you saying Pat? That free-market capitalism (which is why your standard of living greatly exceeds that of a Medieval serf) is evil?

      Well, there are a (shrinking) number of countries around the world where you can experience the lack of a free market — Cuba and N. Korea come to mind.

      You don’t seem to understand much about your society.


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    wilbert merel robichaud

    What is scarier ? Running around waving your hands screaming…. the Ocean is Alkaline ! the Ocean is Alkaline run for the Hills!!
    Or screaming: Ocean Acidification!


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      MadJak

      Wilbert,

      They should call it possible ocean De-Alkalinisation, to be scientifically and grammatacally correct.

      But hey, it’s not even worth mentioning it to people to spout the moronic phrases like “we must combat carbon pollution to prevent climate change”


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    Kneel 8250

    Please forgive me Jo.

    Less than 20% of the Worlds production of Crude Oil passes through the Straits of Hormuz and the rest of the Worlds Oil producers have the capacity to easily take up the slack. This Crude Oil price increase is driven by speculators and not reality. Think back and remember what happened when Libya stopped production.

    I now return you to the thread topic of Ocean PH neutralisation.

    Kneel.


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    Andrew McRae

    Here’s a headline from Al Jabeeba that left me gobsmacked:
    Carbon Emissions Will Defer Ice Age.

    You’d think this would be cause for joyous celebration that we’d delayed the onset of the next ice age by 1500 years with CO2, but no.

    Some choice quotes:

    The root causes of the transitions from Ice Age to interglacial and back again are the subtle variations in the Earth’s orbit known as the Milankovitch cycles, after the Serbian scientist Milutin Milankovic who described the effect nearly 100 years ago. [...]
    On their own, they are not enough to cause the global temperature difference of about 10C between Ice Age and interglacial. The initial small changes are amplified by various factors including the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere as warming begins, and absorption of the gas by the oceans as the ice re-forms.

    That makes sense… assuming water vapour didn’t exist 55 million years ago. Then, in a really bizarre twist….

    He suggested that the value of 240ppm CO2 needed to trigger the next glaciation might however be too low – other studies suggested the value could be 20 or even 30ppm higher.

    Wait, are cosmic forces the trigger of glaciation, or not? If CO2 can trigger warm periods, why does CO2 lag temperature and there is no consistent positive correlation between high CO2 levels and interglacials in the last 500M years?

    The money shot is left until last:

    “It’s an interesting philosophical discussion – ‘would we better off in a warm [interglacial-type] world rather than a glaciation?’ and probably we would,” he said.

    “But it’s missing the point, because where we’re going is not maintaining our currently warm climate but heating it much further, and adding CO2 to a warm climate is very different from adding it to a cold climate.

    “The rate of change with CO2 is basically unprecedented, and there are huge consequences if we can’t cope with that.”

    That’s right, forget certain death, focus on the maybes!

    Obligatory link to the contrarian view, where we are told there’s no evidence of widespread extinctions during the real strongest warming ever, the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, and plenty of cold climate species just got on with living.

    At least 2000Gt of carbon were injected into the carbon cycle during the first 60,000 years of the PETM, and we would need at least 200 more years of current CO2 emissions rate before industry could repeat nature’s feat, even though not enough exploitable fossil fuels remain for even 25 years at current rates. My sources for those numbers? The IEA, and Gerald Dickens whose PETM diagram was borrowed by SkepticalScience without also passing on that author’s more cool-headed conclusions:

    A 2000 Gt input of carbon to the exogenic carbon cycle cannot explain the 6°C warming, unless earth surfaces temperatures increase by more than 5°C per doubling of pCO2 (Pagani et al., 2006a). Such climate sensitivity is more extreme than that in most climate models. Complicating matters, however, is the relative timing of environmental change and massive carbon addition at the start of the PETM. In several sediment sequences, changes in temperature and biota begin before the start of the Carbon Isotope Excursion (Sluijs et al., 2007b). With available data, massive carbon addition during the PETM appears to have been a positive feedback to environmental change initiated by some process that remains highly speculative.

    After the infamous John Cook sent Dickens an email last year, Dickens changed his tune in this SkS comment:

    In any case, Rob Painter’s main point is entirely valid. In the last 65 million years, the PETM was by the most extreme short-term event associated with rapid warming and massive carbon input. It was marked by profound environmental changes. All indications are that carbon inputs are changing significantly faster at present-day than during the PETM.

    That last statement was empirically unsupportable. He is saying that given the -3؉ 13C resulting from an integration of an unknown function of time d[CO2]/dt of injection of an unknown isotope ratio, they can somehow work backwards and figure out that the unknown function was a low rate spread uniformly over the whole period. Castles in the sky. The belief the maximum rate was 1.5Gt/yr comes from rubbing their GENIE, which is the name of a computer model. The truth is not that there is evidence of CO2 changing faster at present than the PETM, it’s that they cannot prove it mostly changed slower in the PETM than at present, because nobody knows the CO2 level of 55 million years ago from seabed cores with decadal or even centennial resolution. A few thousand years’ average is as tight as it gets.
    And did I mention their error bars are nowhere to be seen?

    Finally the Skeptical Science disclaimer:

    The PETM took place at a point in Earth’s development when the climate was very different than today. It’s important to stress that none of the preceding discussion implies that direct and complete comparisons can be made between the Earth climate of today, and the Earth climate of 56 million years ago. …

    But you’re going to try to scare us anyway, aren’t you?

    But now that we humans have embarked on a global warming experiment…

    And true to form….

    The rapid pulse of PETM CO2 followed by rapid warming (figure 2e) indicates high climate sensitivity.

    No, dearest SkS, that’s not evidence indicating anything, you just told us it was a model run.

    Guys, don’t buy shares in the Alaskan Refrigerator Company just yet.

     

    ————————————————————————————————
    Sorry, long post, summary version:
    Hubris & Models ==> Scare


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    [...] But this peer-reviewed  paper supports the premise that natural pH variations already occur.  Click here for more [...]


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    Experimentalist

    TESTING THE REAL THING. Built a high pressure low (into the negative) flow through seawater test system for pH studies a few yrs ago. Test cells with sapphire windows. System had continous addition of CO2 of course. Largely from off the shelf parts when located in an oil city. Used a ph sensor & system able to mimic conditions to at leat 4000 m depth. Had positive support from Scripps in application writng and past pilot result. But ran of of funding past pilot work. The work was financed by The Research Council of Norway and oil companies (over several steps).We may use shallow and deep sea animals to test calcification stress and measure ambient pH stress. Think building a system to test down to 6000 m depth may also be done by off the shelf parts. Only remaining technical adaption is to “lock into” animals collected at sea. Some surface invertebrates should be able to bring down to simulated ca 2000 m depth for a starter is my impression. Struglle for survival (other job tasks) has meant no time for publishing.


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    Experimentalist

    Hi. Got disturbed whilst writing. Please include. pH fluctuations may be more predominant in the shallows than deeper down – unless in the vicinity of geochemical processes. It may be a qustion to which extent deep sea organisms may be subjected to altered pH stress and altered CO2 related buffer changes. Testing of various species is likely to show differing adaptation capabilities. Then add the option they have to change depth zone somewhat – if the carbon & pH is the key determinant of zone of living. Far from uniform outcomes of tests to be expected – but we need real data and not only models on alterations of ionic compositions. The theorem if, if, then,then.. was published in The Journal of Irreprocible Results in the 70′ties I think. It seems to have been to widely applied.


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    Popeye

    Hi Jo,

    Just a quick note (if no one else has mentioned it) – the thumbs up down buttons will NOT work for me – I have tried everything including re-entering site but still no go.

    Any clues??

    Thanks & cheers,

    [they are fixed now] ED


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    AndyG55

    Seeing the emotive words are the “go” from the anti CO2 lobby….

    CO2 increase in the atmosphere could make the oceans “LESS CAUSTIC”


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    pat

    BobC -
    your comment has puzzled me because i was not singling out any particular ideology for criticism, but was pointing out the carelessness of speculators gaming the markets.
    decided to see if there was any backup for the “psycopaths” part of my comment – friends have suggested this for years – and found this:

    3 Jan: Bloomberg: William D. Cohan: Cohan: Did Psychopaths Take Over Wall Street Asylum?
    (William D. Cohan, a former investment banker and the author of “Money and Power: How Goldman Sachs Came to Rule the World,” is a Bloomberg View columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.)
    It took a relatively obscure former British academic to propagate a theory of the financial crisis that would confirm what many people suspected all along: The “corporate psychopaths” at the helm of our financial institutions are to blame.
    Clive R. Boddy, most recently a professor at the Nottingham Business School at Nottingham Trent University, says psychopaths are the 1 percent of “people who, perhaps due to physical factors to do with abnormal brain connectivity and chemistry” lack a “conscience, have few emotions and display an inability to have any feelings, sympathy or empathy for other people.”
    As a result, Boddy argues in a recent issue of the Journal of Business Ethics, such people are “extraordinarily cold, much more calculating and ruthless towards others than most people are and therefore a menace to the companies they work for and to society.”
    How do people with such obvious personality flaws make it to the top of seemingly successful corporations? Boddy says psychopaths take advantage of the “relative chaotic nature of the modern corporation,” including “rapid change, constant renewal” and high turnover of “key personnel.” Such circumstances allow them to ascend through a combination of “charm” and “charisma,” which makes “their behaviour invisible” and “makes them appear normal and even to be ideal leaders.”…
    They “largely caused the crisis” because their “single- minded pursuit of their own self-enrichment and self- aggrandizement to the exclusion of all other considerations has led to an abandonment of the old-fashioned concept of noblesse oblige, equality, fairness, or of any real notion of corporate social responsibility.”
    Boddy doesn’t name names, but the type of personality he describes is recognizable to all from the financial crisis.
    He says the unnamed “they” seem “to be unaffected” by the corporate collapses they cause. These psychopaths “present themselves as glibly unbothered by the chaos around them, unconcerned about those who have lost their jobs, savings and investments, and as lacking any regrets about what they have done. They cheerfully lie about their involvement in events, are very convincing in blaming others for what has happened and have no doubts about their own worth and value. They are happy to walk away from the economic disaster that they have managed to bring about, with huge payoffs and with new roles advising governments how to prevent such economic disasters.”.
    In closing his short essay, Boddy recognizes that the theory is relatively untested and would benefit from “further development and research” into the “personalities and moral reasoning aptitudes of the leaders” of the companies that got into serious trouble in the financial crisis…
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-01-03/did-psychopaths-take-over-wall-street-asylum-commentary-by-william-cohan.html

    9 Jan: Bloomberg: William D. Cohen: How Wall Street Turned a Crisis Into a Cartel: William D. Cohan
    Almost 65 years ago, in 1947, the U.S. government sued 17 leading Wall Street investment banks, charging them with effectively colluding in violation of antitrust laws.
    In its complaint — which was front-page news at the time — the Justice Department alleged that these firms had created “an integrated, overall conspiracy and combination” starting in 1915 “and in continuous operation thereafter, by which” they developed a system “to eliminate competition and monopolize ‘the cream of the business’ of investment banking.”
    The U.S. argued that the top Wall Street investment banks – - including Morgan Stanley (MS) (the lead defendant) and Goldman Sachs — had created a cartel by which, among other things, it set the prices charged for underwriting securities and for providing mergers-and-acquisitions advice, while boxing out weaker competitors from breaking into the top tier of the business and getting their fair share of the fees.
    The government argued that the big firms placed their partners on their clients’ boards of directors, putting them in the best possible position to know when a piece of business was coming down the pike and to make sure that any competitors were given a very hard time should they dare to try to win it.
    The government was spot on: The investment-banking business was then a cartel where the biggest and most powerful firms controlled the market and then set the prices for their services, leaving customers with few viable choices for much needed capital, advice or trading counterparties.
    The same argument can be made today…
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-01-09/cohan-how-wall-street-turned-a-crisis-into-a-cartel.html

    9 Jan: Equities.com: Invest Like a Member of Congress–Legally!
    You may or may not have seen the 60 Minutes broadcast late last year exposing insider trading in Congress. The exposé certainly grabbed the headlines. But—as it turns out—all this insider trading on Capitol Hill was LEGAL!
    Any one of us could make a fortune in the market if we had inside information. But … if WE traded on that information we wouldn’t get a term in Congress—we’d get a term in jail!
    So much for using the Congressional competitive edge!…
    http://editorial.equities.com/financial-expert/invest-like-a-member-of-congress-legally/

    BobC, that doesn’t sound like “free-market capitalism” to me but, if it suits you, fine.


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      BobC

      pat
      January 10, 2012 at 8:34 am

      BobC, that doesn’t sound like “free-market capitalism” to me but, if it suits you, fine.

      I’d have to agree that theories about “corporate psychopaths” causing the recent financial crisis doesn’t sound like “free-market capitalism”.

      It sounds more like an attempt to duck the actual facts and deflect blame: What happened to the government’s pushing banks to make bad loans (purely for political gain) and then implicitly guarenteeing them so as to create an economic moral hazard that, only then, could the so-called “corporate psychopaths” exploit?

      Let’s not let “government psychopaths” like Barney Frank get off scot-free.

      But my comment was about your comment #63, which was simply a listing of speculator’s actions in the energy markets, which you presented as something deplorable and morally wrong — and you now characterize as “the carelessness of speculators gaming the markets”.

      (Let’s ignore the fact that “careless” speculators are soon “broke” speculators…)

      Speculation is simply a form of trading, where the participant looks for a spread between asking and selling prices that can be the basis of making a profit. Like traders in ancient history, who found these spreads in geographically separate places and were reviled for making money by “doing nothing”, even though they supplied products not otherwise available, the modern trader also benefits consumers. While it is easy to find theoretical tirades against short-term trading, actual studies of markets with and without speculation have often proven it beneficial. Here is a study of New York’s electricity market before and after speculation was allowed. It showed that speculation led to less volatility and lower prices for consumers.

      Given that short-term trading (“speculation”) will happen in a free market — and the only way to stop it is to make the market less free — then, yes, you were complaining about the free market. Your assumption that this trading is bad is based on feelings, theory, and emotion — facts, such as the above linked study, often show otherwise.

      Your puzzlement at my comment #63.2 is due to your confusing a free market in a rule of law (which you described in 63) with illegal activities and conspiracies (which you describe above).

      This is a pretty common misunderstanding in today’s world, where schools and entertainment are largely dominated by leftists pushing Marxist theory. Try to lift your education above your schooling.


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    pat

    on a more positive note:

    9 Jan: Bloomberg: U.K. May Have Lost 10% of Finance Jobs: CBI
    by Howard Mustoe and Ambereen Choudhury
    Financial companies in Britain (F3BANK) may have shed almost a tenth of their jobs by the end of the first quarter since the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., according to a survey by Britain’s biggest business lobby group.
    In the fourth quarter, banks, insurers and asset managers probably cut 9,000 jobs, and may shed 11,000 workers in the first three months this year, the survey by the Confederation of British Industry estimated. The new losses would mean that since Lehman’s collapse in 2008, about 101,000 jobs will have been lost in an industry that employs 1.05 million people in the U.K., or about 9.6 percent, the CBI said…
    Job vacancies at London’s financial-services firms fell by 43 percent in December, the biggest drop in two years, a separate survey by recruiter Astbury Marsden showed today…
    HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA), Europe’s largest bank, and Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc (RBS) said in August they planned to cut 30,000 and 2,000 jobs respectively. Barclays Plc (BARC) said it would eliminate about 3,000 positions and Lloyds Banking Group Plc (LLOY) said it plans to lose 15,000 jobs…
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-01-09/u-k-may-have-lost-10-of-finance-jobs-since-lehman-cbi-says.html


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    Ross James

    The data is not ANYWHERE near the definitive death knell as supposed………

    Despite surveying 15 different ocean regions, the authors noted that they only made observations on coastal surface oceans and that more study is needed in deeper ocean regions farther away from land. Martz noted that large-scale programs such as Argo, a network of more than 3,000 floats distributed throughout the oceans that measures fundamental data, could serve as a model.

    The Honeywell DuraFET pH sensor used in the SeaFET has been a great tool for characterizing shallow sites from moorings and for use in shipboard underway systems,” Martz said. “The next challenge will be observing the pH of the entire ocean from top to bottom without using ships. I am really excited about the prospect of adding these sensors to mobile autonomous platforms like profiling floats, gliders, and drifters. In fact we continue to work with Ken Johnson and MBARI to make this a reality. I think you can expect to see a pH sensor sending back data from an Argo-type profiling float at some point in 2012.

    More data is required.

    the authors wrote. “These pH time series create a compelling argument for the collection of more continuous data of this kind.”

    Sorry these findings aren’t no party for anti-warmists.

    The institution has a staff of about 1,400, and annual expenditures of approximately $170 million from federal, state and private sources. Scripps operates robotic networks, and one of the largest U.S. academic fleets with four oceanographic research ships and one research platform for worldwide exploration. Birch Aquarium at Scripps serves as the interpretive center of the institution and showcases Scripps research and a diverse array of marine life through exhibits and programming for more than 415,000 visitors each year. Learn more at scripps.ucsd.edu.


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    Geoff Sherrington

    John Brookes January 10, 2012 at 2:15 am “So it seems as though Rob was right, the concentration of H+ ions has changed by 29%.”

    29% of what? By a more absolute calculation, the change of 0.29*10^-8 that you state can be the numerator over a denominator of 10^-14 before you multiply by 100 to get percent change, which is also poor math.

    The point is that you should not use %change type expressions on a curve, because the significance differs according to where you are on the curve. As I said, don’t mix linear expressions with logarithmic responses. We don’t do that.

    Also, we do not use “concentration” wrongly, when the right term is “activity”. Try http://jeb.biologists.org/content/4/1/46.full.pdf

    This is a year 1926 exposition that walks you through the logic of topicss like the law of mass action.

    If you feel a need to post, at least get it right – and apologise when you have been shown wrong, as I do.


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    I don’t know, but someone may -

    What quantity of CO2 would be needed to turn the worlds oceans into carbonic acid, strong enough to dissolve calcium carbonate and how is it diffused? Where would the CO2 come from?


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    Crosspatch – Scleractinian corals evolved during the middle of the Triassic period of the Mesozoic

    Those coral became extinct in the end Triassic Extinction. New coral did not evolve for 8-10 years. See the work of George Stanley, he’s done a lot of research on this.


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    Meant to write “new coral forms did not evolve for 8-10 million years.


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    Crosspatch – “Most species alive today evolved when CO2 levels were much higher including all fish and shellfish. We know with 100% certainty that these animals can survive and thrive in CO2 levels much higher than today’s levels because they did so, often for tens of millions of years.”

    There’s a rather fundamental problem with this assertion. How do you know what the ocean pH and aragonite saturation state of the ocean was back then? I ask this because it is an all-too-common misconception.


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      Gee Aye

      the fundamental problem is an ignorance of genomics, evolution and adaptation whatever the composition of the ocean.


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      wes george

      How do you know what the ocean pH and aragonite saturation state of the ocean was back then?

      Exactly. And that’s a big problem with your argument. You claim to “know” what the CO2 levels were back then, but in fact the data is extremely spotty. All we do know is that it fluctuated dramatically. You claim to know the rate of alkalinity change during the PT and PETM as well. But that’s also very tenuous knowledge indeed. You simply have no evidence that minor oceanic pH fluctuation are dangerous to life, or even can causally connect modern pH changes to atmospheric CO2 levels, much less the fractional anthropogenic component.

      Here’s what we really do know.

      There are corals. Corals have thrived for 500 million years through multiple massive and rapid climate changes. There are many oceanic species still alive today that evolved many millions of years ago. But you want us to believe the balance of life is so precarious that every time the atmosphere experiences a spike of ~100 parts per million of a necessary trace gas for life on Earth mass extinction occur. Yet, we know that plants can’t survive without at least 275 ppm of atmospheric CO2 and thrive even at ten times that amount, so we are much closer to the bottom range of atmospheric CO2 required for ecological stability than the upper end.

      It’s up to you to show evidence that the many past 100-200 ppm spikes in atmospheric CO2 have caused past massive global extinction. But, of course, you can’t, because CO2 levels have quite often fluctuated between 350-100 ppm in the last 50 million or so years leaving no trail of multiple mass extinctions. Or we wouldn’t be here tasked with smacking down climate creationism.

      The real question you should be asking of your hypothesis is why is there any complex life left at all on planet Earth at all?


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    John Brookes – “Rob, I’d be scared of taking up your offer

    No worries John, I’m writing up a series on it. The details are highly complex, but the overall outline is very clear and easy to follow. Once you understand the basics though, it’s simple to understand why the oceans don’t become acidified over long timeframes, but do from rapid pulses of CO2 injected into the atmosphere.


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    cohenite

    Kevin, I asked Dr Steve Short to make a comment on this thread but he is currently OS; however he said to quote from his work and in respect of your question Steve notes:

    The two forms of biogenic calcium carbonate found in the ocean, aragonite e.g. corals and forams (calcareous plankton) and calcite e.g. pteropods have well-defined and easily (chemothermodynamic) model-predicted Saturation Indices (SIs) under a variety of partial pressures (volumetric concentration) of CO2 in air and air/water equilibrating ocean layer depth scenarios.

    SI = log (Ion Activity Product)/log (Mineral Solubility Product)

    If SI>0.00 the mineral is stable (insoluble). If SI ~0.00 the mineral is metastable (on the brink of dissolving). If SI <0.00 the mineral is dissolved (soluble).

    It is quite easy to show that it would require pCO2 in air to rise to ~2500 ppmv before the SI of calcite = 0.00. For aragonite it is about 1800 ppmv. It will be many centuries if ever that such atmospheric CO2 concentrations are attained.

    These simple equilibrium thermodynamic constraints explain why most marine aragonite- and calcite-forming organisms have evolved over many 100s of millions of years during which time pCO2 has been as high as 2500 ppmv or more DURING WHICH TIME corals, forams etc have NOT been rendered extinct.

    Technically it is not quite as simplistic as this but suffice to say in my view the risks of ocean acidification are grossly overblown in line with many other aspects of the effect of increased atmospheric CO2. The key issue is just what layer of seawater equilibrates with the atmosphere and how rapid is the mixing of CO2 to greater depth?

    In respect of ocean mixing I have already referred to the Marsh paper at comment 17.3 above; Marsh notes that ocean mixing is much more rapid then the catastrophists and ocean acidivists assume. With rapid ocean mixing the alleged ‘acidification’ process from CO2 is much attentuated.

    Steve is also an expert on cyanobacteria, the most common and in mass terms, largest organism on the planet; they eat CO2 and the alarmists NEVER take into account this mitigation of their already grossly exaggerated CO2 induced ocean neutrality/acidification predictions.


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    Mark D.

    So many good posts above. Why are the “thumbs” not working?????

    Anyone notice the nerves are frayed at Craptical Science?


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    Wes George – “I’m no more interested in learning about “ocean acidification

    So it’s not about the science for you eh? No worries. I doubt you’d like what the science has to say anyway. It would no doubt conflict with your ideology.


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      wes george

      Rob, don’t confuse your highly acidic bong water (caused, no doubt, by carbon pollution) with the ocean, dude.

      No evidence that the oceans have any chance of becoming acidic has ever been presented outside of the Rocky Horror Picture Show.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5MHNvOVl8Y&feature=related

      This discussion has been about some rather minor pH fluctuations observed in the ALKALINITY of the oceans.

      Personally, I’m more worried about triffids.


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    Geoff Sherrington – “We know that Life can adapt and exist in regions of fluctuating temperature. Why cannot this be so in regions of fluctuating alkalinity?”

    They have adapted, that’s what I said in my earlier comment. Adapting to an environment with greater pH fluctuations does not confer invulnerability. That’s nonsensical. The oyster and mussels growing in and around Puget Sound on the North American Pacific coast are being affected by the rapidly increasing acidity. Oyster larvae are now dissolving and dying in Puget Sound and adjacent areas, because near surface waters are seasonally corrosive to aragonite forms. Analysis and dating of shellfish middens shows Tatoosh Island, Washington is now more acidified than it has been in around 1300 years.

    So much for adaptation.


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      wes george

      Analysis and dating of shellfish middens shows Tatoosh Island, Washington is now more acidified than it has been in around 1300 years.

      Really? So what happened 1300 years ago? Did the shellfish go extinct?

      Also, how is reduced Alkalinity around Tatoosh Island shown to be causally connected to anthropogenic atmospheric CO2? Maybe the Indians had coal-fired teepees 1300 years ago?

      Ah, I see, you just ASSUMED this causal link as an article of faith even though you present evidence that the same event occurred well before anthropogenic CO2 levels could be a cause.


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    Geoff Sherrington – “The point is that you should not use %change type expressions on a curve, because the significance differs according to where you are on the curve. As I said, don’t mix linear expressions with logarithmic responses. We don’t do that.”

    Utter nonsense. pH is a measurement, if we have two measurements we can calculate how much it has changed in percentage terms. You don’t like it because it clearly illustrates to laypeople how much of a change in ocean chemistry humans have affected through the burning of fossil fuels. We do have a series on ocean acidification at SkS written by bonafide experts in ocean chemistry – so no need to trot out the ‘activity’ meme. One of the co-authors Keith Hunter was a lead author on a paper last year, which unintentionally or not, debunked a common climate myth – the idea that sulfate and nitrate pollution from shipping increases ocean acidification. It doesn’t.


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    Memoryvault – “In the period in question, according to a previous post of yours, 96% of marine life became extinct. Now you’re saying extinction was “preferential” to the “vulnerability of calcification”. So obviously, according to your logic, 96% of all marine life at the time depended on calcification, or the lack of it. Would that be right? Want to explain it to the sharks? They seem to have done just fine.”

    Your my favorite kind of skeptic – one that debunks themselves and illustrates my point.


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    Cohenite – “These simple equilibrium thermodynamic constraints explain why most marine aragonite- and calcite-forming organisms have evolved over many 100s of millions of years during which time pCO2 has been as high as 2500 ppmv or more DURING WHICH TIME corals, forams etc have NOT been rendered extinct.”

    Cohenite – I have no idea who Steve Short is, but if he isn’t aware of the multiple extinction of coral, and multiple reef crises throughout Earth’s history, then he can’t have looked at the scientific literature very hard.

    (It is obvious that you do not know who Dr. Short is) CTS


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    John Marshall – “Around volcanic vents on the oceanic ridges the pH can be as low as 4.5 with thriving molluscs.”

    But did you ever investigate why? Or did you think it simply conveniently fitted in with pre-conceived notions you had? Same as freshwater mussels. How do they thrive in such low pH, but seawater mussels don’t? A real skeptic would seek out the answer to these questions.


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    cohenite

    I have no idea who Steve Short is, but if he isn’t aware of the multiple extinction of coral, and multiple reef crises throughout Earth’s history, then he can’t have looked at the scientific literature very hard.

    You’re a funny guy Rob; I’ll let Steve engage you when he gets back; he likes a good stoush; in the meantime consider this: the total CO2 storage is:

    Atmosphere 720 Gt
    Seawater carbonate system 37,400 Gt
    Biosphere on land 800 Gt
    Dead biomass on land 1200 Gt
    Biosphere in sea 2 Gt
    Dead biomass in sea 1000 GT

    Humans add about 2 Gt PA. And you reckon we’re the cause of your alleged [ie unproven] ‘acidification’ of the oceans.


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      cohenite,

      “It is quite easy to show that it would require pCO2 in air to rise to ~2500 ppmv before the SI of calcite = 0.00. For aragonite it is about 1800 ppmv. It will be many centuries if ever that such atmospheric CO2 concentrations are attained.”

      How would mankind cope in such an atmosphere?


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    cohenite

    How would mankind cope in such an atmosphere?

    What atmosphere Kevin?


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      I shouldn’t have been so lazy -

      Wiki says,

      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

      CO2 is toxic in higher concentrations: 1% (10,000 ppm) will make some people feel drowsy.[7] Concentrations of 7% to 10% cause dizziness, headache, visual and hearing dysfunction, and unconsciousness within a few minutes to an hour.[8]


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    TonyfromOz – “How did corals, sponges and the like thrive for 500 million years through all sorts of much higher levels of atmospheric and oceanic CO2 saturation than today? You hand waved Crosspatch off, saying that CO2 levels have never been 5 times higher than today, yet that is an unsupportable claim. No one knows that. However, we do know that all sea creatures have evolved through prolonged times of higher CO2 levels than today, even the most recently evolved sea life would have experience great and rapid volcanic events in the last tens of millions of years.”

    Well we know Wes George doesn’t care about the science, he said as much himself. It’s clear that atmospheric CO2 has been much higher than today. Was it 5 times higher when modern coral evolved? No. Do note the deliberate distortion by Wes George.
    Do we know for sure how high atmospheric CO2 was in the past? No, very few proxies exist. But carbon cycle models indicate that atmospheric CO2 was much higher in the past. It had to be. Solar radiation by the sum was much weaker in deep time. Were it not for the higher CO2 levels Earth would have frozen over. More CO2 kept Earth warm enough to sustain life.

    The apparent paradox, is explained by the geological, or long-term, carbon cycle and predominantly the weathering process. Over million year timescales it’s silicate weathering and carbonate weathering, the chemical wearing away of rocks (by CO2 dissolved in rain – carbonic acid) that supply bicarbonate and calcium ions back to the oceans. Silicate weathering also draws down atmospheric CO2, whereas carbonate weathering cycles CO2 back to the atmosphere. Both processes prevent the accumulation of volcanic CO2 from turning Earth into a “Super Greenhouse” climate (over time) and also supply alkalinity back to the ocean. There’s also the dissolution of seawater calcium carbonate sediments that provide alkalinity, but just like the weathering process that’s a slow process too.

    So hows this work? If the change in atmospheric CO2 is slow, the geological weathering and dissolution of sediments is able to keep pace, they supply alkalinity back to the ocean so it never becomes corrosive to calcifiers. When there is a geologically abrupt increase in atmospheric CO2, the chemical wearing of rocks is too slow to keep up, as is the dissolution of calcium carbonate sediments. The oceans therefore acidify and vulnerable calcifiers are devastated. But the now warmed atmosphere, extra CO2 and increased rainfall (from increased water vapor) speed up and, over hundreds of thousands of years, keep supplying alkalinity back to the ocean. But it doesn’t stop right back where it started. The weathering process slowly gears down as CO2 is extracted out of the atmosphere, so it overcompensates and the oceans end up strongly supersaturated, more so than at the beginning. Eventually though it reaches equilibrium depending on the end level of atmospheric CO2.

    Therefore, the oceans will eventually fix themselves. This human-caused ocean acidification will be corrected, but it will be of no use to humans because of the timescales involved.

    You now understand the conceptual scientific framework. There are many other factors that play a part -this is a simplification of the large-scale drivers. But you can now see how coral and other calcifiers can flourish when atmospheric CO2 is high, as in steady or slowly-evolving climate states, but are decimated by rapid CO2 injections which bring about ocean acidification. And you can also see how this fits in with experiments today, which demonstrates the vulnerability of calcifiers such as coral, when the aragonite saturation state drops along with falling pH (Aragonite is the type of calcium carbonate coral use to build their skeleton). It also explains why coral cover, diversity etc, declines around natural CO2 seeps as the pH of the water falls.

    And yes, there are dozens upon dozens of peer-reviewed scientific papers which have examined the details of the long-term carbon cycle over the years. The details are still being debated, and I’ve not touched upon the biological component of the long-term cycle, but that’s the broad picture. Note how it shows coherency, whereas skeptic objections do not.


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      But carbon cycle models indicate that atmospheric CO2 was much higher in the past. It had to be. Solar radiation by the sum was much weaker in deep time. Were it not for the higher CO2 levels Earth would have frozen over. More CO2 kept Earth warm enough to sustain life.

      I call bulltish on that. IT’S A MODEL YOU ARE REFERRING TO. therefore you CANNOT use definitive words like WAS, HAD TO BE and WOULD HAVE in your statement.
      Models are only as good as the inputs from human knowledge. And our knowledge of those epochs is….well….pretty lousy.
      Why don’t you take a lead from the IPCC and rephrase your statement with COULD HAVE, LIKELY, MAY HAVE etc.

      p.s. Any idea how fast the planet was spinning back then? You know, length of day and all that.
      What about the density of the atmosphere. Just how did some of those giant flying dinos take flight? Modern aerodynamics indicate (see, not a definitive word) they could not have stayed aloft unless the atmosphere was much thicker.

      Any thoughts?


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      Rob,

      You say -

      “The weathering process slowly gears down as CO2 is extracted out of the atmosphere, so it overcompensates and the oceans end up strongly supersaturated, more so than at the beginning. Eventually though it reaches equilibrium depending on the end level of atmospheric CO2.

      Therefore, the oceans will eventually fix themselves. This human-caused ocean acidification will be corrected, but it will be of no use to humans because of the timescales involved.”

      What you say doesn’t make sense to me. I haven’t got a bit of paper to say I’m educated,only the ability to think critically [though some will dispute that].So can you increase my limited learning.

      How do the oceans extract CO2 out of the atmosphere while at the same time leaving atmospheric CO2 content fairly stable. If there is not enough CO2 in the atmosphere to start with to acidify the oceans, how do you explain that? Consider that humans only produce 2GT?

      According to the alarmist “fact” sheet a lowering of atmospheric CO2 lowers global temperatures with I presume a lowering of ocean temperatures and the oceans CO2 concentrations as a consequence.

      Explain “reaches equilibrium” and how does it depend on atmospheric CO2 levels?

      How do the oceans “fix themselves”.


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      Rob Painting,
      thanks for your reply, and that’s one of the reasons I like sites like this, because people like you come here. This of itself increases my knowledge base on the Science, because my area of expertise (well, I like to think of it that way) is in another area, that in fact is very closely associated with this whole ‘perceived’ problem.

      I also understand that because of my low level on knowledge of the Science, you guys just dismiss guys like me out of hand as having nothing really to input to the debate that you people have amongst yourselves, because you are only thinking in the one direction, that of the ‘Science’.

      I have enormous respect for the years people of your stature have sunk into what you do, and the way you then attempt to explain it to the ‘plebs’ like us, who you ‘perceive’ as having nothing to offer.

      I would like to think that what I have to offer would be the results of what you are actually calling for.

      More than 40% of all man made CO2 emissions come from the generation of electrical power, and most of that is from one of the most efficient methods of generating large scale constantly available electrical power, coal fired power, which is one of the cheapest and most efficient ways to generate that power.

      More than half of the World’s population have no access to any form of electrical power, let alone the constant and reliable power we have access to, and this keeps those people at a level of poverty we are lucky enough not to endure.

      If this CO2 emissions problem is resulting in the dire consequences you say it is, then the obvious answer is that those people must not be allowed to advance themselves to the level we have already reached. Then, because those emissions are such a problem, we then have to go back and join them at that level of poverty.

      Could ‘your side’ of the debate actually address something like that.

      We like the way you bring this Science to us, but until you are aware of what you are calling for, and until you can provide an answer for this, or, more importantly, until you actually take notice of the end results of what you are calling for, then all the respect we do have for you will be diminished.

      In just the same manner as you say that WE cannot ignore YOU, then I say that YOU cannot ignore ME.

      People like me who point out things like this have input into this debate, that is not only dismissed out of hand, ignored because you perceive we are somehow ‘not at a level of understanding ‘ you perceive, and rejected because you cannot see it for yourself, as you only have expertise in that one area.

      I know I sometimes go on at great length about matters like this, and it just ‘gets lost’ in the debate about ‘Science’, because the perception is that it is not related.

      Here’s an analogy.

      People like those on ‘your side’ of the debate, when asked about what should we do about this with respect to that generation of electrical power, say that this is not your province and is for others to work out, so you don’t bother to try and find out. Yet, in the same breath, you tell us to become more informed by trying to find out all we can about the Science you ply us with, and then sometimes berate us for not finding out, or for not agreeing with you.

      We also have something to add, and that something is just as important as your Science.

      These two areas, yours and mine, actually are related, and in fact, if 2 + 2 = 4. then what I have to say is part of that 4.

      Tony.


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    Cohenite – “And you reckon we’re the cause of your alleged [ie unproven] ‘acidification’ of the oceans.”

    Dude, that’s what experts on ocean acidification – you know those that publish in the peer-reviewed literature claim. I agree with them – based on understanding their work.


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    Wes George – “Here’s what we really do know. There are corals. Corals have thrived for 500 million years through multiple massive and rapid climate changes.”

    Except for all the repeated coral extinctions you mean. And anyway most ancient coral were nothing like the coral we observe today. Most weren’t reef-builders for a start. It was only during the Jurassic that they began to resemble anything like the dominant reef-builders like we have now.


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      wes george

      Here, Robo, let me rephrase that quote for you. Also notice I supplied a few questions for you to consider.

      There are corals. Corals have thrived for 500 million years through multiple massive and rapid climate changes. There are many oceanic species still alive today that evolved many millions of years ago.

      You want us to believe the balance of life is so precarious that every time the atmosphere experiences a spike of ~100 parts per million of a necessary trace gas for life on Earth mass extinction occur. How does your hypothesis explain the many pulses of CO2 that have occurred in the past unaccompanied by mass extinction?

      We know that plants can’t survive without at ~275 ppm of atmospheric CO2 but thrive even at ten times that amount, so we are much closer to the bottom range of atmospheric CO2 required for ecological stability than the upper end.

      It’s really the same kind of natural history problem that haunts the AGW hypothesis. We know that it was as warm or warmer many times in the very recent past than today WITHOUT accompanying levels of anthropogenic “carbon pollution.” Likewise, we know that atmospheric CO2 levels fluctuate constantly, even in very recent times, without causing mass marine extinctions.

      What do you call a hypothesis that fails to usefully explain relevant natural phenomena?

      It’s up to you to show evidence that the many, many past 100-200 ppm spikes in atmospheric CO2 have caused past massive global extinction. No need to go back 250 million years, what about all the 100-plus ppm CO2 spikes that must have occurred in the last million? Or even last 250,000 years? Where are those mass extinctions?

      Your “ocean acidification” hypothesis seems to imply the Earth’s carbon cycle is so precariously balanced that no higher forms of life should exist at all.


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      MaxL

      Rob: “Except for all the repeated coral extinctions you mean. And anyway most ancient coral were nothing like the coral we observe today.”

      That’s funny Rob, it’s called the survival of the fittest.

      “It was only during the Jurassic that they began to resemble anything like the dominant reef-builders like we have now.”

      Wow! So modern corals resemble their Jurassic ancestors! Apart from some insects, not many of us resemble our Jurassic ancestors.


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    cohenite – “You’re a funny guy Rob; I’ll let Steve engage you when he gets back; he likes a good stoush

    Sure. Funny how he mentions Pteropods though. We have numerous experiments showing they’re going to be hit hard by ocean acidification. I think there’s a group down in the Southern Ocean now recording the thinning of pteropod shells along with declining pH. I’ll be interested to see how he attempts to explain that away. Anyway must be going for now.


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      cohenite

      Don’t go Rob; even my blissful ignorance can see some loopholes which, given you present as a thorough and fastidious sort of guy, you will want to address. In respect of “thinning of pteropod shells”, as you say, there are some pro-AGW studies showing comparative SEM pictures of the shells of forams etc suggesting they have been getting thinner since say the 1930s etc., and baldly claiming this is unequivocal evidence for ‘ocean acidification’.

      It is no such thing.

      Fact is, if you look at sediment cores from various locations around the world with fossil forams in them going back many 100s of 1000s of years you will inevitably find periods and regions when shells were thinner and others when they were thicker.

      There is an enormous body of established literature evidence to show that a host of environmental factors unrelated to atmospheric CO2 levels affects the thicknesses of shells.

      Seawater dissolved organic carbon (DOC) levels, water temperature effects, regional exogeneous inputs of sulfate, phosphate strontium and barium, heavy metals etc from volcanic fallout, marine viruses (yes they do exist) etc….the list is very long.

      Why is it AGW, an unproven theory, that always gets the blame? Follow the money!


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        Mark D.

        Cohenite, it is the A that always gets the blame….

        Rob, lets get practical here; since you believe the damage has already begun and is “rapidly getting worse” and since globally almost no progress has been made in reducing A co2, what do you propose we humans do?


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        I wish I could give this comment a thumbs up. They don’t seem to be working tonight… sigh. There are some great replies. Thanks, Jo


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          wes george

          Rob, lets get practical here; since you believe the damage has already begun and is “rapidly getting worse” and since globally almost no progress has been made in reducing A co2, what do you propose we humans do?

          Exactly, Mark. What do the Greens propose to do?

          You’ve hit on the hidden subtext of the Global Warming Cult. The Greens secretly hope their worse nightmare comes to pass. Their leadership has more invested in the warming death cult than in the society in which they white ant.

          The global warming cult imagines their prophesy of eco-apocalypse is Nemesis, the bad mother face of the earth Goddess, Gaia. They believe that Nemesis must be set loose to extract retribution on capitalist western (increasingly global) civilisation for the great folly of our hubris to imagine all people should be free to pursue happiness, instead of being reduced to serfs quaking before an elite technocracy, working for rations in a zero-growth Green totalitarian economy.

          The barely concealed agenda of the Greens is the destruction of the modern world.

          True, most Greens don’t understand their agenda as such, most are useful dupes who irrationally believe we really could cut our CO2 emissions by 50% in the next decade and have no idea what is going on in China or India. But the intellectual and political leaders like Bob Brown or John Cook know this is nonsense. They aren’t interested in saving the planet, they’re salivating for the End Times which they hope will lead to an extinction of the Australian way of life. Rob Paint’s disingenuous fear of mass extinction is a cultural Freudian slip.

          You think that’s an exaggeration?

          Imagine if you were really worried that CO2 emissions were about to wreck human civilization… would you call for a useless tax on “carbon pollution,” or would you crank up a multi-billion dollar program to build nuclear power plants and step up the export of nuclear fuel? Would you support power hungry desalination plants or would you demand to build dozens of major hydroelectric water reservoirs from the top end right down to South Australia? Would you be jetting tens of thousand of greenies around the planet for climate conferences or get serious about teleconferencing? Would you try to stop the development of emerging technologies to produce gas projects, which could replace dirtier coal or reject both in favour the currently woefully inadequate technologies of solar and wind?

          All the recipes the Green subscribe to for saving the planet will hasten its destruction, assuming you believe their prophecies of eco-apocalypse.

          But the Greens have a good reason for not wanting to save the planet as it is. If they did support the policies necessary to evolve to a more sustainable technological level they’d be saving the free market growth-based economy supporting individual human liberty, which they so detest.

          The Green’s real agenda is to destroy western civilization first, save planet later. Historically, this has always been the Green agenda at the esoteric intellectual leadership level.

          It all started with Karl Marx’s critique of capitalism, Das Kapital, which predicted that built into the capitalist system were dissonances, which would cause capitalism to self-destruct, leading to an age of anarchy, ultimately resolving into a global socialist utopia – the final stage of human social evolution….As it turned out those free market dissonances could be managed as the art of economics advanced. It was socialism which was doomed to collapse after first murdering over a 100 million people in the 20th century. The Berlin Wall fell, the Soviets imploded. The Chinese imitated capitalist incentives sans the political freedoms.

          From the start the first Green political parties in the 1970s were neo-Marxist and their self-proclaimed goal was to white ant the West. They resurrected Marx’s failed critique of capitalism. The Greens reasoned that capitalism is doomed because economic growth and unbridled individual liberty will eventually destroy the planet. Marxist theory was correct, after all, if wrong about how capitalism will end.

          Then came the Global Warming meme in the 1980’s. At last, the Greens had a spirited narrative for how capitalism would self-destruct making way for the new, now Green, socialist global utopia! Oh, what a glorious and powerful a vision, a dawning of a new dark age, post-modern, post-Enlightenment, where individual liberty melts into the collective tribal will.

          But first global warming must destroy civilisation as we know it. Failing that, a Labor/Green coalition government is about as close to an apocalypse as we’re going to get.

          …the history of the Greens illustrates that, if you really want to change the world, electoral work must be approached with the understanding that parliaments are not useful for changing the relations of power in capitalist society. On the contrary, the parliamentary system is a form of domination, the entire purpose of which is to prevent a radical overturning of the relations of power. The conditions of parliamentary cooperation have always served to tame and integrate once rebellious politicians. Ebermann, arguing that the left has much to learn from the electoralism of the German Greens, contends that rather than using this institution of “integration, moderation and assimilation” to achieve our goals, we must learn how to “misuse it”.

          http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/12534


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            Mark D.

            Wes, I really don’t think he’ll answer.

            You offer (in part):

            All the recipes the Green subscribe to for saving the planet will hasten its destruction, assuming you believe their prophecies of eco-apocalypse.

            To which I would wonder out loud; if Man is causing AGW and that AGW is caused by co2 then let Man screw it up just a bit more so that we kill ourselves off to a “green” population level. If Rob Painting really believed his crap then he’d admit that nature will run her course and there would be no need for carbon taxes.


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    Geoff Sherrington

    Rob Painting @ #86
    I do not see an apology from you. Perhaps you have not had time to read the elementary texts.


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      John Brookes

      Asking for apologies on the internet is sooo boring…


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        Not so, John. Good old manners developed over the last million years do matter. When someone apologizes and acknowledges something was wrong it helps the errant soul to stop repeating the same mistake. That’s why I do ask for apologies, and if there were more well mannered fans of AGW who could reason, I wouldn’t need to accept the immature, bad mannered commenters here just to get some balance on the threads.


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    memoryvault

    Rob Painting @ various

    Rob, you are so full of it, it’s starting to dribble out of the bottom of my screen.

    The whole basis for your “evidence” of the “dangers” of “ocean acidification” has been to repeatedly refer to shellfish dying in Puget Sound- here – just to refresh your memory:

    The oyster and mussels growing in and around Puget Sound on the North American Pacific coast are being affected by the rapidly increasing acidity. Oyster larvae are now dissolving and dying in Puget Sound and adjacent areas, because near surface waters are seasonally corrosive to aragonite forms.

    Now, from the top Rob, the larvae are not “dissolving and dying” from ocean acidification. They are being killed by a bacteria – Vibrio Tubiashii.

    These bacteria thrive in waters that are LOW in oxygen Rob, which is not nearly the same thing as HIGH in CO2, and certainly has NOTHING to do with acids “dissolving” anything.

    And why would the waters of Puget Sound be low on oxygen? Well, if one googles up a map of the place one finds it’s 150 kilometres INLAND from anything remotely like “the ocean” and is a series of tidal flats, with major cities, towns and agricultural development everywhere.

    Seattle, with a population of approaching three quarters of a million is about 30 kilometres UPSTREAM from where the larvae poisoning (NOT dissolved by acid) occurred – mainly around Hood Canal.

    So, what caused the water to become depleted in oxygen, which helped promote the growth of Vibrio Tubiashii bacteria, which poisoned the oyster larvae.

    Well, just maybe, Rob, just maybe, the nitrogen enriched run-off from the cities and the agriculture promoted the growth of algae (like Blue-Green Algae) which depleted the O2 levels in the water of tidal flats?

    You know, Rob, like what happens in pretty-much ALL tidal flats surrounded by human activity all around the world. The nitrogen promotes the growth of the algae, the algae dies off, and the decomposing remains use up all the O2.

    For those of you who have never lived close to tidal flats, on a hot summer’s day after a ‘bloom’ of algae the smell is rank. Peel Inlet south of Mandurah in WA was a prime example, back before the farmers were encouraged not to over-fertilise, and the channel out to sea was cut.

    Finally, Rob, we are talking about waters in shallow tidal flats 150 kilometres inland from the ocean. The pH in such places varies enormously from morning to evening, from day to night, and with the tides.

    It is affected by temperature, water-depth, algae blooms (as just described), fish numbers, input of nitrogen and other chemicals and dying vegetation, to name just a handful of inputs.

    I defy you to even begin to explain how ANY change of pH OR CO2 levels in such places could in any way be demonstrated to be connected to rises and falls in CO2 and pH in the oceans proper.

    By the way, Rob, if Hood Canal is “coastal” then so is Shepparton in Victoria. Google it.


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      memoryvault,

      Besides the disturbance of acid sulphate soils etc, here’s another thought -

      The Chemistry of Acid Rain

      Key Concepts

      Rain from an unpolluted atmosphere has a pH close to 6.0 (slightly acidic).
      This acidity is due to the reaction of water vapour and non-metal oxides in the atmosphere, such as carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide, forming dilute acids.

      carbon dioxide reacts with water to form carbonic acid:

      CO2(g) + H2O(l) H2CO3(aq)
      Since carbonic acid is a weak acid it partially dissociates:

      CO2(g) + H2O(l) H+(aq) + HCO3-(aq)

      nitrogen dioxide reacts with water to form a mixture of nitrous acid and nitric acid:

      2NO2(g) + H2O(l) HNO2(aq) + HNO3(aq)
      Acid rain has a pH below 5.6 due mainly to the reaction of water vapour with sulfur dioxide and the oxides of nitrogen.

      Sulfur dioxide reacts with water to form sulfurous acid (H2SO3):
      SO2(g) + H2O(l) H2SO3(aq)

      Sulfur dioxide (SO2) can be oxidised gradually to sulfur trioxide (SO3):
      2SO2(g) + O2(g) —–> 2SO3(g)

      Sulfur trioxide (SO3) reacts with water to form sulfuric acid (H2SO4):
      SO3(g) + H2O(l) —–> H2SO4(aq)

      Oxides of nitrogen, particularly nitrogen dioxide (NO2) react with water to form nitrous acid (HNO2) and nitric acid (HNO3):
      2NO2(g) + H2O(l) —–> HNO2(aq) + HNO3(aq)

      http://www.ausetute.com.au/acidrain.html


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    MaxL

    Hmmm, let’s see what the great warmist site, Wikipedia says about it.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_sink
    “On longer timescales they (the oceans) may be both sources and sinks – during ice ages CO2 levels decrease to ~180 ppmv, and much of this is believed to be stored in the oceans. As ice ages end, CO2 is released from the oceans and CO2 levels during previous interglacials have been around ~280 ppmv.”

    So, The oceans release CO2 to the atmosphere when they are warmer and they absorb CO2 from the atmosphere when they are cooler.
    Now, what’s that meme?….. Oh yes, increasing Anthropogenic CO2 causes global warming.
    If the globe and (presumably) the oceans are getting warmer, then the oceans will absorb less CO2 from the atmosphere, or will actually release CO2 to the atmosphere. So how will sea water become less caustic or more acidic?


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    CHIP

    What amazes me is how the IPCC can argue that only 10% of all anthropogenic CO2 emissions are being absorbed by the oceans and that 10% is now procuring a climate-catastrophe. The all-encompassing destructive power of CO2 is truly mind-bogglingly. According to the IPCC’s own data, there is only 18 gigatonnes of dissolved anthropogenic carbon in the surface-ocean. That corresponds to only 66ppmv of atmospheric CO2 once out-gassed. Not very much. Consider that the atmospheric CO2 levels 20 million years ago were about 7000ppmv. Also consider the fact that Henry’s law sets a fixed partitioning ratio of about 1:50 between atmosphere and oceans respectively. Henry’s constant is temperature dependent and this ratio would have been about 1:30 20 million years ago which was 10C warmer. Therefore, the amount of dissolved CO2 in the water would have been about 57,000 gigatonnes. Compare that with the current concentration of 37,000 gigatonnes. The whole thing is demonstrably absurd. In fact, Henry’s law demands that the oceans absorb 90% of human CO2, and not 10%, as the IPCC claim. Please see my blog post here: http://chipstero7.blogspot.com/2011/10/revelle-factor-vs-henrys-law.html


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    Sean McHugh

    Anti-Senior Socialist (acronym?) John Brookes sneered:

    Which is precisely the problem the “skeptical” camp have, Tristan. They have to rely on people like Motl and his lordship and Plimer and an army of superannuated academics to put their case.

    Hey John, with your smarmy manners, you have to rely on Tristan and MattB for friends.

    You forgot the big guns that we have, nature and observation. You also forgot that we have people like Hansen, Flannery, Pachauri, Mann, Jones, Trenberth and their kind to assist and keep us entertained.

    By the way, John, have you yet apologised to WUWT for the lie about them deleting your posts?


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    [...] “Scripps blockbuster: Ocean acidification happens all the time — naturally“, Jo Nova, 9 January 2012 — You read it here first. [...]


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    slimething

    See here for pictures of what happens to shellfish when CO2 is added at very high levels; quite the opposite of previous claims. In other studies, they didn’t use CO2!!
    http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/originals/soon_carbon_myopia_talk.pdf


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    [...] the Stoat never read this article from Jo Nova about a paper from Scripps on ocean pH: It turns out that far from being a stable pH, spots all [...]


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    [...] It seems that pH is changing in various parts of the ocean on a regular basis with little effect on the local sea life.  Some of these changes may well be beneficial “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. (http://joannenova.com.au/2012/01/scripps-blockbuster-ocean-acidification-happens-all-the-time-natura…) [...]


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