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Not Enough CO2 in Fossil Fuels to Make Oceans Acidic: A Note from Professor Plimer

In response to a question concerning the likelihood of our oceans becoming acidic from global warming Ian Plimer, University of Adelaide, has replied:

THE oceans have remained alkaline during the Phanerozoic (last 540 million years) except for a very brief and poorly understood  time 55 million years ago.

Rainwater (pH 5.6) reacts with the most common minerals on Earth (feldspars) to produce clays, this is an acid consuming reaction, alkali and alkaline earths are leached into the oceans (which is why we have saline oceans), silica is redeposited as cements in sediments, the reaction consumes acid and is accelerated by temperature (see below).

In the oceans, there is a buffering reaction between the sea floor basalts and sea water (see below). Sea water has a local and regional variation in pH  (pH 7.8 to 8.3). It should be noted that pH is a log scale and that if we are to create acid oceans, then there is not enough CO2 in fossil fuels to create oceanic acidity because most of the planet’s CO2 is locked up in rocks. 

When we run out of rocks on Earth or plate tectonics ceases, then we will have acid oceans.

In the Precambrian, it is these reactions that rapidly responded to huge changes in climate (-40 deg C to +50 deg C), large sea level changes (+ 600m to -640m) and rapid climate shifts over a few thousand years from ‘snowball’ or ‘slushball’ Earth to very hot conditions  (e.g. Neoproterozoic cap carbonates that formed in water at ~50 deg C lie directly on glacial rocks). During these times, there were rapid changes in oceanic pH and CO2 was removed from the oceans as carbonate. It is from this time onwards (750 Ma) that life started to extract huge amounts of CO2 from the oceans, life has expanded and diversified and this process continues (which is why we have low CO2 today.

The history of CO2 and temperature shows that there is no correlation.

Ask your local warmer:

1. Why was CO2 15 times higher than now in the Ordovician-Silurian glaciation?

2. Why were both methane and CO2 higher than now in the Permian glaciation?

3. Why was CO2 5 times higher than now in the Cretaceous-Jurassic glaciation? 

The process of removing CO2 from the atmosphere via the oceans has led to carbonate deposition (i.e. CO2 sequestration).

The atmosphere once had at least 25 times the current CO2 content, we are living at a time when CO2 is the lowest it has been for billions of years, we continue to remove CO2 via carbonate sedimentation from the oceans and the oceans continue to be buffered by water-rock reactions (as shown by Walker et al. 1981). 

The literature on this subject is large yet the warmers chose to ignore this literature. 

These feldspar and silicate buffering reactions are well understood, there is a huge amount of thermodynamic data on these reactions and they just happened to be omitted from argument by the warmers.

When ocean pH changes, the carbon species responds and in more acid oceans CO2 as a dissolved gas becomes more abundant.

Royer, D. L., Berner, R. A. and Park, J. 2007: Climate sensitivity constrained by CO2 concentrations over the past 420 million years. Nature 446: 530-532.
Bice, K. L., Huber, B. T. and Norris, R. D. 2003: Extreme polar warmth during the Cretaceous greenhouse? Paradox of Turonian ∂18O record at Deep Sea Drilling Project Site 511. Palaeoceanography 18:1-11.
Veizer, J., Godderis, Y. and Francois, L. M. 2000: Evidence for decoupling of atmospheric CO2 and global climate during the Phanerozoic eon. Nature 408: 698-701.
Donnadieu, Y., Pierehumbert, R., Jacob, R. and Fluteau, F. 2006: Cretaceous climate decoupled from CO2 evolution. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 248: 426-437.
Hay, W. W., Wold, C. N., Soeding, E. and Floegel, S. 2001: Evolution of sediment fluxes and ocean salinity. In: Geologic modeling and simulation: sedimentary systems (Eds Merriam, D. F. and Davis, J. C.), Kluwer, 163-167.
Knauth, L. P. 2005: Temperature and salinity history of the Precambrian ocean: implications for the course of microbial evolution. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 219: 53-69.
Rogers, J. J. W. 1996: A history of the continents in the past three billion years. Journal of Geology 104: 91-107.
Velbel, M. A. 1993: Temperature dependence of silicate weathering in nature: How strong a negative feedback on long-term accumulation of atmospheric CO2 and global greenhouse warming? Geology 21:1059-1061
Kump, L. R., Brantley, S. L. and Arthur, M. A. 2000: Chemical weathering, atmospheric CO2 and climate. Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences 28: 611-667.
Gaillardet, J., Dupré, B., Louvat, P. and Allègre, C. J. 1999:  Global silicate weathering and CO2 consumption rates deduced from the chemistry of large rivers. Chemical Geology 159: 3-30.
Berner, R. A., Lasagna, A. C. and Garrels, R. M. 1983: The carbonate-silicate geochemical cycle and its effect on atmospheric carbon dioxide over the past 100 million years. American Journal of Science 283: 641-683.
Raymo, M. E. and Ruddiman, W. F. 1992: Tectonic forcing of late Cenozoic climate. Nature 359: 117-122.
Walker, J. C. B., Hays, P. B. and Kasting, J. F. 1981: A negative feedback mechanism for the long term stabilization of the Earth’s surface temperature. Journal of Geophysical Research 86: 9776-9782.
Berner, R. A. 1980: Global CO2 degassing and the carbon cycle: comment on ‘Cretaceous ocean crust at DSDP sites 417 and 418: carbon uptake from weathering vs loss by magmatic activity.” Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 54: 2889.
Schwartzman, D. W. and Volk, T. 1989: Biotic enhancement of weathering and the habitability of Earth. Nature 311: 45-47.
Berner, R. A. 1980: Global CO2 degassing and the carbon cycle: comment on ‘Cretaceous ocean crust at DSDP sites 417 and 418: carbon uptake from weathering vs loss by magmatic activity.” Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 54: 2889.
                                                                         CO2 + H2O = H2CO3
                                                                                H2CO3 = H+ + HCO3-
                  2Ca2+ + 2HCO3- + KAl2AlSi3O10(OH)2 + 4H2O = 3Al3+ + K+ + 6SiO2 + 12H2O
                                                      2KAlSi3O8 + 2H+ + H2O = Al2Si2O5(OH)4 + 2K+ + 4SiO2
                                                    2NaAlSi3O8 + 2H+ + H2O = Al2Si2O5(OH)4 + 2K+ + 4SiO2
                                                    CaAl2Si2O8 + 2H+ + H2O = Al2Si2O5(OH)4 + Ca2+
                               KAl2AlSi3O10(OH)2 + 3Si(OH)4 + 10H+ = 3Al3+ + K+ + 6SiO2 + 12H2O
                                                                     CO2 + CaSiO3 = CaCO3 + SiO2
                                                                     CO2 + FeSiO3 = FeCO3 + SiO2
                                                                     CO2 + MgSiO3 = MgCO3 + SiO2

In the oceans, CO2 exists as dissolved gas (1%), HCO3- (93%) and CO32- (8%)


132 Responses to “Not Enough CO2 in Fossil Fuels to Make Oceans Acidic: A Note from Professor Plimer”

Pages: « 1 2 [3] Show All

  1. Comment from: steve from brisbane

    This is a test: Did I just lose a comment or are they being moderated with a time lag?

  2. Comment from: Louis Hissink

    Posts that have urls starting with http:// will not appear – delete it and just start it with www and one should have a post up.

    steve from brisbane – institutionalised science is generally pseudoscience – group think – all major scientific advances do not come from this area of human activity. Peer review these days is to enforce group think and it works in the empirical sciences like chemistry, physics, electrical engineering etc where immediate testing of an hypothesis is quickly done.

    Peer review becomes problematical in sciences which cannot do in situ measurements, an such sciences are dominated by the deductive method that has been disconnected from its empirical foundation.

    And the science underpinning AGW is one such case.

  3. Comment from: steve from brisbane

    Thanks for the posting advice, Louis. Here is my comment:

    Ian Mott: what is the basis for your (and Ian Plimer’s?) claim that the Royal Society paper was “infamously incompetent”? (I have also seen Bob Carter claim the .pH prediction was way out, but never found out what he bases that claim on.)

    The only paper I have seen which disputed its figures for pH change was by Loaiciga, and his modelling was thoroughly criticised by 21 other scientists in a follow up comment to be found in full here:

    Are you, Plimer and Carter all basing your figures on the one paper by Loaiciga? If there are more papers out there, I am genuinely interested to know.

    Furthermore, on the issue of ocean mixing, that comment just cited says:

    “A body of literature describes observed and modeled penetration of CO2 into the ocean and its impact on ocean chemistry [e.g., Caldeira and Wickett, 2003; Feely et al., 2004; Sabine et al.,
    2004; Caldeira and Wickett, 2005; Orr et al., 2005]. ”

    “Penetration” suggests to me they are thinking about mixing.

    I have also just double checked the Royal Society paper, and the fact that the deep ocean mixes with the surface over hundreds of years gets plenty of mention.

    In short, despite your assertions, the fact of mixing appears to have been fully in the minds of these scientists. Are you saying they talk about it but then didn’t plug it into their models?

    And, when this mistake was noticed, no one thought to write to Nature, or the various other journals they were published in, and point out this obvious error??

    Or – a more likely explanation to my mind – your criticism is way off the mark.

    Louis: as to the issue of “models”, there is in fact plenty of “on the ground” work being done about ocean .pH, especially in terms of its effects on different sea creatures. (Testing the precise rate of .pH increase over time over the whole ocean is presumably something that is going to take some years to confirm, but the measurements are being done, much of it by Australian researchers. As you probably know, the prediction is that the southern oceans will be the first affected in a major way.)

    As I am sure has been argued many, many times here, what else do you want scientists to work with when the thing they are testing is the size of a planet? If scientists measure something and say “hey there’s a problem here right now”, people have a natural tendency to ask “why didn’t you warn us before it became a problem?”

  4. Comment from: Ian Mott

    Good start, Steve. But if you take a closer look at the paper you will find that deep ocean circulation is mentioned in the text but the actual calculations in the modelling leave it out. This is standard “spivspeak” where all the i’s are dotted in the text but the numbers don’t reconcile. It gives the appearance of competence but the substance is lacking. The result reported can only be produced if the upper layer remains constant.

    Note how the alkalinity change is cumulative. So it is most likely that they have assumed that the surface strata takes 400 years to be completely cycled. But this is wrong. It is the total ocean that takes 400 years to cycle so the upper 2.5% (1/40th) will all be somewhere else in just ten years time. And if it is somewhere else in the water column then it cannot be accumulating additional CO2 because an entirely new 2.5% surface layer will be absorbing the next decades emissions.

    The point at which CO2 will start to accumulate will be around year 400 when the next complete overturning begins.

    I have also noted that the document has been through a few revisions since the first version that had all the lurid crap in it. It is a bit like the “official” history of the soviet union.

  5. Comment from: Lazlo

    steve “If scientists measure something and say “hey there’s a problem here right now”,
    problem is that they haven’t actually measured anything, and you know it. This is now sounding like the Pittman lies this evening about being threatened by Real Estae agents. What crap – put up or shut up.

  6. Comment from: steve from brisbane

    Ian: which paper are referring to there, the Royal Society one, or the one from Nature I mentioned before?

    I suspect the problem with your argument is with its idea of how ocean cycling works. Sounds overly simplistic to me. The Royal Society paper explains how deep waters have lower pH, so natural upwellings in some parts of the ocean already explains the variation in ocean surface pH around the world.

    As for mixing, it notes that:

    “As it takes many centuries for the downward mixing of CO2, little of the CO2 derived from human activities has yet reached the deep oceans. When averaged for the oceans globally, about 30% of the anthropogenic CO2 is found at depths shallower than 200 m, with 50% at depths less than 400 m, leading to the conclusion that most of the CO2 that has entered the oceans as a result of human activity still resides in relatively shallow waters.”

    As I say, they are not ignoring the issue of downward mixing. They just have a different idea from you as to how it happens, its seems.

    If it’s not too much trouble, can you cut and paste to show us where they have left out ocean circulation in the modelling?

    And apart from your own analysis, I am still waiting for anything published by anyone that points out how the Royal Society was wrong.

  7. Comment from: Bernard J.

    It is apparent that many here have no operational understanding of what acids and bases are. For a start, there are at least four definitions of the term ‘acid’, and thus they may be categorised as Arrhenius acids, as Lowry-Brønsted acids, as solvent-system acids or as Lewis acids. The first two definitions are most pertinent to the issue of sea-water acidification, because they pertain to the increase in the hydrogen ions that cause ocean acidity.

    An Arrhenius acid is a substance that increases the concentration of hydrogen ions (protons: H+) in a solution. In water these protons are present as hydronium ions (H3O+). Bases are substances that increase the concentration of hydroxide ions (OH-).

    A Lowry-Brønsted acid is a proton (H+) donor and a Lowry-Brønsted base is a proton acceptor.

    In these contexts any circumstance that increases the concentration in solution of the definitive cation is ACIDIFICATION. It is as simple as that. The classic “an acid is…” definition is largely an arbitrary one, with a pH chosen to be ‘neutral’ by reference to pure water, where the number of H+ equals the number of OH-. This is merely a reference point, and it has no bearing on the fact that in going from pH 9 to pH 5 the concentration of H+ is INCREASING, and the concentration of OH- is similarly decreasing. And vice versa for a pH change in then opposite direction. For many chemical and biochemical equilibria neutrality is an irrelevance in a continuum of hydrogen cation concentration.

    In these two definitions an acid per se is a solution that has more hydrogen ions than hydroxl ions, but the term ‘acidification’ is always considered relative to a starting concentration of hydrogen ions, and not to the ‘neutral’ point. Using the (il)logic of some on this thread the process of going to pH 5 from pH 6 is ‘acidification’ but going from pH 9 from pH 8 is not, even though in both cases the concentration of hydrogen ions has increased by one order of magnitude.

    This might be fodder for late night pub semantics, but it is not science, and the proponents of such a misconceived idea are obviously not acquainted with the definitions and the practise of chemistry.

    Moreover, there seems to be a misconception that an increase in acidity (yes, it IS an increase in acidity ) from pH 8.1 to pH 8.0 requires large concentrations of carbonic acid (and by implication, carbon dioxide)…

    For those who are unaware (and it seems to be a few here), the pH scale is the negative base 10 logarithm of the hydrogen ion concentration. At pH 8.1 the concentration of hydrogen cations is about 7.94×10^-9 mol/L: that is, 7.9 billionths of 1mol/L. A pH of 8.0 is 10^-8 mol/L hydrogen ions, or about 25% more than occurs at pH 8.1. This is a difference of 2 billionths of 1 mol/L.

    This is not much, is it kiddies?

    Except it is, if you are an organism living in an exquisitely pH-sensitive milieu, such as occurs in carbonate cycling or in acid osmosis. I rather suspect that some of the blusterers here have no idea of the biochemistry of energy production and transport through a cell, or they would be rather less cavalier about dismissing the significance of ACIDITY (yes, even above pH 7.0) in biological systems.

    But keep it up boys. You are simply documenting, for all the world to see for all time, your blindingly breath-taking ignorance of basic chemistry.

    Oo, I just made a joke. It pales next to all the others here though…

  8. Comment from: steve from brisbane

    Well, feeling somewhat invigorated by Bernard’s contribution, and my given my inability to locate anything on the Web which supports their case, I reckon that unless Ian Mott (or Plimer, or Carter) can start showing very specifically within published papers where the ocean acidification scientist have made their obvious mistake, I think there is no reason why anyone should give their argument any attention whatsoever.

  9. Comment from: Ian Mott

    Bernard, by your own admission there are numerous technical meanings of the words basic and acidic but that does not alter the fact that in general usage acidic is below neutral and alkaline is above neutral. Our objection all along has been the way the technical use of these terms has been seriously misconstrued by the voting and non-voting public.

    Steve, your quote is so generalised that it discards all meaning. The author is using a snap shot of the current state to justify modelling that allocates excessive amounts of CO2 to the surface layers. But if you could read a bit more into it you would discover the flaw. If 50% of CO2 is found “at depths less than 400 m” then it follows that the other 50% is elsewhere, at much greater depths.

    This condition is not adequate grounds for assuming in a “muddle” that 50% of all future CO2 absoption will remain in the upper 400 metres, or that 30% of all future absorbed CO2 will remain in the upper 200 metres. This is completely wrong because the upper 200 metres is 5% of a continually cycling mass of water. And one can only conclude that, under a 400 year complete cycling regime, essentially all of this upper layer will be somewhere else in the cycle in just 20 years.

    You appear to be under the impression that deep upwelling water with low pH remains in the location where the upwelling took place. It obviously cannot if the upwelling continues. It must be transported and eventually mixed with the rest of the surface layer until it eventually gets to an area of downwelling. And it follows that the volume of downwelling must be equal to the volume of upwelling.

    Consequently, any oceanic circulation model that, for example, allows for an accumulation of absorbed CO2 in the 200 metre layer beyond 20 years is nothing more than an “oceanic circulation muddle”. It fails to properly incorporate the circulation of the upper layer.

    As I mentioned above, the theoretical point at which longer term accumulation can take place is at the end of the 400 year cycle when the subsided surface layer next returns to the surface. Obviously, in reality, some of that layer will return to the surface sooner but some of it will also return later.

    All of the models appear to wrongly plot accumulated CO2 far beyond the point at which the surface layer will have been replaced.

  10. Comment from: steve from brisbane

    Ian: you seem to skirt over the fact that upwelling waters, with lower .pH, makes whatever decrease in the pH in the surface layer from contact with the atmosphere worse, not better, as your general argument would have at first seemed to suggest.

  11. Comment from: Gordon Robertson

    steve from brisbane “Stand back for a minute, will you, and consider how unlikely it is that armchair experts who have never worked in a field of endeavour find fatal and obvious flaws in the work of tens/hundreds of scientists who have devoted years of work in a subject. Then get back to me”.

    I’m getting back to you…that didn’t take long, did it? This cowboy (armchair expert) gets his information from the vast ‘minority’ of scientists who seem to know what they’re on about. I got my notions about CO2 from Roy Spencer. Who’s he, you ask? He’s one of those old fashioned scientists who actually measures temperatures in the atmophere using highly-sophisticated telemetry on satellites, which cover 95% of the atmosphere. Spencer and his partner John Christy have actually received citations for the good work they have done.

    I’ll go over Spencer’s work again because you seem to have missed it. The IPCC points out that the atmospheric density of CO2 is 380 ppmv. They also point out that humans contribute less than 3% of that CO2, the rest coming from the oceans and the land. Please try to focus. The pH level of the oceans was determined long ago by that 97% of natural CO2 and that natural CO2 makes up 0.03% of atmospheric gases. The human contribution is less than 3% of that 0.03% and you’re implying that such a piddly amount is going to seriously sway the pH level in the oceans. What do you think the chances are?

    The IPCC also points out that 98.5% of all atmospheric CO2 is reabsorbed by the lands and oceans. It’s right in AR4 in a graph they have tried to hide. They did not use a table, as the US Department of Energy did, because that would be too obvious. They make you dig through a graph to find what a piddly amount of CO2 we humans contribute to the atmosphere. They do make a cursory remark that anthropogenic CO2 is a small fraction of the natural CO2. You see, the IPCC doesn’t want it to get out that we’re dealing with a piddly fraction of a very rare gas. Those are the scientists you seem to value.

    If you want to do it in gigatons, because that sounds more impressive, look up the volume/mass of the atmosphere. It might surprise you how huge it is and that the gigatons are a spit in the ocean, so to speak. Back to Spencer. The IPCC’s 380 ppmv is 380 molecules of CO2 per million molecules of air. Divide by 10 and that becomes 38 molecules of CO2 per 100,000 molecules of air. The human contribution of CO2 increases by 0.6% per year. Multiply that times the 38 molecules to get 0.228 molecules of CO2 per year, and multiply by 5 years to get about 1 molecule of CO2 per 100,000 molecules of air ‘every 5 years’.

    Now….you’re trying to tell me that lousy 1 molecule of CO2 we add to every 100,000 molecules of air ‘every 5 years’ is going to warm the atmosphere dangerously and change the pH of the oceans so much it will destroy the balance? Yeah, right. I’ve been waiting for some figures but the modelers don’t seem to be interested in providing any. That’s not surprising, however. When Spencer and Christy try to tell them their satellite data is not showing the warming their models predict, they either infer the satellites are wrong or try to discredit them.

    In the paper we have discussed by the German physicists Gerlich and Tscheuschner in another thread, they scoff at the notion that our piddly contribution of CO2 could affect the atmospheric temperatures by the 10 to 25% claimed by the AGW crowd. Lindzen, a bona fide atmospheric physicist claims it’s closer to 3%. G&T quite rightly point out that if CO2 had that ability, we’d have a new insulator on our hands.

    Science is taking a major hit from ego-trippers, We have mathematicians and computer programmers telling physicists they are wrong. We have mathematicians telling MIT professors with 40 years experience in atmospheric physics that their science is old and that the models are ready for text books. If you want to back that sort of stupidity it’s obviously your call. As far as my armchair expertise is concerned, I’m the first to admit I know dick all. It’s funny that an emminent physicist like Richard Feynman used to say the same about himself and that the modern pseudo-physicists, who have a degree in math, or another theoretical discipline like geophysics, seem to think they know it all to the point of being able to scoff at real physicists. Before you go pointing fingers at me, maybe you should take a closer look at the people you’re defending. John Christy has worked with them at the IPCC and he’s not overly impressed. Over to you.

  12. Comment from: Bernard J.

    (Keeping in mind that the mean pH of plasma is around 7.4…)

    From Wikipedia, the electronic toilet wall:


    Acidosis is an increased acidity (i.e. an increased hydrogen ion concentration). If not further qualified, it refers to acidity of the blood plasma.

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

    The medical world will be stunned to discover that there is no such condition as acidosis, at least until the pH drops below 7.0.

    To reiterate – Arrhenius (and Lowry-Brønsted) ‘acidification’ is the process of increasing the concentration hydrogen/hydronium ions in a solution. It has nothing to do with the arbitrary ‘landmark’ of pH 7.0.

    For heaven’s sake, pH 7 is not even a firm descriptor of what an acid is. Anyone who has done an introductory chemistry course at university will have learned this. Conveniently, Wickedpedia has something to say on this as well:

    “Neutral pH at 25 °C is not exactly 7. pH is an experimental value, so it has an associated error. Since the dissociation constant of water is (1·011 ± 0·005) × 10−14, pH of water at 25 °C would be 6·998 ± 0·001. The value is consistent, however, with neutral pH being 7·00 to two significant figures, which is near enough for most people to assume that it is exactly 7. The pH of water gets smaller with higher temperatures. For example, at 50 °C, pH of water is 6·55 ± 0·01. This means that a diluted solution is neutral when its pH at 50 °C is around 6·55, and also that a pH of 7·00 is very slightly basic.”

    In the above example ‘acidification’ would not occur under Ian Mott’s definition until pH dropped below 6.55. But more telling is the shift in the neutral point – it is not cast in stone, and it is fore this reason amongst many others that an increase in hydrogen.hydronium ion concentration is acidification, irrespective of the initial starting concentration.

    Failure to understand this simply reflects a lack of acquaintance with fundamental acid-base chemistry, and the nomenclature that accompanies it.

  13. Comment from: gavin

    Gordon; I’m inclined to add a bit more (narrative) on the pH issue in case readers get carried away with blog science as this measurement was mainstream in a number of industries where I worked. As such a chemical process can be rough on gear it was often my specific routine to maintain all systems calibration from the labs to inline meters.

    What first caught my eye in the lead above was the statement that rainwater = 5.6 pH.
    I often wondered how they measured that rainwater given samples change on the way to the lab even at room temperature.

    BTW distilled water reads all over the place too depending on the particular circumstances. Also I developed a routine of throwing out litmus papers where they could be associated with QA or soil tests.

    From experience both rainwater and distilled water checks are difficult and are commonly masked by drifting electrodes left in solution. Neutral solutions don’t exist in practice. Tracking gross errors between lab and process meters was normal business. The more abrasive flows tended to keep my reference junctions cleaner.

    While using Google for rainwater ph, CSIRO etc I came across the cleanest rain in the world, but of course everybody knows about our Cape Grim now the bottled stuff is exported.

    In Tasmania it pays to be enterprising.

    It’s several decades now since I had the privilege of driving past the first rainwater export development at Waratah, where a couple of large colour bond machinery sheds and their associated plastic tanks were employed in a simple catchment. I guess this pioneering outfit has closed since however for the last word on rainwater ph , see

  14. Comment from: gavin

    The truly keen may look up the early ph meter design using high resistance amplifiers. Following on from Beckman 1930’s we had the Jones model downunder in the post war industrial era.

    Signal leakage is as much of a problem in this critical electrical measurement as is the tendency for electrode contamination

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  19. Comment from: C3H Editor


    Just linked to your posting on this subject. It’s here:

  20. Comment from: C3H Editor

    Oooops, corrected link….sorry.

    C3H editor

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  26. Comment from: plutocrat

    Professor Ian Plimer is one of the most esteemed geologists in the world. He has over 150 published papers and has won more academic awards than any other Australian geologist. Yet some of you ignorant morons seem to think that you are considerably more informed about geology than he is.

  27. Comment from: Bob

    Enhanced insight into the science of CO2, oceans and coral can be found from this extensive literature review at the Science and Public Policy website:
    or in book form at Amazon:

    the 5-star reader review states:

    A surprisingly detailed and careful review of the research on the growth and survival of coral reefs., March 30, 2009

    By Donald N. Anderson (Anchorage, Alaska)

    This little book is quite deceptive in that its 67 pages of text provide a very wide ranging review of the research on coral reefs. The amount of detail is so great that I read many paragraphs multiple times and felt at the end that I had read a much longer book.

    Dr. Idso is to be commended for this excellent review of the research on the state of these fascinating underwater ecosystems. Those 23 additional pages listing the many references are no joke. I was surprised at the amount of detailed research being done on coral. I don’t even want to try and count the number of researchers involved. Or the many fine experiments and observational studies carried out.

    As CO2 increases in the atmosphere it of course also increases in the ocean (some have suggested at a 1 to 50 ratio). There have been predictions that increased ocean temperature and acidity will reduce rates of coral calcification, weaken coral skeletons and cause coral death.

    Dr. Idso reports that contrary to the models predictions there is no simple link between high ocean temperatures and coral bleaching, and that corals adapt and respond to their environment. Many times this is a replacement of the zooxanthellae during stress induced bleaching by varieties that are more tolerant of that particular stress.

    Coral reefs have persisted through geologic time (about 200 million years for scleractinian corals, much, much longer than humans have existed) and in sea temperatures 10-15 degrees C warmer than at present. They have also survived periods when CO2 concentrations were 2 to 7 times higher. Thus coral survival seems to be more closely related to the rate of external change and their ability to adapt.

    Predicted rises in sea level likewise are well within the growth rates of coral and will in fact allow for the expansion of coral in many areas.

    Coral is bleaching in some areas and thriving in others. Its overall health appears very good with real world observations contradicting the results of the climate models and often refuting their predictions.

    There is too much in this book to even list the major topics, but readers will be well rewarded if you have any interest in the effects of additional CO2 and the state of research in the marine world.

  28. Comment from: Bob

    The book, “CO2 , Global Warming, and Coral Reefs: Prospects for the Future”, can also be ordered here:

  29. Comment from: These 700 scientists challenge theory of manmade global warming « A War of Illusions

    [...] Kilimanjaro; Global sea ice; Causes of Hurricanes; Extreme Storms; Extinctions; Floods; Droughts; Ocean Acidification; Polar Bears; Extreme weather deaths; Frogs; lack of atmospheric dust; Malaria; the failure of [...]

  30. Comment from: Global Warming Debunked « Conservative Thoughts and Profundity

    [...] Kilimanjaro; Global sea ice; Causes of Hurricanes; Extreme Storms; Extinctions; Floods; Droughts; Ocean Acidification; Polar Bears; Extreme weather deaths; Frogs; lack of atmospheric dust; Malaria; the failure of [...]

  31. Comment from: Don’t Hold Your Breath. What AGW Proponents Have Yet to Explain. « Thoughtful Analysis

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  32. Comment from: Bad Science in major Science Publications « Musings of the Technical Bard

    [...] is a short article on storing CO2 by reacting it with the basalt underlying the ocean…   Ian Plimer has explained the ocean chemistry issue very clearly previously, showing the Dr. Krauss is misleading the public in his column.  Further, recent studies have [...]

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