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%)

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

  1. Jennifer Marohasy October 24, 2008 at 9:45 pm #

    Just filing this here: The National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences is putting together a panel of 10 to 12 scientists to undertake the 18-month study. The committee will be made up of scientists with expertise in chemical oceanography, paleooceanography, biological oceanography, physiology, marine ecology, resource economics, geochemistry, resource management, and ocean-climate modeling.
    http://www.underwatertimes.com/news.php?article_id=29675101038

  2. SJT October 24, 2008 at 10:07 pm #

    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?

    Because it was?

  3. Louis Hissink October 24, 2008 at 10:17 pm #

    SJT:

    Yes, because it was.

    Measurement always trumps belief.

    It’s called “EVOLUTION”.

  4. NT October 24, 2008 at 11:18 pm #

    I think this post is pretty pointless.
    A better one would be on the acidification of the ocean, that is the gradual lowering of pH. No one is claiming the ocean will become acid (i.e <pH 7).

    “The history of CO2 and temperature shows that there is no correlation.”
    This is an odd thing to say. Would you expect there to be one? There are so many things that affect temp, why would you expect through geological time for there to be a correlation? Ian Plimer, do you understand the role other gases play, the role continental distributions play, the role the faint early sun hypothesis? If this post is intended as some sort of refutation of the greenhouse effect it is a pretty poor one.

    Ok, answers to questions. They could all be answered with the same answer – CO2 has gradually declined with geological time due to it being removed from the atmosphere and deposited at the bottom of the oceans. It’s no big mystery and it certainly has no bearing on whether CO2 is a greenhouse gas. Somehow, though I think Prof Plimer is trying to suggest something else. So I will at least try and entertain with other answers instead.

    1) Very few land plants. Land plants didn’t really take off until the Carboniferous, most life was in the sea during the Ordovician and Silurian. There was also much more volcanic activity.

    2) Permian Glaciation is a tough one as no one really knows why it happened. I have seen theories though that imply the continental shelves were exposed due to vastly lower sea levels, the oxidation of the material would have resulted in much higher CO2, CH4 and correspondingly lower O2. This has been proposed as a mechanism for the mass extinction.

    3. Jurassic-Cretaceous glaciation? Not heard of it. Was it more extensive than the Holocene ice extent? CO2 was probably higher because of volcanic activity… Certainly there was more available in the biosphere, perhaps the reduced usage by plants in colder conditions could have elevated them… Not sure.

    Yes, we are living at a time of low CO2, and we are living at a time of low temp. This is following the very long term trend for the Earth of gradual lowering of CO2 and temp. Human’s, however, have never lived with higher CO2 than now.

    It’s a bit of a strange post. It doesn’t really have a point except this:
    “The history of CO2 and temperature shows that there is no correlation.”
    Which is a bit… unimportant.

  5. NT October 24, 2008 at 11:21 pm #

    Here’s something on the Jurassic ‘glaciation’

    http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/geol/pga/2008/00000119/00000001/art00002

  6. NT October 24, 2008 at 11:28 pm #

    This guy reckons the Permian ice house is unrelated to the extinction.

    www/network.earthday.net/profiles/blog/show?id=1734264%3ABlogPost%3A24880

    He attempts to give clear explanations. Seems the Permian ice age started at the end of the carboniferous.
    Maybe the removal of large amounts of CO2 by plant burial (that we now dig up as coal) triggered the ice age?

  7. NT October 24, 2008 at 11:29 pm #

    oops, that link won’t work

    http://www.network.earthday.net/profiles/blog/show?id=1734264%3ABlogPost%3A24880

  8. NT October 24, 2008 at 11:30 pm #

    neither will that one…

    http://network.earthday.net/profiles/blog/show?id=1734264%3ABlogPost%3A24880

  9. RW October 25, 2008 at 12:48 am #

    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 answer to all three, if Plimer didn’t know, is that after the Earth’s first atmosphere of primordial hydrogen and helium was lost due to the Earth’s low gravity, extensive volcanism created the second atmosphere, which was predominantly carbon dioxide. The emergence of life triggered the start of the extremely long term decline in CO2 concentrations, over billions of years. The three points he mentioned were 450 million, 250 million, and 145 million years ago, so CO2 was lower at each stage than the preceding one.

    The implicit question is “why wasn’t it hotter then?”. It’s not a complex question to answer: the Sun was less luminous then than it is now. Do the sums and you’ll find that the negative forcing due to the decline in CO2 was handily offset by the positive forcing due to the solar luminosity gradually rising.

  10. david October 25, 2008 at 6:38 am #

    I look forward to seeing Ian publish his results in a peer reviewed journal which disprove ocean acidification and which disprove CO2 as a past driver of climate change.

    BTW here is what Royer et al. (Ian’s first reference) conclude…

    Our estimates are broadly consistent with estimates based on short-term climate records, and indicate that a weak radiative forcing by carbon dioxide is highly unlikely on multi-million-year timescales. We conclude that a climate sensitivity greater than 1.5 °C has probably been a robust feature of the Earth’s climate system over the past 420 million years, regardless of temporal scaling.

  11. Louis Hissink October 25, 2008 at 7:24 am #

    Ah, the Endi Blyton geoscientists have arrived.

  12. Malcolm Hill October 25, 2008 at 8:08 am #

    I also look forward to the day Al Gore, publishes some of his claims and exaggerations in the so called peer review journal.

    One would hope that it could be a an antidote to the usual hypocrisy and double standards that get peddled.

    Its a whats good for the goose is…..sort of thing.

    At least in this case Plimer has had an education.

  13. Louis Hissink October 25, 2008 at 8:10 am #

    NT: “A better one would be on the acidification of the ocean, that is the gradual lowering of pH. No one is claiming the ocean will become acid (i.e <pH 7).”

    A better one on the acidification of the ocean and then you state that no one is claiming that the ocean will become acid – then what are you blethering on about – by suggesting ocean acidification.

    NT:”The history of CO2 and temperature shows that there is no correlation.”
    Which is a bit… unimportant”

    That IS the point – CO2 has nothing to do with the earth’s thermal state.

  14. Louis Hissink October 25, 2008 at 8:19 am #

    Malcolm Hill,

    Ian Plimer taught me at UNSW.

    If you take a step back and look at this whole thing globally, you might come to the conclusion that this whole AGW agenda is to gain control of the U.S. presidency by the socialists.

    We are in a global financial crisis and what is remarkable is the absence of the loquacious George Soros’ advice in the media, the seemingly unflappable Al Gore now concentrating or enhancing the voting intentions of America’s youth in U.S. presidental election and one wonders if we are seeing a crafty power grab by the socialists. The U.S. is the only nation which has not signed the Kyoto Protocol – if Obama gets up, and the Democrats control both houses, and signs the Kyoto Protocol, then the U.S. has lost its sovereignty to the U.N.

    I think the AGW debate is about distracting people from the real agenda, the establishment of a world socialist government centred in the UN.

  15. cohenite October 25, 2008 at 8:58 am #

    “The history of CO2 and temperature shows there is no correlation
    Which is a ..bit unimportant.”

    Which is disingenuous for a warmer to say given that AR4 allocates 2/3’s of warming to CO2 forcing; and maintains that historically CO2 and temperature have been correlated; and that in the immediate past (15000bya to 1850) CO2 levels were fairly stable, steady-state even in equilibruim, and have only increased dramtically during the 20thC causing the temp increases in this time; of course in the 20thC CO2 levels, as with other periods, either follow temp or have no correlation at all; as well there is plenty of evidence showing that there was not a CO2 equilibrium/steady-state prior to humanity’s ‘disruptive influence’ in the 20thC, and that CO2 levels were much higher during the immediate past than AGW ideology estimates.

  16. TrueSceptic October 25, 2008 at 9:02 am #

    “Malcolm Hill,

    Ian Plimer taught me at UNSW.

    If you take a step back and look at this whole thing globally, you might come to the conclusion that this whole AGW agenda is to gain control of the U.S. presidency by the socialists.

    We are in a global financial crisis and what is remarkable is the absence of the loquacious George Soros’ advice in the media, the seemingly unflappable Al Gore now concentrating or enhancing the voting intentions of America’s youth in U.S. presidental election and one wonders if we are seeing a crafty power grab by the socialists. The U.S. is the only nation which has not signed the Kyoto Protocol – if Obama gets up, and the Democrats control both houses, and signs the Kyoto Protocol, then the U.S. has lost its sovereignty to the U.N.

    I think the AGW debate is about distracting people from the real agenda, the establishment of a world socialist government centred in the UN.”
    Need I add any comment?

  17. RW October 25, 2008 at 9:31 am #

    of course in the 20thC CO2 levels, as with other periods, either follow temp or have no correlation at all – have you even looked at the data? Try this.

  18. SJT October 25, 2008 at 9:32 am #

    “NT: “A better one would be on the acidification of the ocean, that is the gradual lowering of pH. No one is claiming the ocean will become acid (i.e <pH 7).””

    Nothing’s easier, or more misleading, than beating up a strawman.

  19. Lank October 25, 2008 at 10:21 am #

    You can come along and hear the ‘Inconvenient Professor’ Ian Plimer speak at the Sydney Mining Club on 6th November where he will introduce his new book Emissions Trading – Why Bother?
    http://www.sydneyminingclub.org/?utm_source=Sydney+Mining+Club+Newsletter&utm_campaign=5708ebd22e-SydneyMiningClub+November+08&utm_medium=email

  20. cohenite October 25, 2008 at 10:31 am #

    RW: you’ve been picking gore’s pockets; grotesque, as these slightly more reliable sources demonstrate;

    http://www.junkscience.com/images/paleocarbon.gif
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/eemian.html
    http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2008/10/03/0807624105.full.pdf+html?sid=62ec340d-a22f-4a36-bf11-31c50a8a35d4
    http:homepage.ntlworld.com/jdrake/Questioning_Climate/userfiles/Ice-core_corrections_report_1.pdf

    And just to head off the usual asininities, I think Sage’s thesis is preferable to Ruddiman’s and Jaworowski has the edge on Oeschger.

  21. TrueSceptic October 25, 2008 at 11:10 am #

    Is that a real word?
    asininities
    ?

  22. Luke October 25, 2008 at 11:16 am #

    Wow – Plimer quotes Royer !. ROTFL. But yea – good call – why not. Shorty would disagree of course.

    You guys …

    “Socialist world govt” LOL … more right wing snot …. zzzzzzzzzzz

  23. TrueSceptic October 25, 2008 at 11:26 am #

    cohenite,
    “RW: you’ve been picking gore’s pockets; grotesque, as these slightly more reliable sources demonstrate;”
    WTF does Gore have to do this?

    Unless you’re a wingnut?

  24. NT October 25, 2008 at 11:33 am #

    Cohenite doesn’t believe in anything other than his own paradigm. Doesn’t seem to understand that there is no particular mystery in terms of CO2 and the past climates of the Earth. In fact the paleoclimates typically demand more forcing from CO2 than the usual GCM’s. Otherwise they have to invoke other agents, such as assuming that there was more CH4.

    Louis, you completely missed my point. Acidification doesn’t mean that it is becoming acid. Rather that it’s pH is being lowered. If you bothered to read any of the literature you’d see that is what is being claimed.

  25. cohenite October 25, 2008 at 11:35 am #

    Wingnut eh; and what rock have you just slid out from under; who cares; well if Gore is to low-brow for you then what about Mann and his Hockey-Stick; no, Mann is even more low-brow; anyway I wasn’t talking to you, I was talking at the other asininity.

  26. cohenite October 25, 2008 at 11:42 am #

    NT; more CH4, eh; did you even have a look at the Engelbeen graphs; at least I looked at your Sellwood and Valdes paper, again. Personally if Sellwood and Valdes think the Jurassic was “exotic” they ought to lurk at this blog for a while and read some of you guys’ efforts.

  27. Louis Hissink October 25, 2008 at 11:49 am #

    NT:

    Don’t escape into semantics – I did not miss your point at all – what total utter nonesense you write – acidification means it is not becoming acidic.

    I am fast becoming a Sigh-entist with the nonsense that parades as AGW.

  28. NT October 25, 2008 at 11:57 am #

    Cohenite.
    You are still arguing like a lawyer. I wasn’t saying that there WAS more CH4 (and there was, actually at various times) I was saying that the CO2 level isn’t a mystery and there is no big discrepancy between the paleoclimates and CO2 levels. You seem to be getting angry lately. Something up?
    Why are you quoting the graphs for the Eemian? we are discussing periods several hundred million years ago. Look up where the Odovician, Permian and Jurassic were. A VERY longtime ago.

    Louis.
    Acidifcication is a process, the process of lowering pH. It does not imply that the pH is less than 7.

  29. Louis Hissink October 25, 2008 at 12:03 pm #

    NT: reading your post above, I have to come to the conclusion you don’t know what you are writing about.

    Acidification means something becomes more acidic – ie its pH decreases – there is not other meaning to this.

  30. cohenite October 25, 2008 at 12:09 pm #

    Alright NT, let’s look at the more recent history, and I did the Berner graph before about ancient paleo; and I don’t care what you say, the Berner graph is valid; here’s a graph from Skeptical Science from 400,00 bya to present;

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/co2-lags-temperature.htm

    Now, SC argue that it doesn’t matter that CO2 follows temp (which makes sense since at higher temps the ocean becomes a net emitter) because the following CO2 then powers up the enhanced GH and demonstrates the climate sensitivity to the CO2; you know my view (not belief) about enhanced GH and as regards climate sensitivity, well that’s the hottest topic around with Christy and Douglass’s latest paper showing that it is zilch; and David Stockwell has just finished a Wiki consistent summary of Miskolczi; M of course, shows that climate sensitivity to CO2 is even smaller than Christy found.

    Me angry, no; I’m just on my way to Bryon; where no doubt I’ll have the distinct pleasure of reading a few greenie phamplets.

  31. Louis Hissink October 25, 2008 at 12:47 pm #

    Cohenite

    Byron Bay? My geologist offsider is there this moment on a break – driving my old Landrover Defender with a Rhino ROof rack, it’s white, with 3 aerials on the front. Lad’s name is Gavin. Say hello if you come across him.

  32. Louis Hissink October 25, 2008 at 12:48 pm #

    Luke:

    So there is no move to establish a world socialist government. Funny – my devout lefty mates might disagree with your dismissal of their sincerely held beliefs – are you calling them liars then?

  33. NT October 25, 2008 at 2:11 pm #

    Cohenite
    I am not saying the graph isn’t valid. I am saying that attempting to correlate ancient climates to CO2 is pointless.
    Why are we suddenly looking at more recent ones? This post is about ancient ones.
    Louis
    “a world socialist government.”
    Wow, that is truly bizarre.

  34. Mainspring October 25, 2008 at 3:28 pm #

    Louis says “Acidification means something becomes more acidic ”

    The AGWers have their own site on Ocean Acidification
    called The European Project on Ocean Acidification.http://oceanacidification.wordpress.com/page/2/

    Yet more money wasted. Can we forward them Ian Plimers report?

  35. SJT October 25, 2008 at 3:39 pm #

    “Acidification means something becomes more acidic – ie its pH decreases – there is not other meaning to this.”

    I thought that was what he just said? Decreasing pH does not mean it is acid, just that it is getting towards acid, doesn’t necessarily mean it has got there yet.

  36. WJP October 25, 2008 at 4:41 pm #

    Wow. Who should pop up but Luke or is that Ca$h for Comment Luke? …zzzzzzzz. Did only 10 bucks come through this time! Tell us, is it our good fortune that the Qld govt is as busted a#$e as NSW and the blighted gig might be soon, roger, over and out. So if you want to spend $2.20 of your hard earned folding stuff on it, download this from todays SMH p3 “Fiist picture: the greenhouse effect exposed”

    http://newsstore.smh.com.au/apps/newsSearch.ac?page=1&sy=smh&sp=nrm&so=relevance&dt=selectRange&kw=deborah+smith+science+editor&dr=today&pb=all_ffx&rc=10&sfx=headline&sfx=text&sfx=author&submit=Search

    The !/3 page article and photo has zilch on AGW but does have a splendid photo of Dr Rob Harcourt in his uggies (only) surveying the scene from Ross Island .
    It’s a typical alarmist headline totally unrelated to the accompanying story.

  37. Louis Hissink October 25, 2008 at 6:11 pm #

    SJT,

    don’t blether.

  38. Louis Hissink October 25, 2008 at 6:19 pm #

    NT:

    A world socialist government, the UN, is the game plan at present – and AGW is being cynically manipulated by Gore aand company.

    Unfortuntately Gore’s useful idiots don’t seem to get it.

    Not so much bizarre as tragic that ostensibily educated people are so easily gulled into buying this CO2 fueled doomsday belief.

    Mind you its little different to the belief in econometric modelling – most economists believe in that myth too, and look at the mess it produed this year.

    The tragedy is that the actually won’t learn from it and will attempt new methods of predicting the impossible.

  39. John F. Pittman October 25, 2008 at 10:24 pm #

    From: The European Project on Ocean Acidification.http://oceanacidification.wordpress.com/page/2/ “For example, unique habitats such as biologically constructed reefs may be severely altered if their constitutive organisms are restricted in their ability to form calcium carbonate skeletons under acidic conditions. While rates of change in marine acidity are still unclear, the CIESM Workshop stressed the need to promote ocean acidification and global warming-related studies in the Mediterranean region in order to better understand these processes and predict consequences.”
    Note the acidic statement NT. Who is wrong, the scientists in what they say and Louis for what he says they said or you?? Must be Louis and the scientists…unless it just more AGW alarmism masquerading as science. In which case, Louis is right again.

  40. SJT October 25, 2008 at 10:50 pm #

    A world socialist government, the UN, is the game plan at present – and AGW is being cynically manipulated by Gore aand company.

    LOL

  41. Bill Illis October 25, 2008 at 11:44 pm #

    I wonder how the carbonate-based shell lifeforms such as Trilobites and Ammonites came to dominate the oceans at a time when CO2 levels were as much as 15 times higher than today.

  42. TrueSceptic October 25, 2008 at 11:52 pm #

    Cohenite,

    Yes, wingnut. Thinking that AGW is all about Gore is a sure sign of being a right-wing idiot.

  43. Ferdinand Engelbeen October 26, 2008 at 12:40 am #

    Hi all,

    As my name was mentioned, here a brief comment…

    I did follow the sun-climate connection for over 30 years and am interested in climate in general since then. Although that I have no direct connection with climate science, I have enough scientific background (retired process -automation- engineer) to see what may be plausible and what not.

    To make it brief: The paleo data do not endorse a strong correlation between CO2 levels and temperature. It is like Ian said: high levels at low temperatures and low levels at high temperatures…

    More interesting is the most recent one million years period, as the geographic place of continents and mountain ranges is more or less fixed.

    Ice cores over that period show that CO2 always followed temperature with a delay of 800 to several thousands of years. The influence of temperature on CO2 levels is about 8 ppmv/°C over the full period.
    Models expect a feedback of 3°C/2xCO2, but that is based on shaky grounds. There is no influence on temperature from a 40 ppmv CO2 drop at the end of the Eemian:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/eemian.html

    Even where there is an overlap, there is no measurable influence of CO2 on temperature during the LGM-Holocene transition (detailed data from Dome C, Antarctica):
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/epica5.gif
    Some may say that this doesn’t show all influences. But that isn’t true, as temperature in this case is already the result of all other influences except CO2, as that is the one which lags the rest.

    With 3°C/2xCO2, CO2 should contribute about 40% to the warming trend, but not the slightest reaction is visible over the whole trend. That is physically impossible.

    This all points to a low influence of CO2 on climate, at or below the low border of the IPCC range…

    What made me a skeptic is Mann’s hockeystick: that has nothing to do with science anymore. His latest (Mann e.a. 2008) is even worse: he truncated many series of proxies after 1960 (due to the “divergence problem”) and replaced the data by new, more convenient ones… Well that is current climate “science”.

    About the “acidification” of the oceans, the word is used in both “going into a more acid direction” as well as getting acid. More correct is that the oceans get less alkaline, but that is less scaring, I suppose.

    Anyway, the white cliffs of Dover (and most of South England and NW France) were deposited during the Cretaceous, when temperatures were very high and CO2 levels were a multitude of current.
    The same for coral reefs: whole Florida was made then.

    No problems with “acidification” in that period, and seemingly no problems today for the GBR in Australia. But the article by Barnes and Lough about the GBR (still on the net a few days ago) disappeared, but I recovered it from the cache. Will put it on my web pages…

  44. ianl October 26, 2008 at 2:08 am #

    Louis

    I’ve been out of it a bit, field work stuff …

    See what happens when hard geological data is published ? The AGW dipsticks shade off into evasion and outright denial of relevance.

    For these people, theory is king, sacrosanct with a halo. Empirical evidence is messy and unconvincing for them. The old “science is a dialectic” line works far better – one can argue about angels on a pinhead forever … and gee, what fun !

    Plimer’s simple point is that CO2 levels are not significant in driving climate change. Most of the AGW posts above avoid this by claiming that past conditions and cycles hold no relevance for today’s theory.

    SJT even has the hide to claim “straw men” – nice. Well, he’d know.

  45. Ian Mott October 26, 2008 at 10:10 am #

    The abuse of language by the warm-mongers is a good indication of the lack of integrity in their science. When reasonable men and women consider values on a scale they normally conclude that when something is acidic, and that acidity is reduced it becomes LESS ACIDIC.

    Similarly, when something is alkaline, and that alkalinity is reduced it becomes LESS ALKALINE.

    The use of the term acidification to describe a reduction in the alkalinity of sea water is the direct equivalent of describing declining flood waters as “desertification”, or the first spring rains as “monsoonification”.

    Apply that rule to the Gay community and any gay male that is not a transvestite would be subject to “masculinisation” while any lesbian without a beard and “roid-rage” would be subject to “feminisation”.

    Apply it to drinkers and anyone who was less than paralytic would be subject to “Teatotalisation” while anyone taking a single glass of wine before a meal would be subject to “$hitfacisation”.

    It would then follow that any conservative voter who was not a paid up NeoNazi would be the subject of “communisation” and any left leaning voter who was not a militant Trotskyite would be subject to “Capitalisation”.

    Essentially, the use of opposites to describe a condition is an unambiguous example of “Bull$hitification”. And it clearly exposes an underlying intention to mislead by excluding all consideration of true character and scale.

  46. NT October 26, 2008 at 10:20 am #

    This post is a strawman.
    It comes down to semantics. Note, I am not saying that the oceans will become acid, and I am surprised that the organisation above said it. They’re wrong. The Oceans will not become acid.

    The other posts about the link between ancient climates and CO2 are also similarly strawmen. There’s no expectation for paleoclimates to mirror ancient CO2 levels.

    Ianl
    “The AGW dipsticks shade off into evasion and outright denial of relevance.”
    Yeah, good mate. Let’s make this blog into witless name calling, moron.

  47. NT October 26, 2008 at 10:28 am #

    The morons round here can’t read either. From the European Project on Ocean Acidification

    “Ocean acidification occurs because atmospheric CO2 is taken up by the sea as carbonic acid. Since the sea is naturally alkaline (around pH 8.1), the acid is quickly neutralised by carbonate ions and trapped as bicarbonate. Over time this results in a decline of the ocean pH, and although it will not be pushed below neutral (pH 7.0) anytime soon, the ocean is already 30 per cent more acidic than it was before the industrial revolution.”

    John F Pittman, you see they even know it too. This is nothing but a strawman. Both you and I are actually in agreement – the Oceans will not go below pH 7. Why are all you idiot posters claiming that this is actually a point of contention.

    Ian Mott,
    “The abuse of language by the warm-mongers is a good indication of the lack of integrity in their science. When reasonable men and women consider values on a scale they normally conclude that when something is acidic, and that acidity is reduced it becomes LESS ACIDIC.

    Similarly, when something is alkaline, and that alkalinity is reduced it becomes LESS ALKALINE.”

    So what? Why would we care that you prefer to say LESS ALKALINE, than acidify. They mean exactly the same thing! And to claim that this shows that AGW scientists have a lack of integrity is, well, stupid. I claim you are a fraud and lack integrity. You are attempting to make a distinction between two identical processes, you are an idiot.

  48. NT October 26, 2008 at 10:31 am #

    Louis, you are a moron, hey does Ian Plimer accept Plate Tectonics?
    What does this statement mean:

    “I am acidifying the water”

  49. NT October 26, 2008 at 10:38 am #

    Not claiming the oceans will become acid:

    http://www.science.org.au/nova/106/106key.htm

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ocean_acidification

    http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/s2029333.htm

    http://www.ozcoasts.org.au/indicators/ocean_acid.jsp

    http://www.aad.gov.au/MediaLibrary/asset/MediaItems/ml_388954837037037_17 Ocean acidification.pdf

    http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2008/10/01/2379032.htm

    http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=7626

    Do we understand yet? People are claiming that the acidification is a lowering of pH, not reducing the pH to acid conditions.

  50. John F. Pittman October 26, 2008 at 10:59 am #

    NT We agree but look at how stupid the statement I gave you is. Basically, they state that “unique habitats such as biologically constructed reefs may be severely altered if their constitutive organisms are restricted in their ability to form calcium carbonate skeletons under acidic conditions.” Then you point out they say “Over time this results in a decline of the ocean pH, and although it will not be pushed below neutral (pH 7.0) anytime soon, the ocean is already 30 per cent more acidic than it was before the industrial revolution.” The only way this can make sense is that it is expected that pH will go below pH 7 (or more properly, the point that calcium carbonate cannot be formed by most calciform biota) not soon, but it is implied, not in the too distant future. This does not agree with the peer-reveiwed literature about the buffering capacity of the oceans and the submerged formations. It is scare mongering.
    You said “The morons round here can’t read either. From the European Project on Ocean Acidification” I did read it. They say it will become acid just not soon. You need to read “The CIESM expert group recognized, among species appearing particularly at risk, corals, sea urchins, mollusks; their calcareous skeleton or shell will end up in time dissolved by a more and more acidic sea. “Obviously, says Briand, the response of these species and of other possible vulnerable targets – such as fish larvae – to acidification is in need of a major, well funded research initiative at the international scale.”” Note this “calcareous skeleton or shell will end up in time dissolved by a more and more acidic sea”. I have to fight calcareous buildup, and if it can dissolve insoluable calcium deposits, it can eat metal. LOL Inside joke, Calcium is a ?? So it will be so acidic it will first neutralize all the buffering in the water and in the geologic formations, and still dissolve insoluable calcareous skeletons?? Better tell Florida and sections of Australia to head for sand, clay, or igneous formations. It is not a straw man on my part; it is alarmism on theirs.

  51. NT October 26, 2008 at 1:10 pm #

    John
    “It is not a straw man on my part; it is alarmism on theirs”

    It is. Because it doesn’t matter if pH goes below 7 or not. A reduction in pH is enough to cause problems. If you reduce the pH it affects the ability of planktonic fauna and flora to construct their shells (or cysts is it?)
    Why don’t you address the chemistry of shell formation, as that is really what the debate is about, rather than pointless posts about whether or not the pH will go below 7. Shell formation is affected by any reduction in pH.

    “So it will be so acidic it will first neutralize all the buffering in the water and in the geologic formations, and still dissolve insoluable calcareous skeletons??”
    No, it won’t.
    The problem is about shell formation, new animals building shells, or extending their existing shells. Note that it has already been observed that shell thickness has been affected.

    “It is scare mongering.”
    That’s just your opinion.

  52. Louis Hissink October 26, 2008 at 8:51 pm #

    Ianl

    NT is, believe it or not, a geologist. However I suspect he is of the Andrew Glikson class rather than the types we are familiar with, the engineering type of geologist who has to cope with physical reality rather than the blather of virtual reality in the GCM’s.

  53. John F. Pittman October 26, 2008 at 9:21 pm #

    So NT, saying the oceans will go acidic is not scare mongering?? You are moving the goal posts NT. IT is what they said. Since you don’t seem to mind Wiki. Here is what they say on the subject “Fear mongering (or scaremongering) is the use of fear to leverage the opinions and actions of others towards some end. The object of fear is sometimes exaggerated, and the use of fear mongering is often directed in a manner using repetition, in order to continuously reinforce the intended effects of using this tactic in a self-reinforcing manner, like a vicious circle.” Wiki agrees. Guilty as charged.

    The other articles you listed in your Comment from NT Time October 26, 2008 at 10:38 am were almost without merit in science but also show the repetition of the tactic. The one article that actually had some meat in it was http://www.ozcoasts.org.au/indicators/ocean_acid.jsp. However, note that the article is a model of past and projected. The actual uptake of CO2 by biota in the ocean still has large uncertanties. One of which is in the articles I read, that it is assumed that the sinks presently seen will become saturated and start working. However, note in the TAR or FAR (can’t remember which it was), the data showed that the sinks had actually increased. I posted on another thread. In the 1980’s to the 1990’s the CO2 ib the atmosphere had gone up almost the same amount, but man’s emissions of CO2 were growing exponentially. The same has occurred in the 2000’s, especially with China. Yet the accepted CO2 measurements (by IPCC and the AGW crowd) up to the last 2008 data point indicated yet again an almost linear rise in CO2 with exponentially increasing CO2 emissions from man. This indicates that the acidification model based on sink saturation is defective, and needs to be redone with more realistic projections.

  54. John F. Pittman October 26, 2008 at 9:33 pm #

    The “start working ” in line 12 should read “stop working”. And “ib” is “in” . One of the links didn’t work. Wish there was an edit function. Wish I would remember my resolution to wear my glasses when proff-reading. ;)

  55. Louis Hissink October 27, 2008 at 7:58 am #

    NT:

    By using an ad hominem you become ignored – warmaholics just don’t get it do you. NOne of the left do because being right brainers, logic and facts don’t come into it.

    I wish there were some ethical means of stopping right brainers from doing science – the damage you lot have done to science is enormous. AGW is right-brain science come to think of it.

  56. NT October 27, 2008 at 10:00 am #

    Louis,
    Does Ian Plimer accept Plate Tectonic theory? And Louis your claims to being ‘scientific’ are pretty poor. Did you work out why there is crustal contamination of lavas near subduction zones???? Hmmmm??? How’s your science going there? All you have Louis is rambling nonsense.

    John,
    You are making a mountain out of a molehill. The issue isn’t whether or not the oceans will become acid. The issue whether reducing the pH will affect life. All of those links were not intended as scientific evidence, rather evidence that most reporting is actually about the reduction in pH.

    Now you are changing the subject to how much CO2 is being taken up by the Ocean… Why? have you realised that the original point of the post is actually a non-issue.

  57. Ian Mott October 27, 2008 at 10:12 am #

    Breathtaking retention deficit demonstrated by SJT & NT with, “the ocean is already 30 per cent more acidic than it was before the industrial revolution.”

    Once more for the village idiots, the oceans are not acidic nor have they ever been acidid so they cannot, possibly be 30% more acidic than they were before the industrial revolution.

    As oceans are, and have always been, alkaline, they can only become less alkaline. The use of the direct antonym of a state or condition to describe a trend in that condition is not, and has never been, a normal or accepted linguistic practice.

    It is incumbent on SJT and NT to provide us with examples, other than Orwellian Newspeak, where such a linguistic device is in common use.

    The reason it is not in common use is because the underlying thrust of language has been towards greater clarity, with larger vocabularies and more precision.

    So this entire notion of so-called “ocean acidification” has, at its very heart, a perversion of linguistic form well beyond the point of deception.

    And one must ask, why? The researchers involved in the issue had a well established linguistic format available to them for describing the phenomena under study. But it is a matter of record that they chose not to use that format, opting instead for one that seriously misrepresents the facts.

    By their deeds shall ye know them.

  58. Eli Rabett October 27, 2008 at 10:47 am #

    Declining pH corresponds to a system becoming more acidic. Increasing pH corresponds to a system becoming less acidic. You could also say that declining pH corresponds to something becoming less basic. All of these are common usages among chemists so Ian Mott can go play with himself if he is into perversion.

  59. John F. Pittman October 27, 2008 at 11:09 am #

    NT 1. European Project on Ocean Acidification did state the oceans would turn acid. You implied that someone could not read; you called them morons. I pointed out that you did not read carefully. You are the one who posted those links in which one did not work, all the rest but one were short on science, and the one with science had some synopsis based on models. Now you are claiming that I am changing the subject after you linked them. You must not only not read others links; apparently you don’t read your own. Without a verified and validated model, all those “mays” may actually mean that the change in pH may not affect life. Need the data and the model(s).

  60. NT October 27, 2008 at 11:22 am #

    Ian Mott
    “So this entire notion of so-called “ocean acidification” has, at its very heart, a perversion of linguistic form well beyond the point of deception.”
    This is truly bizarre, and reflects your conpsiracy theory laden thought processes. What you are saying is akin to whether the glass is half full or half empty.

    And no one disputes that the oceans won’t become acid. It’s a strawman.

    John,
    “European Project on Ocean Acidification did state the oceans would turn acid. ” That was your interpretation of what they said. However, they also said “…and although it will not be pushed below neutral (pH 7.0) anytime soon…” So actually they don’t say the oceans will be becoming acid.
    Hey, argue with yourself, I don’t care. I agree, the oceans won’t be turning acid. I then pointed out that numerous (in fact all the ones I found) websites reporting about Ocean Acidification note that the oceans won’t be turning to acid. I then suggest you research the effect of decreasing pH on shell formation. If you want an argument about something as stupid and trivial as this go into politics.

  61. Lazlo October 27, 2008 at 11:49 am #

    NT: “Note that it has already been observed that shell thickness has been affected.”
    Do you have a ref for that? Thanks in anticipation..

  62. Ian Mott October 27, 2008 at 2:04 pm #

    Dead wrong, Brer Rabbett. That terminology is only used in reference to values below neutral pH. Its use in respect of alkaline values is entirely recent and sourced directly from the climate scumnoscenti.

    What next, a slight diminution of passion in a devoted marriage will be described as “slutification”?
    Or conversely, the blond bimbo (from EPA) who routinely wakes up with half a landcare team on Sunday morning can be said to be undergoing “monogamisation” when she wakes up with two backpackers?

    Give us a break. It is the linguistic MO of the fraudster, and your pathetic defence of it is duly noted.

  63. Louis Hissink October 27, 2008 at 2:05 pm #

    NT,

    You ad hominems will be dealt with in the customary manner, but it’s a little pointless since you hide behind a pseudonym.

  64. NT October 27, 2008 at 3:22 pm #

    Lazlo, try google scholar…

    Louis, so you haven’t looked at crustal contamination? And what about Ian Plimer? I assume he is a plate tectonics man?

  65. Gordon Robertson October 27, 2008 at 5:08 pm #

    NT “What does this statement mean: “I am acidifying the water””

    It actually doesn’t mean anything. If you add acid to water, you are diluting the acid. According to Wiki, “A solvent is a liquid or gas that dissolves a solid, liquid, or gaseous solute, resulting in a solution”. Also, “The most common solvent in everyday life is water”.

    The problem is that carbonic acid is a very weak acid. Since 97% of the atmosphere’s CO2 comes from the land and the oceans, and the pH of the oceans is basic, how is a petty amount of CO2 from human sources going to make a dint in the ocean’s alkalinity?

    Let’s get real, anthropogenic CO2 is far too sparse to make a difference in the atmosphere or in the oceans.

  66. NT October 27, 2008 at 5:35 pm #

    Gordon
    “Let’s get real, anthropogenic CO2 is far too sparse to make a difference in the atmosphere or in the oceans.”
    This is one of the dumbest things I have heard…

    Gordon, just take any of the statements and questions you made, go to google scholar and use them to search. you will probably find a mountain of information.

  67. Louis Hissink October 27, 2008 at 6:27 pm #

    NT,

    As a matter of fact I just had an email exchange with Ian Plimer, but not on anything you have raised here.

    And I regard plate tectonics as pseudoscience, so it’s unlikely I’ll follow your leads to more of the same.

  68. Louis Hissink October 27, 2008 at 6:31 pm #

    NT: “Gordon, just take any of the statements and questions you made, go to google scholar and use them to search. you will probably find a mountain of information”

    So much information and you are still incapable of summarising not one from your mountain of information to support your argument. Is that what they taught you at university? How to find information without necessarily understanding it? Or have no idea what to counter Gordon’s argument with from your obvious ignorance of the mountain of data.

    Begs the question what NT represents – Nit Twit?

  69. cohenite October 27, 2008 at 8:53 pm #

    Louis; didn’t see your mate; went for a surf; drank some champagne which I understand to have a ph of about 4; that would suit me; surfing in champagne. Interesting about the flight up to Byron from Newcastle; everytime I do it I’m astounded by the sparsity of the settlements and the preponderance of water; the flight path is about 10-15 kms inland; we are specks on this planet.

    Ferdinand; thanks once again for the excellent graphs; they go to the heart of this debate; there is no connection between CO2 and AGW; the ocean acidity thesis is, I think, the last battlefield for the AGWer’s.

    Ian Mott; I did reply to your request; did you get the details?

  70. Gordon Robertson October 28, 2008 at 8:14 am #

    NT “Gordon, just take any of the statements and questions you made, go to google scholar and use them to search. you will probably find a mountain of information”.

    I get my information from experts. It was Roy Spencer who pointed out the obvious, that CO2 is too sparse in the atmosphere to be of concern. It was his calculations, based on the IPCC’s 380 ppmv for atmopheric CO2 that lead to him to declare that humans contribute 1 molecule of CO2 per 100,000 molecules of air every 5 years.

    He did that because Gore was raving about gigatons of human emissions without considering the vastness of the atmosphere. The number of gigatones we emit is a spit in the ocean compared to the size of the atmosphere or the oceans.

    Do the math NT. CO2 from all sources makes up only 0.03% of the atmosphere. The human contribution is less than 3% of that value and that comes from the IPCC itself. I’ll show you where in the AR4 literature if you like. It was the IPCC that showed 98.5% of all CO2 is re-absorbed by the land and oceans. The human contribution is a piddly amount and the oceans are vast. There’s just no way our contribution is going to make a difference to the pH level.

    Gerlich & Tscheuschner came to the same conclusion and they are not climate scientists. Still, they asked a legitimate question: how can a gas as sparse as CO2 be responsible for 10 to 25% of greenhouse warming when there is no experimental evidence to back those alleged properties?

    I appreciate your right to your opinion. I just don’t understand why you keep avoiding the obvious.

  71. NT October 28, 2008 at 9:55 am #

    Gordon, I suggested you look at the literature. Did you?

    Louis, I bet Ian Plimer is a Plate Tectonnics man, does that make him a pseudoscientist?
    Louis, I would rather teach a man to fish than give him one, if youget my drift.

    Cohenite, look! You’re famous!! I bet you’re proud…

    rabett.blogspot.com/2008/10/believing-ten-impossible-things-before.html

  72. Ian Mott October 28, 2008 at 10:00 am #

    No, Cohenite, nothing came in. Are you sure it was sent to, sceptic1@live.com.au ?

    On thread, don’t you just love the way these warm-mongers protest in small print that they are not claiming that oceans will actually go acidic but do absolutely nothing to ensure that the general public are not misled by their perverted use of language. So they continue to refer to ocean acidification in all their public utterances in a way that can have no other outcome but to mislead the majority of people who read the message.

    So lets get this clear, fellas. The principle has been long established in law that people who make statements, with an intention that others should act upon those statements, are responsible for any omissions as well as their actions, and any reasonably foreseeable misconceptions that ordinary people might gain from those statements. The climate creeps have a duty of care to ensure that the public is not mislead by their sloppy use of language.

    Consequently, it now becomes a key test of the bona fides of the climate mafia to cease and desist from using language that has a potential to mislead.

  73. NT October 28, 2008 at 10:19 am #

    Ian, we are yet to see where anyone has claimed the oceans will turn to acid. I posted a bunch of popular science links that clearly articulate that the oceans won’t turn to acid.
    And to blame media reporting as a sign of bias is equally crazy, they just want to sell papers and web space.

    It’s strange because we are in agreement, yet you still see this as some sort of deception or misinformation.

  74. Bill Illis October 28, 2008 at 11:00 am #

    The oceans hold about 40,000 GT of Carbon.

    Human emissions of CO2 are adding about 2 GT per year to the ocean (assuming the oceans wouldn’t be absorbing those 2 GTs per year without the additional emissions we are adding to the atmosphere.)

    Human additions to the Ocean’s Carbon = 0.005% per year

    1 / 20,000th per year ??? How is that going to affect the pH of the oceans?

    C’mon you warmers. Learn some math and do some basic science for once instead of using your emotional reactions all the time.

  75. cohenite October 28, 2008 at 11:58 am #

    Ian; I’ll try again.

    NT; on eli’s blog you are quoted as saying;

    “He attempted to show that the Greenhouse effect is negligable (sic). He posted a paper he said showed why (minschwaner), it contradicts earlier an earlier paper (sic, what are you on?) he posted (Miskolczi). one claims there is a greenhouse effect due to greenhouse gases, tthe other claims it is due to optical depth. You can’t have it both ways.”

    Well, actually you can; I know a man who married 2 sisters, but that’s another story; NT, you seem to be saner than most of the other warmers (or is that less insane?), so I know you will be abashed when I point out to you that there is no contradiction between Minschwaner and Miskolczi, just as there is no contradiction between Chilingar and Miskolczi or Essex and Loehle; in respect of M & M; Minschwaner’s thesis is about RH decline; and guess what; RH decline is a crucial compensatory aspect of MIskolczi; optical depth is a measure of the transparency of the atmosphere; and guess what; greenhouse gases are greenhouse gases because there is a measureable optical depth for the atmosphere’s lack of transparency in respect of them and their absorption of certain wavelengths of IR; both M & M say the greenhouse is less than AGW postulates; in Miskolczi’s case, much less. Where is the contradiction? Given that the headless chickens of AGW have suggested climate sensitivities to CO2 and GHG’s (and therefore optical depths) of between 1.4 and >7.7C! You can check fun-loving BPL’s website for a list, which you should since we are talking about contradiction; and if you want contradictions, well, just think AGW.

    Now, I’m not going to eli’s; Tamino has left a bad taste in my mouth, but would you remind him that I have also made a list of the 10 worst; you can have some fun about the mix-up with Mann 1 & 2; actually there was no mix-up; both are are travesties, but don’t let that stop you. Next I’ll’ be doing a list of the 10 worst pro-AGW, not site, but posts; the choice is enormous! BTW, did you look at Lucia’s equation which completely resolves the commutivity nonsense you were throwing at Lubos (but not Pielke if I understood you)? So much for Arthur; great name though.

  76. Ian Mott October 28, 2008 at 11:59 am #

    We are not in agreement, NT. The proper use of language is to refer to reduced alkalinity, not acidification. The use of the term to “acidify” is a reference to an increase in an acidic condition.

    Neither you, Brer Rabbett nor SJT have provided one other example, beyond Orwellian Newspeak, where a reduction in a condition is described as an increase in it’s antonym. And if you claim that this is not an anomalous use then you must provide evidence of that wider use.

  77. NT October 28, 2008 at 12:21 pm #

    Ian, we are. You just don’t want to acknowledge it.
    All you have is some weird idea that there is an abuse of language. Are you a chemist?
    And I have pointed out many sites that cautioned the reader not to think that the Ocean’s were going to turn to acid.

    Cohenite, I don’t post at Eli or Tamino either. I thought it was funny though…

  78. NT October 28, 2008 at 1:32 pm #

    Cohenite, I looked on Lucia’s blog. Where does she resolve the commutivity point?

  79. Gordon Robertson October 28, 2008 at 1:37 pm #

    NT….just to humour you, I did your Google scholar bit ‘ocean acidification’. One of the first hits I got was about Ken Caldeira and his concerns for the oceans. A little later, I came across this page:

    http://www.wired.com/science/planetearth/magazine/16-07/ff_geoengineering?currentPage=all

    Caldeira seems to be one of the leading advocates of ocean acidification, yet he was an environmental activist. Surprise, surprise! He was advocating seeding the atmosphere with sulphur dioxide to diffuse sunlight. Are those people stark, raving mad? It did dawn on them that SO2 produces acid rain, but why was it even considered?

    Come on, man. You are supporting weirdos, like those gits at realclimate. They have no answers. They write fancy papers based on models and don’t address the basics like how anthropogenic CO2 at its current pitiful density could alter the oceans’ pH level.

    I want numbers. I want to see the number of grams of solute (CO2) versus the number of litres of solvent (water). As far as I can see, they have stratified the ocean and are looking at the surface as opposed to the rest of it.

    How do you take a jar of ocean water, stick a piece of litmus paper in it and proclaim the ocean as dropping in alkalinity? To get a reasonable probability that your pH level was right, you’d need about 1 billion samples. Once again, they are assuming that changing alkilinity is determined by anthropogenic CO2 because…wait for it…there is no other reason for it. Those people are not scientists, they are ego-tripping, activists trying to support a lame paradigm.

    BTW…Caldeira admitted the oceans play an important part in global warming, yet he entirely missed the importance of that observation. Why did it not dawn on him that maybe that’s where all of the warming is coming from?

  80. NT October 28, 2008 at 1:51 pm #

    Cohenite, sounds like a dumb idea to me

    Cohenite, so now you are disputing there has been a change in pH at all? I am not going to do the research for you. There’s lots on it and it is easy to find.

    I am not going to get drawn ito arguments about different topics here. this post was about ocean’s becoming acid. We all agree it won’t happen. Yes?

  81. NT October 28, 2008 at 1:56 pm #

    Cohenite,
    “Come on, man. You are supporting weirdos, like those gits at realclimate.”
    Was this supposed to convince me that you’re right?
    Oh boy, can’t be seen to be supporting “weirdos” better go and change my views…
    Strangely you normally use the same argument for the opposite effect – how often have you used the “Galileo defence”?

    Why won’t you defend yourself at Eli Rabbet’s blog? That’s sad Cohers. And I had nothing to do with it, how cool is that? I am sure he will post about your ten worst papers, he seems to have set it up to have a sequel.

    Still, kudos to you for ‘putting it out there’, you have entertained many people.

  82. NT October 28, 2008 at 1:59 pm #

    Cohenite,
    ‘As far as I can see, they have stratified the ocean and are looking at the surface as opposed to the rest of it. ‘

    Yeah you raise an interesting point. What would happen if the Oceans stratified? That may actualy be a way of significantly dropping the pH of the top of the Ocean. I think if you read some theories about the Permian mass extinction you will see some speculation that this happened. Resulted in serious oxygen depletion for the atmosphere and oceans. It’s quite interesting.

  83. cohenite October 28, 2008 at 2:44 pm #

    NT; I think you are referring to Gordon in regard to ocean acidity; in respect of Lucia and commutivity;

    http://rankexploits.com/musings/2008/spatial-variations-in-gmst-eli-rabbet-vs-dr-pielke-sr/

    Equations 1 and 10(b) are definitive in both establishing that climate sensitivity to CO2 as defined by IPCC is overwrought (and therefore the greenhouse effect is too), and that the one of the reasons for this is as described by Pielke Snr, namely, the failure of average temp Tave, to properly consider the spatial distribution of SB, Teff. And no commutivity in sight.

  84. cohenite October 28, 2008 at 2:47 pm #

    Left out eli’s extra t;

    http://rankexploits.com/musings/2008/spatial-variations-in-gmst-eli-rabbett-vs-dr-pielke-sr/

  85. NT October 28, 2008 at 3:19 pm #

    Ummm she’s doing something else… Not what Motl was describing. As I said before, I wasn’t arguing that Motl had come to a faulty conculsion, only that his maths was wrong.

  86. Gordon Robertson October 28, 2008 at 4:37 pm #

    Here’s a ditty from a guy with a Masters of Science in electronics (electrons rule the world) and a PhD in computer science. If we’re going to allow RC’s Connolley to have his say, especially on Wikipedia, then why not a guy with both a degree in computer science and a degree in physics?

    http://www.seafriends.org.nz/issues/global/acid.htm#intro

    This guy was featured in an earlier blog by Jennifer.

    A quote from the article: “Nothing in the sea works as expected: its physics, chemistry, biochemistry, physiology, biology and ecology do not work as thought; truth is often opposite to intuition. The sea is weirder than we can possibly imagine. To learn about the sea, forget what you were taught at school, open your mind and begin from scratch”.

    Also: “Dead planet thinking: most oceanographers, physicists, chemists treat the planet as a dead planet, where every force, every process can be described and captured in an equation, and then simulated by a computer. But life frustrates every attempt, as it corrupts equations, while also adapting to changing circumstances. Of all these, the sea is the worst with its unimaginable scale, complexity and influence. We may never be able to unravel the secrets of the sea”.

    Finally: “What is the main threat to the world’s coral reefs – hypothetical decalcification or actual degradation”?

  87. Lazlo October 28, 2008 at 4:43 pm #

    ‘NT: “Note that it has already been observed that shell thickness has been affected.”
    Do you have a ref for that? Thanks in anticipation..’
    NT: “Lazlo, try google scholar…”
    OK So I thought it would be relatively easy to provide a pointer to what sounds like a well established fact, but never mind, I have been doing what I was told, starting with acidification.
    NT: “Cohenite, so now you are disputing there has been a change in pH at all? I am not going to do the research for you. There’s lots on it and it is easy to find.”
    I have certainly found statements like ‘Surface ocean pH is already 0.1 unit lower than preindustrial values.’ (Orr+27 2005) ‘A cumulative reduction of 0.1 units has already taken place during the past 200 years..’ (Haughan & Drange 1996). However in drilling down the only sources I can locate to support such statements are based solely on models, eg (Brewer 1997) (Sarmiento et al 1992) (Caldeira & Wickett 2003). Is that the only ‘evidence’? But still researching as directed…

  88. Louis Hissink October 28, 2008 at 5:37 pm #

    One could be forgiven that Luke and NT share many traits, so from a POV of expediency, it seems easier to regard them both as the one same commenter here.

    One of the characteristics of pseudoscience is the demand by a proposer of critics to falsify an argument, rather than the proposer prove his/hers. Arrhennius deployed this tactic in his 1906 paper. NT/Luke does the same here – makes an assertion but expects the burden of proof, or disproof, on his critics.

    And when that fails personal abuse can always be invoked to settle the issue.

    Imagine these comments appearing on Barry Brooks blog – that would be interesting.

  89. jennifer October 29, 2008 at 7:42 am #

    Just filing this here:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/oct/27/conservation-endangeredhabitats
    It claims the oceans are already acidic.

  90. NT October 29, 2008 at 11:30 am #

    Jennifer I read the article, and it doesn’t claim the oceans are acidic.
    It claims

    “Oceanographers Long Cao and Ken Caldeira looked at how carbon dioxide dissolves in the sea as human emissions increase. About a third of carbon pollution is soaked up in this way, where it reacts with seawater to form carbonic acid. Experts say human activity over the last two centuries has produced enough acid to lower the average pH of global ocean surface waters by about 0.1 units.”

    Nowhere does it say the Oceans are acidic.

    Lazlo

    http://www.climate.unibe.ch/~plattner/papers/orr05nat.pdf
    on page 685 they show photo’s of what happens when you increase the CO2 dissolved in seawater (ie they ran an experiment)

    Louis
    “One of the characteristics of pseudoscience is the demand by a proposer of critics to falsify an argument, rather than the proposer prove his/hers.”
    Haha. They’re not my theories.
    Hey you done your homework on crustal contamination?

    One thing I have noticed around here is that some (you and Birdy) don’t bother to research anything.

  91. Ian Mott October 29, 2008 at 11:36 am #

    Correct, Lazlo, all of the papers claiming reduced alkalinity of oceans are based on models not hard data. They also assume that all additional CO2 absorbed by oceans remains in the upper 50-100 metres. This restriction in the volume of effected water is the only way that they can get a model to show a change in ocean alkalinity.

    Meanwhile, in the real world, the eddies associated with the North Atlantic Conveyor are known to reach depths of two km. More importantly, as I have mentioned numerous times on this blog, the models exclude any mixing by thermohaline circulation or deep ocean upwelling such as that which drives the El Nino cycle.

    This is completely inexcusable if one is modelling an impact over time frames longer than a decade. Just look at the maths.

    If the average depth of our oceans is 4000m then the upper 100m is only 2.5% of oceanic volume. And if, as is generally accepted, it takes 400 years for a complete oceanic cycle, then 1% is cycled every 4 years and it will only take ten years for the surface 2.5% to be completely replaced.

    So any alkalinity model that projects out to even 2050 must dilute the total CO2 absorption over 40 years plus the current surface layer. So instead of diluting this CO2 in 2.5% of the ocean volume, it will actually be diluted in 12.5% of ocean volume. (assuming no deep eddies).

    It should be noted that the infamously incompetent UK Royal Society paper on this topic had to project out two centuries before they could get anywhere near an alarmist outcome.

    In reality, as Plimer has already pointed out, any realistic decline in ocean alkalinity is 2/5ths of 1/4th of sweet FA.

  92. Gordon Robertson October 29, 2008 at 11:46 am #

    Ian Mott…thanks for the figures on the ocean. I know that gut feelings don’t make for good or exact science, but one thing we learned in engineering was to check the answers to problems to see if they were in the ballpark. I find it incomprehensible that climate modelers are so reluctant to look at the ‘common sense’ factor of their predictions.

  93. Gordon Robertson October 29, 2008 at 11:59 am #

    Ian Plimer…thanks for clarification

  94. NT October 29, 2008 at 1:37 pm #

    Well I seem to have found what has triggered this post.

    Seems NASA Made an announcement.

    globalclimatechange.jpl.nasa.gov/news/index.cfm?FuseAction=ShowNews&NewsID=26

    Note that they actually give the pH in the article… Not that it is not below 7…

    They also link to the project that is doing the research.

    so-gasex.org/index.html

    So, lucky for you all, your questions will be answered soon… Once they write the papers and get them published. You may have to wait a year or two.

  95. Lazlo October 29, 2008 at 1:46 pm #

    Jennifer: ‘Just filing this here:’
    From a quick look at google scholar (thanks for the tip NT) this seems to be reporting on Cao & Caldeira’s GRL paper from March 2007 (Wow, that’s news today?). The results are outputs of a model, of both past and future. Can’t see an observation anywhere. What can be seen, and which is puzzling to a lay person like me, is the lack of any confidence measures in the results. These guys must be very good.

  96. steve from brisbane October 29, 2008 at 2:02 pm #

    Ian Mott: I’ve just had a quick re-read of this Nature paper (abstract only on line, but I have been provided with a full copy): http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v437/n7059/full/nature04095.html

    They do indeed talk about upwellings of the deeper levels, and how this affects the depth at which we can expect to find undersaturation of calcium carbonate. They also talk of looking at 13 models of the ocean-carbon cycle. I also note that it has about 26 authors from all over the world.

    Look, I suppose I could believe that an ex-accountant and headhunter with a side interest in bush ecology has spotted an obvious flaw in that and all other papers written on ocean acidification. (Or ocean de-alkalinisation, or whatever other handy phrase you want to replace acidification with.)

    Or I could tend to have more faith in the work of tens or hundreds of peer reviewed scientists from universities and oceanographic institutes all over the world.

    Guess which way I am leaning?

  97. Gordon Robertson October 29, 2008 at 2:25 pm #

    steve from brisbane said…”…Or I could tend to have more faith in the work of tens or hundreds of peer reviewed scientists from universities and oceanographic institutes all over the world”.

    Tens, or hundreds, which is it Steve? You alarmists sure like to lay it on about all those scientists hiding out there who allegedly support your cause. You’re not going to re-open the case for peer review, are you?

    Do you remember the old double-blind study? It got to the point where no one could get any work done unless a double-blind study was done. Linus Pauling once put forward a conclusion without a double-blind, and when he was questioned on it, he replied, “why is a double-blind study necessary when the outcome is so obvious”?

    Sometimes people are able to put away their calculators and see the obvious. Does it have to be explained to you just how large the oceans are and just how rare CO2 is in the atmosphere? Or, would it be easier if it was peer-reviewed? The human contribution is even more rare. Stand back for a minute, will you, and consider how an exceedingly rare quantity of an exceedingly rare quantity of gas can affect something as humungous as the oceans. Then get back to me. :-)

  98. steve from brisbane October 29, 2008 at 3:35 pm #

    Gordon: the fact that one paper alone lists about 26 indicates to me that the total number of scientists who work on the issue must in the hundreds. I know of no easy way to go and bring you a precise number, though. What is more relevant is their qualifications and competency, and the fact that they don’t, like you apparently, lean back on their chair and say “CO2 and oceans getting less alkaline?…..phroawwww, pull the other one.” (Please feel free to correct me on the best spelling for a dismissive emission of sound from the mouth.)

    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.

  99. Ian Mott October 29, 2008 at 3:58 pm #

    Thanks Gordon.

    No Steve, all you have talked about is an implied (not actual) opinion poll of people who get their funding on the basis that they are studying a crisis. Of course they will all stand in line to get their snout in the trough.

    So how about you sitting down and working out the total volume of CO2 emissions in four decades, then assume, as the IPCC does, that half of all emissions will be absorbed by oceans, and then work out what this will mean if it is mixed in with 2.5% of ocean volume, or if it is mixed in with 12.5% of ocean volume.

    Hint; only about 20% of the change in alkalinity that they claim will happen.

    This “rustling up the numbers” stunt of yours is totally fallacious. Was it 26 people in white coats, tens, or hundreds of people in white coats, as KRudd likes to say.

    Do the maths. Or if you can’t do the maths then consult your extensive network of green intellectual giants and get them to do the maths.

  100. Lazlo October 29, 2008 at 4:23 pm #

    Thanks for the NASA link NT. The piece starts badly, with all the alarmist predictions (including the ‘actual’-but-modelled pH number) that we know are based only on model simulations. But it does get better with the news about the Orbiting Carbon Observatory. As is now happening with Aqua and Argo, hopefully we can look forward to some grown-up science being done that moves beyond hypothesis creation. As you say though NT, it might be a year or two before results are published. With this good news from NASA, presumably CSIRO and others who advise the government will be recommending that alarmist statements such as “too late to save the Barrier Reef” be put on hold until the data is in? (What just flew past my window..?)

  101. steve from brisbane October 29, 2008 at 5:16 pm #

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

  102. Louis Hissink October 29, 2008 at 5:32 pm #

    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.

  103. steve from brisbane October 29, 2008 at 6:03 pm #

    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:

    http://www.ggy.bris.ac.uk/personal/AndyRidgwell/pubs/caldeira_et_al_2007.pdf

    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?”

  104. Ian Mott October 29, 2008 at 8:31 pm #

    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.

  105. Lazlo October 29, 2008 at 10:12 pm #

    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.

  106. steve from brisbane October 29, 2008 at 10:47 pm #

    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.

  107. Bernard J. October 30, 2008 at 1:22 am #

    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…

  108. steve from brisbane October 30, 2008 at 10:01 am #

    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.

  109. Ian Mott October 30, 2008 at 10:26 am #

    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.

  110. steve from brisbane October 30, 2008 at 11:11 am #

    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.

  111. Gordon Robertson October 30, 2008 at 4:07 pm #

    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.

  112. Bernard J. October 30, 2008 at 5:24 pm #

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

    From Wikipedia, the electronic toilet wall:

    “Acidosis

    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.

  113. gavin October 31, 2008 at 7:49 pm #

    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.

    http://datamining.csiro.au/csiro/search/CSIROau.html?query=cmar&pageNo=33

    http://www.publish.csiro.au/?act=view_file&file_id=EC47p9.pdf

    In Tasmania it pays to be enterprising.

    http://capegrim.com.au/bottledwaterapprov.php

    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

    http://www.finewaters.com/Bottled_Water/Australia/Tasmanian_Rain.asp

  114. gavin October 31, 2008 at 9:06 pm #

    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.

    http://www.ph-meter.info/pH-meter-construction

    http://www.powerhousemuseum.com/collection/database/?irn=348235

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

  115. C3H Editor January 23, 2009 at 10:13 am #

    Jennifer,

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

    http://jennifermarohasy.com/blog/2008/10/not-enough-co2-to-make-oceans-acidic-a-note-from-professor-plimer/

  116. plutocrat April 16, 2009 at 8:50 pm #

    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.

  117. Bob April 19, 2009 at 10:56 pm #

    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:
    http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/originals/co2_coral_warming.html
    or in book form at Amazon:
    http://www.amazon.com/CO2-Global-Warming-Coral-Reefs/dp/0971484589/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1240145662&sr=1-1

    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.

  118. Bob April 20, 2009 at 10:41 am #

    PS
    The book, “CO2 , Global Warming, and Coral Reefs: Prospects for the Future”, can also be ordered here:
    http://valeslake.com/bookmart.htm

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