Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Whatever is this "Ocean Acidification" (And why does my spell check fail on "acidification")?

Covering about 71% of the planet's surface, the world's oceans play a fundamental role in shaping climate zones we see on land. This is a good reason to measure various parameters of the different oceans and determine where these parameters were in the past and where they will be in the future.

Of the numerous risible calamities to be associated with the climate change science, "Ocean Acidification" must be one of the poorest studied and wildly narrated of climate change science topics.

As you can see, the IPCC WGI AR5 has rolled out the High Certainty Welcome Wagon concerning this topic.  With such a high degree of certainty, one would think that there would be a large amount of observational data to accompany such a judgement. Think again.

From Richard Telford's blog is a comment by Latimer Alder that is quite an eye opener:

There are only these three (BATS, HOTS and ESTOC) long term datasets, and only Bermuda (BATS) goes back to 1983.  An IPCC observational Working Group I reports, with High Certainty the sum of all data:

Verified with this concluding Discussion remark in Hofmann et.al. (2011):

In summary, together, these pH time series create a compelling argument for the collection of more continuous data of this kind. Specifically, these data represent a critical step in understanding the consequences of ocean change: the linkage of present-day pH exposures to organismal tolerance and how this translates into ecological change in marine ecosystems [27],[81]. Long-term datasets exist, but many are in open-ocean locations (HOTS, BATS, ESTOC) and do not capture environmental variation in the coastal marine habitats that are of such critical ecological and economic value [20]. Additionally, they often do not capture changes in pH at physiologically relevant timescales since they are limited by ship-board sampling frequencies. 

Obviously, all the other datasets are modeled somewhere else.

Special thanks to Latimer Alder for pointing this comment out.


Update 2:


  1. The term "acidification" is nonsensical in relation to ocean PH. The oceans are alkaline and are continuously fed mineral salt. A reduction in PH value does not create acidic water, but less alkaline water. So if the "science" is correct, will oceans eventually become fresh and will they then resolve the growing shortage of fresh water in the developing world putting the reverse osmosis industry out of business? I don't think so. This whole issue is not a problem, oceans will not become acidic, they may reduce their alkalinity (a bit) but they will always remain alkaline: Not acidic. Or did my O level Chemistry fail me in my understanding of the "problem"? If I have a 3% salt solution and bubble a 0.0004% CO2 concentrate gas through it , what happens? Do I create an acid solution? Be nice to see the experiment in Paris in December to highlight the dangers to our oceans but somehow doubt they will.

    Very happy to corrected on my O level Chemistry, it has been many years since I took the exam and the quality of litmus paper may not have been as good as today

    1. Indeed. It is amazing how this junk science continues to fail the 'sniff check' of short term trends that are the ENTIRE data series. Then you watch them create physics from scratch based on models, extrapolate and hurray! 100 years of data from 32.

      "Custom data suitable for any problem." could be their company slogan.

  2. About time you got your act together. More power to your keypad.

  3. Thx go to Trep, he pushed me!
    Good seein ya here amigo!

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  5. I think there needs to be more emphasis on these sorts of intentionally misleading terms (which I call "obfuscatory euphemisms"). There are several, but I think "ocean acidification" to scare people about a slight drop in pH and "carbon pollution" to evoke images of soot are the worst.

    1. There's a post by Blair King acknowledging the appropriateness of 'acidification" from the NOAA, tho yeah, the term among others is alarmist as recently propagandized, no matter how appropriate it may be.. http://t.co/PHRsBXnntI

    2. That's the point, really: NOAA is applying an uncommon understanding of acidification. As I understand it, it can be appropriate to compare the acidities of solutions as determined by pH, and this could include comparing the relative acidity of basic solutions. Nonetheless, the plain English meaning of acidification as making a substance acid (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/acidify) is abandoned. It seems to me that this is likely done to exaggerate a potential problem: acidification sounds much more serious that reducing alkalinity, which is what may be happening in the oceans to some degree.

  6. I agree in many if not most ways. Write a post up on it, will give ya guest author permission.