(left) A healthy ocean snail has a transparent shell with smoothly contoured ridges. (right) A shell exposed to more acidic, corrosive waters is cloudy, ragged, and pockmarked with ‘kinks’ and weak spots. Photos courtesy Nina Bednarsek, NOAA PMEL.
The above graphic comes from the NOAA Website. The graphic is accompanied by the following text:
Carbon dioxide also dissolves into the ocean like the fizz in a can of soda. It reacts with water molecules, producing carbonic acid and lowering the ocean’s pH. Since the start of the Industrial Revolution, the pH of the ocean’s surface waters has dropped from 8.21 to 8.10. This drop in pH is called ocean acidification.
A drop of 0.1 may not seem like a lot, but the pH scale is logarithmic; a 1-unit drop in pH means a tenfold increase in acidity. A change of 0.1 means a roughly 30% increase in acidity. Increasing acidity interferes with the ability of marine life to extract calcium from the water to build their shells and skeletons.
Pteropods first appeared during the Paleozoic Era, and thrived during the Mesozoic and Cenozoic Era.
As the following graphic demonstrates, Pteropods have not only survived but thrived and evolved during periods with much much much higher atmospheric CO2 levels. In fact, our current level of CO2 at 407 ppm barely registers on the geological scale and represents a CO2 drought on a historical basis.
I would also challenge the claim the atmospheric CO2 can dramatically alter the pH of the oceans. As stated:
A drop of 0.1 may not seem like a lot, but the pH scale is logarithmic; a 1-unit drop in pH means a tenfold increase in acidity. A change of 0.1 means a roughly 30% increase in acidity
Changes in atmospheric CO2 are measured in % changes or ppm changes, not X^10 changes. It would take vast amounts of atmospheric CO2 to dramatically alter the oceans’ pH, and as the graphic above demonstrates, sea life not only survived but thrived during periods of much higher CO2 levels.
Both of the two above claims can easily be tested:
Scott Pruitt at the EPA should demand the study done by Nina Bednarsek, NOAA PMEL is reproduced with the atmospheric CO2 level required to alter the pH of the water published for all to see. My bet is that this is just more Climate Sophistry being used as Propaganda for NOAA and NASA GISS, and there is no real science behind it, just alarming false claims.
- What level of atmospheric CO2 harms Pteropods shells (BTW, this one smells a lot like Rachel Carlson’s Egg Experiment)
- What level of atmospheric CO2 is required to alter the ocean pH, or even the pH of a gallon of water by 0.1.
Those experiments can be run in a High School lab, so Congress should demand they be run before another dollar is spent on this nonsense.
NOAA’s graphic clearly implies that an increase from 350 ppm to 407 ppm, a 16% increase, or 57 ppm, can change the vast ocean’s pH by about 0.1. I simply don’t believe it, and I bet the numbers won’t add up. As the following graphic demonstrates, the oceans are near the least acidic/most basic level of the past 300 million years. The geologic CO2 chart above and the geologic ocean acidification chart below don’t show small changes in CO2 causing large changes in ocean pH. CO2 over the past 150 million years fell from near 2,500 ppm to a low of around 250 ppm, a 10x change, and pH changed by 0.6. Are we to believe a small change of 60 ppm can change the pH of the oceans by 1/6th the total change of the past 150 million years?
Lastly, the pH of the blood ranges from 7.35 to 7.45, which is more acidic than the oceans…by far. Blood doesn’t dissolve bone, nor does it dissolve the shells of pteropods. Climate Sophists don’t seem to understand that CO2 is the molecule of life, and is integral to any living system. Living systems evolve to accommodate CO2. Without CO2 there is no life.
Greater transparency and demands for reproducibility signal pending doom for the Climate Sophists and their alarmism.
BTW, honest men don’t fear oversight Click Here.
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