Thursday, September 17, 2009

Ocean Acidification = More Junk Science

As part of the multi pronged deluge of the public, one of the less often repeated, but more dramatic prognostications from the global warming .... err I mean "climate change" crowd is that the oceans are becoming too acidic and that will kill all the pretty coral life in the oceans.


The bleaching of coral, higher temperatures as well as ocean acidification, triggered by industrial carbon dioxide dissolving in sea water, contribute to the destruction marine habitats globally.
The chemistry is simple enough: more CO2 in the atmosphere means more CO2 dissolved in the oceans turning into carbonic acid and making oceans acidic. However like most areas where science and politics cross histrionics tends to rule the day

According to Wikipedia the PH of the ocean in the 1700’s was 8.179. How they know this or can even estimate it to three fucking significant digits is beyond me, especial y when one considers that the concept of PH was only developed around 100 years ago. At any rate, they now say that the PH of the ocean is 8.104. So, in 300 years the PH of all the world’s oceans, on average, has dropped by .075 basis points and that this drop is responsible for the destruction of the oceans corals. I realize PH is a logarithmic function ..... but come on people! 75 thousandths of a basis point?

Are coral and other shelled critters so sensitive to PH, that a drop of 75 thousandths of a basis point responsible for the current distress of the worlds corals reefs?

Fertilizers runoff, industrial pollution, sewage, over fishing …. yes, but a of 75 thousandths drop in PH driven by higher CO2?

It should be laughable if so many “serious” people didn’t try and jam it down our throats.

It’s a sales job, clever marketing much like Carl Sagan’s nuclear winter, and has all the hallmarks of junk science: suspect models that cant be verified, apocalyptic conclusions, and suspect inferences from historic data.

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