What do you think about the de-alkalanisation of the oceans. Anything ruinously doom and gloom possible there? Is adaptation of water species quick enough by your reckoning?
It seems to me that the figure in this Wikipedia article on ocean acidification, the only evidence presented there for ocean acidification as a fact, cannot possibly be based on data. In fact, the citation is a computer simulation based on carbon dioxide transport across the air/water interface.
The vast majority of these simulations are based on incorrect physics. When I was in Sydney last year I went to a talk by a physical chemist from New Zealand who talked about how mass and heat transport are coupled: you can’t calculate the flux of carbon dioxide from water to atmosphere and vice versa just by looking at the concentrations, you need to know the relative temperatures too. I worked out his equations in Excel, and a gas will move against a pressure gradient if it is moving with a temperature gradient: i.e., if the air is hotter than the water, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the water will be higher than in the air.
This physical chemist wrote two papers on this in 1991-1992 in the climate scientists’ journal of record, Geophysical Research Letters (Phillips, Leon F.. Carbon dioxide transport at the air-sea interface: Effect of coupling of heat and matter fluxes. Geophysical Research Letters (1991), 18(7), 1221-4.; Phillips, L. F.. Carbon dioxide transport at the air-sea interface: numerical calculations for a surface renewal model with coupled fluxes. Geophysical Research Letters (1992), 19(16), 1667-70.) The papers have each been cited exactly four (4!) times. I found a paper from 2003 by a collection of climate scientist chaps from Princeton and other places, who estimated carbon uptake in various places and come to the conclusion: ‘there is more carbon dioxide uptake at low latitudes, and less at high latitudes, than the models predict.’ Well, this is because the physics in those models is wrong.
This coupling of heat and matter transport also means that there will be strong diurnal and seasonal variations in carbon dioxide transport across the air/sea interface, and local concentration of carbon dioxide very much higher than those in equilibrium with the atmospheric concentration as a whole (see some of the data in here): thus organisms in the surface water layer are regularly exposed to a pH range as great as that postulated for the 'gloom and doom' prognostications.
The Royal Society summary paper on ocean acidification does not produce any convincing evidence for an overall increase in ocean pH over the period of industrial civilisation. The 0.1 increase they cite is based on a combination of proxy data (deposits of other species correlated to pH)and simulations. I am inclined to take this value with a grain of salt (NaHCO3) and recommend that it not be used to influence policy!
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