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When we burn fossil fuels, we are not just putting carbon dioxide
into the atmosphere. A lot of it goes into the sea. There, carbon dioxide turns into carbonic acid. And that turns ocean water corrosive, particularly to shellfish and corals.
Carbonic acid (ancient name acid of air or aerial acid) has the formula H2CO3. It is also a name sometimes given to solutions of carbon dioxide in water, which contain small amounts of H2CO3. The salts of carbonic acids are called bicarbonates (or hydrogen carbonates) and carbonates. It is a weak acid.
Human activities, chiefly the burning of fossil fuels, have upset a natural balance in ocean acidity, concludes the report called Impacts of Ocean Acidification on Coral Reefs and Other Marine Calcifiers: A Guide for Future Research.
From corals to sea snails to microscopic plankton, the creatures affected underpin many ocean food chains, say the authors of the report, a document reflecting the views of 50 top experts in ocean chemistry. The research was sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and other federal agencies.
Oceans ’mop up’ carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and this, in turn, increases the acidity of the water. Rising levels of the gas from the unmanaged burning of fossil fuels such as oil and coal may be exacerbating this. A study published last year by Livermore National Laboratory in the United States suggested that the projected increases in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere may drive ocean pH values, the scale for measuring acidity, to change more rapidly than at any time over the last 25 million years.
The ocean pH change will persist for thousands of years. Because the fossil fuel CO2 rise is faster than natural CO2 increases in the past, the ocean will be acidified to a much greater extent than has occurred naturally in at least the past 800,000 years [Caldeira and Wicket, 2003].
Originally posted by ChemBreather
We need the Co2, it is essential for life here..
The co2 in the ocean comes from dying algee and seaweeds that dies because of the increasing heat from spcae, in the form Solar and gamma ray activities...
The facts are just turned around, or ELSE they can not get MONEY MONEY MONEY !!!
The natural pH of the ocean is determined by a need to balance the deposition and burial of CaCO3 on the sea floor against the influx of Ca2+ and CO32- into the ocean from dissolving rocks on land, called weathering. These processes stabilize the pH of the ocean, by a mechanism called CaCO3 compensation. CaCO3 compensation works on time scales of thousands of years or so. Because of CaCO3 compensation, the oceans were probably at close to their present pH of around 8 even millions of years ago when atmospheric CO2 was 10 times the present value or whatever it was. The CaCO3 cycle was discussed briefly in regards to the uptake of fossil fuel by the ocean, here. The point of bringing it up again is to note that if the CO2 concentration of the atmosphere changes more slowly than this, as it always has throughout the Vostok record, the pH of the ocean will be relatively unaffected because CaCO3 compensation can keep up. The fossil fuel acidification is much faster than natural changes, and so the acid spike will be more intense than the earth has seen in at least 800,000 years.
There is considerable current concern that the ongoing rise in the air's CO2 content is causing a significant drop in the pH of the world's oceans in response to their absorption of a large fraction of each year's anthropogenic CO2 emissions. It has been estimated, for example, that the globe's seawater has been acidified (actually made less basic) by about 0.1 pH unit relative to what it was in pre-industrial times; and model calculations imply an additional 0.7-unit drop by the year 2300 (Caldeira and Wickett, 2003), which decline is hypothesized to cause great harm to calcifying marine life such as corals. But just how valid are these claims?
Whenever the results of theoretical calculations are proposed as the basis for a crisis of some kind or other, it is always good to compare their predictions against what is known about the phenomenon in the real world. In the case of oceanic pH, for example, Liu et al. (2009) write in an important new paper that "the history of ocean pH variation during the current interglacial (Holocene) remains largely unknown," and that it "would provide critical insights on the possible impact of acidification on marine ecosystems." Hence, they set about to provide just such a context.
Working with eighteen samples of fossil and modern Porites corals recovered from the South China Sea, the nine researchers employed 14C dating using the liquid scintillation counting method, along with positive thermal ionization mass spectrometry to generate high precision δ11B (boron) data, from which they reconstructed the paleo-pH record of the past 7000 years that is depicted in the figure below.
Reconstructed pH history of the South China Sea. Created from Table 1 of Liu et al. (2009).
As can be seen from this figure, there is nothing unusual, unnatural or unprecedented about the two most recent pH values. They are neither the lowest of the record, nor is the decline rate that led to them the greatest of the record. Hence, there is no compelling reason to believe they were influenced in any way by the nearly 40% increase in the air's CO2 concentration that has occurred to date over the course of the Industrial Revolution. As for the prior portion of the record, Liu et al. note that there is also "no correlation between the atmospheric CO2 concentration record from Antarctica ice cores and δ11B-reconstructed paleo-pH over the mid-late Holocene up to the Industrial Revolution."
Further enlightenment comes from the earlier work of Pelejero et al. (2005), who developed a more refined history of seawater pH spanning the period 1708-1988 (depicted in the figure below), based on δ11B data obtained from a massive Porites coral from Flinders Reef in the western Coral Sea of the southwestern Pacific. These researchers also found that "there is no notable trend toward lower δ11B values." Instead, they discovered that "the dominant feature of the coral δ11B record is a clear interdecadal oscillation of pH, with δ11B values ranging between 23 and 25 per mil (7.9 and 8.2 pH units)," which they say "is synchronous with the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation."
Reconstructed pH history of Flinders Reef of the Western Coral Sea of the Southwestern Pacific. Adapted from Pelejero et al. (2005).
Going one step further, Pelejero et al. also compared their results with coral extension and calcification rates obtained by Lough and Barnes (1997) over the same 1708-1988 time period; and as best we can determine from their graphical representations of these two coral growth parameters, extension rates over the last 50 years of this period were about 12% greater than they were over the first 50 years, while calcification rates were approximately 13% greater over the last 50 years.
Most recently, Wei et al. (2009) derived the pH history of Arlington Reef (off the north-east coast of Australia) that is depicted in the figure below. As can be seen there, there was a ten-year pH minimum centered at about 1935 (which obviously was not CO2-induced) and a shorter more variable minimum at the end of the record (which also was not CO2-induced); and apart from these two non-CO2-related exceptions, the majority of the data once again fall within a band that exhibits no long-term trend, such as would be expected to have occurred if the gradual increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration since the inception of the Industrial Revolution were truly making the global ocean less basic.
Reconstructed pH history of Arlington Reef off the northeast coast of Australia. Adapted from Wei et al. (2009).
In light of these several diverse and independent assessments of the two major aspects of the ocean acidification hypothesis -- a CO2-induced decline in oceanic pH that leads to a concomitant decrease in coral growth rate -- it would appear that the catastrophe conjured up by the world's climate alarmists is but a wonderful work of fiction.
Sherwood, Keith and Craig Idso
Originally posted by Shirakawa
While there are studies which demonstrate the effects of CO2 to ocean acidification, there are also a number of other ones which refute them.
The Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change was created to disseminate factual reports and sound commentary on new developments in the world-wide scientific quest to determine the climatic and biological consequences of the ongoing rise in the air's CO2 content. It meets this objective through weekly online publication of its CO2 Science magazine, which contains editorials on topics of current concern and mini-reviews of recently published peer-reviewed scientific journal articles, books, and other educational materials. In this endeavor, the Center attempts to separate reality from rhetoric in the emotionally-charged debate that swirls around the subject of carbon dioxide and global change. In addition, to help students and teachers gain greater insight into the biological aspects of this phenomenon, the Center maintains on-line instructions on how to conduct CO2 enrichment and depletion experiments in its Global Change Laboratory (located in its Education Center section), which allow interested parties to conduct similar studies in their own homes and classrooms.
CSCDGC has received $90,000 from ExxonMobil between 1998 and 2005 comprising: 
* 1998: $10,000
* 2000: $15,000
* 2003: $40,000
* 2005: $25,000
Originally posted by Animal
funny i did not realize i had compared anything to hitler or the nazi party.
yes i question your source. while the information your source cites may very well be factual and reliable data its presentation by your source is what is questionable.
also the information you cited merely represents trends on the acidity of oceans over the last 8000 years and in no way questions the present day source of rising acid levels.
what the article you cited in attempting to achieve is the dismissal of present data, which is confirmed on the graphs your site presents as 'nothing unusual'.
your cited article is saying that because we are only meeting up with the highest acidity levels know to exist in the last 8000 years, which was 6000 years ago, there is nothing to see here....
my suggestion would be to try to dig up the actual studies listed in the reference section of this article and read them to actually determine the validity of the use of these sources to make the claims this group is actually making.
Most fossil-fuel CO2 released to the atmosphere will eventually be absorbed by the
ocean1 with potentially adverse consequences for marine biota2–4. We quantify pH
changes that may result from continued release of fossil-fuel CO2 to the atmosphere, and compare these with pH changes inferred from geological and historical records. We conclude that releasing fossil-fuel CO2 to the atmosphere over several centuries may result in ocean pH changes greater than any inferred from the geologic record of the past 300 million years, with the possible exception of rare extreme events such as bolide impacts or catastrophic methane hydrate degassing. When carbon dioxide dissolves in the ocean it increases
Results of this study indicate that the impact of anthropogenic atmospheric CO2 emissions may have reversed the natural pH trend in the SCS since the mid-Holocene. Such ocean pH records in the current interglacial period can help us better understand the physical and biological controls on ocean pH and possibly predict the long-term impact of climate change on future ocean acidification.
Annual variations in skeletal density were measured by gamma densitometry in 35 cores removed from large Porites colonies growing at sites throughout the Great Barrier Reef (GBR). Density variations along each core provided data for average annual density and annual extension. These were used to estimate average annual calcification. Records ranged from 49 to 507 years in length.
Thus, average annual calcification for these 10 colonies provides a proxy for SST variations on the GBR back to the 18th century. Interpretation of evidence of a recent decline in calcification of Porites of the GBR is tempered by (1) evidence of similar declines and recoveries over the past several centuries and (2) evidence that coral calcification on the GBR has been above the long-term average for most of this century and the recent decline may be a return to more normal conditions.
The oceans are becoming more acidic due to absorption of anthropogenic carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The impact of ocean acidification on marine ecosystems is unclear, but it will likely depend on species adaptability and the rate of change of seawater pH relative to its natural variability. To constrain the natural variability in reef-water pH, we measured boron isotopic compositions in a ~300-year-old massive Porites coral from the southwestern Pacific. Large variations in pH are found over ~50-year cycles that covary with the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation of ocean-atmosphere anomalies, suggesting that natural pH cycles can modulate the impact of ocean acidification on coral reef ecosystems.
Geochemical records preserved in the long-lived carbonate skeleton of corals provide one of the few means to reconstruct changes in seawater pH since the commencement of the industrial era. This information is important in not only determining the response of the surface oceans to ocean acidification from enhanced uptake of CO2, but also to better understand the effects of ocean acidification on carbonate secreting organisms such as corals, whose ability to calcify is highly pH dependent...
Our results indicate that the long-term pre-industrial variation of seawater pH in this region is partially related to the decadal–interdecadal variability of atmospheric and oceanic anomalies in the Pacific. In the periods around 1940 and 1998 there are also rapid oscillations in δ11B compositions equivalent changes in pH of almost 0.5 U. The 1998 oscillation is co-incident with a major coral bleaching event indicating the sensitivity of skeletal δ11B compositions to loss of zooxanthellate symbionts. Importantly, from the 1940s to the present-day, there is a general overall trend of ocean acidification with pH decreasing by about 0.2–0.3 U, the range being dependent on the value assumed for the fractionation factor α(B3–B4) of the boric acid and borate species in seawater. Correlations of δ11B with δ13C during this interval indicate that the increasing trend towards ocean acidification over the past 60 years in this region is the result of enhanced dissolution of CO2 in surface waters from the rapidly increasing levels of atmospheric CO2, mainly from fossil fuel burning. This suggests that the increased levels of anthropogenic CO2 in atmosphere has already caused a significant trend towards acidification in the oceans during the past decades.
Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration is expected to exceed 500 parts per million and global temperatures to rise by at least 2°C by 2050 to 2100, values that significantly exceed those of at least the past 420,000 years during which most extant marine organisms evolved. Under conditions expected in the 21st century, global warming and ocean acidification will compromise carbonate accretion, with corals becoming increasingly rare on reef systems. The result will be less diverse reef communities and carbonate reef structures that fail to be maintained. Climate change also exacerbates local stresses from declining water quality and overexploitation of key species, driving reefs increasingly toward the tipping point for functional collapse. This review presents future scenarios for coral reefs that predict increasingly serious consequences for reef-associated fisheries, tourism, coastal protection, and people. As the International Year of the Reef 2008 begins, scaled-up management intervention and decisive action on global emissions are required if the loss of coral-dominated ecosystems is to be avoided.
Most of the world's tropical coastal oceans are so heavily degraded locally that “pristine” reefs are essentially gone, even if one ignores changes associated with already rising temperatures and acidity
Today's surface ocean is saturated with respect to calcium carbonate, but increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations are reducing ocean pH and carbonate ion concentrations, and thus the level of calcium carbonate saturation. Experimental evidence suggests that if these trends continue, key marine organisms—such as corals and some plankton—will have difficulty maintaining their external calcium carbonate skeletons. Here we use 13 models of the ocean–carbon cycle to assess calcium carbonate saturation under the IS92a 'business-as-usual' scenario for future emissions of anthropogenic carbon dioxide. In our projections, Southern Ocean surface waters will begin to become undersaturated with respect to aragonite, a metastable form of calcium carbonate, by the year 2050. By 2100, this undersaturation could extend throughout the entire Southern Ocean and into the subarctic Pacific Ocean. When live pteropods were exposed to our predicted level of undersaturation during a two-day shipboard experiment, their aragonite shells showed notable dissolution. Our findings indicate that conditions detrimental to high-latitude ecosystems could develop within decades, not centuries as suggested previously.
The Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum (PETM) has been attributed to the rapid release of ~2000 x 109 metric tons of carbon in the form of methane. In theory, oxidation and ocean absorption of this carbon should have lowered deep-sea pH, thereby triggering a rapid (
Originally posted by Animal
Perhaps too much energy was put into the climate change debate, allowing the more tangible impacts of actions are having on the planet around us to go unnoticed and remain largely ignored.
[edit on 13-8-2009 by Animal]
Originally posted by Shirakawa
reply to post by Animal
Ok you win, I don't have time or the mental energies to digest all that and attempt to write a rebuttal.
While I still don't think that continued CO2 emissions will have dramatic effects on the Earth as a whole in the long term (especially for land wildlife and plants)
I have just two questions:
- What about ocean life which was abundant (and in fact, started there) in past geologic eras when CO2 levels were substantially higher than current levels, although rising?
- How do you think that global CO2 emissions can be reduced when China alone has recently become the number one emitter in the world (>25% world emissions), it's prospected that by 2030 its emissions will more than double by conservative estimates, and has no serious plans to reduce them as it would affect its economic and industrial growth?
Originally posted by Animal
This is simply a defeats ideology and argument for ignoring the crisis. While it will take the ENTIRE planet to thwart the impacts of CO2, choosing to NOT act because China or some other nation is polluting is willful ignorance and willful neglect.
We know the issues, we know the impacts, their causes and the solutions. Thus we have a moral obligation to act. Furthermore we have a NEED to act as this planet is our only home, our only source of the resources upon which we are dependent for LIFE.
If China is going to refuse to listen to the need for action that is the way it is TODAY. That does not excuse the rest of us from action. Our efforts for change will eventually be adopted by China as well because there is no alternatives.
Originally posted by Shirakawa
And where was I suggesting that the 'crisis' is to be ignored because other countries are not willing to cap their emissions? Please stop making assumptions.
I feel you're writing with too much confidence in your posts. Even the source papers and the works you cited to question my source don't jump into 100% certain conclusions, but use instead words like "may", "can", "could", "we suggest that", etc.
Also please avoid sarcastic remarks in your rebuttals unless who you're replying to made them first.
I was merely asking what in practical terms could the "west" do about it since China's yearly emissions are increasing at a rate so high that they would soon overshadow those of most other countries combined and is not going to give up soon despite what many might say. China and India (another developing country which will soon have its own industrialization "explosion" and doesn't adhere to the Kyoto Protocol) together host about 1/3 of world's human population who hopes for a better standard of living than its current one. Even at a fraction of average western standards they would still become the main world polluter/gas emitters. It's not a defeats' argument, it's about numbers, and internal politics.
Also, it may be the way it is today, but given the growing power and influence (China especially is expected to become the next world superpower) of those countries it's hard to predict how they will behave in the medium term future concerning this issue. Their morals regarding it may be different than 'ours' as well.
To conclude, in the next two decades carbon dioxide emissions will probably not decrease at all, but will increase instead, and will continue to do so at increasing rates despite western intervention. On the short term this will cause changes (both negative and positive),
and therefore possible losses (I don't deny this) to biodiversity and life which will not be able to adapt to the new conditions fast enough, but on the long term (geologic scale), when humans won't be here to care anymore, increased CO2 concentrations will become the ideal base for new life to emerge.
Originally posted by Animal
I am sorry but despite what you claim your actions (words) are those of the antagonist and perpetrator of this form of pollution.