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View Diary: The real scandal about the scandal that never was (105 comments)

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  •  I have taken chemistry (0+ / 0-)

    I attended Caltech as an undergrad before med school, so I have a passing familiarity with chemistry.  Also, measuring and understanding the pH of the human body is something I do on a daily basis with patients.  The range of pH in the oceans is about .2, from 8.0 to 8.2 depending on the ocean.  Atmospheric CO2 changes will result in a small increase in dissolved CO2 which is buffered by carbonic acid/bicarbonate etc.  So far the evidence is that pH has fallen by about .03 units give or take.  Even extreme scenarios don't result in much more than a .1 change over the next hundred years.  Again, the sky is falling crowd depends on guesswork/extreme worst case scenarios etc to make their case but ignore that coral have evolved and lived through much different CO2 concentrations in the past.  We do not live in the best of all possible worlds, and the idea that even a slight change in our atmosphere is going to lead to our doom is silly.  Raising CO2 from .03% of the atmosphere to .06% is not the end of the world.  There is so much misinformation put out by the AGW crowd and whenever one piece is knocked down another false charge about our impending doom is created to take its place.  We don't know what is going to happen 100 years from now and computer code that assumes its  own conclusion is not going to tell us anything useful.  The two key questions remain how much CO2 will we emit in the next hundred years, and what is the feedback sensitivity of the atmosphere to rising CO2?  So far the IPCC has been wrong if one looks at the actual data for this decade and what the IPCC predicted would happen.

    •  Factually incorrect (0+ / 0-)

      Your basis is factually incorrect--I'll just focus on pH for the moment.  Pre-industrial pH was estimated as 0.075 pH units higher--over twice what you stated.  

      Furthermore, there is lag due to buffering, mass transfer limitations, and the size of the CO2 sink.  So what we've seen so far with our increase in CO2 is still in the early stages.  

      The current estimate is a 0.230 reduction by 2050 (from pre-industrial) and a 0.355 change from pre-industrial by 2100.  That's pretty large in terms of pH.

      A conservative (safe) approach would require one to prove that making such a change was safe.  But what you espouse is inherently unsafe and unscientific.  The uncertainties should give you pause, instead you see them as your allies.  In fact it is this sort of inversion/perversion of normal logic that produced both shuttle disasters and the BP spill.  In all those cases conditions that are normally considered considered "no go" were waved on multiple levels.    

      •  More corrections to your claims (0+ / 0-)

        The upper end of the predictions based on chemistry is a 0.5 pH unit decline by 2100.  That is FIVE TIMES what you claimed.  

        You also said, "Atmospheric CO2 changes will result in a small increase in dissolved CO2".  This is another misrepresentation as the measurement is of with the H+ ion, not the various CO2 species.  The changes in carbonate concentrations over 100 years with such high CO2 levels will not be small.  Looking at H+ alone for a 0.5 pH change (from pre-industrial) would be ~3 fold increase.  I'm surprised that a doctor would not be concerned about the negative impact on calcification by coral species with such a large change.  

        Furthermore, acidification is only one of the stressors.  There is also the higher temperature (something I've noted in my dive logs over the years.)  This is a pretty severe stressor on coral and believe me, the coral are suffering for it.  Some places I won't even return to as the coral is now bleached.  

        Other factors include changes to ocean currents, more frequent damage from increased intensity hurricanes (thermodynamics and VLE drive this heat engine, exponential relationship of water vapor pressure to temp), and of course reduced dissolved oxygen levels due to increased temperatures (and the associated deadzones.)  

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