Ocean Acidification


is just the latest climate “crisis“.

Now, while the folks at Powerline are generally pretty careful, their analysis is a bit off in this case.  They say:

Right away two obvious things should be said about this chart. First, the exact visual parallel between rising CO2 levels and oceanic CO2 content is an artifact of fiddling with the separate vertical Y-axes on either side of the chart.

This is incorrect.  Equilibrium concentrations of a gas dissolved in a liquid are governed by Henry’s Law, which is generally taken as a constant for low concentrations.  Any reasonably educated Chemical Engineer would expect this.

The important points to note are 1) pH is by definition the negative log of the hydrogen ion concentration, and 2)  pH values above 7 (neutral) are considered alkaline, not acidic.  All the graph shows is that over a very short term, the pH seems to be decreasing, but the absolute change in hydrogen ion concentration is close to bupkis (to use a scientific term).  Or about 0.02-0.04 pH units over 20 (or so years).  At this rate, it will take something on the order of 500-1000 years for the oceans to be simply neutral.

However, we will need to watch as the tree-hugging granola heads scream “crisis” over this bit of nonsense.

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