“Acid Seas-Back to Basic”

The AGWs talk a lot about acidification of the oceans.    Their cohorts have produced several documentaries purporting to explain to lay people what is happening as a result of increased atmospheric CO2. Produced just ahead of the failed Copenhagen meeting in December 2009, these documentaries were designed to get media attention to scare the citizens of the world.

But in fact the oceans are still alkaline and will likely remain so.

A posting in SPII “Acid Seas- Back to Basic” demonstrates what is really happening and how the IPCC and others have been misleading us.

Below is the Summary for Policy Makers for the SPII report.  As most of you understand pH, the first three points may be unneeded, but hang in there.    The rest does a good job of summarizing the issue.  A worrying part is that NGO seem to be getting a place at the table for the writing of the next IPCC report, AR5.   Hopefully the IPCC will be abolished or at least will find that they are under too much scrutiny to use NGO non peer reviewed papers like they did in the IPCC AR4.


by Dennis Ambler | January 26, 2010


1. Emotional claims are being made that the oceans are turning to acid. Acidic and basic are two extremes that describe a chemical property. The pH scale measures how acidic or basic a substance is and ranges from 0 to 14. A pH of 7 (e.g. water) is neutral. A pH less than 7 is acidic. A pH greater than 7 is basic.

2. The pH scale is logarithmic and as a result, each whole pH value below 7 is ten times more acidic than the next higher value. For example, pH 4 is ten times more acidic than pH 5 and 100 times (10 times 10) more acidic than pH 6.

3. The same holds true for pH values above 7, each of which is ten times more alkaline (another way to say basic) than the next lower whole value. For example, pH 10 is ten times more alkaline than pH 9 and 100 times (10 times 10) more alkaline than pH 8.

4. IPCC WGI state that the mean pH of surface waters ranges between 7.9 and 8.3 in the open ocean, so the ocean remains alkaline. It is dishonest to present to a lay audience that any perceived reduction in alkalinity means the oceans are turning to acid.

5. The claim that “ocean acidity” has increased by 30% since before the industrial revolution was calculated from the estimated uptake of anthropogenic carbon between 1750 and 1994, which shows a decrease in alkalinity of 0.1 pH unit, well within the range quoted by IPCC.

6. One of the authors of a prominent paper used by IPCC, sits on specialist panels on other bodies, such as the Royal Society, that come to the same conclusions. This is then presented in a manner to imply a consensus view from an apparently independent separate body.

7. A separate critique of that paper suggests it relates to an extrapolation of 18 years of data to 2100 and even 2300.

8. At least one University is equating seawater with vinegar in an on-line presentation for schools. Vinegar, (acetic acid), has a pH of 2.5, almost a million times more acidic in terms of hydrogen ion activity than seawater. This is deliberate disinformation to young people.

9. There are many contrary peer reviewed papers challenging the claims about the impact of CO2 on the oceans. One survey highlights some one hundred and fifty such papers, most of them showing that we cannot possibly acidify the oceans. The IPCC claims to present the physical science basis for IPCC claims but confines itself to a very narrow range of research and ignores the contrary papers.

10. Authors of papers supporting the IPCC position are already involved in IPCC AR5 and in one case their host University also provides the Technical Support Unit for WGII.

11. NGO involvement in further scientific research into Ocean “acidification”, as they choose to call it, is clearly described on the web site of the UK Natural Environment Research Council, NERC, a grant awarding body.

12. NGO organisations cannot be held to have an independent scientific stance, they implicitly have an agenda. The use of non-peer-reviewed papers from NGO’s in IPCC AR4, is currently the subject of major criticism relating to false claims of glacier melting, Amazon forest degradation and Extreme Weather cost impacts. It appears that they will be welcome again in AR5.

To read the compete posting  click here.


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