The Ocean Acidification

The oceans are dying and that will mean the end of life as we know it.  It is not too late to stop it.  But it is a profound disaster for the human species to waste billions of dollars chasing the wrong answers to this crisis…or any crisis.  SEPP (see ref 5 below) estimates that the U.S. government alone has spent over $165 billion on climate change programs, all based on the the hypothesis that human produced carbon dioxide causes extraordinary and dangerous warming and many negative consequences including acidification of the oceans and bleaching of coral reefs.  But abundant scientific evidence contradicts that hypothesis.  Yet proponents of that failed CO2 hypothesis carry on wasting resources to chase the wrong problem.

The ocean acidification story is just another twist of the global warming/climate change fraud. It is impossible for CO2 to turn the oceans acidic, and even more impossible for the relatively minor amount of CO2 (about 3%) which is the human contribution to the total CO2. At least 96% of the current atmospheric CO2 comes from non-fossil-fuel sources.

We don’t fully understand why the coral reefs and the oceans are dying.  I have been scuba diving around the world since I was 18.  I have been diving here in Hawaii for 30 years. Sadly, the reefs here and in many places are dying and the most other sea life is visibly less populous than when I first began diving here.   For example, I have utmost respect for  scientists like Dr. Sylvia Earle, a famous ocean botanist, a woman I have followed since I was a teenager, who has spent her life intensely studying ocean life (See http://www.mission-blue.org) and philanthropists like Gordon Moore (more below).  I agree about most of the problems Earle relates in her recent biographical movie and her TED talks, but not about one of her claimed causes, specifically not the hypothesis of significant warming caused by human-produced CO2.

On the other hand, over fishing of pelagic fish, shark, swordfish, marlin, mackerel, the large species of tuna as well as capture of fishes and other sea life from coral reef for aquariums is killing coral reefs.  Catching or eating these species today is equivalent to burning down a section of rain forest in the Amazon or Africa.  We are killing the oceans and that will kill us if we don’t stop it.

Directing resources to the wrong cause produces many incorrect and even harmful solutions.  It also wastes precious resources that could save the oceans.  I am not alone.  There are many thousands of scientists in addition to thinkers and concerned conservationists, including the founders of Gaia theory, Greenpeace, the network of weather monitoring satellites and The Weather Channel, who agree with me.  The number of studies contradicting the failed CO2 hypothesis would fill a library (see Climate Change Reconsidered at ref 4 below).  We humans do not have the time or the resources to waste on chasing politically correct but scientifically incorrect causes and solutions required to save the oceans on this planet.

Coral reefs are like the rain forests and wetlands in many respects which are critical  to life on this planet.  Serious conservation has begun to show results with rainforests and wetlands (see Ducks Unlimited below 2).  But coral reefs are much less visible to humans.

“Mineral buffers in the sea constitute an infinite buffer capacity (ref: Stumm & Morgan 1970), making carbonate destructive ocean acidification from anthropogenic CO2 impossible.” The oceans are an infinite sink for CO2. The oceans could never be acidified (i.e. reach a pH less than 7) by CO2. Why? Because there is not enough carbon on Earth to offset the larger amounts of several buffering elements.  CO2 in the oceans would have to increase by 100 times in order to decrease the pH (i.e. increase acidification) enough to dissolve CaCO3 (calcium carbonate, limestone see 1 below) at 25 degrees C.  But the global warming believers are now changing their focus to ocean acidification as their next cause célèbre, no doubt in part because earth’s temperature is contradicting their warming hypothesis and, despite the expenditure of billions of dollars in research and advertising on supposed negative effects of CO2, the public now ranks global warming at the bottom of a long list of priorities.

So, what is happening instead? CO2 dissolved in ocean water is continuously combining with calcium ions in ocean water to form calcium carbonate (CaCO3, i.e. limestone, marble, dolomite. CaCO3 is a common substance found in rocks in all parts of the world, and is the main component of shells of marine organisms, snails, coral, pearls, etc.) The long term geological record revealed by dating layers of stone on the continents and sea bed proves that this plating out of CaCO3 (i.e. CO2 which has combined with CA to form CaCO3 rock) has been occurring for millions of years. The chemical reaction that forms this CaCO3 releases energy into the oceans. To reverse that chemical reaction and instead release the CO2 and Ca back into the ocean water and atmosphere requires the presence of very high heat, such as a volcano, to break down the CaCO3.

Furthermore, Ca is only one of the ions available in the ocean to buffer CO2. There is also Chlorine, for example, which also combines with CO2 in water.

Earth, in contrast to both the solar system and the universe, has more abundant Calcium (Ca) than Carbon (C). And, earth’s oceans contain much more (14 times) Ca than C, about 0.04% Ca vs 0.0028% C by mass. Ocean water contains 50 to 60 times more CO2 than atmosphere (see Henry’s Law). Life on this planet will run out of Carbon first, not Calcium.

Ultimately, all life on Earth gets its Carbon – the building block element of life as we know it – from the atmosphere, i.e. from the air. Essentially, it is a suicide mission to attempt to restrict CO2 in the atmosphere. CO2 is only present at trace level (400 parts per million by volume – ppmv) in air, a level barely above the 200 ppmv required to keep plants alive. Satellite studies show that Earth is becoming greener.  Part of this greening of our planet may be attributed to higher CO2 levels in the atmosphere resulting from increasing population of humans and animals and combustion of fossil fuels.

To attempt to restrict atmospheric CO2 is to attempt to break the natural carbon cycle on this planet. Yet, global warming alarmists, including the UN, President Obama and John Holdren, Obama’s chief science advisor, other politicians, a relatively small number of  scientists, crisis-and-ratings-craving media outlets and ‘green’ NGO’s are attempting to break the natural carbon cycle that enables life on this planet…though that is not their intention.  Citizens must resist their own government to stop this fraud.  Or else governments will continue to steal from citizens to enlarge governments and enrich their crony elites while killing the oceans and the planet.  Reality is mostly opposite what government is telling you about the environment and fossil fuels, and you are paying for the studies and propaganda in your taxes and inflated prices for anything that requires energy.

To review the huge amount of funding that is being wasted by the U.S. government on ocean acidification, see this report.  http://www.nmsfocean.org/files/OA_Report.pdf   This report is also sponsored by The Gordon Moore Foundation and the government. Gordon, the founder of Intel and Moore’s Law, a man I admire, lives here on the Big Island. I once met him briefly at a Keck Foundation meeting. I hope to speak with him about the misinformation his foundation is funding.

References here:

  1. http://www.co2web.info/
  2. Calcium carbonate is a chemical compound with the formula CaCO₃. It is a common substance found in rocks in all parts of the world, and is the main component of shells of marine organisms, snails, coal balls, pearls, and eggshells. Wikipedia
    3.  http://www.ducks.org/conservation
    4.  http://climatechangereconsidered.org/
    5.  http://www.sepp.org/twtwfiles/2014/TWTW%207-12-14.pdf

    “Based US government reports, SEPP calculated that from Fiscal Year (FY) 1993 to FY 2013 total US expenditures on climate change amount to more than $165 Billion. More than $35 Billion is identified as climate science. The White House reported that in FY 2013 the US spent $22.5 Billion on climate change. About $2 Billion went to US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP). The principal function of the USGCRP is to provide to Congress a National Climate Assessment (NCA). The latest report uses global climate models, which are not validated, therefor speculative, to speculate about regional influences from global warming.”

    “Much of the remaining 89% of funding goes to goes to government agencies and industries claiming they are preventing global warming/climate change, even though they do not understand the natural causes of climate change and, likely, far overestimate the influence of CO2. These entities have a vested interest in promoting the fear of global warming/climate change.
    It is time for the government to stop funding irrational fear of global warming/climate change based on a concept of climate that is not substantiated by the physical evidence. If we are to progress in our understanding of climate change, the paradigm must be changed from one that earth’s temperatures are largely controlled by atmospheric CO2, to one which recognizes that climate change is normal and predominately natural. Human CO2 emissions have little, if any, influence on temperatures and other climate trends.”

About budbromley

Life sciences executive, retired
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2 Responses to The Ocean Acidification

  1. John Maney says:

    Bud,

    Thanks for the thoughtful reminder of our ocean’s buffering capacity and the ultimate safe deposit of excess carbonate as limestone. Based on your bIog, I assume the pH data showing the alarming acidification suffers from the same data quality problems that undermine warming data. Look forward to hearing the outcome of your discussion with Moore. Maybe you can be put on the board of his philanthropy.

    John

    Like

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