Day by Day

Friday, July 06, 2012

Ocean "Acidity" Mythology


Since Mr. Hunt continues citing a “30% increase in ocean acidity” caused by a change in pH from 8.2 to 8.1, in the interest of scientific accuracy this error demands correction. The equation for the pH of an aqueous solution is logarithmic and defined as pH = -log[ H+ ] .  There are 14 orders of magnitude that define the pH scale from zero to fourteen units as per this equation, so a lowering of alkalinity of .1 units pH cannot equal a 30% increase in acidity as claimed. It is actually .1/14 or only 0.7%. The natural variation of ocean pH can be up to 5% in either direction, making meaningless a variation plus or minus 0.7%.

Neutral pH is 7.0, so acidification is not appropriate terminology. A reduction in pH from 8.2 to 8.1 is a lowering of alkalinity, not an increase in acidification.

“There has historically been much more CO2 in our atmosphere than exists today. For example, during the Jurassic Period (200 mya), average CO2 concentrations were about 1800 ppm or about 4.7 times higher than today. The highest concentrations of CO2 during all of the Paleozoic Era occurred during the Cambrian Period, nearly 7000 ppm -- about 18 times higher than today.

“The Carboniferous Period and the Ordovician Period were the only geological periods during the Paleozoic Era when global temperatures were as low as they are today. To the consternation of global warming proponents, the Late Ordovician Period was also an Ice Age while at the same time CO2 concentrations then were nearly 12 times higher than today-- 4400 ppm. According to greenhouse theory, Earth should have been exceedingly hot. Instead, global temperatures were no warmer than today.”

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