The ocean-acid-heads are tripping out once again, trying to scare the public with their hallucinatory visions of future marine catastrophes.
In a hearing by the Lower Saxony Environment Committee on June 16, 2014, Professor Stefan Rahmstorf (Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research) once again announced panic warnings of melting ice in the Arctic and ocean-acidification. EIKE reports here.
Geologist F.K. Ewert dismisses Stefan Rahmstorf’s alarmist claims of man-made ocean acidification. Photo credit: EIKE.
German geologist Prof. F.K. Ewert (photo) takes a close look at how these claims are exaggerated and how activist scientists attempt to use natural processes to create panic.
What follows is Prof. F.K. Ewert’s piece at EIKE in English (translated/edited by P Gosselin):
Expansion of Arctic sea ice, ocean acidification?
Statement on the presentation made by Prof. Dr. Rahmstorf (PIK) to the committee for Environment, Energy and Climate of the state parliament of Lower Saxony, 16 June 2014.
As is usual in so-called “climate science’, Prof. Stefan Rahmstorf is very selective with the facts: When they contradict the zeitgeist of man-made climate change, they get ignored. This way of conducting science is not new –– there have always been scientists who have served authority – and their own interests. Karl Popper recognized that science becomes ideology as soon as one stops to ask questions and only allows repetition instead. Plenty of examples are known.
German writer Goethe once said (18 Dec 1828): ‘One must always repeat what is true because fallacy is also constantly preached around us, and not from just one person, but by the masses in newspapers and encyclopedias, at schools and universities.’ At his presentation before the Committee for Environment, Energy and Climate at the state parliament of Lower Saxony on 16 June 2014, Prof. Rahmstorf once again practiced pseudoscience, this time it concerned Arctic sea ice extent and the ocean acidification.
Alleged shrinking of Arctic sea ice
The shrinking of Arctic sea ice up to the year 2012 was used by Rahmstorf as proof of the ongoing CO2-induced global warming. However the fact that sea ice grew 40% from August 2012 to August 2013 never got mentioned. The ice comes and goes because periodic, episodic fluctuations in temperature development also take place in the Arctic.
Prof. Rahmstorf informed that ‘our anthropogenic CO2 was causing an acidification of the ocean, which has increased 30%, and as a result the coral reefs are in danger.’
Are we really seeing the alleged acidity? No. This is because with a pH = 8.1 they are still very much alkaline. Foremost ocean researcher and climate agitator Rahmstorf apparently does not know about the chemistry of the ocean, let alone the coral reefs. Yet he sees himself qualified to judge this.
It is a fact that atmospheric CO2 concentration over the course of the earth’s history was far greater than it is today. And if that is the case, then so were the oceans. It is a fact that the pH value of the oceans has dropped from 8.2 to 8.1. This is nothing more then a small drop in alkalinity because water does not become acidic until the pH drops under 7.0. Whether the current pH change from 8.2 to 8.1 is new and unique, or can also be greater and how it was in former times, is unknown because no long-term measurements are available.
CO2 and H2O don’t want anything to do with each other and so they separate immediately after their first connection to carbonic acid. Only 1% of carbonic acid reacts and bonds with the plentiful amounts of calcium found in water to form calcium carbonate, which in water is only 0.0114 g/l soluble. While constantly new calcium carbonate forms, as lime slurry it has to settle and form limestone.
The biochemistry is more complex and involves many facets: One is that the skeletons of many animal species are formed with calcium carbonate. But not only clams and the like. Our limestone Alps for example were formed in large part from the calcium carbonate skeletons of protzoa. CO2 made it possible for their there calcium carbonate skeletons to be created.
Moreover CO2 is the building block of coral reefs. Their growth begins with algae that live in the corals, and they need CO2 in order to live and grow, and thus provide for the growth of calcium carbonate skeletons that eventually lead to the formation of the reefs. In addition to the large coral reefs of today’s tropical seas, there are countless relics made of large masses of calcium carbonate, also in our Central German mountains we are able to see them – e.g. in the Harz, Sauerland and Eifel regions. They were all once coral reefs in the ocean. Their CO2 content was considerably higher than today – and that was good because it produced huge quantities of limestone.
Therefore: without the building block of CO2 there would be no limestone and so no coral reefs! Admittedly the CO2 concentrations were greater than today. But it is unknown whether the pH value was maybe lower or higher than it is in our geological time and whether and how it changed.
And last but not least: What is the impact of the huge quantities of CO2 that are constantly pouring out of vents and volcanoes at the seabed? We neither know their quantities nor their temporal or spatial changes. One thing is certain: They are also involved in the formation of calcium carbonate and coral reefs.
Rahmstorf’s acidification theory leads us to ask on thing: What does this kind of climate and ocean research have to do with natural sciences?
German readers may also wish to read: www.eike-.pdf.