By Dr. D. E. Koelle
(Translated/edited by P Gosselin)
The alleged global warming, which now has not taken place for 18 years, has just received a “terrible little brother”. It was high time to find such a brother, especially since the older climate sister was becoming so weak.
Here that little brother is the not unknown “ocean acidification”, which was recently elevated by the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) in a press release dated 8 October 2014 to being the new global danger that comes with “dramatic impacts” ,”costs in the billions” and the claim that the pH value today is dropping 10 times faster than in the past.
There was no word however that the ocean in fact is not “acidic” in any way. Rather with a pH value of between 7.8 and 8.1 it is clearly alkaline. This is a clear falsification of scientific facts (but the citizens won’t notice at all). If anything, when viewed objectively, a reduction in alkalinity has nothing to do with an “acidification”, which would begin at a pH value of 6.9.
Figure: CO2 concentration in the atmosphere over the last 300 million years (Retallack) – completely without any anthropogenic impact.
Here the claim of the supposed pH value drop is hardly a serious one because there is no global pH measurement network that would allow such a claim to be backed up. Local datasets show a pH value fluctuation of +/- 0.1 points. What is confirmed is the fact that over 90% of the earth’s history, the atmospheric CO2 concentration was considerably higher than the very modest 400 ppm level we have today. The average over the last 300 million years was near 2000 ppm (see diagram from Retallack, which is based on changes in the stoma pores of Gingko plants). Neither the considerably higher CO2 levels over the earth’s history nor the maximum of 6000 parts per million has ever led to an “acidification of the oceans”.
If the claims of a damaging influence on coral reefs were true, then the corals would have died millions of years ago.
So just where is this kind of acidification supposed to come from? Approximately 11 Gt of CO2 (a third of the anthropogenic emissions) is taken up by the oceans, but it is ignored that at least the same amount (and there are also estimates of 20 Gt CO2 per year) getting stored as CaCO3 on the seabed. The complete CO2 circulation in the oceans is everything but known: large quantities of CO2 originate from hundreds of underwater volcanoes along tectonic plate boundaries – and without this, covering the huge need for CO2 by the underwater vegetation (assumed to be greater than even that on land) is not imaginable. The minimum pH values also do not occur at the sea surface, as is supposed to be the case with an atmospheric impact (as is falsely assumed by the IPCC report), but rather at approximately 1000 meters below the sea surface.
At the surface, the low pH values are measured in areas where the deep water currents arrive at the surface. The CO2 absorption from the atmosphere, which is supposed to cause an “acidification”, has to be considered in relation to the total amount of about 39,000 Gt CO2 that is already dissolved in the ocean. As here we are talking about 11 Gt CO2 per year, this is only about 0.028%! Here already alone the natural impacts of annual ENSO activity and ocean currents with the temperature changes can be considerably larger.
Let’s hope that the AWI-conjured “little awful brother” soon disappears and that research in the field of ocean sciences gets back to being serious.