Letters to the Editor

The Soda Water scare

quill pen

To the Editor
Climate Conversation

22nd May 2012

The climatists have a new alarm – the soda water scare.

We are told that the oceans, which weigh 300 times more than all the gases in the atmosphere, are being turned acidic by the 0.0012% (12 parts per million) of man-made additions to the carbon dioxide (CO2) in Earth’s atmosphere.

CO2 is a natural gas that dissolves in water. The amount absorbed depends upon how much CO2 there is in the air, and the temperature of the water. CO2 dissolves best in cold water and is expelled as the water warms. And far more would be absorbed if there was 100% CO2 in the atmosphere above.

When concentrated CO2 gas is bubbled under high pressure into ice-cold water much CO2 dissolves, producing acidic soda water whose pH (acidity) could be as low as 4. This is 1,000 times more acidic than pure water whose pH is a neutral 7.

But oceans are much warmer than that and atmospheric CO2 is at much lower pressure. Therefore in the open ocean, pH seldom gets below 8, ten times more alkaline than pure water.

This weak soda water could only be described as “acidic” by someone pushing an alarmist agenda. There are no measurements that show that the pH of the ocean is changing more now than in the past – only models. In historical terms, atmospheric CO2 levels are now close to record lows. Corals and other ocean life have flourished in atmospheric levels of CO2 far higher than today’s.

We are told that the tiny bit of natural soda water in still-alkaline sea water will dissolve corals and shells, kill fish and create oceanic mayhem.

If soda water is so dangerous, then how come people consume it in copious amounts in beer, scotch and fizzy drinks?

All plant life, on land and in water, flourishes if CO2 is added to the currently meagre natural supply. All ocean life depends on the availability of CO2 that feeds algae, plankton and other sea plants.

To suggest that today’s minute supply of plant food in the atmosphere will cause an acidity crisis in the oceans is baseless scare mongering.

The soda water scare is not about ocean acidity. It is part of a scheme to drive fishermen from the Coral Sea promoted by the same people who want to force graziers from the grasslands, foresters from the forests and miners from the coal fields.

Viv Forbes,
Rosewood,
Queensland,
Australia.

email Viv at
forbes@carbon-sense.com


For supporting information see

http://carbon-sense.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/acid-ocean-bogeyman.pdf

7 Thoughts on “Letters to the Editor

  1. A question for somebody knowledgeable.
    Does some of the CO2 in sea water combine with O and Ca to make CaCO3? If it does, wouldn’t this help the corals and shell fish? Robin.

  2. Yes. Wikipedia has some detail. Most of the 36,000 gigatonnes of oceanic carbon exists as bicarbonate ion. I don’t know how it affects shells and corals.

  3. Just noticed an article at another blog:

    http://www.co2science.org/articles/V15/N21/B3.php

    How Adult Oyster Exposure to Ocean Acidification Impacts the Response of Their Offspring to Elevated Atmospheric CO2

  4. Jim McK on May 26, 2012 at 11:18 am said:

    Good letter Richard

    ” 36,000 gigatonnes of oceanic carbon”

    Also worth comparing that number with 1000 gigatonnes being the amount of carbon in total world known recoverable fossil fuel deposits.

  5. Not really. Especially when the topic creeps towards climate change I get cautious. But it’s not all wrong. If you want the volume of the oceans or the diameter of the earth, it’s reasonable, I think. I know you’re going to ask how I know, so I answer: because it’s reasonable to trust people sometimes. (You know we want to.)

  6. Brilliant, thanks Robin. “Life will find a way” (Jurassic Park).

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