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« Green Deal claptrap | Main | Another one bites the dust »

'Ere we go, 'ere we go, 'ere we go...


Just in case you thought things were getting better....The Internationalist knows the end of the world is nigher than ever.

Of the many catastrophic consequences of climate change, ocean acidification may be the worst. The oceans, which cover 71 percent of the Earth’s surface, produce fifty percent of the oxygen we breathe. They are also the planet’s biggest carbon sink—absorbing 50 percent of anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions. Unfortunately, absorbing all that carbon is dramatically altering the ocean’s pH balance. Since the industrial revolution began, average acidity of the upper ocean has jumped 30 percent. The ocean is now more acidic than it has been for fifty million years. Unless CO2 emissions decline, ocean acidity could surge another 100 percent by the end of the century.

This slow-motion disaster threatens the survival of ocean life. Acidification is already stressing shellfish, corals, and plankton whose shells or skeletons are made of calcium carbonate. If these small creatures disappear, ocean food webs will collapse. Simultaneously, the sea temperatures are rising, as the ocean stores 90 percent of the energy from the warming Earth. Over the past century, the mean ocean surface temperature has increased 0.7 degrees Celsius. By 2100, it will rise another 3 degrees. Meanwhile, several hundred “dead zones”—areas with insufficient oxygen to support marine life—have emerged throughout the world.

This triple whammy —ocean acidification, warming, and deoxygenation—is placing unprecedented stress on species. Microbes, plankton, corals, mollusks, fish, and marine mammals are struggling to adapt to new ocean biochemistry, ecosystems, food webs, currents, and circulation. Unless humanity reverses course, the predicted “Sixth Extinction” will unfold not only on land, but in the sea

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Reader Comments (73)

The writing style of end of the world clap trap is always improved when the author is clueless about what they are writing.
The article referenced here is a great example of this in action.

Jul 24, 2015 at 8:56 AM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

Can't remember how long since I've seen such a scientifically illiterate article.

Jul 24, 2015 at 8:56 AM | Unregistered CommenterLevelGaze

It is probably just the outline for the next Hollywood blockbuster, "Acidsharknado" about sharks that jump out of the water and burn you to death. Published by accident I imagine. Nobody could be stupid enough to believe it.

Jul 24, 2015 at 9:09 AM | Unregistered CommenterIvor Ward

Being amazed at the stupidity (acidity of the upper ocean has jumped 30 percent - gibberish), I checked up on the author's byline.

Stewart M. Patrick
Senior Fellow and Director of the International Institutions and Global Governance Program
Multilateral cooperation, international institutions and global governance; United Nations; weak and failing states; foreign assistance and post-conflict reconstruction; transnational threats; U.S. foreign policy; diplomatic history.
It seems he has no relevant expertise and has no science background at all.
I'm guessing the rest of his CV is self-certified too.

I'll even guess he made up his name to sound like the Captain of the Enterprise.

Jul 24, 2015 at 9:23 AM | Registered CommenterM Courtney

That CV looks like the biggest pile of BS I've ever seen in a CV and I've read a few

Jul 24, 2015 at 9:39 AM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Richards

But the question is why did he write it? What's his angle.

Jul 24, 2015 at 9:40 AM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Richards

If there are errors of fact in the article it would help if commentators on it would point out those errors instead of simply claiming that they exist.

Jul 24, 2015 at 9:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoy

Speaking of clueless climate kooks phonying up things, has anyone seen what one of the leading climate kooks has been up to?
Check out the latest on how John Cook cooks the books.

Jul 24, 2015 at 9:52 AM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

First scientific error, Roy. The sea is alkaline. It cannot become more acidic.

Jul 24, 2015 at 10:02 AM | Unregistered CommenterRbravery

@ Stephen Richards at 9:40 AM

"But the question is why did he write it? What's his angle."

$/£ per word?

Jul 24, 2015 at 10:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterJoe Public

As someone once observed, for radicals 'the issue is never the issue'. I suspect the focus of that piece is of no concern to the author save as a currently appealing vehicle for pursuing other political goals.The high garbage content is of potential concern for him, I suppose, as if it is widely exposed there could in due course be a reduction in the aforementioned appeal for some.

Jul 24, 2015 at 10:06 AM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

@ Rbravery

While it would have been better use the phrase "less alkaline" than "more acidic" the implication is that the pH of the oceans is declining.

Jul 24, 2015 at 10:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoy

As someone said "the end of the world doesn't happen very often". We are just very unfortunate that is happening in our lifetime.

Jul 24, 2015 at 10:39 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby


Or less alkaline, or more neutral.
'declining' suggests a worsening which, no doubt, is why you chose it and which is the same reason 'more acidic' is used although the latter is untrue.

You also have the approach of a troll so no more from me.

Jul 24, 2015 at 10:40 AM | Unregistered Commenterssat

I have never (never) read such a load of un-scientific shite in my life!! "From 20 Facts about Ocean Acidification" we have the following "fact" #4.
"Average global surface ocean pH has already fallen from a pre-industrial value of 8.2 to 8.1, corresponding to an increase in acidity of about 30%. Values of 7.8–7.9 are expected by 2100, representing a doubling of acidity."
Based on (say) a decade of reasonably intensive data gathering, extrapolating forward 10 time that period, we are told that the oceans will go from being alkaline, to being slightly less alkaline, yet they have "DOUBLED THEIR ACIDITY"
Utter, utter shite!
SimonJ (sorry about the language, but really, how can people publish this and expect to be taken seriously!)

Jul 24, 2015 at 10:49 AM | Unregistered CommenterSimonJ

@ ssat

You also have the approach of a troll so no more from me.

Don't be ridiculous. I have often posted arguments in favour of the sceptical position on global warming on this and other forums. Asking that people identify errors is not the behaviour of a troll but given the mistakes you made in just a short comment it is not surprising that you don't understand that.

Or less alkaline.

Didn't you notice that I had already written that?

Or more neutral.

How on earth can a solution become "more neutral"? A neutral solution has a pH of 7. Anything less and it is acidic. Anything more than 7 and it is alkaline.

Jul 24, 2015 at 10:58 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoy

With all this pHantom acid in the sea, will herring and other fish be caught 'ready pickled', for instant canning, jarring or freezing?

Connoisseurs of oysters and other shellfish will find this great shucking news.

pHantasy acidification pickles Green brains, and destroys credibility. Responsible journalists never touch it. It is only the emotionally immature who fall for its seductive charm, and the damage is irreversible.

Jul 24, 2015 at 11:09 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

M Courtney: From the CV:

...foreign assistance and post-conflict reconstruction
I guess that means Mr Patrick can speak the lingo and drive a JCB.

Jul 24, 2015 at 11:14 AM | Unregistered CommenterHarry Passfield

Cliffs of carbonate,
That's what the ocean ate.

Jul 24, 2015 at 11:18 AM | Unregistered Commenterkim

"By 2100 (sea surface temperature) will rise another 3 degrees." Not may or could, but will. Only a handful of the GCMs project warming on this scale, and these are the ones most undermined by the recent pause/lull/hiatus/slowdown. (delete as appropriate)

Jul 24, 2015 at 11:19 AM | Unregistered CommenterDavid S

Harry Passfield, don't be stupid, 'foreign assistance and post conflict reconstruction' just means he got the beers in, whilst they sorted out who ordered 7 nan breads, when there were only 3 of them having curry.

Jul 24, 2015 at 11:21 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

The mistake, R, is to lie and exaggerate. People become skeptical when they figure that out, and worse. See boy who cried wolf.

Jul 24, 2015 at 11:23 AM | Unregistered Commenterkim

Does pH change the pHreezing point of seawater? It is important that polar bear experts have every opportunity to find a reason why polar numbers are not falling, as they do not like to be left out of stupid science stories. Some of them are proud of their part in creating Cli Sci pHi in the pHirst place, and would not want to miss out on a good grant cheque.

Jul 24, 2015 at 11:38 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

It's always 'disaster', isn't it? Sir John Houghton will no doubt be pleased.

It seems fanciful that a fraction of an already miniscule amount of human-emitted atmospheric CO2 is supposedly triggering 'collapse', 'catastrophe' and 'disaster' when oceans already contain orders of magnitude more of the stuff. It's like dripping a single drop of chorine in an Olympic swimming pool and claiming it will soon resemble Kenneth Williams' acid bath in 'Carry on Screaming'.

Jul 24, 2015 at 11:50 AM | Unregistered Commentercheshirered

AIUI pH is a logarithmic scale so something with a pH of 5 is 10 times as acidic as something with a pH of 4 and 10 times less acidic than something with a pH of 6. If so, it is thus highly misleading to discuss relative acidity as a "percentage".

The other data point not included but that would have been useful is what the natural range of variation in ocean alkalinity is from location to location. Does it simply vary with salinity, for example? Is it 7.5 to 8.5? If so, what difference does it make?

As a general critique it is not helpful language for warmists to talk about the earth getting "hotter" when they simply mean "slightly less cold" and in the same way it is not helpful to talk about the ocean "acidifying" when what is meant is "less alkaline". Presumably this form of words is chosen because of the writer's politics and ingrained habit of thinking on a left-right spectrum. It is possible, for example, to say that Andy Burnham is to the right of Jeremy Corbyn but that both are left of centre, without talking nonsense. I sense that ecoactivists simply read this across.

Jul 24, 2015 at 11:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterJustice4Rinka

Jul 24, 2015 at 11:23 AM | kim

Be careful applying 'the boy who cried wolf' analogy, as alarmists will retort than one day the boy was right.

Jul 24, 2015 at 11:53 AM | Unregistered Commentercheshirered

@Roy: The primary error of the article is "ocean acidification", upon which all else stems with regard to the scarey story scenario. The oceans are not acidic, nor are they becoming acidic. pH varies around the world on a daily basis, & the seas & oceans are essenmtially alkaline. The pH scale is also logarithmic.

Jul 24, 2015 at 12:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan the Brit

I'm afraid blaming the journalist for the hype is aiming at the wrong target. The worlds oceanographers generally do seem to be every bit as pessimistic as this journalist reports. Whether they have a good grasp of what we have had up to now, what to expect or whether the measurements are accurate enough to generate such wild extrapolations from are all open to debate but there is no doubt of their sincere concerns.

Jul 24, 2015 at 12:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

Stewart M. Patrick, he must be a close mate of that other world renowned expert in all things oceanography one named Albert Gore, they probably use the same massage parlours, double whammy huh?

Making broad statements and sweeping the truth away with generalizations, just who is this idiot Patrick?

Alkalinity, salinity, sea temperatures - nothing unusual to report erm except; over fishing in all areas of the oceans, in sub tropics and tropical locations excess tourism, riverine born pollutants and sedimentation are killing reef corals and "heat disappearance" - is all about speculative modelled bollocks.......................

Patrick swallows it - ugh sea water! the green BS and goes to 'print' via using his blog site which is dedicated to brown nosing with the corporate sector, Club of Rome, Bloomberg, Soros, Dell, Brin&Page [Google], Moore, Skoll, Ted Turner et al.

Obama and: all the OWG Democrat control freaks.

Jul 24, 2015 at 12:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

I don't mean to be dismissive or minimise in any way this report but would one be able to recondition their car battery by simply dunking it into the sea?

My collection to 2p pieces need cleaning too..

Jul 24, 2015 at 12:33 PM | Unregistered Commenterjones

Isn't it carbonic acid that adds acidity t the oceans, CO2 is merely absorbed in the water. The other problem they have is explaining why oceans in times when the atmospheric carbon dioxide was ten times today's (4000ppm) didn't go acidic. In fact at no point in history have the oceans been acidic as far as I know.

Jul 24, 2015 at 12:35 PM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

From wikipedia: "pH is defined as the decimal logarithm of the reciprocal of the hydrogen ion activity, aH+, in a solution"

Hydrogen ion activity is 30 percent greater at pH 8.1 than at pH 8.2.
Hydrogen ion activity at pH 7 is 1400 percent greater than at pH 8.2.
Pure water has pH 7.
Therefore pure water, with no CO2 or anything else in it, is 1400 percent more acidic than seawater at pH 8.2.

(please check my calculations).

Note also - 50 million years isn't very long in the age of the Earth (about one percent).
When life first evolved in the oceans, the atmosphere was mostly methane, CO2 and nitrogen.
All the oxygen in the atmosphere was put there by photosynthesising organisms.

Jul 24, 2015 at 12:36 PM | Unregistered Commenterrotationalfinestructure

Adding to the words of Alan the Brit, anyone who expresses pH changes as a % change is either wholly uninfomed/ignorant of chemistry or, much worse, somebody who is trying to deceive the uninformed/ignorant.

By the same foolish abuse of mathematics and the logarithmic pH scale, I could describe pure water as being over 1200% as acidic as the ocean. Impressive, huh? Not to chemists and biochemists.

The less scientifically literate journalist ought still be able to wonder why all that CO2 isn't making his eyes sting.
Or that fresh water systems, which have less ability to buffer pH changes than the ocean, are doing just fine thank you very much when it comes to carbon dioxide.

Jul 24, 2015 at 12:43 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Quote from here on the tropical reef "Wow we could feel the pressure shock from the dynamite fishing and we had to get out of the water. We were 2-3Km away I wouldn't have wanted to have been only 1Km away. The other time we could really feel it in our chests"
said a guy I met who has been in Semporna for the last 2 weeks.

GreensRNotGreen :They want to hypeup their global warming cause whilst the reef is getting destroyed TODAY by Chinese tourists and dynamite fishing.

- Bottomline natural reefs do seem to withstand today bigger variances in temperature and alkalinity than the dramagreens speculate for the future. Thereare corals living in some exceptionally low alkaline area of the sea. And on a year to year basis other corals experience big variances in temperature.

Jul 24, 2015 at 12:50 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

To be honest I calculated that hydrogen ion activity was 25 percent greater at pH 8.1 than 8.2.

Jul 24, 2015 at 12:51 PM | Unregistered Commenterrotationalfinestructure

You beat me to it RFS. I used a conservative value of pH 8.1

But why stop there? Normal unpolluted rain may be a hundred times worse than that at 120000% as acidic as the ocean.
This is partly why chemists need to use a log scale for acidity/alkalinity in water: They get fed up of having to count all the zeros before the decimal point.

Jul 24, 2015 at 12:53 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Naturally carbonated seawater could be the next great consumer rip off. Sprinkle it on fish and chips, no need for added salt or vinegar.

Jul 24, 2015 at 12:58 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

As the scam comes to an end, what surprises me is that rather than getting more and more angry as the last idiots cling to their dogmatic non-science, I'm finding the whole debacle more and more hilarious.

I just can't take them seriously any longer!

Jul 24, 2015 at 1:00 PM | Registered CommenterMikeHaseler

I also forgot to mention, that there a thousands of deep sea volcanic vents on the sea floor, that cause the local seawater to become acidic. This seems to never be referenced by greens. Life appears to flourish in such surroundings, including some calcium shelled creatures. This has been happening naturally for millions of years, yet the oceans are not acidic in general.

Jul 24, 2015 at 1:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan the Brit


Be careful applying 'the boy who cried wolf' analogy, as alarmists will retort than one day the boy was right.

But that is the whole point of the story. What was being judged was not whether or not he could sometimes be right, but whether his assertions about his own reliability were credible.

If the boy had said "I think there is a wolf - but I'm not certain" and then on the last occasion had said "I've really seen a wolf and I am certain this time", then the villagers would have assumed he was trying his best and there was more reason for concern when he was certain. PARTICULARLY IF HE HAD SHOWN CONTRITION WHEN HE WAS WRONG.

The moral of the story, is not that telling people "you think you saw a wolf" is wrong (when it then turns out that there was in fact no wolf), but that if you boldly shout out "wolf" and there is no wolf, then people will stop believing you.

Jul 24, 2015 at 1:36 PM | Registered CommenterMikeHaseler

The oxygen we breath has nothing to do with acidification of oceans, nor are the oceans producing 50% of the oxygen. . Photosythesis produced all the oxygen in the atmosphere, and even if we were to burn all known fossil fuels the O2 content of the atmosphere would fall by an insignificant amount.

The complex biochemical process behind photosynthesis was first evolved by cyanbacteria. The cyanbacteria revolution was important because the only environment needed was water, air and sunlight so they rapidly spread all around the world, and especially across all the oceans. Suddenly oxygen was being generated by photosynthesis whose imprint is clearly seen in the geological record beginning with the Great Oxidation about 2.3 billion years ago. However the long term build up of oxygen in the atmosphere is a very subtle effect, that is still not fully understood. Essentially 99.5% of emitted oxygen is consequently reabsorbed, but its relationship to CO2 levels is particularly interesting. Some interesting facts about photosynthesis that need to be explained are the following.

Current levels of photosynthesis on earth would deplete all CO2 in the atmosphere in just 9 years.
Photosynthesis in the Oceans depletes all available phosphorous needed by aquatic plants and algae in just 86 years.
Most of the CO2 absorbed by plants is soon liberated to the atmosphere when they die or are eaten by animals, while only a tiny amount of carbon is buried in sediments. Even by including this recycling effect we still find CO2 depletion of the atmosphere takes a mere 13,000 years while phosphorous depletion takes only 29,000 years. So what are we doing wrong?

The incredible story is that these trapped sediments are not lost from the environment for ever because plate tectonics recycles material over very long timescales today. Subduction, mountain building and sea level change continuously re-exposes the raw materials for life through weathering. Plate tectonics is essential to re-cycle the raw materials for life on earth !

CO2 re-enters the atmosphere from the mantle through out-gassing of Volcanoes and also through deep ocean vents near mid ocean ridges. CO2 is removed from the atmosphere by weathering due to the abundance of water on the earth. Such weathering does not happen for example on Venus. The ‘natural’ carbon cycle essentially controls the temperature on earth because weathering by liquid water is a temperature dependent phenomenon.

The total content of Oxygen in the atmosphere is equal to the total buried carbon in the sediments. This results in the current 21% oxygen content. The total CO2 content in the atmosphere is instead fine tuned to maintain the temperature of the earth !

Jul 24, 2015 at 2:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterClive Best

@ Stephen Richards

"But the question is why did he write it? What's his angle."

The answer is in his job title, Director of the International Institutions and Global Governance Program. In other words he works towards One World Governance, made in the image of the EU. And let's face it, OWG is the political driving force behind the whole CAGW/CC paradigm. And do not forget, OWG is seen as a very good thing and an eventual certainty by the vast majority of the Western, Developed political and Establishment elites.

Jul 24, 2015 at 2:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterPeter C

Jeepers creepers, I am more scared than I have ever been before.
Or is this a dream?
Surely climate can not be changing?
It has not changed in the past, has it?

Jul 24, 2015 at 2:33 PM | Unregistered Commentertoorightmate

Could everybody please leave alone the little boy crying wolf. He is exhausted, rushing around all over the internet, being dragged into every preposterous climate science fairytale. His twin brother got flogged to death, for sticking his fingers in dykes.

Jul 24, 2015 at 2:41 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Peter C....!

Don't discredit the strong arguments against AGW with global government conspiracy damages us all.

Jul 24, 2015 at 2:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteve

Clive Best said:

Current levels of photosynthesis on earth would deplete all CO2 in the atmosphere in just 9 years.

Enviro-Mentalists Headline:

"Just 9 years of Carbon reserves left in atmosphere before all plant life on Earth dies - We need to ACT NOW!"

Jul 24, 2015 at 2:50 PM | Registered Commenterthinkingscientist

From the article "... is placing unprecedented stress on plankton"

It takes a seriously dysfunctional concept on reality, to write such drivel, and expect to be taken seriously.

Maybe we should kill whales deemed guilty of eating plankton suffering from stress.

Greenpeace probably will launch TV ads raising money, purportedly for plankton stress counseling

Jul 24, 2015 at 3:18 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Climate Science pHiction writers are going to need months of rehabilitation, before it is safe for the public to have contact with them.

Jul 24, 2015 at 4:02 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

The ocean is now more acidic than it has been for fifty million years.

Bullshit, this cannot be known.

Jul 24, 2015 at 4:14 PM | Unregistered Commentermikec

Yes, the "unprecedented stress on plankton" is twaddle. Plankton move up and down the water column, depending on the stage of their life cycle, experiencing significant shifts in water temperature, salinty, pH etc.

Jul 24, 2015 at 4:15 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

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