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Thread: Acidic ocean blamed for scallop die-off

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    Re: Acidic ocean blamed for scallop die-off

    Quote Originally Posted by NIMBY View Post
    That's another good hypothesis to what caused the ion conc. to change.
    I'm also wondering if glacier melt is a further cause, but haven't looked at it too deeply.
    As well, with soluble pollutants going out to sea.

    I tend to stay away from the AGW-type threads because they just get out of hand.
    As a kid in the 60's, I was aghast at the notion of a garbage dump in the ocean off of New York City.
    As if this crap won't make its way into the Gulf stream.

    IMV, mandatory recycling of EVERYTHING would be a huge job-creator as well as unloading our dumps.
    And a gift to the Next Century .
    Considering the straits don't exactly flow like other waterways, I think that's why the salinity is lower. Because of freshwater melts and river flows. Still, I don't see this as being the cause for such a large change in pH, as it is normal.

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    Re: Acidic ocean blamed for scallop die-off

    Quote Originally Posted by NIMBY View Post
    I tend to stay away from the AGW-type threads because they just get out of hand.
    same here. i am interested in the science, but these threads generally aren't about science. they are more about using science as a partisan weapon. i couldn't give less of a **** about that angle.

    i'll add this : water doesn't just absorb CO2 well; it also absorbs and holds heat. my guess is that the oceans will buffer both CO2 levels and increase in temperature. this is bad. warming oceans, in my amateur opinion, are worse than warming air, because that will screw up the currents. our weather is largely dependent on the currents, and wild **** can happen when that gets messed up.

    to placate the other side, the earth has had wild climate fluctuations long before anyone ever thought to dig up dead plant matter and burn it. a good supervolcano can screw up everything, too.

    i still think we should replace fossil fuels because they are a finite resource, and our kids and grandkids will have to participate in wars over access to diminishing supplies. plus, the tech is 19th century, and we can do better. and on the other hand, i still want a 1970 Trans Am. how's that for dichotomy?

    anyway, rage on, everyone.

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    Re: Acidic ocean blamed for scallop die-off

    Since you like the science better than the politics, are you open to a few thoughts?

    If you loo at literature, they focus on what they call 65N insolation for the orbital effects of the sun. They use this for the changing seasonal over land that end up being affected by the Milankovitch cycle. I believe that 65S insolatuion is more important, because the oceans absorb so much more energy than the land does. I also suggest that CO2 IR down forcing has little or no effect on the surface temperature of the ocean because it is stopped and radiated back from the ocean withing the first millimeter of depth, whereas more than 50% of the solar spectrum penetrates the water more than a meter and as much as 100 meters. All of this energy is effectively heating the ocean, and changes in solar output are recorded in the waters more than CO2 changes on land.



    Just food for thought. Do you ever hear the warmers speak of this part of the science?

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    Re: Acidic ocean blamed for scallop die-off

    Quote Originally Posted by Helix View Post
    i still think we should replace fossil fuels because they are a finite resource, and our kids and grandkids will have to participate in wars over access to diminishing supplies. plus, the tech is 19th century, and we can do better. and on the other hand, i still want a 1970 Trans Am. how's that for dichotomy?
    Yes, at some point it will become more costly due to supply and demand. Other methods of creating energy will come about by necessity. I see no reason to damage our economy by rushing a process that will occur anyway.

    I had a 1977, and currently own a '02 WS6.

    Sweet car!

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    Re: Acidic ocean blamed for scallop die-off

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord of Planar View Post
    Yes, at some point it will become more costly due to supply and demand. Other methods of creating energy will come about by necessity. I see no reason to damage our economy by rushing a process that will occur anyway.

    I had a 1977, and currently own a '02 WS6.

    Sweet car!
    agree about the car, for sure. seeing the decline of gasoline muscle cars will be tough.

    disagree about waiting for necessity, though. my opinion is that we should pull out all of the stops and moonshot our way to the next transportation fuel by any means necessary. i'd prefer public / private partnerships, and a massive upgrade of the electrical grid. i'd like us to be well ahead of the curve before the situation gets dire. judging by both recent and not so recent history, it's heading in that direction.

    still,


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    Re: Acidic ocean blamed for scallop die-off

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord of Planar View Post
    Can you accept a pH change of 1, because of CO2 in the atmosphere? I cannot. I could accept 0.1, but not 1.0.
    A drop in ph because of carbon dioxide is within the realm of possibility

    CO2: dissolved CO2 and the pH scale | The Skeptical Aquarist

    Dissolved CO2 lowers the average pH of rainwater to 5.7, even where "acid rain" caused by pollution isn't a factor. The gentle acidity of rainwater is a major source for the weathering of minerals, which the carbonic acid leaches from rocks and which eventually find their way to the ocean.

    I recently tested New York's soft tapwater, straight from the tap into the measuring vial, and I got pH 7.0 or 7.2. Then I took a second sample, capped the vial and shook it vigorously for a full minute. It re-tested at pH 6.2. Either my tapwater the other morning got depleted of CO2 on its way here in the watermains, or possibly I super-saturated the water with CO2 (and other atmospheric gases) by shaking it.
    pH changes between 6-8 in weakly buffered solutions (and even easier in non buffered solutions) is fairly easy. The pKa values of the solution is important. As for the reason behind the drop in the OP case, I don't know what it is, a few laboratory tests would be required, testing for a variety of minerals, dissolved gases, salts etc. Then comparing it to other areas of the ocean with properly preserved samples the test would be accurate and they would be able to determine what changes in the water has occurred.
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    Re: Acidic ocean blamed for scallop die-off

    Fresh water aquarium science is a far cry away from the complexities of the ocean.
    Do you understand the log functional relationship that the pH scale uses?

    Your relationship of pure water to rainwater has no bearing. Yes, rainwater has a pH of 5.6 to 6. However, there has always been CO2 in the air, and where you 5.7 comes into play, a doubling of CO2 changes rainwater from your 5.7 to 5.55. Only a 0.15 pH drop for a doubling of CO2. The oceans already carry a balance of CO2 with the atmosphere. A doubling of CO2 is expected to have approximately the same 0.15 pH change. Not a 1.0 pH change, and that is with all other factors equal.

    Again there is no way that our approximate 40% increase in CO2 since 1750 will cause anywhere close to a 1 pH change. It may have cause about a 0.1 pH change over the last 2+ centuries though.

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    Re: Acidic ocean blamed for scallop die-off

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord of Planar View Post
    Fresh water aquarium science is a far cry away from the complexities of the ocean.
    Do you understand the log functional relationship that the pH scale uses?

    Yes I do

    I work in a lab, we actually have a pH meter and I have in fact tested freshly distilled water vs boiled distilled water and have seen the pH change fro, 5.6 to 6.5 after boiling. That is from the removal of CO2 in the water.

    Your relationship of pure water to rainwater has no bearing. Yes, rainwater has a pH of 5.6 to 6. However, there has always been CO2 in the air, and where you 5.7 comes into play, a doubling of CO2 changes rainwater from your 5.7 to 5.55. Only a 0.15 pH drop for a doubling of CO2. The oceans already carry a balance of CO2 with the atmosphere. A doubling of CO2 is expected to have approximately the same 0.15 pH change. Not a 1.0 pH change, and that is with all other factors equal.
    You are ignoring the probability of the ocean being a lightly buffered solution. A buffered solution is one that resists changes in pH at certain pH levels (due to the various ions in the solution. Among the most common laboratory acidic buffers are phosphate buffers using Potassium Phosphate and Phosphoric acid. At certain pH ranges depending on the concentration of the Potassium Phosphate in solution the amount of H3PO4 required to drop the pH by 1 can vary drastically. Given H3PO4 has three H+ ions it has three pKa values if.

    So yes I understand pH, I understand the complexity of oceanic water, I also understand that if the water in question is lightly buffered, a change in the concentration of CO2 which went through the are in which the water is buffered, the pH change at that point can be quite drastic

    Again there is no way that our approximate 40% increase in CO2 since 1750 will cause anywhere close to a 1 pH change. It may have cause about a 0.1 pH change over the last 2+ centuries though.
    You will note that I did not say that CO2 caused the pH drop in the OP, but that it was a possibility. Without the lab report I can not say one way or the other.

    As a side note, I have used the analytical instruments that a water/environmental lab would use to analyze the water, and performed the titrations that they would use as well. This area of science is something I am familiar in (analytical chemistry) as it is what I am trained in and work in. And before people say I am an environmental global warming nut. The company I work for makes pesticides. We formulate, package and sell the insecticides that are suspected by some as to being a cause of the bee population decline, (ie Thiamethoxam, imidacloprid are two of the three that I can recall and the two I have worked with)
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    Re: Acidic ocean blamed for scallop die-off

    Cool. Just making sure you were jumping to conclusions. I did some searched and found some interesting studies of the George [Georgia] Straits. It seems for years they have been concerned about the waters there. All kinds of studies available in searches. I do know this however. CO2 from an AGW point of view is not the cause.


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    Re: Acidic ocean blamed for scallop die-off

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Tammerlain View Post
    The company I work for makes pesticides. We formulate, package and sell the insecticides that are suspected by some as to being a cause of the bee population decline, (ie Thiamethoxam, imidacloprid are two of the three that I can recall and the two I have worked with)
    I've always had a different thought regarding the bees. When I first heard of the colony collapse syndrome, I noticed the pattern seemed to follow increased cell phone areas. A bee's body is about 1/8th wavelength of our 1900 mhz band cell frequencies. 1900 mhz is a wavelength of about 15.8 cm. 1/8th wavelength is about 2 cm. If they are serious about this, find out if they have considered this possibility. Cell repeater towers put out a pretty substantial amount of EM.

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