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Philip Foster: On the impossibility of ‘ocean acidification’
Why, oh, why do people like the government’s chief scientific adviser Sir Mark Walport, who really don’t understand the basic science, go on about ‘acid’ oceans? Such a condition is well nigh impossible in the real world.
The oceans are PERMANENTLY buffered to maintain pH fluctuating between around 7.6 and 8.2 (this means they are always slightly alkaline; pH7 is neutral)
- The oceans are always saturated with CO2. There is liquid CO2 in the deep ocean trenches (that is the chemical definition of a saturated solution by the way). Surface layers tend to fluctuate a bit more due to their ‘restless’ condition. The warmer the oceans become the LESS CO2 they can hold.
- The oceans could only ever become acidic, that is have a pH of less than 7, IF the earth were to run out of rocks.