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« Here’s what British crow looks like… | Main | Rising sea levels claim shot down by UK Met Office – climate catfight »



SPPI, Idso, Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, and Monckton.....good grief, it's another denier jackpot......

Ian Wishart

No, just a meta analysis. You can read the details for yourself.


Meta-analysis suggests an objective overview of the literature. But, as usual, they seem to have ignored the papers/research that says the opposite.
Not meta-analysis at all then.


E.g. there appear to be dozens of published studies summarised on this site. I can find hardly any referenced in your 'report'.


Here is the summary of the science from an Ocean Acidification symposium a little over a year ago:

>>>2. Science Summary
Anthropogenic ocean acidification is rapid in the context of past natural changes.
Surface ocean pH has already dropped by 0.1 units since the beginning of the Industrial
Revolution, which is equivalent to a 30% increase in hydrogen ion concentration (referred to
here as acidity). This rate of acidification has not been experienced by marine organisms,
including reef-building corals, for many millions of years. The future chemical changes that will
occur in the ocean as a result of increasing atmospheric CO2 are highly predictable. Across the
range of IPCC SRES scenarios, surface ocean pH is projected to decrease by 0.4 ± 0.1 pH
units by 2100 relative to preindustrial conditions (Meehl et al, 2007). A previous natural ocean
acidification event that occurred approximately 55 million years ago at the Paleocene-Eocene
Thermal Maximum (PETM) is linked to mass extinctions of some calcareous marine organisms
(Zachos et al., 2004). After the PETM’s relatively rapid onset of acidification, which could have
lasted for many centuries or millennia, it exhibited a slow recovery period that spanned millions
of years. Today’s anthropogenic “acidification event” differs because it is human-induced and
because it may be occurring much more rapidly. Previous natural acidification events may have
been associated with the five major coral mass extinction events that are known to have
occurred during Earth’s history (Veron, 2008). Recovery from the current large, rapid, humaninduced
perturbation, if left unchecked, will require thousands of years for the Earth system to
reestablish even roughly similar ocean chemistry (Archer, 2005; Montenegro et al., 2007; Tyrrell
et al., 2007; Archer and Brovkin, 2008), and from hundreds of thousands to millions of years for
coral reefs to be reestablished, based on past records of natural coral-reef extinction events
(Veron, 2008).
Ocean acidification is already detectable. Time-series records of ocean carbon chemistry
over the last 25 years show clear trends of increasing ocean carbon and increasing acidity
(decreasing pH) that follow increasing atmospheric CO2 (Bates et al., 2007). These trends
correspond precisely with what is expected from basic marine chemistry (Caldeira et al., 2007).
Over the last two decades, there have also been measurable decreases in the shell weights of
Southern Ocean pteropods (Roberts et al., 2008) and foraminifera (Moy et al., 2008) while
corals on the Great Barrier Reef have shown a recent decline in calcification (Cooper et al.,
2008). However, more studies are needed to verify that these declines in shell weights are due
to ocean acidification.

Severe biological impacts may occur within decades. Projections of the saturation levels of
aragonite (a metastable form of calcium carbonate used by many marine organisms) indicate
that calcification rates in warm-water corals may decrease by 30% over the next century
(Gattuso et al., 1998; Langdon and Atkinson, 2005). By the middle of this century, calcification
rates of many warm-water corals are expected to drop to the point that they will be outpaced by
erosion (Erez, 2008; Gattuso, 2008a; Manzello et al., 2008, Langdon et al., 2008), which would
have serious impacts on coral reef ecosystems. Cold-water corals, which are found in deep
waters, may also be in danger. These corals serve as habitat for many commercial fish stocks,
and today virtually all of them are bathed in waters that are supersaturated with respect to
aragonite. Yet by 2100, it is projected under the IS92a scenario that about 70% of these coldwater
corals will be exposed to waters that are undersaturated with respect to aragonite, which
would be chemically corrosive to their skeletal material (Guinotte et al., 2006). In manipulative
experiments with cold-water corals, when ambient pH was reduced by 0.15 and 0.3 units,
calcification rates declined by 30 and 56% (Maier et al., 2008). Some coastal waters in the
Northeast Pacific have recently become undersaturated with respect to aragonite during spring
due to upwelling onto the continental shelf of intermediate waters enriched in anthropogenic
CO2 (Feely et al., 2008). Off Iceland, invasion of anthropogenic CO2 is causing deep waters to
undergo this same transition to “corrosive” conditions, from being saturated with respect to
aragonite to being undersaturated to the extent that every day, 1 km2 more of seafloor is
exposed to these conditions, as are associated bottom-dwelling organisms (Olafsson et al.,
2008). This transition to undersaturated conditions is projected to occur within decades in
surface waters over much of the polar oceans (Caldeira and Wickett, 2005; Orr et al., 2005;
McNeil and Matear, 2008; Orr et al., 2008).
Marine organisms exhibit a range of responses to ocean acidification. Studies of marine
calcifiers indicate that most but not all of them exhibit reduced calcification with increased ocean
acidification (Fabry et al., 2008). Marine calcifiers differ because they have different
mechanisms that control their internal microenvironment where calcification takes place. Also,
different life stages of marine calcifiers respond differently. These differences need to be taken
into account when designing experiments to evaluate likely future changes in calcification rates
due to ocean acidification. The majority of sensitivity experiments have been carried out on
adults of a limited number of species using short-term experiments. Studies are now examining
the different life-cycle stages of organisms to identify which ones will be affected most severely.
Early life stages may be particularly sensitive to acidification. For example, ocean acidification
negatively affects sea urchin reproduction by reducing sperm motility and swimming ability,
lowering fertilization success, and impeding embryo and larval development (Havenhand et al.,
2008). One oyster species that was selectively bred to resist disease has been shown to be
more resistant to acidification impacts (Parker et al, 2008), which raises the hope that under the
right circumstances some organisms might be able to adapt to some degree. In contrast, longer
experiments with calcifying phytoplankton, coccolithophores, indicate no adaptation to high CO2
after even after 150 generations (Müller et al., 2008). Meanwhile, there is an open debate about
the potential effects of acidification on coccolithophores (Riebesell et al., 2008; Iglesias-
Rodriguez et al., 2008). Elevated CO2 from ocean acidification affects a suite of physiological
mechanisms (Pörtner, 2008). Effects of ocean acidification on ecosystems may occur first and
be strongest where marine species are already stressed by anthropogenic warming.
Physiological studies support the development of a cause-and-effect understanding for
phenomena ranging from performance changes in individual species to changes in species
interactions and phenologies at ecosystem levels (Pörtner and Farrell, 2008).

Naturally low pH environments provide a glimpse of ecosystems in a high-CO2 world.
Insights into how ecosystems may adapt to a high-CO2 environment have been gained from
natural environments near seafloor vents that emit CO2 at ambient temperature as well as in
regions with naturally varying pH gradients, such as coastal upwelling systems. The high-CO2,
shallow, seafloor vent areas around Ischia, Italy, in the Bay of Naples show that when mean pH
conditions reach values that are expected for the end of the century, there is a total absence of
some species, generally reduced biodiversity, and regime shifts to completely different
ecosystems, where sea grasses and invasive species thrive (Hall-Spencer et al., 2008). Living
gastropods also show severe eroding and pitting of shells in areas when average pH declines to
7.4 or less. There is a substantial decrease in species abundance in this area before mean pH
drops below 7.8. Another case is the warm-water coral reefs that are found in naturally high-
CO2, low pH waters of the eastern tropical Pacific, which are less cemented and more prone to
bioerosion (Manzello et al., 2008).<<<

Could explain why almost none of those referenced papers are referenced within your supposed 'meta-analysis'?




CM, read the paper...
You complain that your side is not referenced in the meta-analysis, but that's exactly what the producers of the 'Acid test' film (which film is what the meta-analysis addresses) did.

The SPPI report, written by Dr. Craig D. Idso for SPPI, reveals that an equally strong, if not more persuasive, case can be made that the ongoing rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration will actually benefit calcifying marine life. As such, the NRDC’s portrayal of CO2-induced ocean acidification as a megadisaster-in-the-making is seen, at best, to be a one-sided distortion of the truth or, at worst, a blatant attempt to deceive the public and their elected representatives.

According to Dr. Idso, “Surely, the NRDC and the scientists portrayed in their film should have been aware of at least one of the numerous peer-reviewed scientific journal articles that do not support a catastrophic–or even a problematic–view of the effect of ocean acidification on calcifying marine organisms; and they should have shared that information with the public. If by some slim chance they were not aware, they should be called to task for not investing the time, energy, and resources needed to fully investigate an issue that has profound significance for the biosphere and public policy making. And if they did know the results of the studies we have discussed, no one should ever believe a single word they may utter or write in the future.”

“Typically, the NRDC chose to present an extreme one-sided, propagandised view of ocean acidification in their film,” says SPPI president, Robert Ferguson. “The part of the story that they clearly don’t want the public and policy makers to know was just released in our newest review of the peer-reviewed scientific literature,” added Ferguson.


So the answer is to produce an equally distorting one-sided assessment?

I don't get it. Why would anyone possibly do exactly what they've just accused 'the other side' of doing? That makes no sense. That's not 'science'. And it certainly isn't any sort of 'meta-analysis'.

BTW I don't consider that I have 'a side'. I just do my best to understand and determine which experts seem more credible.

Also, I'm using another summary of the related science, not one provided by the NRDC in any form.

Shane Ponting

BTW I don't consider that I have 'a side'. Funny thing......that's not how it's looked from over here.


That's a good indication of the mindset you've got yourself into.

Idso cites some 150 scientific sources, nearly all of them providing hard evidence, by measurement and experiment, that there is no basis for imagining that we can acidify the oceans to any extent large enough to be measured even by the most sensitive instruments. And, as Richard Feynman used to say, no matter how elegant your theory, no matter how smart you are, if experiment proves you wrong then you need another theory.

Perhaps poor old Idso hasn't heard of PH test strips.

Wake up Fletch, what makes you think the science hasn't work out how to test water samples?


>>>Idso cites some 150 scientific sources, nearly all of them providing hard evidence<<<

It can't be a meta-analysis of the literature if he ignores hundreds of the most significant papers. It's that simple.


"Oceans Reveal Further Impacts of Climate Change
ScienceDaily (Feb. 4, 2010) — The increasing acidity of the world's oceans -- and that acidity's growing threat to marine species -- are definitive proof that the atmospheric carbon dioxide that is causing climate change is also negatively affecting the marine environment, says Antarctic marine biologist Jim McClintock, Ph.D., professor in the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Department of Biology."

Guess that's another one that won't make the 'meta-analysis'.....


Black is white, cold is hot, basic is acid. All part of Nu-speak. The "30% increase in acidity" is assumed from a calculation from an estimate of ocean pH in 1700's, taken from a very limited dataset from a small area of ocean near Hawaii. On this basis does the story grow into acid seas, quite disgraceful hype from people assuming the title of "scientist".

Natural decadal ranges in pH are far greater than this magical 0.1. The theory, which is all that it is, is based on flawed mixing times for the deep oceans, claiming hundreds of years, whereas it is in the order of 30-40 years. This is similar to the deception on the residence time of CO2 in the atmosphere claimed be hundreds of years, when in fact it is shown to be 6 - 15 years, even for the so-called anthropogenic isotope.

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Charles S. Opalek, PE

Taking seawater samples off the coast of Hawaii to measure acidity is just as bad an idea as measuring CO2 atop the world's largest active volcano, Mauna Loa. This area is suffocating under CO2. If you really want to measure acidity and CO2 due to man, do it in the East River and above Manhatten. I'd love to see the comparison with Hawaii.


>>>just as bad an idea as measuring CO2 atop the world's largest active volcano, Mauna Loa.<<<

The trend in CO2 at Mauna Loa is practically identical to the global trend because CO2 mixes well throughout the atmosphere. The global trend is calculated from hundreds of CO2 measuring stations and is consistent with independently measurements from satellites.

Even Willis of WUWT concedes that Mauna Loa produces good data - the idea that somehow nobody noticed they were standing on the world's largest shield volcano is perfectly diagnostic of the state of awareness of somebody repeating the error. Sadly that doesn't stop this idea from continuing to rattle around like some kind of perfectly elastic pinball on a friction-free table.

new balance

The man who has made up his mind to win will never say "impossible ".

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