by Willis Eschenbach, January 31, 2020 in WUWT
The British tabloid “The Guardian” has a new scare story about what is wrongly called “ocean acidification”. It opens as follows:
Pacific Ocean’s rising acidity causes Dungeness crabs’ shells to dissolve
Acidity is making shells of crab larvae more vulnerable to predators and limiting effectiveness in supporting muscle growth
The Pacific Ocean is becoming so acidic it is starting to dissolve the shells of a key species of crab, according to a new US study.
Sounds like the end of times, right? So let me start with a simple fact. The ocean is NOT acidic. Nor will it ever become acidic, except in a few isolated locations. It is alkaline, also called “basic”. The level of acidity/alkalinity is expressed on the “pH” scale, where neutral is 7.0, alkaline is from 7 to 14, and acidic is from 0 to 7.
Figure 1. The pH scale, running from the most acid at the bottom, through neutral in the middle, and up to the most alkaline at the top.
From the chart, the ocean has a pH of around 8 (although as we’ll see, that conceals great variation).