A cornucopia of chocolate
as guthrie put it. Eli has started throughFred Singer's Nonsensical Summary for Bad Climate Policy. You gotta understand, forcing somebunny to read this thing straight is what the CIA substituted for waterboarding, but it is such a rich source of chocolate (thanks Fred) that it is hard to resist. So what to fisk, what to fisk, oh yeah on page 19.
Measurements of increased ocean acidity give us little additional information about the sources of CO2 increases. Although higher concentrations of carbon dioxide reduce the pH of the ocean to some degree, it still remains slightly alkaline; pH values range from 8.2 (in the Norwegian Sea of the North Atlantic) to 7.9 (in the Eastern Pacific and Arabian Sea) [Doney 2006]. There seems no imminent danger of impact on shell formation by marine creatures. The much-feared effects on coral growth are not supported by actual data. [Lough & Brnes 1997; Fine & Tchernov 2007]Simon Donner will probably have some very nasty things to say about this startling piece of deception, but let us, dear anonymice, take a shot at it . What about
Measurements of increased ocean acidity give us little additional information about the sources of CO2 increases.
Measurement of atmospheric mixing ratios, decline of O2 mixing ratios, pCO2 in the ocean, and the isotopic carbon composition and other stuff tells us about the source of CO2 increases. Ocean acidity is a RESULT of increasing atmospheric CO2 mixing ratios. So, dear mice, why did old S. Fred slip that irrelevancy in Eli asks, but let us pass on. How about
Although higher concentrations of carbon dioxide reduce the pH of the ocean to some degree, it still remains slightly alkaline; pH values range from 8.2 (in the Norwegian Sea of the North Atlantic) to 7.9 (in the Eastern Pacific and Arabian Sea) [Doney 2006].
Ocean pH varies between oceans, the pH remains slightly alkaline. What we don't see is that the average pH has decreased by ~0.1 units since 1750 which corresponds to a 30% increase in [H+] concentration (e.g. acidity), that various types of sea life are well adopted to the local acidity and sea temperatures and not so for the changing ones.
Well, fish swim, but corals don't so are corals threatened? Maribo had some good stuff on that and Eli riffed on it a bit, but what do the Chicago boys have to say
There seems no imminent danger of impact on shell formation by marine creatures. The much-feared effects on coral growth are not supported by actual data. [Lough & Brnes 1997; Fine & Tchernov 2007]Poor Eli, doomed to disappointment, he went and RTFR only to discover that S. Fred was dissembling, no, actually he was flat out selling male milk chocolate.
Fine and Tchernov, hmm, as the abstract says, what did they find
Anthropogenic-driven accumulation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and projected ocean acidification have raised concerns regarding the eventual impact on coral reefs. This study demonstrates that skeleton-producing corals grown in acidified experimental conditions are able to sustain basic life functions, including reproductive ability, in a sea anemone-like form and will resume skeleton building when reintroduced to normal modern marine conditions. These results support the existence of physiological refugia, allowing corals to alternate between nonfossilizing soft-body ecophenotypes and fossilizing skeletal forms in response to changes in ocean chemistry. This refugia, however, does not undermine the threats to reef ecosystems in a high carbon dioxide world.Which in plainspeak means
- increase the acidity and
- the animals who build the corals can't form shells, but
- some of the animals who build the coral reefs can exist without shells, although
- fish and other animals who eat those newly naked coral dwellers will get fat
- until they eat all of them
- and the reefs disappear at least
- until the CO2 mixing ratio returns to where it was
- and the few remaining coral builders start working again, but
- don't hold your breath for this to happen
We share Stanley’s concern that our findings might be misinterpreted by the reader, as the title suggests “survival.” The last sentence in our paper, however, clearly states that while we discovered physiological refugia for corals under acidified conditions, coral reefs and their services will be lost. Corals without carbonate skeleton do not provide protection from predators to both the coral host and the numerous species that are associated with it. So even if corals survive acidification, reefs will not.that last sentence was
Physiological, versus geographical, refugia may provide a broader explanation for the existence of corals during times of stress. It is important to note that although survival as soft bodies allows corals to persist, substantial decalcification of reefs will cause major changes to the structure and function of coral reef ecosystems and the services they provide to human society.Technically the nanomules are called corals, and what they build are the reefs. At least some of the corals might survive without their shells, but many would become fish food. Worse, F&T did not look at all possible corals and many may not be able to survive without shells.