Letters to the EditorRichard Treadgold | May 22, 2012
The Soda Water scare
To the Editor
22nd May 2012
The climatists have a new alarm – the soda water scare.
We are told that the oceans, which weigh 300 times more than all the gases in the atmosphere, are being turned acidic by the 0.0012% (12 parts per million) of man-made additions to the carbon dioxide (CO2) in Earth’s atmosphere.
CO2 is a natural gas that dissolves in water. The amount absorbed depends upon how much CO2 there is in the air, and the temperature of the water. CO2 dissolves best in cold water and is expelled as the water warms. And far more would be absorbed if there was 100% CO2 in the atmosphere above.
When concentrated CO2 gas is bubbled under high pressure into ice-cold water much CO2 dissolves, producing acidic soda water whose pH (acidity) could be as low as 4. This is 1,000 times more acidic than pure water whose pH is a neutral 7.
But oceans are much warmer than that and atmospheric CO2 is at much lower pressure. Therefore in the open ocean, pH seldom gets below 8, ten times more alkaline than pure water.
This weak soda water could only be described as “acidic” by someone pushing an alarmist agenda. There are no measurements that show that the pH of the ocean is changing more now than in the past – only models. In historical terms, atmospheric CO2 levels are now close to record lows. Corals and other ocean life have flourished in atmospheric levels of CO2 far higher than today’s.
We are told that the tiny bit of natural soda water in still-alkaline sea water will dissolve corals and shells, kill fish and create oceanic mayhem.
If soda water is so dangerous, then how come people consume it in copious amounts in beer, scotch and fizzy drinks?
All plant life, on land and in water, flourishes if CO2 is added to the currently meagre natural supply. All ocean life depends on the availability of CO2 that feeds algae, plankton and other sea plants.
To suggest that today’s minute supply of plant food in the atmosphere will cause an acidity crisis in the oceans is baseless scare mongering.
The soda water scare is not about ocean acidity. It is part of a scheme to drive fishermen from the Coral Sea promoted by the same people who want to force graziers from the grasslands, foresters from the forests and miners from the coal fields.
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