There’s the science of man-caused global warming and there are the semantics of the issue. A major global warming talking point label begs for a deeper look into why it has every appearance of becoming an exceedingly inconvenient wipe-out, when it implodes under a simple exercise in common sense.
As a simple idiot having no science expertise, I’ll leave it to the scientists to explain why “ocean acidification” isn’t what it’s cracked up to be – the scientist at this link does indeed use that common label, but offers a caveat in the second paragraph. I submit that the mainstream media is enslaved to the mental picture people have in their minds of “acid”, and descriptions of anything less spectacular only undermine the ‘scary scenario’ of global warming. Without belief in scary scenarios, faith in the need to solve the issue evaporates no less differently than faith in an investment that turns out to be a ponzi scheme.
There is the pH scale, simple to understand, where the numbering system goes from 0 to 14, acid to alkaline (a.k.a. basic), with 7 representing a purely neutral state, neither acid nor alkaline. The recognized pH value for the world’s oceans is a bit over 8, as seen in the above EPA illustration link and at a pair of NOAA graphs here (5th slide at this “acidy” presentation where the first slide appears to be a color-altered ocean photo) and here. (9/16/13 Author edit: NOAA changed their web site page where that last link was seen, so here is the archive link of the page showing the oceans current pH balance.)
Now to hammer home the semantics problem of ocean acidification, consider another even easier scale of comparison, sweet to sour. Add a Kool-Aid flavor and sugar to water and you get a sweet drink. Then there’s a mixture made from sour eggs. Add more water to each to dilute them and then ask a drinker what the effect is.
Any reasonable person on the planet who isn’t first aware of what I’m up to here will confirm the Kool-Aid is still sweet and the egg drink is still sour. Just a bit less so in each case. You will not hear the person say the Kool-Aid has become more bitter nor that the egg drink is now sweeter. Neither crossed over the dead-even bland water taste.
And so it goes with what’s happening with the oceans. Nobody denies the change in pH value overall, but the oceans will never become “more acidic” until they cross the dead-even value of 7. But when a breathless reporter appears on the TV to say ocean creatures will dissolve under slightly less alkaline conditions, the average viewer is going to wander off to the fridge to get more beer and pretzels. And for Al Gore and his followers, that is an inconvenient truth that must be dealt with.
Meanwhile, the PBS NewsHour aired a discussion segment titled “Endangered Coral Reefs Die as Ocean Temperatures Rise and Water Turns Acidic” just two days ago. As I said in a comment at their site yesterday in response their segment on sea-level rise, this constant barrage of scary scenario reports begs for a bad movie title, “Attack of the Zombie Ponzi Scheme Issue”.