Washington state confronts ocean acidification

“Increasingly corrosive waters” affecting oyster farming? But the daily pH variation in tidal areas is naturally large.

According to the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute,

[Researcher Francisco] Chavez is measuring pH in the intertidal because, as he points out, “These organisms are seeing large swings of pH on a daily basis.” Daily variations of pH can occur from photosynthesis and from animals respiring and releasing carbon dioxide. The pH also fluctuates when upwelled water reaches the intertidal.

In other words, tidal biota don’t live at an average pH, but in a naturally fluctuating range of pH values. Moreover, to the extent pH affects survival, natural selection will enable pH-hardier biota to thrive.

The left apparently only embraces Darwin when it comes to beating up religious conservatives. [Washington Post]

12 thoughts on “Washington state confronts ocean acidification”

  1. she or he, just responded ,

    “Thanks for trolling me”

    I told her to grow up and educate the public to understand the seas are not becoming acidic.

    oops can’t do that the funding will stop.

  2. Dear Steve, I have had correspondence with Kim Fulton-Bennett at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute about the use of the term acidic, they mention that the seas will become significantly acidic by 2100, NOAA have said the seas will never get below a PH of 7 and it would be practically impossible for them to become acidic. I emailed Kim and gave her these details, I suggested “Less base” would be the correct Scientific term.

    She must assume the general public and congress are stupid.

    Her response.

    Yes, “less basic” would be a more appropriate term. However, it would also be very confusing for members of congress and the general public.

  3. The publicity about the studies locally is usually short on information and long on conjecture. There several places along the WA coast where there is known black smoker and volcanic activity that are ignored as potential causes of reduced alkalinity. The cold water upwelling regardless of pH can cause oyster mortality from water that becomes too cold oyster survival. Both scientists and journalists ignore these factors.

    It appears to me that the researchers are cheery picking data to support their model based hypothesis.

  4. extract,

    For the Public Water Supply and Shellfish Harvesting designated uses,
    the standard states, “sewage,
    industrial wastes or other wastes shall not cause the pH to deviate
    more than one unit from the normal or
    natural pH, nor be less than 6.5, nor greater than 8.5.”

  5. what a heap of boll…., the EPA regulations state that the sea waters under US control can have a PH of between 6( acidic) and 9 ( alkaline)

  6. There is more observational data from the Pacific Northwest on pH here-
    Timothy Wootton at Univ. of Chicago measured pH near Tatoosh Island, Washington. They found daily pH variations of 0.5, and annual variations of 1.5.

    He also pointed out that there are almost no measurements of global ocean pH, and his study over 6 or 7 years was the first of its kind. Let that sink in.

    The data is here-


  7. There’s a lot to be said for keeping solvents, acids and bases, organophosphates and other potentially harmful stuff out of the environment when there’s a reasonable way to do so. There’s also a lot to be said for knowing what’s worth a costly effort and what isn’t, e.g. CSS is a costly effort for no gain at all, but the catalytic converters seem to have been truly useful.
    As the article points out, stabilizing the pH of Monterey Bay will have no effect on the intertidal species because the pH varies several times each day anyway.

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