Source: CO2 Science
by Craig Idso
In a special issue of Oceanography published in December of 2009, Feely et al. review what we supposedly know about the current pH status of the world’s oceans, as well as what they say we can likely expect by the end of the current century.
Getting right to the crux of the matter, the three researchers write in their abstract that “estimates based on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change business-as-usual emission scenarios suggest that atmospheric CO2 levels could approach 800 ppm near the end of the century,” and that “corresponding biogeochemical models for the ocean indicate that surface water pH will drop from a pre-industrial value of about 8.2 to about 7.8 in the IPCC A2 scenario by the end of this century.” And, of course, they warn that, as a result, “the skeletal growth rates of calcium-secreting organisms will be reduced,” ending with the obligatory statement that “if anthropogenic CO2 emissions are not dramatically reduced in the coming decades, there is the potential for direct and profound impacts on our living marine ecosystems.”
Figure 1. Past and projected trends of fossil-fuel carbon utilization and the atmosphere’s CO2 concentration. Adapted from Tans (2009).
Well that’s Feely et al.’s story; but in the very same issue of Oceanography — in the article that appears just before their paper, in fact — NOAA’s Pieter Tans presents a much different take on the subject. (more…)