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If all fossil fuels were burned, how much would this change ocean pH?

Author : Mike

Submitted : 2018-02-13 15:57:40    Popularity:     

Tags: burned  fuels  fossil  pH  ocean  

Approximately 0.001% using available data. Of course we don't know the exact ratio of land vs. water the Earth has. We know the surface is 2/3 water but that i

Answers:

Approximately 0.001% using available data. Of course we don't know the exact ratio of land vs. water the Earth has. We know the surface is 2/3 water but that is pretty much all we know about that ratio. Another thing we don't know that would help us to correctly answer that question is how many volcanoes are on the ocean floor. A few years back they were discovering one a day in one local. And literally we haven't gotten to the bottom of this subject. These are two major issues that need further clarification in order to conclusively answer your question.

Because that would start a mass extinction in the ocean, pH would change due to decomposing plants and animals in ways that are impossible to measure.

Zero

Under realistic emissions rates, from 2000 to 2100, the decrease in pH would be from around 8.2 to 7.8. Of course, time will not stop at 2100 and "all" fossil fuels will not have been burned by then, even under business as usual.

Zero_

It certainly remain more than 7 and not acidic. There are lots of buffers in the ocean, some chemical and some that may be from reactions to all the extra carbon. Reef corals for example use the energy from photosynthesis to create their carbon based skeletons. With more CO2, I think there is a very good chance that corals will grow faster even though the ocean is slightly less pH.

Jim seems to be suggesting that limestone will dissolve away in a basic solution. I think he is mistaken. I think it actually has to go below 7 and probably significantly below 7 before it started significantly dissolving limestone.

When you increase the dissolved carbon in the ocean, they should precipitate out in warm shallow waters as carbonates. I'm not a chemist, but it seems pretty basic (pardon the pun) chemistry that when you increase the concentration of something it would tend to precipitate out since it already is now. For example, the beaches of Bermuda are formed from the white oolitic grains from precipitated calcite.

Returning the next day to address any comments, I knew the wackos wouldn't like actual science from a scientist because it isn't very helpful for their Cause. CO2 doesn't react with limestone as Jim claimed in my comments. Sadly, our media and most of the internet would rather spread lies about our CO2 than science. It is no wonder alarmists are ignorant. Our media is making North Korea and the old Soviet Union look like bastions of truth. Alarmists just soak up all the lies. Facts are like water off their duck back. Most of the history of our planet has had much higher CO2 and yet we have miles thickness of carbonates over huge portions of our continents. Obviously they didn't dissolve away. Maybe it would help alarmists to actually visit the mountains and see the result of all the carbon that built up on the ocean long ago when CO2 was much higher. Maybe they would learn to be a little more skeptical about idiotic claims but that is probably expecting too much from them.

It would be difficult to say. The pH will eventually be restored when enough limestone dissolves. pH is determined by the ratio of bicarbonate ions to carbon dioxide, not by the absolute amount of carbon dioxide.



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