New Climate Summary Debunks Ocean Acidification Scare

The oceans are not acidic, and more carbon dioxide is stimulating phytoplankton growth and marine life, reports a new summary published at The new summary: Climate at a Glance: Ocean Acidification, documents that carbon dioxide’s benefits to marine life are similar to how more atmospheric carbon dioxide stimulates terrestrial plant growth and benefits life on the land.

The new summary documents that the ocean is far from acidic. A pH of 7 is considered neutral, with anything below 7 considered acidic. Ocean pH averages 8.1, which is alkaline rather than acidic.

To the extent computer models speculate (but have not verified) a decline in ocean pH since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, that estimated drop is only from pH 8.2 to 8.1 since 1750. This is hardly alarming or detrimental to marine life.

By contrast, a new white paper from scientists at the CO2 Coalition, Ocean Health – Is there an “Acidification” problem?, documents that ocean health is improved rather than harmed by more carbon dioxide. CO2 is food for phytoplankton that forms the foundation of the marine food chain. Also, studies show marine life thrive and enhance their growth rates in elevated CO2 conditions.

The new summary is the 25th in the Climate at a Glance series.

James Taylor
James Taylor
James Taylor is the President of the Heartland Institute. Taylor is also director of Heartland's Arthur B. Robinson Center for Climate and Environmental Policy. Taylor is the former managing editor (2001-2014) of Environment & Climate News, a national monthly publication devoted to sound science and free-market environmentalism.

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