I have carried out a multi-year study on ocean pH and have included all the relevant equations from Zeebe and Wolf-Gladrow's book 'CO2 in Seawater: Equilibrium, Isotopes,Kinetics' which contains the solubility product equations for CO2(2-),HCO2(-) and H2CO2 as well as for magnesium carbonate (magnesite) and calcium carbonate(both aragonite and calcite) buffers. I have included as much relevant chemistry in the analysis as I can including phosphorus and boron , ,sodium,chlorine and fluorine salts.
The pH equations I used are the SWS scale equations from Brookhaven National Lab which were made public by Ernie Lewis and Doug Wallace who are scientists there.
I projected the CO2 parts per million (ppm) in the atmosphere into the future, assuming continuing industrial development and population growth and urbanization and deforestation rates remain constant. I used the Mauna Kea data set for CO2 ppm, and used a Bayesian Markov Monte Carlo simulation to project CO2 into the future. With these CO2 levels, I was able to calculate the equilibrium year by year at the surface of the ocean and with the diffusion equations I was able to solve them to depth (1000 feet) using temperature and salinity profiles that are publicly available.
This result showed me that the magnesium carbonate buffer would break in the ocean around 2021-2025 over a 2 year period, and both of the following can happen.
1) When the buffer breaks, CO2 will well up from the depths, and the ocean will off-gas CO2 into the atmosphere causing atmospheric heating due to the green house gas, and more extreme weather events with the water cycle worldwide.
2) The ocean pH could drop by as much as 1 pH level to 7.3 from 8.3 worldwide. This , along with temperature heating in the ocean, could cause the demise of the krill and phytoplankton populations that have already been decimated since 1950 by 40% due to pollution and temperature changes.
If this happens, the base of the food chain in the ocean could be at serious risk of collapse and with it , all life in the ocean. This would eventually ripple onto land food chains and might cause a collapse over the entire earth of the ecosystem food chain. This is a serious probability..
I believe both of these effects will happen to greater and lesser degree simultaneously and at different places in the worlds oceans when the ppm reaches 493 ppm approximately around 2021-2025.
I believe a real chemistry experiment needs to be done aswell, just to confirm the simulation is correct, by adding CO2 to seawater at room temperature and pressure in a closed container until the pH changes, and note the concentration of CO2 above the seawater when this happens. I predict it will be about 493 ppm CO2 for the first pH change when the magnesium carbonate buffer breaks and around 878 ppm CO2 when the second pH catastrophe occurs, and that is when the calcium carbonate buffer breaks in the seawater!
We need to act now with new technology that generates energy without emitting CO2.
I believe an efficient natural gas-solar hybrid engine that emits no CO2 and is very fuel efficient is possible
Please see the following links for more information:
Under Science Forums at TheNakedScientists.com, in Technology section the question : Can we build an efficient hybrid natural gas-solar engine that emits no CO2?
check out: Can we save the marine life with Ocean Engineering?
Keep in mind that 18 milliLitres of H2O = 18 grams approximately which is one Mol of H2O if it is pure and that is equal to 6.023x10^(23) molecules of H2O. Now imagine the whole Ocean. According to K. Gubbins of Cornell University even 100 molecules of water is too combinatorially explosive to calculate the quantum wavefunction of, so its impossible to predict what will happen in a LIVING OCEAN in the future! But it is best to take the side of caution and act now to remove CO2 from the Ocean!
That doesn't make a lot of sense.
More CO2 in the air will force more CO2 into solution in the oceans and lower the pH.
A steep rise in ocean temperature might get lots of CO2 out of it, and that's a potential issue- but not on the timescales you are using.
"The ocean pH could drop by as much as 1 pH level to 7.3 from 8.3 worldwide. "
Nope. as I said, the ocean's pH is dropping.
Also, buffers don't "break" like that.
The ocean is in equilibrium with a lot of solid calcium carbonate.
It's simplistic to say (as some might) that the pH won't change much until the white cliffs of Dover dissolve- but there's a valid point behind the assertion.
This "Keep in mind that 18 milliLitres of H2O = 18 grams approximately which is one Mol of H2O if it is pure and that is equal to 6.023x10^(23) molecules of H2O. Now imagine the whole Ocean. According to K. Gubbins of Cornell University even 100 molecules of water is too combinatorially explosive to calculate the quantum wavefunction of, so its impossible to predict what will happen "
is plainly absurd.
I can predict the outcome of a titration of 50 ml of solution in a lab because I don't know or care what the individual molecules do- I just need to know what the average does.
That actually gets more accurate when big numbers of molecules are involved.
So, if you claim something's going to happen, you need to "show your working".
At least qualitatively, you would need to show why putting more CO2 in the air won't lead to more (rather than less) CO2 dissolving in the ocean.