[Coral-List] Ocean Acidification

Booth, Charles E. (Biology) BOOTH at easternct.edu
Thu Jan 12 11:28:27 EST 2012

   Doug Fenner wrote (Wed, 11 Jan 2012 12:44:41 -0800 (PST):

   'As far as I can tell, the term "acidification" means that the pH is going
   down, not that the water is "acid."'

   I have been using 'acidification' in this context for decades in association
   with the titration of seawater samples with HCl to measure alkalinity. I add
   HCl to the water and the pH goes down, and if I add enough acid the pH falls
   below 7.0 (I titrate to pH 4.0; I would also note here that the neutral pH
   of pure water varies inversely with temperature, being 7.0 only at 25 C). I
   suspect I adopted this use from a chemistry book, or methods paper, or from
   talking with a chemist. I never encountered any opposition to my use of
   acidification until 'ocean acidification' came along and skeptics started
   arguing that it is an incorrect and misleading use of 'acidification,'
   apparently in an attempt to deny that ocean surface pH (and alkalinity) is
   decreasing measurably.

   Chuck Booth

More information about the Coral-List mailing list