Ocean acidification: Coming soon

On Friday we will begin posting, twice weekly on Tuesdays and Fridays, an 18-part series on ocean acidification (OA).

Our goal is to provide you, our gentle readers, with the background you need to understand the chemical and physical processes behind OA. This will allow you to better understand a field that the rest of the world is waking up to and also to evaluate the commentary on the web. We were motivated to write these posts by the increasing number of comments – here and elsewhere – that are based on misconceptions about OA.

The posts require only high school science. However, this is deceptive, as some concepts and applications of ‘simple’ science can challenge 2nd and 3rd year university students. And that is probably why so much of the little that is written is based upon misconceptions.

Topics of the posts are given below:

OA is not OK.  How calcium carbonate is made.

Thermodynamic duo.  When is a chemical equation valid?

Wherever I lay my shell, that's my home.  Why CaCO3 is easy to make.

The f-word: pH.  What is pH?

Reservoir dogs.  Ocean carbon distribution, reservoir sizes.

Always take the weathering. How carbonate species get into the ocean.

Le Chatelier. Why it is not good enough for ocean acidification

170 to 1.  What happens when we add acid to seawater?

Henry the 8th I am.  How CO2 gets into the ocean.

Is the ocean blowing bubbles?  Why the ocean is not a source of the CO2.

Did we do it? Yes we did!  Where is the CO2?

Christmas present:  Modern observations of pH change.

Polymorphs: The son of Poseidon.  Introduction to aragonite and calcite.

Going down.  How pH changes with depth.

No accounting for taste.  Balancing equations to get solubility product.

Omega.  Saturation index.

Pumping currents.  How carbon gets from the surface into the deep ocean.

Been this way before.  What the past means for understanding today.

Summary posts 1-10

Summary posts 11-18


The posts are written by Doug Mackie, Christina McGraw, and Keith Hunter.




Posted by Doug Mackie on Thursday, 30 June, 2011

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