Oceans of trouble as the CO2 battles widen

Oceans of trouble as the CO2 battles widen

Summary: Legal battles loom over oceanic environmental issues.


There are numerous greentech companies working on various schemes for CO2 capture, recycling, sequestration, burial, and so on. Those companies may be putting themselves into a sector where the technology will be in increasing demand. Today a small nation in the Pacific Ocean is suing over a coal-burning plant in the Czech Republic. The Federation of Micronesia says that Czech plant is endangering the survival of its low-lying islands. At some point it may become cheaper to deal with the CO2 emissions than to hire batteries of lawyers for drawn-out court battles. This court fight could be the first of what we could call the second-hand smoke of the fossil fuel business.

It was such cost disincentives that in the past helped encourage major efforts by government and businesses to deal with leaded gasoline, second-hand cigarette smoke, asbestos fibers, dioxin, acid rain, and other man-caused health threats. If you're interested in following what's happening in the carbon capture sector of greentech, here's an American university's website on the topic. CO2 + H20 = TROUBLE?

A just-published research report says that increasing CO2 absorption by the earth's oceans is having a negative effect. That lower oceanic pH means the ocean's chemistry is changed. This research says acidification lowers the amount of iron in the ocean, potentially curtailing growth of phytoplankton. A phytoplankton dearth would lead to a shrinking number of larger creatures able to live in the ocean.

One environmental group is citing oceanic acidity as a cause of the disappearance of black abalone along the U.S. Pacific Coast. The group is also taking their case to court.

Ocean acidification is not a new finding nor a new fear. Acidification is now becoming widely seen by climate change skeptics as a stalking horse for the whole GW argument. So modest old CO2 has a coterie of strong defenders just as it continues to draw the ire of environmental groups and many climate researchers.


Another new research finding says oil from the two-decade old Exxon Valdez spill lingers in Alaska's Prince William Sound. That oil which has seeped beneath the top layer of the beaches gets exposed to little oxygen or the bacteria that might otherwise biodegrade the crude crud. The study says 20-thousand gallons of oil remains in Alaskan beaches "protected" by the upper layers of sand.

The scientists say they're experimenting with ways to get oxygen into the lower beach sand where the oil is trapped. That would speed biodegradation they hope.

Topic: Legal

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  • ...stalking horse for the whole GW argument...

    I'm still not ready to become a denier, but don't these late breaking scientific studies seem be popping up at rate quickly enough to make them seem suspect? Most big studies take years before they generate any useful information and it feels that we are seeing them happen at the rate of a dozen a week. Even in industrial chemical formulation it takes several weeks to several years of work to generate a fairly simple conclusion (product) and sometimes the conclusion is that the whole thing wasn't worth the effort. Are there ever any of these studies that don't show a calamity in the works? This gripe applies to most studies from both pro and anti climate change groups.
    • Very simple. We're talking dishonest 'journalist' Harry here.

      Biased to the bone.

      And he can't write about IT.
      • Hypocrite

        Your claims of bias reveal more about you than the author. Didn't you read:

        "[i]Acidification is now becoming widely seen by climate change skeptics as a stalking horse for the whole GW argument. So modest old CO2 has a [b]coterie of strong defenders[/b] just as it continues to draw the ire of environmental groups and many climate researchers.[/i]"

        The article includes links to various articles putting a view that increasing atmospheric CO2 and ocean acidity aren't necessarily all bad.

        Next time, [b]read[/b] the article. As for bias, it's a blog. Blogs are subjective and bloggers opinionated, there is no pretence of objectivity.
        Fred Fredrickson
  • Harry, you found a new hysteria?

    Man, you're sad.
  • The Sound of "Settled" Science. Or rather: lies by the Harry-crowd.


    Want some more? Oh. Of course not. You can't stand anything that goes against the IPCC Party Line.
  • Wooot? Glaciers not melting? We can't have that! Call Gore!

  • RE: Oceans of trouble as the CO2 battles widen

    I just read that article you posted and yes, it's bad that they made such a mistake but you can't conclude from it that the glaciers are not melting, just that they are not melting as fast as they said i.e. (from the article)

    Cogley said: "The reality, that the glaciers are wasting
    away, is bad enough. But they are not wasting away at the
    rate suggested by this speculative remark and the IPCC
    • Glad you got to read it

      Harry deleted a post to the same article yesterday.

      What is most interesting was the 90% certainty the IPCC attached to
      the 2035 date, the same level of certainty humans are the cause of
      the warming.

      I'm sure they're right the second time, now we know they aren't for
      the first;-)

      Not even worth commenting of Harry's rant post, nothing but a jumble
      of articles from the believers. Good thing Harry doesn't revisit his
      posts, how's those Met predictions going;-)
      Richard Flude
  • Good Article

    Good Facts Harry,

    Most people probably don't understand how increased CO2 can affect the pH of water and so they make baseless comments. These are the morons that need to be probably educated or even simply review some of their high school chemistry. I hope you will continue posting such articles.

    Rajeevan S.
  • Warming and CO2 and pH, oh my!

    Wow and to think the oceans are teaming with billions of life forms of thousands and thousands of different types after going through the centuries with the CO2 level 1000x what it is today...
    Johnny Vegas
    • What's the source for your claim?

      Better lay off the meds. CO2 levels over 300,000 ppm? How many humans were on the planet at that time? I don't think the CO2 levels even came close to that during the Paleocene?Eocene Thermal Maximum or the end-Permian mass extinction.
      • Here is a usefull link

        UCSD has a great discussion of subject. The highest level of CO2 that I can referenced is 20X that of today and that was a long time ago.

        • Thanks

          Interesting link. It appears those levels predate man by almost 500 million years. Even the 4-5x levels predate man by almost 200 million years. There's no doubt the planet has survived higher CO2 levels and temperatures. The question is will the human species survive, especially since it appears that rises in the past occurred over tens of thousands of years, while the same is happening in the hundreds of years now.
  • Global Warming didn't work, so now is pH levels???

    • GW is not done and PH is serious

    • Yeah. Harry invents his anxieties on the fly.

      Every year it's something new. It doesn't matter for him if it's true or not - what matters is that he wants to scare people, and (ironically) needs to be scared himself. It's just an emotional thing.

      Let's see what he comes up with next.

      He's laughable.

      By the way, wasn't this supposed to be a computer IT site? What's the man doing here at all? Polluting our nice site?
  • So what should we do?

    Okay - nice to know environmentalists are continuing to discover new reasons to become Luddites. Yeah, let's throw away all progress made by the industrial revolution. That's the ticket.

    Well, you did put some new tech at the end of your post. At least you haven't gone completely Luddite on us.

    Frankly, though - we need more solutions. Not more problems.
  • Fossil fuels trapped CO2

    that was already in the atmosphere
    back when the oceans were full of fish
    and CO2 levels were much, much higher
    yet the oceans were not big pools of acid
    can you explain this to me Harry?
    • Harry Never Explains Anything.

      He's afraid to discuss anything with his posters.

      Typical liberal.
      • So funny

        He does come in to discuss, but typical coward posters like yourself never have any facts or response to him directly.