Skip to comments.US set to violate its standards on CO2 emissions
Posted on 09/25/2007 1:36:29 PM PDT by ricks_place
The US may violate its own standards on water quality by refusing to limit emissions of carbon dioxide, suggests a new study modelling ocean acidification.
"About one-third of the CO2 from fossil-fuel burning is absorbed by the worlds oceans," explains Ken Caldeira at Stanford University in California, US, who led the study.
The CO2 lowers the pH of the oceans surface, a phenomenon known as ocean acidification. This is predicted to have dramatic consequences on marine life by dissolving the shells of tiny organisms and corals.
If governments do nothing to limit greenhouse-gas emissions, CO2 levels in the oceans will rise to a point where, by 2050, ocean acidification will reach a level considered to be industrial waste by the USs own standards, found the study to be published on 25 September.
Industrial waste ""We need to start thinking about carbon dioxide as an ocean pollutant," urges Caldeira. "When we release carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, we are dumping industrial waste in the ocean.".
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) water quality criteria, states that the pH of ocean waters beyond 200 metres deep should not be changed more than 0.2 units outside natural levels. Estimates put natural levels at a range from 8 to 8.25 pH. Anything beyond this is considered industrial waste. However, these standards are not enshrined in US law.
Caldeiras team calculated how CO2 emissions from fossil-fuel burning impact on ocean acidification.
Dangerous interference "If atmospheric CO2 goes above 500 parts per million, the surface of the entire ocean will be out of compliance with EPA pH guidelines," says Caldeira. Currently, concentrations are at 380 ppm. However, computer models suggest that if governments do nothing to limit greenhouse-gas emissions, concentrations could climb to at least 760 ppm by 2100 and could reach 500ppm by 2050.
(Excerpt) Read more at environment.newscientist.com ...
I’m still reeling over the fact that every time I exhale, I’m polluting.
So do volcanoes. Just a minute, I think that thing might just be an underground volcano. We must immediate cap it. Perhaps the pent up energy will cause an explosion on the other side of the world (maybe in Iran) if we work it just right.
Kill two birds with one stone. Make the global warmest feel warm and fuzzy and destroy the great satin.
Kill the hydrothermals, down with underwater volcanoes!!!!
There are things that you can do that pollute even worse.
Well whoop tee doo. It must not be a violation of the law when an illegal alien crosses our border? Wait....that’s why they call them ILLEGAL aliens. They break the law and nothing happens but if we exceed some CO2 limit above that of a bee fart, then we are the worse country in the world. The humanity.
Yjat sounds like BS to me. Those organisms rely on CO2 (and calcium) in the water to form the calcium carbonate which their shells are made of.
“There are things that you can do that pollute even worse.”
I think you missed my point. I don’t consider breathing to be polluting, even if the SCOTUS thinks it does in terms of EPA policy.
Poseidon says, "The EPA bureaucraps made their ruling, now let 'em enforce it!"
Well, we're doing our part to get us there. If the left would only chip in... As if they weren't.
I prefer to think of it as providing a necessary ingredient for plant life.
Make the global warmest feel warm and fuzzy and destroy the great satin.
Is he related to the Great Santini?
Yes, I did screw up the spelling, but the spell checker didn’t notice it.
CANADA SUED FOR BREACHING KYOTO
"Friends of the Earth Canada has launched a landmark lawsuit against the Government of Canada for abandoning its international commitments under the Kyoto Protocol.
Canada is second only to Austria, worldwide, in the staggering size of its failure to meet its Kyoto target, with its greenhouse gas emissions more than 34% above its 6% reduction target."
Lawrence Solomon's "The Deniers" (a series of articles on the view of scientists who have been labelled "Global Warming Deniers"):
This map (left) shows key areas of Antarctica, including the vast East Antarctic ice sheet. The image on the right shows which areas of the continent's ice are thickening (coloured yellow and red) and thinning (coloured blue). Â© (Left)British Antarctic Survey, (Right)Science
“Does that mean we have to quit breathing?”
Only if you’re a conservative. Leftists can breathe all they want under the regulations they wrote.
OK all you smart people...who owns the air that we breathe here in the good ol’ USA?
"Fart irritates environmentalists."
Yeah, I’ve never done thet! ;^)
Oh, good grief, give us a break already.
[Global warming PING to xcamel.]
New!!: Dr. John Ray's
Ping me if you find one I've missed.
I am the worst offender.
“I think you missed my point. I dont consider breathing to be polluting, even if the SCOTUS thinks it does in terms of EPA policy.”
I think he was referring to a gastric exhale.
What about all those plankton in the ocean that need CO2 to survive? Will they breed out of control with the excess CO2? Will they over-populated the world’s oceans? (Semi-sarcastic.)
Aren’t plankton responsible for more CO2 - O2 conversion than plants?
“Estimates put natural levels at a range from 8 to 8.25 pH.”
“The CO2 lowers the pH of the oceans surface, a phenomenon known as ocean acidification.”
A substance with a pH of 7 is neutral, such as pure water. Below 7 is acidic, while above 7 is alkaline.
Considering that sea water is slightly alkaline and that supposedly the CO2 will lower the pH, this could be an alternate headline: “US CO2 Emissions Purifying Oceans.”
(I’ve run my numbers, but want to independently check them!)
Just HOW MANY tons of CO2 are required to raise GLOBAL CO2 from 380 ppm to 500 ppm?
How many tons of carbon are we actually burning (in the US, and internationally)?
How many tons of water are in the “surface” of the ocean (worldwide - as he is using the term. Should we assume “only” 100 feet of depth? After all, fish swim neutrally with gills much deeper than that.)
OK - Now, many tons of CO2 are required to LOWER pH from 8.25 to 8.0 pH - given the above 100 foot limit of CO2 dissolving in the ocean?
OK, given that CO2 dissolving in the ocean does lower pH (acidify it), how many tons of CO2 are needed to create “industrial waste” levels of acidity?
By the way, just what IS an “industrial waste” level of acid - if the natural seawater is ALREADY a basic solution?
Just what pH is required to ACTUALLY DISSOLVE the shells? A completely neutral solution (pH = 7.0) obviously WON’T dissolve the shells - they will sit there just fine in pure water for ever! So, just how low does pH have to go to “dissolve” the seashells?
No, nothing that drastic, only that the U. S. economy must be de-industrialized, set back to, say, the status quo ca. 1810.
And how much of CO2 from natural sources is absorbed by the world's oceans and wouldn't this be an enormous amount in comparison that released from fossil-fuel burning? Are they saying that 1/3 of all CO2 is absorbed by the Earth's Oceans each year or that CO2 from my SUV is special? Anyway, I thought we were told that a warming ocean would release CO2.
It's not just about pH, it's about the saturation level with respect to CaCO3 (and there's more than one form of CaCO3 formed by marine organisms, so they have varying solubilities). Changing the pH just a little alters the carbonate equilibrium substantially, lowering it moves it toward undersaturation. In general, surface ocean waters have a pH of 8.2 to 8.4, and deeper ocean waters from 7.5 to 7.8. These deeper ocean waters are undersaturated with respect to CaCO3, and therefore corrosive.
It won't make it acidic but it will lower the pH.
I think it's about 60% plankton, 40% terrestrial vegetation, but don't quote me.
Both data sets are consistent with each other.