lunes, 26 de abril de 2010

Alien Acid Test

I read on Scientific American  yet another "oh it's worst than we thought" news, this time related with ocean acidification. There they talk about Avatar and  Acidification, but for me it's clear that this is more related with Alien. I don't see Sigourney Weaver as Dr. Grace Augustine, I see Ripley. This time Ripley, scares us again...

She forces us to choose between killing our planet or doing something to try to save it, but we must be quick, because as usual, there is no time for debate:
"I think that the science is so indisputable and easy to understand and ... we've already run out of time to discuss this," Weaver said by telephone after her testimony. "Now we have to take action."

It's mainly publicity about another secuel of "An Incovinient lie Truth", this time the name is "Acid Test" (Acid as the Alien blood!?)
Here is the vídeo, let's watch it.
Definitely it's not Weaver best movie. But let's check what it was said there.

Did you see the graphs? the trends? Did they talk about proof, or measurements? Not much did they... Well, we are in a hurry we must act now! so no graphs, just a broken shell, the thinnest one particular scientist has ever saw, and a lot of the usual warnings, worries etc.

Where are the correlations, the trends, etc? well, it seems this has not been measured until a few years ago. but models says so... (because we know they have been proven to be correct, right?)

Main problem, as I understood in the video, is that Plankton is going to melt with acidification, then the rest of the food chain for fish will starve to die, and then we are all doomed. They show one of this shells melting, but it might be me, is this a rare event? I mean would this happen with live plankton? at what acid levels do they die? could that be tested in laboratory?
Ok. Lets see the problem, lets look for the trends

Main plankton seems to be located around the poles, there is also where the biggest changes in temperature have been taking place, so lets check there...

Check yourself other locations if you wish.
To understand this graphs you can check this. Years with no data (from the start of the time series to 2007) are indicated with an open circle, maybe after all it's not that important to measure the biomass anomaly, after all we have the models. Anyway, the trend is indeed quite short, but just at plain sight, I think it does not make a good correlation between temperature and biomass anomaly.

I don't think it does correlate with atmospheric CO2 levels either.

Another thing they claim is that there has been an increase in acidification of 0.1, pH scale is logarithmic between 0(acid) to 14(base) so a change in 0.1 is quite important. Looking at wiki graph:

It looks like it's the maximum and not the mean global value, but this is an old graph... it's the "Change in sea surface pH caused by anthropogenic CO2 between the 1700s and the 1990s". Well yeah, I wonder how they got measurements from all around the globe on 1700. Also note this is the surface variation, not the whole sea, but I didn't read until what depth it's considered "surface".

So, still reading? what should we do! hurry up!

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