A short piece on this morning's New York Times Opinion Page Changing the Chemistry of Earth’s Oceans should have been edifying for any serious conservationist, sea food lover, whale saver, or recreational diver. But it wasn't, closing passively and cynically with this remark: "We have acidified the oceans in a matter of decades, with no signs that we have the political will to slow, much less halt, the process."
What the Times didn't get.
Scientists can depict trends in ocean acidity without resorting to complex computer-run models with hundreds of inputs and variables. Marine researchers and we, their audience, can focus on a single instantaneously calculated variable: pH.
Even Mitt Romney, the low social IQ numbers guy, should be able to grasp pH, once someone explains to him that the scale is logarithmic and therefore a teeny tiny change is a very big deal. (Business guys like that metaphor 'Big Deal.')
Mitt could probably come up with a market mechanism for acidity share risk selling and do great with it.
The Times also failed to appreciate that the taboo which prevents climate change from being a subject in American politics is irrelevant. Ocean acidification is climate change's evil twin, born at the onset of the industrial revolution. Trying to stop him only by reducing ongoing and future emissions is futile.
We have to deal first with the carbon bomb already detonated. Here's the story in a nutshell:
the world's oceans have variously absorbed more than one-third of the last 150 years worth - roughly 130 billion tonnes of CO2 emissions - becoming, as IPS points out, "30 percent more acidic as the extra CO2 combines with carbonate ions in seawater, forming carbonic acid".