Letter writer Russ Stabley strongly objects to warnings on the consequences of the increasing acidification of the oceans.
His objection is based entirely on the statement that “ . . . the oceans are actually alkaline having a pH of about 8.”
This statement is correct but totally irrelevant. The concern is that ocean pH is changing.
All biological, and many chemical, systems are extremely sensitive to pH. For example, the pH of our blood is regulated to fall within a narrow range.
If your blood pH were to fall outside this range, it would be a sign of a severe imbalance in your metabolism and a cause of concern.
That’s why blood pH is monitored by your doctor.
In the same way the pH of the oceans is a critical indicator of changes, even small ones that can be catastrophic.
I heartily agree with his statement that we should get it right when teaching this subject to children and others, but he should first get it right himself.
Joseph M. Prospero, Professor Emeritus, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami