Sunday, October 28, 2012

Ocean acidification - is it a problem?

Let us look at hard facts.

One hard fact is that in the past Earth had much higher CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere, which had not reduced biodiversity - on the contrary, biodiversity had increased - namely, hard corals came into existence in one of such periods, and soft corals in another.

Another hard fact is that for significant "acidification" to take place in nature, the dissolved acidic
CO2 in the oceans should increase, without being compensated by the basicity of the dissolved calcium (and magnesium) ions. In practice, this can never happen for a very simple reason - the CO2 concentrations are not growing quickly enough for that.

Indeed, assuming that we continue burning as much fossil fuels as we want, then we expect the atmospheric
CO2 concentrations to double by 2100, with a characteristic time of about 150 years. On the other hand, the characteristic mixing time of the upper ocean is about 20 years, while the characteristic pH equilibration time of the shallow-water biologically productive zones inhabited by calcifying biota is about 10 years. The latter time was estimated based on the annual volume of the river runoff and the amount of seawater existing in the coastal shallow-water zones. These numbers tell us that calcium (+magnesium) will be perfectly capable of accompanying the increasing concentrations of carbonate ions, maintaining the pH of the seawater fairly constant. In fact, it will never change by much more than it has already changed during the last century (0.1 pH), as the entire process has already achieved steady rates in some 70 years since it had started (70 years is much more than 20 years, mathematically speaking, therefore the non-steady initial kinetic phase has already finished).

There is an additional factor that helps to equilibrate carbonate with calcium (+magnesium), namely the chemical equilibrium. We know that the solubility of acidic carbon dioxide in pure water is lower than its solubility in water containing basic calcium (and magnesium) ions, therefore additional CO2 will actually dissolve in seawater after it acquires additional amounts of basicity, brought in by the river runoff from the continents, and not before. This factor further reduces the possible pH changes of the seawater.

As regards calcifying biota, it will certainly benefit from the increased dissolved carbonate and dissolved calcium (+magnesium), in the same way as plants benefit from increased atmospheric
CO2. More CO2 implies higher agricultural yields and higher seafood yields, all in benefit of humanity.

In two words: ocean acidification is a scam, same as the anthropogenic global warming. This hoax, however, is providing for thousands of careers of pseudo-scientists who make their living of studying nonexistent problems, using our tax money to defraud us and earn grants and distinctions. 

Ocean acidification is a moral and a criminal problem, rather than an environmental problem. Environmentally, it is not a problem, and will never become a problem.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Methanol generated from aspartame - is it dangerous?

International official documents recommend that concentration of methanol in food should not exceed 8 ppm (parts per million). Given the average annual food consumption of some 700 kg per person, this amounts to 15 mg of methanol deemed safe to ingest daily. On the other hand, safe daily intake of aspartame had been defined at about 50 mg/kg, or 3500 mg per 70 kg adult.

Now we go to the formula of aspartame, in order to deduce the amount of methanol that will be generated in our body by 3500 mg of aspartame. A simple stoichiometric calculation tells us that 3500 mg of aspartame, upon hydrolysis in our stomach and guts, will produce 380 mg of methanol. This value exceeds by 2500% the safe levels for methanol ingestion.

This simple calculation shows that the "safe" levels of aspartame consumption had been grossly overestimated, and should be reduced by at least a factor of 100. Note that we need no clinical tests to come to this conclusion, our knowledge of chemistry has been more than sufficient.
Baseline: if you care about your health, stay away from artificial sweeteners, "diet" drinks and such like. Otherwise, you are subjecting yourself to inadmissible levels of methanol.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Défice Tarifário e Energias Renováveis

A complementar o meu post antigo:

Hoje foi anunciada na comunicação social a existência de um "défice tarifário", no valor de 2700 milhões de euros, dos consumidores de electricidade, aos produtores de electricidade. Um consumidor doméstico, na média, fica a dever um montante à volta de 500 euros, já que são os consumidores domésticos que pagam a factura das renováveis. Por outras palavras, as extravagâncias das energias renováveis estão a ser pagas, durante anos, pelos empréstimos bancários, em vez das tarifas de electricidade. Ou seja, o consumidor vai acabar por pagar tudo o que deve, com aumentos das tarifas de electricidade, e ainda os juros devidos aos bancos ...

Ora, as políticas governativas continuam a ser motivados pelo moral dum aldrabão: " ... esperemos que o povo não note que está a ser roubado ..." 

Preparem-se: as tarifas de electricidade, para cumprirmos as metas verdes, terão que subir 200%. Na Alemanha, os preços da electricidade vão subir 50% já em 2013, graças aos moinhos de vento.