I posted today on recent concerns that climate change is likely to destroy the coral reefs, even if the output of carbon dioxide and other gases gets under control.

Besides temperature increases affecting coral, there is little doubt that a drop in ocean pH (a kind of measure of acidity) will occur as carbon dioxide levels increase.  There’s an exchange of gases at the air/sea interface, and as the level in air goes, so goes the level in the sea, and as carbon dioxide levels increase in water, pH levels drop.  Coral can’t stand much of a pH drop.

This gets back to the need to not only check on opinions about global warming, as the recent Pew poll investigated (the title of their article on their poll is “Fewer Americans See Solid Evidence of Global Warming”), but also to check on whether people have an appropriate basis for having an opinion.  What evidence are they looking at and do they have at least a layman’s understanding of the mechanisms at work?

As I wrote recently, this Pew poll simply does not get at whether people understand how carbon dioxide traps heat, and whether they understand the fact that concentrations of carbon dioxide (and other gases) are increasing in the atmosphere.  This fact is incontrovertible (see here), and even the global warming skeptic scientists rarely argue about these data.  Sadly, Pew people probably don’t appreciate the importance of these factors.