Articles | Volume 18, issue 4
Biogeosciences, 18, 1407–1415, 2021
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-18-1407-2021
Biogeosciences, 18, 1407–1415, 2021
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-18-1407-2021

Technical note 24 Feb 2021

Technical note | 24 Feb 2021

Technical note: Interpreting pH changes

Andrea J. Fassbender et al.

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AR: Author's response | RR: Referee report | ED: Editor decision
ED: Publish subject to minor revisions (review by editor) (02 Jan 2021) by Peter Landschützer
AR by Andrea Fassbender on behalf of the Authors (05 Jan 2021)  Author's response    Author's tracked changes    Manuscript
ED: Publish as is (14 Jan 2021) by Peter Landschützer
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Short summary
A decline in upper-ocean pH with time is typically ascribed to ocean acidification. A more quantitative interpretation is often confused by failing to recognize the implications of pH being a logarithmic transform of hydrogen ion concentration rather than an absolute measure. This can lead to an unwitting misinterpretation of pH data. We provide three real-world examples illustrating this and recommend the reporting of both hydrogen ion concentration and pH in studies of ocean chemical change.
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