Sure, the ocean acts as a buffer for CO2, in the long run, in the sense that a lot of it gets trapped as calcium carbonate (think billion tons of tiny seashells). But in the short run, the surface water is actually mostly saturated in CO2, and an increase in the temperature (be it from man-made CO2, methane, solar flares or alien death-rays) should cause a massive release of CO2 -and methane, by the way- from the warmer oceans (in turn, fuelling the warming through greenhouse effect). So if we assume that there is a man-made CO2-induced global warming (which is quite consensually admitted, but unproven), then an increase in CO2 in the atmosphere leads to a decrease of CO2 in the oceans.
Of course, if you scrap the "CO2-caused warming", and assume that an increase in atmospheric CO2 does not cause a significant warming, then there might be an increase in dissolved CO2 as the increased partial pressure in the air will displace the equilibrium. So basically you can have "man-made CO2 causes a global warming" *or* "man-made CO2 creates monster sea-bass with Prince Charles' ears" but having both would be difficult to explain
"scientists do not include trite little caveats just to prove they're 'not biased'."
Oh yes we do. It's actually common practice, and it's a rather good thing. The idea is to ask yourself "OK, what could have been wrong with my experiment" and examine (and eliminate, through experiments or reasonning) all the reason why you could have a borked result. The problem is, more and more people just find one reason why they could have expected the contrary, and just use that to infer that they *must* have done things right. Hence my jadedness. I'm not saying that it's bad, I'm just saying that it's been misused to the point of being meaningless.
"a lot of scientists are at least as clever as you,"
I think so, too.
"Honestly, what motivates such an exaggerated attack on such an innocuous and (frankly) rather uninteresting research observation?"
Must be jealousy. Or maybe I'm tired of the artificial sexying-up of scientific subjects by the crowbaring-in of social issues. And I think it's a rather interesting observation, since you mention it. I for one would have expected the opposite, if only for pH reasons. But then again, pH is (quite) easy to regulate, and bicarbonate may very well be the limiting factor for oolith formation in the sea bass (a bit like how calcium is the limiting factor for women), so it might have been quite expectable...
Anyway, I stand by my guns, the scientific community is behaving more and more in a cult-like, "don't question the Dogma" manner, especially in the US, but also quite everywhere else to a (sometimes) smaller extent. And it's very painful when viewed from inside.