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From an article in the forum library

CARBON AND pH

Sometimes putting fresh carbon in your aquarium can raise the pH as the carbon can adsorb carbon dioxide and change other characteristics depending upon the water chemistry of the aquarium water and the type of carbon. Usually the pH change is temporary, but how long depends upon the alkalinity of your water. To minimize this, it is best to rinse the carbon under tap water for a minute before placing it in your tank. This will reduce the magnitude of any changes.


I'm not sure what the bubbling would do and can't find any reference anywhere for this. If the carbon gave off CO2 instead of adsorbing it, I could understand bubbling to drive it off. And as the article says, if your KH is up, it shouldn't be able to do much to change pH. A strong KH value will stabilize pH.

Not sure if this is helpful, but all I could find.
 
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