A research team from Bristol University will present their findings on this at a climate science conference which opens in Copenhagen today. The Guardian reports
The Bristol scientists cannot talk about their unpublished results until they are announced later today. But a summary of the findings seen by the Guardian predicts "dangerous" levels of ocean acidification and severe consequences for organisms called marine calcifiers, which form chalky shells.
It says: "We find the future rate of surface ocean acidification and environmental pressure on marine calcifiers very likely unprecedented in the past 65 million years." The scientists add that the situation in the deep sea is of even "greater concern".
The scientists compared the current acidification rate with a giant prehistoric release of greenhouse gas, which geologists know caused widespread extinction of deep water species.
The summary reads: "Because the rates of acidification between past and future are comparable, and [because] there was widespread extinction of benthic organisms [lowest living], one must conclude that a similar level of extinction is more likely than not in the future."
Ken Caldeira is quoted thus
"The choice to continue emitting carbon dioxide means that we will be an agent of biological change of a force and magnitude exceeded only by the causes of the great mass extinction events. If we do not cut carbon dioxide emissions deeply and soon, the consequences of ocean acidification will stand out against the broad reaches of geologic time. Those consequences will remain embedded in the geologic record as testimony from a civilisation that had the wisdom to develop high technology, but did not develop the wisdom to use it wisely."
What should be remembered is the incorrect use of "we" implied in using "civilisation" in the above quote. The working class does not own and control the means of production and thus has no real say in how and what is produced.
Simulations by the UK Met Office give some gloomy news, as reported by the Independent
The world's best efforts at combating climate change are likely to offer no more than a 50-50 chance of keeping temperature rises below the threshold of disaster, according to research from the UK Met Office.
The key aim of holding the expected increase to 2C, beyond which damage to the natural world and to human society is likely to be catastrophic, is far from assured, the research suggests, even if all countries engage forthwith in a radical and enormous crash programme to slash greenhouse gas emissions – something which itself is by no means guaranteed.
The chilling forecast from the supercomputer climate model of the Met Office's Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research will provide a sobering wake-up call for governments around the world, who will begin formally negotiating three weeks today the new international treaty on tackling global warming, which is due to be signed in Copenhagen in December.