In the latest of many cataclysmic global warming predictions, Columbia University's Earth Institute has revealed that oceans may now be acidifying due to carbon emissions. “What we’re doing today really stands out,” said the study’s lead author Bärbel Hönisch, “We know that life during past ocean acidification events was not wiped out—new species evolved to replace those that died off. But if industrial carbon emissions continue at the current pace, we may lose organisms we care about—coral reefs, oysters, salmon..."
The research team, which included scientists from five countries, found only one other historical period that had carbon levels rivaling today's: 56 million years ago. At this time, "a mysterious surge of carbon doubled atmospheric concentrations, [pushing] average global temperatures up by about 6 degrees C, and dramatically changed the ecological landscape." The study concludes by cautioning that "we are entering an unknown territory of marine system eco-change," and that "the decisions we make over the next few decades could have significant implications on the geologic timescale."
But many climate change skeptics say the prediction mirrors the overpopulation scare from Copenhagen's 2009 convention, the looming extinction of polar bears, the ice caps melting, the sea levels rising, and, of course, Al Gore's 2006 prediction that we have ten years to "save the planet" (less than 4 years to go!).
But just how reliable are these predictions, and at what cost must we "prevent" them?