In the unlikely event that the theory of man-made climate change turns out to be bunkum, says Charles Clover, the world will still urgently need to slash carbon emissions. This is because of the acidification of the seas - a phenomenon "just as alarming" as global warming. Since the start of the Industrial Revolution in about 1750, the growth in carbon emissions has caused sea-water acidity to increase by 30%, a faster and bigger change than anything seen in 55 million years. Already, the higher acidity is disrupting the ability of sea organisms to make shells out of calcium carbonate - including "corals, crabs, lobsters, plankton and small creatures vital to the diet of fish ". And, at the current rate, water acididty is projected to increase 120% by 2060, triggering a catastrophic chain reaction "through entire eco-systems, from whales to fish and shellfish". Moreover, since acidification will stop the sea absorbing as much carbon dioxide as it does now, it will exacerbate global warming. Acidification is climate change's "evil twin": we ignore it at our peril.
Editorial Comment: Well summarised. When on earth is the UN/IPCC going to enforce carbon capture and storage and and institute the international legal obligation to substitute hydrogen combustion for the current fossil combustion. These two are the only realistic ways forward to tackle ocean acidification and global warming. The implications of a failure to act before the Bonn and Mexico meetings are very sobering thoughts.