Fasten your seatbeats, it seems that the new United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) climate report which I wrote about here is even scarier when you look at the climate chaos that they did not include in report. The nature of these large studies done by the IPCC is that they are obsolete the moment they are published. Climate change is moving so fast that impacts are tipping over each over and are edging closer to runaway status.
What was not considered into that report was the speeding up of Ocean warming and acidification. Much of the planet warming has been settling into the depths of the oceans; risking a marine biological meltdown “by end of century.”
At Think Progress/Climate, Joe Romm writes that; the oceans are now acidifying 10 times faster today than 55 million years ago when a mass extinction of marine species occurred. But it's not only marine species that are in danger. Researchers find “Global warming amplified by reduced sulphur fluxes as a result of ocean acidification,” in a new Nature Climate Change study (subs. req’d).
From the Nature news brief:
More recently, thinking has shifted towards predicting a feedback in the opposite direction, because of acidification. As more CO2 enters the atmosphere, some dissolves in seawater, forming carbonic acid. This is decreasing the pH of the oceans, which is already down by 0.1 pH units on pre-industrial times, and could be down by another 0.5 in some places by 2100. And studies using ‘mesocosms’ — enclosed volumes of seawater — show that seawater with a lower pH produces less DMS. On a global scale, a fall in DMS emissions due to acidification could have a major effect on climate, creating a positive-feedback loop and enhancing warming.That means actual warming this century might be higher than the IPCC projects. In the case where there is little or no action to restrict carbon pollution, that means actual warming by 2100 from preindustrial levels could exceed 10°F.
The reduced DMS emissions induce a significant additional radiative forcing, of which 83% is attributed to the impact of ocean acidification, tantamount to an equilibrium temperature response between 0.23 and 0.48 K. Our results indicate that ocean acidification has the potential to exacerbate anthropogenic warming through a mechanism that is not considered at present in projections of future climate change.