Ocean acidification has been discovered in the past two years to be rising into fish-rich shallow waters far faster than oceanographers expected. A significant portion of the CO2 emissions that trap heat in the atmosphere are absorbed by the oceans.
By what appears to be a devilish coincidence, this same molecule that warms the atmosphere, CO2, happens, when combined with H20, to form carbonic acid.
Scientists report the sea is already 30 percent more acidic than it was at the start of the industrial age.
A wide range of studies and reports of damage to sea life as a result of this rise in acidity is now coming in from the world's marine biologists.
There is one piece of relatively good news from the scientists in this report, in regard to what it calls "much talk in the popular media" about the possibility of "runaway" climate change.
It says this would be what's sometimes called "a global tipping point," in which many amplifying feedbacks around the world produce a cumulative effect in which Earth enters a "change in state, carried by its own internal dynamics."
Many amplifying feedbacks are closely monitored by scientists, including thawing tundra and dying forest releasing massive amounts of heat-trapping CO2, and the way in which the growing amount of darkened land absorbs more of the sun's heat, thus further warming the ground and air.
Such a "change of state" could be uncontrollable, and possibly, some have worried, so fast that food supplies and human civilization in general would collapse.
Of this most frightening prospect, the report says clearly: "There is as yet no strong evidence that the Earth as a whole is near such a threshold. Instead 'amplified' climate change is a much better description of what we currently observe and project for the future."
In other words, though painful changes are apparently coming in the next few decades and before there is a chance of getting Earth's rising annual global temperature to level off, there is still time, according to the latest science, to avoid the very worst.
At least, it says, "there is as yet no strong evidence" that such an overall threshold "is near."