"The geologic record tells us the chemical effects of ocean acidification would last tens of thousands of years," Caldeira said. "But biological recovery could take millions of years. Ocean acidification has the potential to cause extinction of many marine species."
The oceans had been subject to drastic changes in their chemistry about 65 million years ago, which coincided with the time the dinosaurs went extinct. The pattern that caused the extinction in the ocean was found to be around the same time when ocean acidification took place.
According to Caldeira, "Ultimately, if we are not careful, our energy system could make the oceans corrosive to coral reefs and many other marine organisms. These results should help motivate the search for new energy sources, such as wind and solar, that can fuel economic growth without releasing dangerous carbon dioxide into the environment."