London, March 3 Carbon emissions are acidifying oceans at a faster rate than at any time in the past 300 million years, raising the prospect of ecological catastrophe in decades to come, the Daily Mail reported Friday.
When seawater becomes too acid, corals and shrimp-like plankton at the bottom of the food chain cannot survive.
The knock-on effects can lead to widespread mass extinction of marine species - and is believed to have done in the past.
In the last 100 years atmospheric carbon dioxide has risen to about 30 percent above pre-industrial levels.
New research has shown that even during periods of past mass extinctions the ocean acidity rate nowhere near matched what it is is today.