Could Warmer Oceans Make Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Rise Faster Than Expected?

ScienceDaily (Oct. 24, 2007) — Could the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere rise more drastically than previously assumed? The air contains greenhouse gases such as CO2, which are now known to be responsible for global warming because their concentration has risen continuously for a number of years. In contrast to the atmosphere, the concentration of CO2 in the oceans is sixty times higher.

In the global carbon cycle the sea absorbs a proportion of the atmospheric CO2 but also releases CO2 into the atmosphere again. About half of the anthropogenic emission of CO2 is absorbed naturally by the oceans. Thus it is all the more important to understand how the exchange of CO2 between the ocean and the atmosphere functions with regard to a world that is warming up. The newly available study shows that the ocean was able to store more CO2 during the ice age than it can today.

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