Monday, September 14, 2015

Southern Ocean absorbing more CO2 than thought

The Southern Ocean has recovered its ability to suck vast amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, overturning fears the natural"sink"had stalled with dire consequences for future climate change.

News Corp reported that it continues to act like a giant lung, a carbon sink accounting for around 40 percent of the ocean uptake of anthropogenic carbon dioxide.

Climate scientists had worried the uptake of carbon dioxide by the Southern Ocean had slowed due to human activity.

News Corp reported new research published on Friday in the journal Science reveals that rather than stalling, the amount of CO2 being absorbed by the Southern Ocean was on the rise again.

It is thought that changes in weather -- particularly wind patterns and temperature in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans -- were responsible.

The findings have re-booted debate about how well scientists understand the natural variations in the earth's climate.

Lead author Nicolas Gruber from ETH Zurich said the research did not address directly whether fluctuations in the sink strength were because of natural or human-induced variability.

"The starting hypothesis is that they are a result of natural variations," Gruber told News Corp.

   Xinhua -

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