Oceans Are Absorbing Less CO2
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 21, 2007 9:19 AM CDT
Scientists have concluded after a 10-year study in the North Atlantic that the world's oceans are now absorbing about half the carbon dioxide they were in the mid-'90s.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Oceans are absorbing half the CO2 they were in the mid-'90s, according to a study that collected more than 90,000 North Atlantic measurements over 10 years. Oceans typically absorb about a quarter of the world’s carbon emissions, but the new data suggest they're becoming “saturated,” which a BBC analyst says would “leave all our emissions to warm the atmosphere.”

Researchers aren't sure what caused the change—either global warming or natural variations are possible—but say it’s “a tremendous surprise, and very worrying.” The oceans and continental land masses form the world’s main carbon sinks, which absorb about half of all CO2 emissions. The decrease in ocean absorption could accelerate global warming.