Washington, Jul 11 (IANS): Climate change seems to be stifling the ocean's capacity to absorb carbon dioxide, a study says.
It has actually been soaking up a third of all human carbon emissions every year. Previous studies on the topic have yielded conflicting results, says University of Wisconsin-Madison assistant professor Galen McKinley.
McKinley and her colleagues have come up with the first evidence that climate change is significantly eroding the ocean's carbon dioxide (CO2) absorbing capacity, reports the journal Nature Geoscience.
"The ocean is taking up less carbon because of the warming caused by the carbon in the atmosphere," says McKinley, assistant professor of atmospheric and oceanic sciences, according to a Wisconsin statement.
One of the biggest challenges in asking how climate is affecting the ocean is simply a lack of data, McKinley says.
McKinley and colleagues at UW-Madison, the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University and the Universite Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, working with nearly three decades of data, were able to identify underlying trends in the surface CO2 throughout the North Atlantic.