Saturday, October 20, 2007

Sink, What Sink?

The original estimates about the expected level of Carbon dioxide concentration have been too high. Upon further investigations the anomaly was resolved. It turns out that the oceans and the forests do sequester about 50% of all the carbon dioxide that is emitted by human activity. That was the good news otherwise the anticipated rise in temperature would have been far greater that what it has been.
Now for the not so good news. Scientists at the University of Anglia have outfitted some ships with instruments that can measure the level of carbon dioxide that has been absorbed by the waters that they ply. The data supplied by these ships that have traveled the North Atlantic is totally unexpected. Actually if this preliminary finding proves to be accurate then it does not bode well for climate change.
The newly collected observations show that the North Atlantic is absorbing only half of the carbon dioxide that it used to absorb.That is a huge drop by any measure. If this proves to be accurate and if it turns out to be true for the other oceans then we have to revisit most of the projections that had assummed a carbon sink that is much larger than what the current data suggest that it is.

11 comments:

Lianne said...

It sounds like there would be severe repercussions if the tentative evidence on the oceans decreasing capacity to absorb CO2 is accurate, because then we are presented with a serious issue not only related to Global Warming, but probably also one that impacts the marine life. A change in the water solubility of carbon dioxide could mean that the chemistry of the oceans are also changing, which would have an adverse affect on aquatic ecosystems. So I think these findings could have a cascading chain reaction that leads to many unintended negative results. Disturbing one thing will inevitably affect something else. We should probably take this new data as a sign and a warning. It is not a good idea to just rely on the oceans or forests to absorb the excess of CO2 we are producing. To find a long-term solution to the climate change crisis we will have to reduce emissions.

Leah said...

Lianne is right. Our inconsiderate actions towards the environment have drastic results beyond what most deem important. The rise of CO2 levels in our oceans means a few things, but mainly it means dead sea life. We are choking the fish, mammals and sea creatures that roam the ocean. We are taking away their oxygen to provide for ourselves. What makes that fair? Add that to over fishing practices and the ocean has become our next depleted resource.

Our conquering view of nature has proved to bring us to yet another dilemma, this time it may be irreversible.

MWEST said...

I completely agree with Lianne in that we rely too much on other things to help us. We cannot expect the forests and now the oceans to just clean up all of our mess with CO2 emissions. Nature can only absorb so much until its delicate foundations crack and crumble. Due to this new data, it is evident that we must find other sources to reduce emissions and to stop putting such a strain on the environment. We truly are depleting all of our resources and taking for granted the ecosystems that make up the basis of our own lives. Like Leah said, the ocean could become our next depleted resource and could cause a dilemma that is irreversible.

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