CO2 being pushed deep into the oceans

Atmospheric carbon dioxide is being pushed deeper into the oceans than previously thought, according to researchers.
The findings mean the oceans may continue to absorb human emissions of the greenhouse gas more rapidly and for longer, they say, reducing their impact on global warming. But the research is bad news for the marine organisms that are already suffering from ocean acidification.
Higher levels of CO2 in the atmosphere, caused largely by industrial activities, push the greenhouse gas into ocean waters. Although this process is fairly well understood, scientists have only estimates of the depth at which CO2 from human activities is stored in the oceans.
“Previous estimates, based on educated assumptions about what the pre-industrial oceans looked like, suggested that in the high latitudes of the North Atlantic, anthropogenic CO2 was not found below 2500 metres,” says Douglas Wallace of the University of Kiel, Germany.
Wallace and colleagues have now published the first measurements showing the location of CO2 from human activities in the North Atlantic. They used data collected during a research cruise in 1981 as a baseline, and then returned to exactly the same sampling locations in 2004.
“This revealed quite large changes in the CO2 in very deep water, between 3000 m and 5000 m,” Wallace told New Scientist.

New Scientist Environment, 12 February 2007. Article.

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