Southern Ocean being “strangled” by greenhouse gases

The pristine Southern Ocean, which swirls around the Antarctic and absorbs vast amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, is slowly losing a fight against industrial gases responsible for global warming, scientists say.

The Southern Ocean’s unique wind and storm conditions make it the world’s greatest carbon “sink”; the earth’s oceans absorb a third of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and the Southern Ocean absorbs a third of that.

But the waters that surround Antarctica are becoming more acidic as they absorb increasing amounts of carbon dioxide produced by nations burning fossil fuels such as oil, coal and natural gas.

Reuters, 22 February 2007. Interview.

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