Carbon Sink Weakened 15% Per Decade
Research published in Science shows that the capability for carbon sink in the Southern Ocean has fallen at around 15%, or 0.08 PgC/y, every ten years since 1981. In the short term this means that the sinking of carbon will be reduced, and in the long term it may mean more atmospheric CO2 stabilisation.
Dr Paul Fraser, CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, believes that this is due to, "an increase in wind strength over the Ocean, resulting from human-induced climate change. The increase in wind strength is due to a combination of higher levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and long-term ozone depletion in the stratosphere, which previous CSIRO research has shown intensifies storms over the Southern Ocean."
This is a worrying discovery, because it could lead to a feedback loop, and intensification of the problem. Dr Corinne Le QuÃ©rÃ©, of the University of East Anglia, said, "this is the first time that we've been able to say that climate change itself is responsible for the saturation of the Southern Ocean sink. This is serious. With the Southern Ocean reaching its saturation point more CO2 will stay in our atmosphere." :: Green Car Congress