The land continues to absorb half of the carbon dioxide


03/08/2012

The oceans, forests and other ecosystems continue to absorb up to half of all carbon dioxide entering the atmosphere from human activities, even after the increase in emissions of this gas. These results were obtained by researchers from the University of Colorado and the National Oceanic Administration and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The scientists analyzed 50 years of global measuring the level of carbon dioxide (CO2) and found that those processes by which the planet gets rid of its surplus is still not operating at full capacity.

"These global" sewers "for carbon dioxide is more or less kept up with the increasing human activities, continuing to absorb about half of the CO2 from the atmosphere. But we do not expect this to go on forever," - said Peter Tans of NOAA.

Carbon dioxide is emitted to the atmosphere, mainly by the combustion of fossil fuels, as well as forest fires and during some of the natural processes. This gas can be removed from the atmosphere to the growing plant tissue or water soaked world’s oceans. A series of recent studies has shown that the natural consumers of carbon dioxide no longer cope with ever-increasing rate of emissions. If this happens, the level of CO2 in the atmosphere has increased, which would increase the rate of climate change.

But Ashley Ballantyne, lead author of the study from the University of Colorado, Tans and their colleagues, have not seen a rapid growth in CO2. Their calculations showed that the oceans and other natural ecosystems continue to consume up to half of all emissions of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere produced by human beings. Since CO2 emissions have increased significantly since the 1960s, the "Earth consumes twice as much carbon dioxide today than 50 years ago" - said Ballantyne.

Other accumulating in the atmosphere, which can accelerate global warming.

This new global analysis showed that scientists are still not sufficiently understand the processes by which the ecosystem CO2 removed from the atmosphere.

"Since we do not know why or where these processes occur, we can not count on them," - said the Tans. "We need to determine what is happening. This will make a more accurate our forecasts of future CO2 levels and climate change."

"It is expected global slowdown consumption of carbon dioxide the oceans and ecosystems," - said the Tans. "The oceans, for example, has already reached a high enough level of acidity, because they consume a quarter of all emissions of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere produced by man. With further oxidation, the oceans will become more difficult to consume an ever-increasing emissions of CO2," - he said.

Original: Phys.org


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