New global warming threat from Southern Ocean: Study
US: Climate change has weakened the Southern Oceanâ€™s ability
to absorb the globeâ€™s excess carbon dioxide, a factor that could
accelerate global warming, international scientists have found.
A study published in the journal Science revealed that since 1981,
the Southern Ocean has been taking up less carbon dioxide â€” five to 30
percent less per decade â€” than researchers had predicted previously. At
the same time carbon dioxide emissions rose by 40 percent, the study
found. The reason for the slowdown is more winds over the Southern Ocean
since 1958, caused by human-produced greenhouse gases and ozone
The winds have led to a release of stored carbon dioxide into the
atmosphere. This prevented further absorption of greenhouse gases in the
oceanâ€™s carbon â€śsinkâ€ť â€” a natural carbon reservoir, according to the
â€śThis is serious,â€ť said Corinne Le Quere, a scientist who led the
research by the University of East Anglia, the British Antarctic Survey,
and the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry in Jena, Germany.