Carbon dioxide accounts for almost 80% of our greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere. Oceans and vegetations soak up a part of this carbon dioxide, and this phenomenon of carbon movement is known as flux.
Ocean temperatures slightly differ from the surface to depths of few meters below. However, previous carbon flux estimates have not accounted for this temperature difference, which plays a vital role in carbon dioxide solubility. A new study, led by the University of Exeter, factors in this temperature difference and found a significant net flux of carbon into the oceans.
The study is published in Nature Communications and titled, “Revised estimates of ocean-atmosphere CO2 flux are consistent with ocean carbon inventory.”
The study calculated the carbon dioxide fluxes from 1992 to 2018 and found up to twice as much net flux in certain times and locations when compared to uncorrected models. The researchers have recorded the near-surface carbon dioxide measurements in a database and are available to the scientific community and the public at “Surface Ocean Carbon Atlas.” This data can be used to calculate the carbon flux from the atmosphere into the oceans.
According to Dr. Jamie Shutler from the Centre for Geography and Environmental Science on Exeter’s Penryn Campus in Cornwall, the revised estimate agrees much better than previously with an independent method of calculating how much the ocean is taking up carbon dioxide.
The researchers used satellite data to correct for these temperature differences and found a 10% uptake in the carbon flux by oceans.
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