London : The amount of carbon dioxide being absorbed by the world’s oceans has reduced, British scientists who carried out a decade-long study said.
Researchers from University of East Anglia gauged carbon dioxide absorption through more than 90,000 measurements from merchant ships equipped with automatic instruments and the results of their 10-year study in the North Atlantic show carbon dioxide uptake halved between the mid-90s and 2000 to 2005, the BBC reported Saturday.
The researchers believe global warming might get worse if the oceans soak up less of the greenhouse gas.
They said the findings were surprising and worrying because there were grounds for believing that, in time, the ocean might become saturated with carbon dioxide emissions, unable to soak up any more.
Of all the carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere, only half of it stays there. The rest goes into two major natural carbon sinks – the oceans and the land ‘biosphere’, which are equivalent in size, each absorbing a quarter of all carbon dioxide emissions, the researchers said.