d. beck | 23.10.2007 16:51 | Ecology
by a team from the University of East Anglia
shows that the North Atlantic Ocean is only
absorbing half of the CO2 that it used to.(1)
Another research project from the same University
published in May, 2007 found that the southern
oceans are no longer absorbing CO2 from the
atmosphere. But to make things worse, they
are starting to release it back into the air.(2)
in that it works to increase the CO2 instead of scrubbing it out of the air as the
oceans have been doing for thousands of years.
Other positive feedbacks have also begun. The ice that is retreating at the poles no
longer reflects sunlight back into space, now it is absorbing more sunlight and melting
more ice. Also the tundra is melting and starting to decompose, releasing methane
which is over 20 times more potent of a greenhouse gas. But by far, the oceans are
the largest of them all.
Dr Le Quere said: "This is serious. All climate models predict that this kind of 'feedback'
will continue and intensify during this century."
Ten years ago the scientists were predicting that these things would happen, but
they thought it would be in the next century.
So, you know that hockey-stick they keep talking about? It looks like you can
forget that. What this could lead to is a near perfectly vertical rise in greenhouse
The measures required now will need to be very drastic and worldwide......and now.
For examples of the scope of what is needed, here is a link to a speech by George
Monbiot, a long time science journalist in the UK:
1) Scientists Say Oceans Losing Ability To Trap
CO2 Meaning Global Warming Could Accelerate, 10/22/07
2) Ocean 'less effective at absorbing climate change gases', 5/18/07
For more mostly foreign reports of late:
Update of Recent Worldwide Climate Research Reports