Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Oceans Better at Absorbing Carbon?

New research in Geophysical Research Letters, by Knorr et al. seems to indicate that oceans are still absorbing a constant proportion of CO2. Their efficacy as a carbon sinks not seem to be deteriorating as the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is increasing.

Here's my two cents (as a layperson who has informed himself though the perusal of websites such as RC and the like)

This basically means that CO2 concentrations may not increase as drastically as some of the models have suggested, due to the worsening of the sink performance. But that certainly does not place us out of the woods. Concentrations are currently as 387ppm, which are quite high already - and they do look like hitting 450.

This essentially tells us that nature might be more forgiving than some of the gravest predictions. This is good news, a sign of hope. Also, I expect this still lies within the error bar of the IPCC projections. Of course cuts in CO2 are still necessary!

However, if I were you, I would wait for updates on RC (or some other resource made by actual climatologists) before I reach a conclusion. I'm no climatologist.

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