• 4 minutes Pompeo: Aramco Attacks Are An "Act Of War" By Iran
  • 7 minutes Who Really Benefits From The "Iran Attacked Saudi Arabia" Narrative?
  • 11 minutes Trump Will Win In 2020
  • 15 minutes Experts review Saudi damage photos. Say Said is need to do a lot of explaining.
  • 5 mins Ethanol, the Perfect Home Remedy for A Saudi Oil Fever
  • 4 hours Hong Kong protesters appeal to Trump for support.
  • 14 hours Europe: The Cracks Are Beginning To Show
  • 16 hours Iran Vows Major War Even If US Conducts "Limited Strikes"
  • 1 hour Memorize date 05/15/2018 cause Huawei ban is the most important single event in world history after 9/11/2001.
  • 1 hour Millennials: A boil on the butt of the work ethic
  • 3 hours A little something for all you Offshore swabbies
  • 11 hours Ban Fracking? What in the World Are Democrats Thinking?
  • 16 hours LA Times: Vote Trump out in 2020 to Prevent Climate Apocalypse
  • 13 hours When Trying To Be Objective About Ethanol, Don't Include Big Oil Lies To Balance The Argument
  • 4 hours US and China are already in a full economic war and this battle for global hegemony is a little bit frightening
  • 51 mins Saudi State-of-Art Defense System looking the wrong way. MBS must fire Defense Minister. Oh, MBS is Defense Minister. Forget about it.
  • 1 hour Shale profitability
  • 24 hours Yawn... Parliament Poised to Force Brexit Delay Until Jan. 31
  • 11 hours Let's shut down dissent like The Conversation in Australia
Alt Text

Exxon’s Shareholders Reject Climate Resolution

Exxon’s shareholders rejected a proposal…

Alt Text

IEA: CO2 Levels Hit Another Record High

The International Energy Agency has…

David Gabel

David Gabel

David is a writer at Environmental News Network

More Info

Premium Content

New Research on The Oceans and Carbon Dioxide Release

Carbon Dioxide (CO2), a greenhouse gas, is intricately linked to global warming. The largest store of CO2 is the world's oceans. How the oceans sequester or release CO2 to or from the atmosphere is important to understand as mankind alters Earth's climate with the burning of fossil fuels. A new report from researchers at the University of California, Davis offers clues on how that mechanism works by analyzing the shells of plankton fossils.

CO2 from the atmosphere touches the ocean surface is absorbed by the water. Marine phytoplankton consume the CO2 from the surface as they grow. After the plankton dies, it sinks to the bottom of the ocean. Decomposition then transforms the organic compounds of the plankton into dissolved CO2. This cycle, known as the biological pump, is extremely effective at removing CO2 from the atmosphere and depositing it in the deep ocean waters.

As global temperatures rise, one of the first symptoms is the melting of glaciers and sea ice. This frigid water then sinks to the bottom of the ocean, pushing up the carbon-rich waters that have been trapped under the warmer water for so long, like fizzy soda under a bottle cap). Once the older carbon-rich water reaches the surface, the collected greenhouse gas is released back into the atmosphere, accelerating the cycle of temperature rise.

This is what occurred at the end of the last great ice age, about 18,000 years ago. The question is, where and how quickly does the release of CO2 from the oceans occur? Earlier studies suggest that the release took place all over the northern and southern hemisphere and over centuries and millennia. However, Howard Spero, a UC Davis geology professor, and his colleagues disagree.

According to Spero, the CO2 release that preceded the current warm period was akin to a big fizz rather than a slow leak, and took place largely in the Southern Ocean which surrounds Antarctica. This theory was tested by examining the carbon-14 content in the fossil shells of phytoplankton that were alive at the end of the last ice age. These shells were obtained from core samples, which took up ancient sediment from deep in the sea floor.

"We now understand that the Southern Ocean was the fundamental release valve that controlled the flow of carbon dioxide from the ocean to the atmosphere at the end of the last ice age. The resulting atmospheric increase in this greenhouse gas ultimately led to the warm, comfortable climate that human civilization has enjoyed for the past 10,000 years," Spero concluded.

The UC Davis study was published in the recent issue of the journal, Nature. The lead authors are Kathryn Rose, one of Spero's students at UC Davis, and Elisabeth Sikes of Rutgers University.

By. David Gabel

Source: Environmental News Network




Download The Free Oilprice App Today

Back to homepage



Leave a comment
  • Anonymous on September 01 2010 said:
    except during little ice ages,when residents left greenland

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News
Download on the App Store Get it on Google Play