Wednesday, November 11, 2009

How much of carbon dioxide can oceans and forests absorb?

Brand new research from Bristol university team found rather surprising results that are in contradiction with similar researches done over the past years. According to this research the absorbed amount of carbon dioxide has stayed approximately constant since 1850, despite the rise of emissions of carbon dioxide from about 2 billion tons a year in 1850 to 35 billion tons a year now. Does this mean that oceans and forests have much larger CO2 sinking ability than we previously thought they have?

Most climate scientists these days will tell you that if we continue our excessive emissions in years to come this will lead to negative impact on forests and oceans because their ability to absorb carbon emissions will diminish after certain CO2 increase. This would mean that our planet is much more resilient to climate change than many leading climate scientists believe it is, and that our planet in form of oceans and forests can handle lot more CO2 then we think it can.

Results of this study were not obtained by different computer model but rather with measurements and statistical data, including historical records extracted from Antarctic ice. Does this mean this study is certain? Of course not, not one single climate change study can be considered to be absolute certainty because we still now so little about what our planet is really capable of.

This also doesn't mean that world doesn't have to agree on new climate deal, because of the tremendous risk involved here. Solely relying on results of one study could prove fatal in years to come, and even if the results of this study are correct we still do not know the carbon sinking limits of our planets, and is definitely better not to test them all the way.

By significantly decreasing CO2 emissions there wouldn't me so much unknown about whether our planet can handle so much emissions this or not, because we would be helping our planet as much as we can, not forcing it to reach its limits. Too much gamble with climate change is definitely not wise, especially when you think about the possible consequences.

1 comment:

  1. thanks for the information it was very helpful.
    We learn't a lot.