My main research is aimed at understanding the fate of industrial CO2 released in the air. Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in the 1800s, the atmospheric concentration of CO2 has increased by nearly 30% in the 1990s and it is anticipated that it will double the pre industrial level by the middle of the 21st century. This could cause a global warming and changes in climate, which may extensively impact upon the global community. The observed increase in this "greenhouse" gas in the air is half of that which is expected from the full released amount. Thus, this suggests that about one-half the industrial CO2 released is being absorbed by the global oceans and land plants. However, the relative importance of these two CO2 sinks is not understood. Furthermore, the uptake capacity of these CO2 sinks conceivably could be reduced as more CO2 accumulates in the air.
My research group measures CO2 and related quantities in the world oceans, from the Arctic to Antarctic regions, to learn how fast atmospheric CO2 is transferred into the different areas of the oceans. Seasonal and annual changes are being documented. These measurements provide basic information on how CO2 is cycled through the oceans and atmosphere and how these cycles are affected in response to industrial CO2 being accumulated at ever-increasing rates. I hope that my study will lead to a better understanding and hence to a reliable prediction of the oceans capacity to absorb industrial CO2.
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