Ozone depletion reduces CO2 uptake of Southern Ocean

August 9th, 2009 - 12:15 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, August9 (ANI): In a new research, scientists have determined that depletion in the ozone layer is reducing the atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) uptake of the Southern Ocean.

Most current models predict that the strength of the Southern Ocean CO2 sink should increase as atmospheric CO2 rises, but observations show that this has not been the case.

To help resolve this discrepancy, scientists Andrew Lenton and Nicolas Metzl, along with other researchers, considered the effects of stratospheric ozone depletion, which most previous studies had not included.

They compare coupled carbon-climate models with and without ozone depletion and find that including ozone depletion produced a significant reduction in Southern Ocean carbon uptake, in good agreement with observed trends.

The simulations show that ozone depletion, combined with increased atmospheric greenhouse gas concentration, drives stronger winds above the Southern Ocean.

These stronger winds bring more carbon-rich deep water to the surface, which reduces the ocean’s ability to absorb more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

The researchers also found that ozone depletion increases ocean acidification. They suggest that future climate models should take stratospheric ozone into account. (ANI)

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