Land, ocean’s ability to absorb carbon weakening confirmed

November 14th, 2007 - 2:49 am ICT by admin  
Lead author and Executive Director of the Global Carbon Project, Pep Canadell from the CSIRO cited three factors responsible for this growth: Global economic growth; the world’s economy becoming more carbon intense, and a weakening of the natural carbon sink.

“What we are seeing is a decrease in the planet’s ability to absorb carbon emissions due to human activity. Fifty years ago, for every tonne of CO2 emitted, 600kg were removed by land and ocean sinks. However, in 2006, only 550kg were removed per tonne and that amount is falling. The longer we delay reducing emissions, the more restorative capacity will be lost,” said Dr Canadell.

Dr Mike Raupach, a co-chair of the Global Carbon Project, said “the carbon cycle was generating stronger-than-expected and sooner-than-expected climate ‘forcing’ - that is, mechanisms that ‘force’ the climate to change”.

“In turn, climate change itself is feeding back to affect the carbon cycle, decreasing land and ocean sinks,” he said.

“The majority of current emission scenarios for modelling climate through the 21st century assume sustained decreases in the carbon intensity of the global economy, which have not occurred since 2000,” added Dr Canadell.

The study appears in the current issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS). (ANI)

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