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Climate change study shows Earth is still absorbing carbon dioxide November 15, 2009

Posted by honestclimate in Discussions.
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Climate change study shows Earth is still absorbing carbon dioxide

The Telegraph, November 11, 20009

The research, by Bristol University, suggests that despite rising emissions, the world is is still able to store a significant amount of greenhouse gases in oceans and forests.

According to the study, the Earth has continued to absorb more than half of the carbon dioxide pumped out by humans over the last 160 years.

This is despite emissions of CO2 increasing from two billion tonnes per year in 1850 to current levels of 35 billion tonnes per year.

Previously it was thought that the Earth’s capability to absorb CO2 would decrease as production booms, leading to an accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

But Wolfgang Knorr, author of the new study, found that the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has remained just over 50 per cent, with only tiny fluctuations being recorded despite the massive hike in output.

He pointed out that his study relied entirely on empirical data, including historical records extracted from ice samples in the Antarctic, rather than speculative climate change models.

Read the rest here


1. JasonR - November 15, 2009

Billions of tons of CO2 sounds a lot, doesn’t it? Until you realise that Earth’s atmosphere has a mass in the order of five quintillion (5×10*18) kg.

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