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“Global Warming” Models Need Update After Study Finds Ocean Traps Twice As Much Carbon

Global warming computer prediction models are only as good as their input, and it appears they need more adjusting. A new study has found the ocean’s biological pump captures twice as much carbon as previously thought.

Measurements of carbon captured in the ocean should be taken where the ocean’s sunlit zone disappears, the study says. Previous models used 450 feet as a set reference depth, but the new study took into account the true variable depth between 100 and 550 feet.

How it works: Plankton die or are consumed in a daily cycle that moves carbon from the from the surface to the deep ocean. A “marine snowfall” occurs trapping most of the ocean’s carbon in deep waters where it is stored for hundreds to thousands of years.

Read more on the study at The Conversation.com

Graphic courtesy Oak Ridge National Laboratory