Navigation Links
Increasing levels of carbon dioxide in Arctic coastal seas

The Arctic coastal seas absorb the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide to an ever-decreasing extent. This leads to an increase in the level in the atmosphere and an increase in the rate of warming in the Arctic. This is the conclusion from research carried out at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Most scientists consider that changes to the Earth's climate are caused by increasing amounts of greenhouse gases released by humans from, for example, the combustion of fossil fuels. Carbon dioxide plays a major role in this process.

The oceans absorb carbon dioxide

Approximately half of the emission of carbon dioxide from human combustion of fossil fuels was absorbed by the oceans up until 1994. As the amount of carbon dioxide in the oceans rises, however, their capacity to absorb the gas falls, and it remains in the atmosphere.

"The greenhouse gases raise the temperature of the Earth and this increase is particularly noticeable in the Arctic. It is even more pronounced in Siberia and its coastal seas," says Irne Whlstrm, researcher in marine chemistry.

The increase in temperature has an impact on the environment in the Arctic the cover of sea ice is lower, for example, and the supply of water from rivers increases, the permafrost thaws and the rate of coastal erosion increases.

"One consequence is that organic matter that has been stored in soil is carried to the seas, where it is partially broken down to carbon dioxide," says Irne Whlstrm.

Climate change affects the carbon dioxide system

Irne Whlstrm has investigated two of the coastal seas off Siberia, the Laptev Sea and the East Siberian Sea, in a ship-borne expedition, and in the case of the Laptev Sea by mathematical modelling.

The East Siberian Sea has a western part and an eastern part, into which water flows from the Pacific Ocean.

"The level of marine photosynthesis is high in these waters during the summer, and carbon dioxide is consumed. This leads to the level in the sea being lower than in the air, and the sea absorbs carbon dioxide from the air," says Irne Whlstrm.

The western East Siberian Sea receives also a major contribution from rivers, both directly from the land and from the neighbouring Laptev Sea.

"The river water contains high levels of organic matter, which is partially broken down to carbon dioxide in the sea. This leads to the level in the sea being higher than in the air, and thus carbon dioxide flows from the sea into the air, accelerating climate change."

The Laptev Sea had an excess of carbon dioxide during the late summer of 2008 that was of the same order of magnitude as the western East Siberian Sea, probably caused by the breakdown of organic matter from the land.

The results suggest that the Laptev Sea has changed from being a sink for atmospheric carbon dioxide to become a source of carbon dioxide during the late summer. This will probably be reinforced by a higher air temperature, particularly if parts of the large reservoir of stored organic matter in the Arctic tundra thaw and are carried to the sea. This will further increase the rate of temperature rise of the Earth.


Contact: Irne Whlstrm
University of Gothenburg

Related biology news :

1. Loss of biodiversity increasingly threatens human well-being: UBC, University of Michigan research
2. Increasing predator-friendly land can help farmers reduce costs
3. Increasing water scarcity in Californias Bay-Delta will necessitate trade-offs; hard decisions needed to balance various environmental risks
4. Increasing clarity for medics in suspected physical abuse cases
5. Surprising pine beetle breeding habits help explain increasing tree damage, says CU study
6. UCSB anthropologists finds high levels of omega-3 fatty acids in breast milk of Amerindian women
7. Cardio fitness levels of breast cancer patients may affect survival
8. Mercury in dolphins: Study compares toxin levels in captive and wild sea mammals
9. Research!America says house funding levels for FY13 could undermine medical progress
10. High levels of TRAIL protein in breast milk might contribute to anticancer activity
11. Growing nitrous oxide levels explained
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Increasing levels of carbon dioxide in Arctic coastal seas
(Date:4/28/2016)... Sweden , April 28, 2016 First ... M (139.9), up 966% compared with the first quarter of 2015 ... profit totaled SEK 589.1 M (loss: 18.8) and the operating margin ... 7.12 (loss: 0.32) Cash flow from operations was SEK ... The 2016 revenue guidance is unchanged, SEK 7,000-8,500 M. ...
(Date:4/15/2016)... -- A new partnership announced today will help life ... a fraction of the time it takes today, ... insurance policies to consumers without requiring inconvenient and ... rapid testing (A1C, Cotinine and HIV) and higi,s ... pulse, BMI, and activity data) available at local ...
(Date:3/31/2016)... , March 31, 2016   ... ("LegacyXChange" or the "Company") LegacyXChange is excited ... of its soon to be launched online site for ... ) will also provide potential shareholders a ... DNA technology to an industry that is notorious for ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... A person commits a crime, and the detective ... the criminal down. An outbreak of foodborne illness ... (FDA) uses DNA evidence to track down the bacteria that ... It,s not. The FDA has increasingly used a complex, cutting-edge ... illnesses. Put as simply as possible, whole genome sequencing is ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Charm Sciences, Inc. is ... has received AOAC Research Institute approval 061601. , “This is another AOAC-RI approval ... Bob Salter, Vice President of Regulatory and Industrial Affairs. “The Peel Plate methods ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June, 23, 2016  The Biodesign Challenge ... envision new ways to harness living systems and biotechnology, ... Art (MoMA) in New York City ... 130 participating students, showcased projects at MoMA,s Celeste Bartos ... Paola Antonelli , MoMA,s senior curator of architecture and ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Supplyframe, the Industry ... Supplyframe Design Lab . Located in Pasadena, Calif., the Design Lab’s mission ... hardware projects are designed, built and brought to market. , The Design Lab ...
Breaking Biology Technology: