Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Ozone Hole Reduces Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Uptake In Southern Ocean

Date:
June 24, 2009
Source:
CNRS (Délégation Paris Michel-Ange)
Summary:
Does ozone have an impact on the ocean’s role as a “carbon sink”? Yes, according to researchers. Using original simulations, they have demonstrated that the hole in the ozone layer reduces atmospheric carbon uptake in the Southern Ocean and contributes to the increase in ocean acidity. These results should have a considerable impact on future models of the IPCC, which do not currently take ozone variations into account.

Does ozone have an impact on the ocean's role as a "carbon sink"? Yes, according to researchers from three laboratories(1) attached to INSU-CNRS (2), UPMC, CEA, IRD, MNHN and UVSQ. Using original simulations, they have demonstrated that the hole in the ozone layer reduces atmospheric carbon uptake in the Southern Ocean and contributes to the increase in ocean acidity.

These results, which are published online in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, should have a considerable impact on future models of the IPCC (3), which, for the moment, do not take ozone variations into account.

The increase in CO2 levels in the atmosphere due to human activities is partly responsible for global warming. By absorbing almost 15% of anthropogenic carbon released every year, the Southern Ocean is one of the main sinks for atmospheric CO2. But its effectiveness is decreasing, even as the level of atmospheric carbon has continued to increase over the last few years. Until now, the saturation of the carbon sink in the Southern Ocean has not been correctly simulated by the climate models used.

In order to improve these simulations, a collaborative team of climatologists, modelers and oceanographers was set up. Their objective: to develop a model that more accurately simulates the Southern Ocean's ability to act as a carbon sink. To do this, the researchers based their studies on the IPSL's coupled ocean/atmosphere model, which integrates the carbon cycle (and thus the evolution of greenhouse gases, such as CO2). The key novel feature of this model is that it takes into account changes in the concentration of stratospheric (4) ozone from 1975 until the present day. As Nicolas Metzl, LOCEAN/IPSL researcher and OISO (5) coordinator, points out: "The simulations obtained with this model more accurately reproduce the oceanic observations obtained in the field over the last few years".

Above all, this study highlights two major phenomena with regard to the Southern Ocean: a significant reduction in CO2 uptake, which is not compensated in the other oceans, as well as an acceleration in the acidification of high southern latitude oceanic water. Between 1987 and 2004, around 2.3 billion tons of carbon was not taken up by the oceans. This corresponds to a relative reduction of nearly 10% of the global oceanic carbon uptake. The simulations thus reveal how perturbations to the upper atmosphere (in this case, the ozone hole) interact with greenhouse gases and the oceanic carbon cycle: they lead to stronger westerly winds in the Southern Ocean, which in turn lead to surface oceanic water being mixed with deeper water, rich in CO2, thus limiting the absorption of atmospheric carbon by surface water.

This is the first time that the impact of the ozone hole on the oceanic carbon cycle has been simulated in a global climate model. These results suggest that the climate models used until now have overestimated oceanic carbon uptake and underestimated ocean acidification. They underline the importance of taking ozone into account in future modeling, particularly by the IPCC, which will make it possible to improve future climate predictions. The Southern Ocean is a region that is particularly sensitive to global warming.

Predicting the consequences of such changes more accurately is fundamental, not just with regard to the global carbon balance (saturation of air-sea fluxes) but also marine resources (impact of acidification).

This work was supported by the National LEFE/Cyber/FlamenCO2 (INSU-CNRS) Program and the European CARBOOCEAN Program, which aims to better evaluate and understand oceanic carbon sources and sinks.

(1) Grouped together within the Institut Pierre-Simon Laplace (IPSL), the three laboratories concerned are: the Laboratoire d'Océanographie et du Climat: Expérimentations et Approches Numériques (LOCEAN, UPMC/CNRS/MNHN/IRD), the Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique (LMD, UPMC/CNRS/ENS Paris/Ecole Polytechnique) and the Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement (LSCE, UVSQ/CNRS/CEA).

(2) Institut National des Sciences de l'Univers of the CNRS.

(3) IPCC - Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

(4) The stratosphere is the second major layer of the Earth's atmosphere, situated between about 6 and 30 miles altitude. It contains the famous "ozone layer".

(5) OISO - Indian Ocean Observation Service, created around ten years ago thanks to the support, in France, of INSU-CNRS, IPEV and IPSL.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by CNRS (Délégation Paris Michel-Ange). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Lenton, A., F. Codron, L. Bopp, N. Metzl, P. Cadule, A. Tagliabue and J. Le Sommer. Stratospheric ozone depletion reduces ocean carbon uptake and enhances ocean acidification. Geophysical Research Letters, 20 June 2009

Cite This Page:

CNRS (Délégation Paris Michel-Ange). "Ozone Hole Reduces Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Uptake In Southern Ocean." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 June 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090624093458.htm>.
CNRS (Délégation Paris Michel-Ange). (2009, June 24). Ozone Hole Reduces Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Uptake In Southern Ocean. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090624093458.htm
CNRS (Délégation Paris Michel-Ange). "Ozone Hole Reduces Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Uptake In Southern Ocean." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090624093458.htm (accessed August 22, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Friday, August 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Airlines on Iceland Volcano Alert

Airlines on Iceland Volcano Alert

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 22, 2014) — Iceland evacuates an area north of the country's Bardarbunga volcano, as the country's civil protection agency says it cannot rule out an eruption. Authorities have already warned airlines. As Joel Flynn reports, ash from the eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in 2010 shut down much of Europe's airspace for six days. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Endangered Red Wolves Face Uncertain Future

Endangered Red Wolves Face Uncertain Future

AP (Aug. 22, 2014) — A federal judge temporarily banned coyote hunting to save endangered red wolves, but local hunters say that the wolf preservation program does more harm than good. Meanwhile federal officials are reviewing its wolf program in North Carolina. (Aug. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Coal Gas Boom in China Holds Climate Risks

Coal Gas Boom in China Holds Climate Risks

AP (Aug. 22, 2014) — China's energy revolution could do more harm than good for the environment, despite the country's commitment to reducing pollution and curbing its carbon emissions. (Aug. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Microbrewery Chooses Special Can for Its Beer

Microbrewery Chooses Special Can for Its Beer

AP (Aug. 22, 2014) — Aluminum giant, Novelis, has partnered with Red Hare Brewing Company to introduce the first certified high-content recycled beverage can. (Aug. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins