Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Is the airborne fraction of anthropogenic carbon dioxide increasing?

Date:
December 31, 2009
Source:
American Geophysical Union
Summary:
Most of the carbon dioxide emitted by human activity does not remain in the atmosphere, but is instead absorbed by the oceans and terrestrial ecosystems. However, some studies have suggested that the ability of oceans and plants to absorb carbon dioxide recently may have begun to decline and that the airborne fraction of anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions is therefore beginning to increase. In contradiction to those studies, new research finds that the airborne fraction of carbon dioxide has not increased either during the past 150 years or during the most recent five decades.

New research finds that the airborne fraction of carbon dioxide has not increased either during the past 150 years or during the most recent five decades, contrary to some recent studies.
Credit: iStockphoto

Most of the carbon dioxide emitted by human activity does not remain in the atmosphere, but is instead absorbed by the oceans and terrestrial ecosystems. In fact, only about 45 percent of emitted carbon dioxide stays in the atmosphere.

However, some studies have suggested that the ability of oceans and plants to absorb carbon dioxide recently may have begun to decline and that the airborne fraction of anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions is therefore beginning to increase.

Many climate models also assume that the airborne fraction will increase. Because understanding of the airborne fraction of carbon dioxide is important for predicting future climate change, it is essential to have accurate knowledge of whether that fraction is changing or will change as emissions increase.

To assess whether the airborne fraction is indeed increasing, Wolfgang Knorr of the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Bristol reanalyzed available atmospheric carbon dioxide and emissions data since 1850 and considers the uncertainties in the data.

In contradiction to some recent studies, he finds that the airborne fraction of carbon dioxide has not increased either during the past 150 years or during the most recent five decades.

The research is published in Geophysical Research Letters.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Geophysical Union. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Knorr, W. Is the airborne fraction of anthropogenic CO2 emissions increasing? Geophysical Research Letters, 2009; 36 (21): L21710 DOI: 10.1029/2009GL040613

Cite This Page:

American Geophysical Union. "Is the airborne fraction of anthropogenic carbon dioxide increasing?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 December 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091230184221.htm>.
American Geophysical Union. (2009, December 31). Is the airborne fraction of anthropogenic carbon dioxide increasing?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091230184221.htm
American Geophysical Union. "Is the airborne fraction of anthropogenic carbon dioxide increasing?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091230184221.htm (accessed September 18, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Squid experts in New Zealand thawed and examined an unusual catch on Tuesday: a colossal squid. It was captured in Antarctica's remote Ross Sea in December last year and has been frozen for eight months. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Explore Shipwrecks Off Calif. Coast

Researchers Explore Shipwrecks Off Calif. Coast

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Federal researchers are exploring more than a dozen underwater sites where they believe ships sank in the treacherous waters west of San Francisco in the decades following the Gold Rush. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Isolated N. Korea Asks For International Help With Volcano

Isolated N. Korea Asks For International Help With Volcano

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) Mount Paektu volcano in North Korea is showing signs of life and there's not much known about it. Video provided by Newsy
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