Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 19 Issue 02

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Volume 19, No. 2
Pages 52 - 59


Climate Change, Oceans, and Human Health

By Jonathan A. Patz , Sarah H. Olson, and Amber L. Gray 
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Current climate changes are largely associated with the accumulation of anthropogenic CO2 in the atmosphere. Fossil-fuel burning, which currently releases about 7 billion tonnes of carbon to the atmosphere each year, contributes roughly 70 percent of the anthropogenic CO2 emissions, while much of the rest is attributed to deforestation (Raven and Falkowski, 1999). Only about half of the anthropogenic CO2 released to the atmosphere is absorbed by the oceans and continental vegetation. As a result, atmospheric CO2 concentrations have increased by roughly 100 ppmv (parts per million by volume) during the last two centuries.


Patz, J.A., S.H. Olson, and A.L. Gray. 2006. Climate change, oceans, and human health. Oceanography 19(2):52–59, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2006.64.

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