Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 14 Issue 04

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Volume 14, No. 4
Pages 18 - 32


Uptake and Storage of Carbon Dioxide in the Ocean: The Global CO2 Survey

By Richard A. Feely, Christopher L. Sabine, Taro Takahashi , and Rik Wanninkhof  
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Human activity is rapidly changing the composition of the earth’s atmosphere, contributing to warming from excess carbon dioxide (CO2) along with other trace gases such as water vapor, chlorofluorocarbons, methane and nitrous oxide. These anthropogenic “greenhouse gases” play a critical role in controlling the earth’s climate because they increase the infrared opacity of the atmosphere, causing the surface of the planet to warm. The release of CO2 from fossil fuel consumption or the burning of forests for farming or pashare contributes approximately 7 petagrams of carbon (1 Pg C = 1 x 1015 g C) to the atmosphere each year. Approximately 3 Pg C of this “anthropogenic CO2” accumulates in the atmosphere annually, and the remaining 4 Pg C is stored in the terrestrial biosphere and the ocean.


Feely, R.A., C.L. Sabine, T. Takahashi, and R. Wanninkhof. 2001. Uptake and storage of carbon dioxide in the ocean: The global CO2 survey. Oceanography 14(4):18–32, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2001.03.

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