Navigation Links
The big unknown: Factoring marine sediments into climate calculations
Date:12/4/2013

The discussion over the best ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and remove existing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere often includes measures that entail planting trees. But this discussion overlooks an important factor: trees are not the only plants that take up carbon dioxide. In fact, microscopic marine phytoplankton already play a critical role in regulating today's carbon cycles.

These tiny organisms consume carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and move it to marine sediments in the deep ocean in a process called "the biological pump". Currently, more than 99 per cent of the Earth's carbon is bound up in these sediments, locked away in the depths of the ocean.

A new EU-funded project called "OCEAN-CERTAIN" has been created to improve our understanding of the biological pump, so that its significance in shaping future climate change is clearer. The project will be led by researchers from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim, and will examine and compare the situations in different ocean areas on the planet.

"The marine ecosystem, from microorganisms up to fish, mitigates the accumulation of CO2 in the atmosphere through its activity, but there are major uncertainties about the importance of these processes and how they are affected by human activities," says Yngvar Olsen, a professor in NTNU's Department of Biology, and the project's coordinator. "We are a broad group of scientists from Europe, Chile and Australia, which is important in seeing the challenge from a global perspective. We are both natural scientists who will work with the ecosystem and the biological pump and social scientists who will study possible consequences for society, or people in general."

The biological pump as a process is well known to marine scientists, but there remains great uncertainty about how much carbon is bound up in ocean sediments annually, and how the process will be affected by changing climate, social and environmental conditions. This uncertainty has been problematic in predicting future climate change, and experts and politicians are eager to know more.

The project has the clear goal of providing more comprehensive and reliable information to climate scientists and politicians who must make decisions about climate actions. It will rely on collecting existing knowledge from databases and will generate new knowledge where gaps are identified.

A better understanding of the importance of the biological processes that enable the ocean to absorb carbon dioxide will have economic and social implications. The project will therefore address how changes in these processes will affect the tourism, aquaculture and fisheries sectors and how their responses may in turn affect these processes. In addition, it will address how this knowledge can be used to improve management.

In a world where carbon dioxide emissions have increased, it is important that we have a sound understanding of the natural processes that can counteract climate change, so that future climate-related predictions are better, and perhaps more important, so that we manage the oceans in a way that strengthens, rather than weakens, the biological pump.


'/>"/>

Contact: Yngvar Olsen
yngvar.olsen@ntnu.no
47-977-78249
Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Arctic study shows key marine food web species at risk from increasing CO2
2. Microplastics make marine worms sick
3. Marine reserves enhance resilience to climate change
4. Stingray movement could inspire the next generation of submarines
5. Assessing noise impact of offshore wind farm construction may help protect marine mammals
6. NOAA awards $967,000 to 11 marine debris removal projects
7. NOAA announces additions to National System of Marine Protected Areas
8. UCSB study finds climate change is causing modifications to marine life behavior
9. First global atlas of marine plankton reveals remarkable underwater world
10. Stop marine pollution to protect kelp forests
11. Discovery of the Plastisphere -- a new marine ecological community
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
The big unknown: Factoring marine sediments into climate calculations
(Date:1/20/2016)... Jan. 20, 2016  Synaptics Incorporated (NASDAQ: ... solutions, today announced sampling of S1423, its newest ... and small screen applications including smartwatches, fitness trackers, ... round and rectangular shapes, as well as thick ... with moisture on screen, while wearing gloves, and ...
(Date:1/15/2016)... SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico , Jan. 15, 2016 ... forcing companies big and small to find new ways ... data driven culture. iOS and ... their device based on biometrics, transforming it into a ... can request that users swipe their fingerprint on their ...
(Date:1/13/2016)... DUBLIN , January 13, 2016 ... has announced the addition of the  ... - Estimation & Forecast (2015-2020)" ... http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/7h6hnn/india_biometrics ) has announced the ... & Identification Market - Estimation & ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/8/2016)... , Feb. 8, 2016  CytRx Corporation (NASDAQ: ... company specializing in oncology, today announced that it ... agreement with Hercules Technology Growth Capital, Inc. and ... million in financing. --> ... $25 million of financing under the loan and ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... ... ... Information Management Services ( IMS ) is pleased to announce a major upgrade ... and is so significant it was endowed with a new name, BSI Engage. ... a streamlined layout and a more intuitive format for navigating the system. ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... , Feb. 8, 2016  Diplomat Pharmacy, Inc. (NYSE: DPLO) announced today that its new website ... pharmacy resource–user-centric, story-driven, knowledge-based and mobile-friendly. Visit the ... ... ... "The goal was to ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... N.C. , Feb. 5, 2016  In the ... role for a host of launch activities including the ... of this launch activity is especially high in the ... Best Practices and the Role of Medical ... help companies focused on oncology therapies find better ways ...
Breaking Biology Technology: