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Gradual increase of oceanic CO2

Naturevolume 277pages205206 (1979) | Download Citation

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Abstract

SINCE 1850, human activities, mainly the burning of fossil fuels and the clearing of forests, have increased the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere by 50 p.p.m.1–5. Although it is generally believed that the oceanic CO2 has increased correspondingly6–11, only very limited data12–14 have shown the increase quantitatively. We present here a computational calculation of the variation of the preformed total CO2 (ΣCO20) for a water mass, the original amount of total CO2 (ΣCO2) at the time of its last contact with the atmosphere. The result for the Atlantic Ocean reveals that the older water masses have invariably smaller ΣCO20 as compared to the more recently formed waters.

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Affiliations

  1. School of Oceanography, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, 97331

    • GHEN-TUNG CHEN
  2. Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami, Miami, Florida, 33149

    • FRANK J. MILLERO

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https://doi.org/10.1038/277205a0

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