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The oceanic sink for anthropogenic CO2.

Science (New York, N.Y.)

Temperature, Seawater, Oceans and Seas, Industry, Hydrogen-Ion Concentration, Fossil Fuels, analysis, Carbon Dioxide, metabolism, Carbon, Calcium Carbonate, Calcification, Physiologic, Atmosphere, Animals, chemistry

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      Using inorganic carbon measurements from an international survey effort in the 1990s and a tracer-based separation technique, we estimate a global oceanic anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) sink for the period from 1800 to 1994 of 118 +/- 19 petagrams of carbon. The oceanic sink accounts for approximately 48% of the total fossil-fuel and cement-manufacturing emissions, implying that the terrestrial biosphere was a net source of CO2 to the atmosphere of about 39 +/- 28 petagrams of carbon for this period. The current fraction of total anthropogenic CO2 emissions stored in the ocean appears to be about one-third of the long-term potential.

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