TECH
11/09/2015 12:29 BST | Updated 11/09/2015 12:59 BST

The Southern Ocean Is Absorbing Far More CO2 Than First Thought, Which Is Great News

Scientists have discovered that something pretty remarkable is happening over in the Southern Ocean.

Despite fears that its CO2 absorption had gone down throughout the 90s it turns out that this small ocean is working some serious overtime.

antarctic ocean

Using millions of ship based measurements over the last 10 years scientists David Munro, Colm Sweeney and their respective teams were able to discover that the Southern Ocean is doing a LOT to help stave off the seemingly inevitable trudge of global warming.

Despite covering just 26 per cent of the world's oceans, the Southern Ocean is absorbing a massive 40 per cent of the CO2 that's usually absorbed by water.

David Munro, a scientist at the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR) at the University of Colorado Boulder believes that the Southern Ocean is uniquely placed to help tackle the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere however admits that scientists are still trying to understand the exact mechanics of how.

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“It’s likely that winter mixing with deep waters that have not had contact with the atmosphere for several hundred years plays an important role,”

With two key papers now showing that the Southern Ocean is only getting better at absorbing CO2 Munro others will be doubling their efforts to produce an expanded analysis of the Southern Ocean in the hopes of finally having a real answer as to how this relatively small patch of water is essentially helping to keep us all alive.