Some climate change ‘hopers’ are saying that we don’t really know how much C02 our oceans can absorb and are hoping that they can absorb much more than we think, and this ocean CO2 sink will save us from the worst effects of climate change.
The ocean scientists I have read say we don’t really know how much oceans can absorb but we do know that the speed with which CO2 passes down into deeper parts of the ocean is far slower than we need it to be. The CO2 we have already released into the atmosphere may be enough to create such an increase in the acidity of surface waters that it will kill off all our coral reefs, which are home to 25% of our ocean wildlife. Reefs support the plants and fish within them but also provide feeding and safe breeding grounds for large numbers of birds and large mammals.
The oceans may yet hold more surprises, good and bad. What of the prospects for phytoplankton which are even larger producers of oxygen than all the rainforests and trees put together? Phytoplankton account for half of all photosynthetic activity on earth.
Find out more