Oceans & Forests Increase Carbon Uptake to Halt Global Warming

:::::::While man-made carbon dioxide emission has been increasing over
recent decades, nature is also actively utilizing its natural, carbon-
removing reservoirs to suck up some of the gas that could bring dire
consequences for global warming, reveals a recent report.
According to a new study conducted by the researchers of University of
Colorado, the world's oceans and forests have doubled the carbon
absorption in the past 50 years to dwindle the impacts of global warming,
lessening the impact of greenhouse gases on the planet's climate.
"Even though we have done very little to decrease our emissions, the
Earth continues to lend us a helping hand," Ashley Ballantyne of the
University of Colorado and the lead author of the research told Reuters.
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Researchers found seas and plants soaked around 2.4 billion metric tons of carbon in 1960, while in
2010, that figure increased to around 5 billion metric tons.
"Since 1959, approximately 350 billion [metric tons] of carbon dioxide have been emitted by humans
to the atmosphere, of which about 55% has moved into the land and oceans," they reported.
"Globally, these carbon dioxide 'sinks' have roughly kept pace with emissions from human
activities, continuing to draw about half of the emitted [carbon dioxide] back out of the atmosphere,"
said Pieter Tans, study researcher and climate scientist, with the U.S. National Oceanographic and
Atmospheric Administration's Earth System Research Laboratory, in a statement. "However, we do
not expect this to continue indefinitely."
"Since we don't know why or where this process is happening, we cannot count on it," Tans added.
"We need to identify what's going on here, so that we can improve our projections of future (carbon
dioxide) levels and how climate change will progress in the future."
Experts who were not involved in the study, however, find the study simplistic.
According to Corinne Le Quere, director of the Tyndall Center for Climate Change Research at the
University of East Anglia in England, the study "a bit limited."
"From this data, it's just not clear-cut enough to say if the sinks are weakening or not." An in-depth
study of more complex models might help to reach an inclusive report, she told Los Angeles Times.
Meanwhile, International Energy Agency reported that 33.6 billion tons of CO2 were emitted globally
in 2010 which increased to 34.8 billion tons in 2011.
The study was funded by the National Research Council, the National Science Foundation and NOAA.
The report was published in Thursday's journal Nature issue.

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