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I’ve got that sinking feeling

Science Magazine April 27, 2007 page 567: In an article titled – Revisiting Carbon Flux through the oceans twilight zone – by K Buesseler, et al. “The oceanic biological pump drives sequestration of carbon dioxide in the deep sea via sinking particles. Rapid biological consumption and remineralization of carbon in the “twilight zone” (depths between the euphotic zone and 1000 meters) reduce the efficiency of sequestration. …measured a transfer efficiency of sinking particulate organic carbon between 150 and 500 meters of 20 and 50% at two contrasting sites. This large variability in transfer efficiency is poorly represented in biogeochemical models. If applied globally, this is equivalent to a difference in carbon sequestrations of more than 3 petagrams of carbon per year.”

Now the amount of petagrams of carbon has probably little meaning to the average person. Fortunately the authors also include this statement in their section on implications and conclusions.

“For comparison global anthropogenic emissions of Carbon are 6 to 7 Pg (petagrams) Carbon per year. Certainly the entire ocean is not characterized by either single transfer efficiency, however, this calculation shows that, …transfer efficiency would have a large impact on the magnitude of ocean carbon sequestration and hence be a substantial feedback on the climate.” In this quote, several symbols for variables are replaced with their names for clarity. This convenience does not alter the importance of this finding.

Correction of the models would reduce the estimated carbon in atmosphere by as much as 50%. This would have a major impact on the temperature change estimated by these models. I would expect that these results will be attacked or ignored by those wishing to scare the public into modifying their behavior in a manner they believe is correct.



By A Bialystock

http://northpacificresearch.com/blog/

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