A new study published in Nature Climate Change shows a great increase in the absorption of carbon dioxide in the Antarctic Ocean. In particular, the researchers analyzed the marine areas off the western Antarctic peninsula, an area that is experiencing very rapid climatic changes with very clear temperature increases and ice melting in tow.
Understanding how carbon dioxide absorption is changing in the Antarctic Ocean is crucial to understanding the development of current climate change, as Michael Brown, a researcher at the Center for Ocean Observing Leadership at Rutgers University, points out.
The study analyzed 25 years of oceanographic measurements in the Antarctic ocean and found that the carbon dioxide absorption of this marine area increased nearly five times during the summer from 1993 to 2017.
When the melting of sea ice reaches a certain level, there will not be a sufficient amount of ice to prevent mixing of the wind in the upper ocean and this will cause a reduced absorption of the same carbon dioxide in the Antarctic ocean with harmful consequences for the whole globe.
The results of the new study are more than worrying considering that the Antarctic ocean absorbs about half of the carbon dioxide present in the atmosphere, even more in recent decades following the increasingly widespread use of fossil fuels as an energy source.