The coastal ocean’s transformation from carbon source to carbon sink has been quantified for the first time, according to a release from Ohio State University.
Ohio State ecology and biology professor James Bauer led the study, which focused on the shallow waters between continents and the deep open ocean. He and his team modelled carbon cycling from the coastal ocean thanks to monitoring and chemistry data.
Bauer’s research team estimates that 100 years ago coastal oceans released about 150 million metric tons of carbon per year. Researchers estimate today that coastal oceans absorb 250 million metric tons of carbon per year.
He said the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change may acknowledge the importance of the coastal ocean in carbon cycling in its 2014 report.