Monday, January 28, 2013

Current data shows biosphere carbon uptake holding steady

One of the biggest questions for ecosystem scientists is the degree to which terrestrial and marine ecosystems  can continue to sequester carbon in the face of continuing human emissions of CO2 and accompanying global climate change.
This is one of the best (i.e. easiest to interpret) graphs to show that the fraction of emitted CO2 remaining in the atmosphere (i.e. not sequestered) has held steady at around 50% for the last 40+ years (purple line, "Airborne Fraction").  Data Sources: Fossil fuel CO2 emissions - Land use CO2 emissions -  Airborne CO2 levels Graph by Willis Eschenbach.

Similar conclusions were reached by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Earth System Research Laboratory in Boulder, Colorado last year.

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