Q1 (out of 4): Today 30% of all our CO2 emissions are absorbed by oceans. It is of course highly impressive and not that well known of a fact by the greater public. More specifically, the carbon in CO2 is absorbed in three different ways by oceans: (a) part of it is dissolved via a physico-chemical reaction (b) part is used by various organisms to make their shells in the calcification process and (c) part is also used in the photosynthesis process to make organic matter. But all in all, as organisms die the vast majority of CO2 gets eventually trapped at the bottom of the ocean for a period of over 500 years. As the authors of “the ocean: a carbon pump” put it: “we are sequestreting carbon in the deep ocean.” But this is only temporary. This carbon will eventually be funneled back into the atmosphere. That is, we are at present generating gigantic reserves of carbon stored in the deep ocean that will be poured back out into the atmosphere in a few hundred years only – isn’t this a ‘time bomb’ worth addressing (and studying further!) as another pressing argument to decarbonize our industrial processes?
The Ocean – a Carbon Pump (PDF): http://www.ocean-climate.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/ocean-carbon-pump_07-2.pdf