PerspectiveClimate Change

Carbonate Mysteries

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Science  31 May 2002:
Vol. 296, Issue 5573, pp. 1618-1621
DOI: 10.1126/science.1072079

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The uptake of carbon dioxide up by the oceans is an important factor in controlling the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere. But how has this uptake varied in the past? In his Perspective, Elderfield discusses recent studies that have arrived at very different answers to this question. He concludes that the influence of shifts in atmospheric carbon dioxide--be they manmade or part of glacial climate cycles--on oceanic carbon sequestration remains unclear.