Decrease in the CO2 Uptake Capacity in an Ice-Free Arctic Ocean Basin

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Science  30 Jul 2010:
Vol. 329, Issue 5991, pp. 556-559
DOI: 10.1126/science.1189338

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Sinking in Slowly

As the Arctic warms and its sea ice continues to melt, more of the ocean surface will be exposed, creating the potential for greater uptake of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Cai et al. (p. 556, published online 22 July) present results from a series of Arctic Ocean transects that show that the amount of CO2 in the surface waters has increased greatly recently. This will act as a barrier to future CO2 uptake and suggests that the Arctic Ocean will not become the large CO2 sink that some have predicted.