Research shows carbon dioxide sinks deeper into oceans than estimated

Researchers have long known that the world’s oceans absorb some of the excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. It’s a boon and a bane, helping to stem the tide of climate change while causing acidification that hurts Nemo and friends. But new research shows that carbon is going deeper than previously thought, making the situation both boonier and banier. According to Douglas Wallace of Germany’s University of Kiel, scientists had estimated that human-made CO2 wasn’t found at depths below 2,500 meters, or about 8,200 feet, in the North Atlantic. But now he and his colleagues have found it as deep as 5,000 meters, comparing samples gathered in 2004 with those gathered at the same sites in 1981. The situation may be different in the world’s southern seas. But one thing is clear, says Ken Caldeira of the Carnegie Institution: “When human activities start impacting remote parts of the planet, it’s a wake-up call that we are interfering in our planet’s functioning on a very large scale.”