Warming oceans could lead to a rapid release of dissolved therein carbon dioxide back into the atmosphere and the greenhouse effect.
The oceans absorb about 30% of anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide, slowing global warming. Climate data from the end of the last ice age show that the growth temperature change trend reversal. Previous studies have shown that it takes between 400 and 1300 years. New analysis gave a very different time.
"We believe that the delay is not more than two hundred years — maybe even less," — said Tes van Ommen from the Australian Antarctic Division.
The new results obtained in the study of ice cores from stations "Siple" and "Bird" in West Antarctica. Mr. Ommen and colleagues dated bubbles CO2, trapped in the ice, and then compared their data with information on atmospheric temperature over the same period. As might be expected, with increasing temperature, the concentration of carbon dioxide decreased, but the lag in both samples was about two hundred years — much less than previous studies have shown.
Increase in temperature leads to leakage of carbon dioxide from the ocean for two main reasons. First, the loss of sea ice increases the rate of mixing of the ocean, which brings to the surface of carbon dioxide-rich deep waters. Secondly, try to heat a glass of soda, and see for yourself.
Previous estimates were based on cores from regions with rare snowfall, said Mr. Ommen, which led to a very gradual penetration of carbon dioxide ice. This increase indefinitely. In addition, many studies have to settle for a Kern.
Despite the greater rigor, the uncertainty of the new analysis is also essential: plus or minus 200 years. In other words, the gap between vremennogo increase in atmospheric temperature and the gas output of the ocean and can not be.