Getting warm

CHANGES in the ocean’s carbon cycle as a result of the greenhouse effect are already under way, says a climatologist. Because carbon dioxide dissolves in water, the oceans could dampen global warming by absorbing some of the excess CO2 that human activity produces. But a climate model developed by Jorge Sarmiento of Princeton University, New Jersey, recently suggested that rising water temperatures might reduce ocean circulation and cut the sea’s ability to store the gas (This Week, 30 November 1996, p 16). Now Sarmiento has plugged figures into his model for atmospheric CO2 measured over the past 200 years and found that the effects should already have begun (Nature, vol 393,
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