Rate at which Ocean absorbs and releases gases and heat predicts future climate change scenarios: NASA report
Atlantic Ocean: Wikimedia Commons
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Toronto, June 18 (ICanadian-Media): New NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) research, one of the first studies to estimate how much and how quickly the ocean absorbs atmospheric gases and contrast it with the efficiency of heat absorption revealed that that gases are more easily absorbed over time than heat energy and that release of buried gases and heat from the oceans will keep raising temperatures, NASA reports said.
NASA. Image credit: Twitter handle
“Most of the excess heat from climate change will go into the ocean eventually…most of the excess chemical pollutants and greenhouse gases will be buried in the ocean. But the truth is that the ocean recirculates that extra load and, at some point, will release some of it back to the atmosphere, where it will keep raising temperatures, even if future carbon dioxide emissions were to be much lower than they are now” said Anastasia Romanou, lead author and climate scientist at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) and Columbia University in New York City.
Romanou added people will have to cope with this release of buried gases and heat from the oceans, sometimes called the “warming in the pipeline” or “warming commitment.”
Goddard Institute for Space Studies. Image credit: NASA
The Goddard Institute for Space Studies, reportedly is a laboratory in the Earth Sciences Division of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center and a unit of the Columbia University Earth Institute. The institute is located at Columbia University in New York City.
Using two computer models that simulate the ocean, NASA and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) scientists found that over time gases were absorbed more easily than heat energy.
These findings formed the basis of further research to study these impacts on climate change.
The world’s oceans have considerably slowed down, said reports, by storing atmosphere heat, carbon dioxide and other gases in their depths for decades to centuries and millennia.
Over the last ten years, reportedly one-fourth of human-emissions of carbon dioxide as well as 90 percent of additional warming due to the greenhouse effect have been absorbed by the oceans.
“As the ocean slows down, it will keep uptaking gases like carbon dioxide more efficiently, much more than it will keep uptaking heat. It will have a different behavior for chemistry than it has for temperature,” said Romanou.
She and colleagues at the MIT, Massachusetts used the NASA GISS ocean model and the MIT General Circulation Model to simulate one of the Atlantic's major current systems that delivers absorbed heat and gases to the depths.
NASA GISS ocean model. Image credit: giss.nasa.gov
To understand the ocean's sponge-like capabilities, the researchers used two independent models of Atlantic Ocean currents with shipboard observations of chlorofluorocarbons, also called passive tracer, as a starting point.
This allowed scientists to see how much of the gas is absorbed from the atmosphere into the ocean and then follow it as it travels around the world in the currents.
These findings by the scientists of how efficiently gases and heat are absorbed by ocean, and consequently their release, will improve global climate model projections for future climate scenarios, said co-author John Marshall, a professor of oceanography at MIT.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)