Earth  ID: 12629

Ocean Circulation Plays an Important Role in Absorbing Carbon from the Atmosphere

The oceans play a significant role in absorbing greenhouse gases, like carbon dioxide, and heat from the atmosphere. This absorption can help mitigate the early effects of human-emissions of carbon dioxide.

The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation acts as a conveyor belt of ocean water from Florida to Greenland. Along the journey north, water near the surface absorbs greenhouse gases, which sink down as the water cools near Greenland. In this way, the ocean effectively buries the gases deep below the surface.
 

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Credits

Kathryn Mersmann (USRA): Lead Producer
Ellen T. Gray (ADNET Systems Inc.): Lead Writer
Anastasia Romanou (Columbia University): Scientist
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NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

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Keywords:
SVS >> Carbon Sink
SVS >> HDTV
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Oceans >> Ocean Circulation
GCMD >> Location >> Atlantic Ocean
NASA Science >> Earth

GCMD keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation: Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version 8.0.0.0.0