There are substantial variations in the amount of carbon being absorbed by the North Atlantic Ocean, a study shows.
You bet substantial variations. The BBC leaves out a few critical points. Luckily we can check out the original paper, if we have a subscription. It is entitled Tracking the Variable North Atlantic Sink for Atmospheric CO2
One thing is that we had better hope that the rest of the world’s oceans are making up for the drop in carbon dioxide uptake by the North Atlantic. Because the flux in the North Atlantic appears to have been dropping from estimated values in 1995. In 2005 it was about 25% less than in 1995.
And in none of the years from 2002 to 2007 did it get above the 1995 value. Only 2005 even came close. So the other years may have seen a drop much greater than 25% from 1995 levels.
If the oceans are soaking up less carbon dioxide, then either the lands of the world must take up more or thethere will be an increase in the increasing amounts of carbon dioxide appearing in the atmosphere as time goes on.
They are now working at getting more monitoring in other oceans. I’m hoping that the other oceans are picking up the slack because the North Atlantic seems to be doing a poorer job soaking up carbon dioxide than it might have 10 years ago.