One of the planet’s most important carbon sinks is revealing its secrets

The Southern Ocean plays a central role in moderating the rate of climate change, absorbing an estimated 40% of the total amount of human-generated carbon dioxide emissions and 60-90% of the excess heat trapped by greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. A new study led by scientists from NOAA's Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory quantifies for the first time how many billions of tons of carbon are removed from the atmosphere every year by biological activity.