By Agence France-Presse
Tuesday, November 10th, 2009 -- 6:25 pm
Global warming has been blamed for the alarming loss of ice shelves in Antarctica, but a new study says newly-exposed areas of sea are now soaking up some of the carbon gas that causes the problem.
Scientists led by Lloyd Peck of the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) said that atmospheric and ocean carbon is being gobbled up by microscopic marine plants called phytoplankton, which float near the surface.
After absorbing the carbon through the natural process of photosynthesis, the phytoplankton are eaten, or otherwise die and sink to the ocean floor.
The phenomenon, known as a carbon sink, has been spotted in areas of open water exposed by the recent, rapid melting of several ice shelves -- vast floating plaques of ice attached to the shore of the Antarctic peninsula.
Over the last 50 years, around 24,000 square kilometres (9,200 square miles) of new open water have been created this way, and swathes of it are now colonised by phytoplankton, Peck's team reports in a specialist journal, Global Change Biology.
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As I am watching the movie "The Day After Tomorrow" I stumble on this. The movie is based on ice melt changing the Atlantic Ocean currents due to the increase of fresh water added to ocean. An ice age comes because the warmer currents that flow up the eastern side of the Atlantic suddenly stop. This causes the area to freeze.
We end up freezing to death in the U.S. or moving to Mexico.
It was just a movie but is the new carbon sink good news or just a bait and switch from mother earth?