The Southern Ocean – a global carbon sink
Since the industrial revolution, Carbon Dioxide (CO2) has been increasing faster than ever before in Earth's history.
Coupled with this is the increase in Earth's temperature. Because of their ability to absorb and store atmospheric CO2, oceans can be thought of as a carbon sink. Several factors such as the physical mixing by strong winds, the cold temperature (that allows for greater concentration of gases to dissolve) and the large amount of photosynthesis that occurs, makes the Southern Ocean a hugely important carbon sink. It is estimated that over 25% of human produced CO2is absorbed in the Southern Ocean.
An assessment task, marking schedule and powerpoint linking to the Science 1.14 - Carbon cycling achievement standard is available for teachers and students.
AS 90953 Science 1.14 - Demonstrate understanding of carbon cycling